Dear New Hope family,
We know that there is concern right now in our country about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so we wanted to communicate with you about that in a couple of ways both practically but also spiritually.
From a practical point of view, our pastors and church administrator are carefully monitoring the situation and considering all recommendations from government officials. We are aware of some limitations to public gatherings that have been put in place in New York, but we have confirmed that those do not currently affect what we do. We still plan to gather together for our regular worship gatherings this weekend and continuing forward unless something major changes. As always, we are committed to doing whatever we can to provide a safe environment so we can seek and serve the Lord together!
After each weekend worship service, our volunteers sterilize the surfaces and toys used by our children. We will also continue to follow our normal protocol of asking children who have had a fever or vomiting in the past 24 hours to not be involved in Kidz Ministries (Kidz Church, AWANA, etc.). Parents, thank you for helping us with that in each of your families.
Over the next few weeks as we have our 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting leading up to Easter, we had already planned a special time of prayer during the worship services which would take the place of our normal greeting time. We dont want the enemy to discourage us from being welcoming to one another, but with this concern in our country right now, focusing on prayer during this time in the service might be a good approach all the way around for the next few weeks.
Some of the best things we can always do to be healthy are simple things like washing our hands and keeping them out of our faces. Also, we encourage you to consider what is best for you and your family every weekend, but if you are feeling under the weather or running a fever, the best way that you can love and serve your neighbors is by staying home and getting better. Especially giving consideration to our children and the older members of our church and community. If you want more information about what to do if you think you might have COVID-19, see this helpful article. If you do decide that its best to stay home for whatever reason, we will continue to post our services on Sunday afternoons on our online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and iTunes/Google Podcasts (see links below).
While most of what were sharing here concerns the practical, we want you to be equipped to handle this situation spiritually, too. We want to operate on facts and faith and not on fear. This is obviously something serious that we and our country need to pay attention to, but the Lord is in control. With wisdom and thoughtfulness, we will continue to do His work in every way possible! One pastor has written a helpful article answering the question, Should Christians Be Anxious About the Coronavirus? which helps us have a good perspective on how to approach this situation in a way that is wise, trusts in the Lord, honors Him, and best serves others.
Please join us in praying for the Gods work, both here in the United States and around the world, that we would be a powerful testimony to His Good News in the midst of this present challenge.
God bless you,
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