Update – March 17, 2020:
Over the last several days there has been a flood of new information and developments regarding COVID-19. In step with Romans 13, our church leadership has been careful to respect the decisions and abide by the directives of our state and local officials while also remaining faithful to biblical imperatives.
These are unprecedented times. Life as we know it has been put on pause until further notice. While this is inconvenient, it forces innovation. The foreseeable future will look radically different, but I believe they present great ways for us as a church to be agents of the gospel. In these times we need to remember that in the midst of every great obstacle, there is great opportunity. But the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved to where we need to find alternative methods to do ministry.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will we be gathering in-person on Sunday morning?
No, we will not be gathering in-person, and this will be the case for the foreseeable future. We will be live streaming on our Facebook page starting this Sunday (3/22) during our normal 10 AM service time. Our streaming capabilities are limited, but we will do our best to recreate the Sunday morning experience and bring it to your home.
Will Community Nights still be happening?
We will be suspending Wednesday Community Nights until further notice. While the risk of spreading the virus is high, we’re taking every precaution we can to abide by the CDC’s recommendation to not gather in groups of 10 or more. However, that doesn’t mean discipleship can’t happen. Our church has a subscription to Right Now Media. It is an amazing tool that has bible studies for children, youth and adults. Our license allows us to add users. If you don’t yet have access to these resources, please email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you connected. Although we will not be meeting in an official capacity, we are asking our people to continue functioning as the church: care for one another, keep in touch, and lift one another up in prayer. Please use discretion if meeting together in-person. Use digital means to connect with one another if you believe you’re at risk of spreading infection.
How does this impact Kingdom Kids?
Kingdom Kids will not be meeting in-person. Following our live stream on Sunday morning, we will be broadcasting our Kingdom Kids program on our Facebook page. We encourage you to all tune in and enjoy this together as a family. Parents, our Children’s Ministry Director will be sending out materials for you to use with your children following the live broadcast.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this time. We know God is in control, and we are believing this event will lead many to salvation in Jesus Christ. These are challenging times. But we believe God is going to do incredible good through this in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine.
March 14, 2020:
How are we responding to the coronavirus?Posted by Centerpointe Community Church on Friday, March 13, 2020
A Letter from Pastor Mike
Amidst the wave of fear and panic that’s overtaken our nation regarding the coronavirus, I felt led to address you all, both as your pastor and as your brother in Christ. I believe it’s important to our witness to the outside world that we do not give in to either extreme of passing off the virus as nonsense perpetuated by the media or slipping into a state of panic. First Peter 5:8 calls believers to be “sober-minded”. Jesus Christ is the bedrock of our faith. That should give us the courage to see this for what it is. But I realize how easy it is to slip into a state of panic or indifference over this, so allow me just a moment to speak to how we are responding to this issue as a church and how we are called to respond individually as Christians.
Sunday Gatherings and Wednesday Community Nights will continue as planned.
Many of you have likely heard by now that our governor has banned gatherings of 500 or more in our state until further notice. Thankfully, Centerpointe remains unaffected by this ban. In the event our state or local officials instruct us not to meet publicly, we will find some alternative way to meet together. We will inform you all via email, website and social media if that time comes. Until then, we will continue our Sunday and mid-week ministries as planned.
There are a few things we would like you to be aware of for our Sunday gatherings. We ask that during our greeting time that you do an elbow bump instead of a handshake. If you are a parent, we want you to know that we have also taken the necessary precautions of ensuring all children’s classrooms have hand sanitizer and soap. Kids will wash there hands both when they enter and when they leave the classroom.
Kids Easter Egg Hunt is Cancelled
Both our elders and key ministry leaders felt it was best to cancel our annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 4th. While the event is still a few weeks away, we do not see any major change in sight before then.
God hasn’t given Us a Spirit of Fear
As we continue to think through how to respond to this individually, my urging to all of you is to not be ruled by fear and worry. One of the hallmarks of Christianity is that we are not a people dominated by a spirit of fear. I think of what Paul says in his letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy. In chapter one, verse 7 it reads:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Before this verse, Paul recounts the legacy of faith in Timothy’s mother and grandmother, a faith that was ultimately instilled in Timothy himself. While this is a time of uncertainty, it is never a time for fear. We serve a God who is sovereign over our bodies, over every molecule, over literally every single atom of creation–including this virus that so many are panicking over. What this virus can do is concerning, but I am far more concerned with how we respond as Jesus-followers and what that teaches our children and grandchildren about what we believe. Our response to this will pass on a legacy of either fear or faith to those who look to us for how to respond in times of crisis.
Be Wise and Prudent
While we are people of faith, there is a difference between faithfulness and foolishness. My urging to you is to be wise and prudent.
Practice good hygiene (wash your hands, use sanitizer, etc.)
If you are in an “at-risk” category (compromised immune system, elderly) take whatever precautions you feel like you need to stay safe.
If you or your kids are sick, please, please, please stay home.
If you do happen to show up and you are under the weather, please refrain from shaking people’s hands and keep a safe distance.
I believe we can and should function wisely and without worry. This need not dominate every waking minute of our days. It certainly should not stop us from meeting together and being the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us. I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? – Matthew 6:25-27
Worry and anxiety actually take away precious hours from our life. Giving in to it is wasted energy; energy we can use to be the hands and feet of Jesus. My mission and your mission remains the same: to give people repeated opportunities to see, hear and experience the gospel and become fully devoted followers of Christ.
Allow your friends, family, and neighborhood to see Christ in you during this time. Spend quality time with your family, make the phone call to your elderly neighbor to see how they’re doing. Send an encouraging note to school administrators to let them know you’re praying for them as they make difficult decisions.
In John 16, Jesus tells His disciples “in this world, you will have trouble.” But Jesus makes a declarative statement of what he’s done about that: “but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
God is still sovereign. He is still good. He is still in control. He has overcome the world.
As a body of believers, let’s live as if that’s true.
Grace & Peace,