Update on Sunday Gathering
What a comfort the Lord is during times of uncertainty! "When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Ps 94:19). Indeed.
Late yesterday afternoon the Governor issued a statement asking churches with more than 250 people not to meet tomorrow morning. This statement was posted on the State’s website:
Heading into the weekend, many Tennesseans will be making decisions regarding faith gatherings and church attendance. Congregations and groups are urged to consider alternatives to traditional services by utilizing live streams, pre-recorded messages and other electronic means. While at this time, mass gatherings such as conferences or other large social events remain at the discretion of the organizer, we strongly discourage events of 250 people or more as an important step in limiting exposure to COVID-19.
Canceling our worship service, as Jeff Hodgson put it, is a ‘jagged pill to swallow’. We all understand that the gathering of the church on the Lord’s Day is irreplaceable. The blessing we receive when we are together is just what we need when we face difficulties and the cares of our collective hearts are many. So, though it has not been an easy decision for us to make, we are going to cancel our Sunday meeting tomorrow, March 15, and live stream a “service” that you will be able to watch by going to our website. We also canceled our annual Vision Quest trip with the college students, so it’s a sad day indeed.
It has been a rapidly changing situation this week and we’ve received different opinions along the way. We do want to be good citizens according to Romans 13 and we feel this is a reasonable request. We don’t want to respond in a way that could unnecessarily be perceived as self-righteous and arrogant. We do want to serve our broader community. “Social distancing” is the strategy those in government are choosing and we want to be supportive of their efforts and pray for success.
We are going to be working especially hard at communicating with you all during this season, so please check our website and social media sites for regular updates.
Pray for our “live stream” tomorrow! At 60 years old I thought I’d seen it all but never a dull moment! I trust the Lord that he will use this unique moment in a helpful and significant way. We certainly will make a memory.
With gratefulness to God for you,
On behalf of the pastors