As you know the Consistory has been monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, along with the government recommendations regarding public gatherings. Under consideration has been the need to balance our calling and need to worship God and gather with the saints, over against our calling to be loving and responsible to our neighbors in seeking to prevent the spread of disease.
In addition, the Consistory whole-heartedly believes that we are called to honor the government (Rom. 13.1-4), which has called us to suspend meetings of 50 people or more in the coming weeks, with recommendations for meetings of far less numbers. The Consistory recognizes too that God calls us to love our neighbors enough to protect them from the spread of infectious disease.
Therefore, to honor those callings, the Consistory has agreed to change the previous plan of dividing the congregation between morning and evening services and to suspend gathering for worship services for weeks beginning this coming Sunday, March 22 through April 5, including all non-worship activities of the church. At the end of that period, the Consistory will review recommendations from the government and re-evaluate on a week-by-week basis.
Our worship services will indeed be different. The elders will continue to call the congregation to worship at the normal times of 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM, only in the privacy of your homes with the means of our live streaming capabilities. You are encouraged to still prepare your hearts for worship and gather as a family in reverence and honor of our sovereign God. At least for this week the music and singing will be absent, and you are encouraged to sing psalms and hymns as a family following the streamed service. The service will be composed of God’s Word and prayer, from the call to worship, to include the law and assurance of pardon, the preaching of the Word, through God’s parting blessing.
Dear congregation, the Consistory understands this is out of the ordinary and is indeed not what any of us desires. But we believe it is the best option our God has provided for such a time as this. Please know these measures and decisions are not being taken and made out of fear. Instead, recognizing the significant threat posed by this pandemic, the Consistory wants to ensure that the Word is proclaimed faithfully while also ensuring that the government which God has set over us is honored.