FIRST ASSEMBLY CHURCH – COVID 19 RESPONSE PLAN
Hey there First Assembly Church Family…
IN LIGHT OF CURRENT EVENTS THAT ARE EVER CHANGING IT IS MY DESIRE TO EXERCISE WISDOM AND TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SAFELY PROTECT THOSE WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE PRIVILEGE OF LEADING AND PASTORING.
IN UNCERTAIN TIMES…FEAR LIKES TO REAR ITS UGLY HEAD.
As you already know…a lot has been going on in our world and our nation is keenly focused on the health concerns posed by the Coronavirus or COVID-19 and finding solutions that will slow the spread of this virus. We are all aware that it is an ever-evolving situation and I wanted to take a moment to share some updates on how we, at First Assembly Church, are preparing for this upcoming Wednesday and Sunday.
First, let me say that we have been monitoring the situation very closely as a Church leadership team and we have remained in daily contact with St. Charles County health officials, the local school districts and our city officials.
On March 15th Steve Ehlman, County Executive of St Charles County, amended the Emergency Order he issued on March 13th to restrict gatherings of 50 people or more in order to practice Social Distancing. After some phone calls with the county we have come to understand that this order does extend to churches.
With that said, we have sought out counsel from other pastors, leaders, our staff and our Board of Deacons on this issue.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is not counsel, people perish…in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
There is a safety net…that catches you and keeps you from falling into harm. We don’t want anyone to get hurt during this time of crisis, so we trust the wise counsel that we have received.
With that being said we are going to support the ordinance of our county and we are going to be law abiding citizens and respectful of the authority placed over us.
FIRST ASSEMBLY, WE ARE ADAPTING WITH WHAT IS BEING ASKED OF US AS A LEADING CHURCH IN OUR AREA.
So effective immediately we will be SHIFTING OUR SERVICE FORMATS TO ONLINE ONLY, AND FOR RIGHT NOW, WE WILL NOT be meeting on site at First Assembly Church for the next two weeks.
As a church we will be MOVING FORWARD INTO A TIME WHERE WE ARE meeting online with a live feed into our worship center during our regularly scheduled service times on Sunday’s at 10:30a and Wednesday’s at 7:00p and we want you to be a part of what we are calling: CHURCH AT HOME!
WE ARE BRINGING GOD’S HOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE AND WE WANT YOU TO BE A PART OF AN ONLINE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE. WE WANT YOU TO GATHER YOUR HOME OR FRIENDS and NEIGHBORS to EXPERIENCE AN ENGAGING AND ENCOURAGING TIME OF WORSHIP WITH FIRST ASSEMBLY CHURCH.
HERE IS WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE:
- WE WILL CONNECT ONLINE: First Assembly Church FACEBOOK Page and a new media forum: YOUTUBE on Sundays @ 10:30a & Wednesdays @ 7:00p
- I WILL BE PERSONALLY SPEAKING TO THE CHURCH EACH WEEK AND TOGETHER WE WILL BE SHARING LIFE GIVING WORSHIP.
- WE WILL HAVE multiple CAMPUS PASTORS WHO WILL BE JOINING IN THE CONVERSATION LIVE AND CONNECTING WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DURING THE SERVICES.
- YOU ARE GOING TO HEAR TESTIMONIES AND STORIES THAT WILL BUILD YOUR FAITH AS WE BUILD TO EASTER SUNDAY.
- WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING HARD TO CREATE safe online options for ministry to the next generation [Children & Students], and we will provide you with more details as soon as possible.
This is a great opportunity for you to gather with your family and have watch parties and worship online, as well as gather with friends who are healthy to watch together and encourage each other.
We are depending on you to help us with this and to be a part of the solution…to not give into the spin but help the Kingdom of God get the win!
We are not giving into the hype…we want to be living dispensers of hope!
First Assembly Church, we are depending on you to help us look out for your neighbors, to look out for the elderly, to be an asset to those who may be needing help with childcare, to not be afraid to support local businesses and to be a light in your neighborhoods.
In order to be in compliance with this new ordinance…some of our regularly scheduled events that are over the 50 person limit or require those who are in the highest category of risk to come out are going to be postponed for two week or rescheduled.
As far as small groups go…we want you to practice wisdom in gathering together with your groups. In a time of social distancing we want to be a part of the solution but for some we know that isolation is detrimental to their mental health. We ask that you exercise caution and care for those you gather with during this time.
If you are a small group leader, we will be sending you information and updates in the days to come.
For many, the spread of this virus has caused fear and anxiety. Let me remind you of a scripture that the Apostle Paul penned centuries ago…
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Sound mind is also translated….Calm, well balanced, disciplined mind.
We pray that you would sense God’s peace in the midst of these difficult circumstances. This does not mean we should be careless or reactionary, but rather walk in wisdom as we serve the Lord and our community in a way that demonstrates our trust in God and our love for people.
We love you and want to stay connected with you. We want you to know that the ministry of this local church doesn’t stop.
The Church Office will continue to be open during regular business hours…If you need prayer or if you have a need … call us at 636-936-1912 or go to the website and you can email your prayer requests to us. We are still here to pray for you and shepherding you, visit you in the hospital…
Even if you need to get out of the house and come pray in the Worship Center…c’mon out!
WE WANT TO STAY CONNECTED TO WITH YOU: YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LET US KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE OR TO UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION, SUBMIT A PRAYER OR PRAISE REPORT OR SET UP RECURRING GENEROSITY.
Please be sure to check your email for messages from FAC. We will be sending messages and updates out via our Church Email System. If you are not a part of that please call us at church to find out how to get signed up. If you haven’t been getting them… please call us and we can help you get connected that way.
We want you to know that we will do our best to stay connected to you every day on our Social media pages with updates and words of encouragement…
This decision TO MOVE TO CHURCH AT HOME will be re-evaluated by our board of deacons in two weeks and we will notify you of when we will begin meeting again on our campus.
FIRST ASSEMBLY CHURCH…I KNOW THAT THESE ARE HARD TIMES, AND NOW MORE THAN EVER IS THE TIME FOR THIS CHURCH TO BE THE CHURCH. TO LIVE GENEROUSLY, REACH OUT TO THOSE AROUND US AND BELIEVE FOR BREAKOUT IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES!
We will not panic, and we will be prudent in taking the proper steps to continue to Declare and Display the Gospel to everyone, everyday, everywhere.
Remember Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.”
We love you and are praying for you and your family’s continued safety and well-being and for all those who have been affected by this virus. We’re also praying for a cure from heaven and for our medical community as they deal with the impact of this crisis.
REMEMBER We’re faithful, not fearful. We’re hopeful, not hateful. We’re prayerful, not panicked. We see this as an opportunity to extend our gospel efforts in a time of social distancing and isolation.
Amy and I care deeply for you and your safety. We also carry the strong conviction that in times of crisis the church must be a place of hope and healing. This is not time for the church to walk in panic…we walk in power…we are not called to react…but to respond!
Continue to stay connected as we navigate this rapidly changing situation together!
Pastor Jeremy & Amy Mount