As you are aware, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is dominating news and conversation. We are watching the news also, BUT we are seeking information from the CDC, DHEC, and medical professionals. We will continue to seek actual data and information that is helpful. We will not fuel the fear-filled, politicized language of the news media (that includes every news network, including the one you like most). The situation is serious and the virus will no doubt continue to spread. We will exercise a common sense and thoughtful response to this situation, such as, but not limited to, practicing good, consistent cleaning and hygiene. We will continue to pray, worship, meet needs, and give God glory. We will not hide and hoard in fear. With this in mind, here are some things to know:
Pray for those affected, and be the people God has called us to be. Help those you can.
DO NOT PANIC. Panic never helps. Live by faith and facts, not fear. Do not perpetuate the panic in person or on social media.
If you know you are sick (with anything), then do not share it with others. Seek medical attention.
If you are healthy, help others. Wash your hands, cover your mouth, and be thoughtful of those more vulnerable than yourself.
There are NO known cases of COVID-19 in our church.
We are NOT canceling any services this weekend. If this needs to change, we will communicate it. The arrival of Coronavirus does not suddenly mean we stop being worshippers or disciples. Take the precautions necessary to stay healthy.
We have commercial-grade, hand-sanitizer dispensers (the kind in hospitals) at the two main entrances to the Sanctuary and Children's hall. Use them.
Be obedient and glorifying to Christ in all things.
Coronavirus is but one of the thousands of ways we can experience suffering or death in this fallen world. As C.S. Lewis wrote: “In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb [or coronavirus] was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways” (“On Living in an Atomic Age” 1948). Instead of exaggeration, panic, drama, or anxiety, let us respond with truth and with trust in God, who is not sitting in heaven hoarding toilet paper and wringing His hand-sanitizer-soaked hands over what to do. As Lewis wrote in the article just quoted, “If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb [or coronavirus], let that bomb [or virus] when it comes find us doing sensible and human things…” For Christians, let the virus find us doing what Christ has called us to do––sharing the gospel, worshiping, praying, ministering to others, discipling, fellowshipping, and leading others Christ’s way. Let us remember that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7). Common-sense and thoughtful responses along with obedience and trust in God is what the world needs to see from the church. Let us pray for those affected. Let us meet their needs. Let’s be smart, and let us spread the gospel, not panic or viruses.