3/13/20 12:52 PM


Dear Church Family,

I trust that this note finds you experiencing a very real, dependent, rest and trust in God in the midst of the uncertainties these days continue to bring.

Last night I wrote to you stating that we will try to respond appropriately and communicate as quickly as we can as it affects our church life. I trust you have had an opportunity to hear some, or all, of the press conference that Governor DeWine and the ODH (Ohio Department of Health) Director Amy Acton held this afternoon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can via this link - https://youtu.be/6ZVmgyXKrAM - and listen specifically to minutes 26-39. A couple of things that were said:

“We know that 1% of the state’s population is carrying this virus today. That’s over 100,000 people.”

“… we are slowly shutting down the structures of our society by asking people to stay home if they can” (Amy Acton, Director of ODH)

I woke up this morning feeling pretty convinced that we would be gathering together on Sunday, but I must admit my confidence waned a bit as I heard those words from the ODH Director. As I sat and continued to listen to the presser, I became aware of Governor DeWine’s announcement of an order that bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people (including auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, cafeterias and any other confined indoor or outdoor space). They were clear, however, that the ban did not include, among other things, religious services. Nonetheless, I was, and continue to be, convinced that the spirit of the ban must certainly include religious services (like ours on Sunday morning). Words like “containment” and “mitigation;” phrases like “keep away from one another,” “protect people,” and “stop community spread,” ring loud in my ears and heart. As Pastor Dan and I spoke together we agreed that while the danger “seems” low in our church family, it is simply arrogant presumption to think that nothing will happen to us if we gather. It seems very clear to us that wisdom and humility would lead us to take heed of the counsel and direction of those whom the Lord has sovereignly put in our lives as authorities.

All of this compels us, as your pastors, to make the decision to NOT meet together in the same building this Sunday morning (March 15). However, just because we are not going to gather in person doesn’t mean we won’t gather together through technology. Here’s what we plan on doing this Sunday:

  1. We encourage each individual/family to gather in your respective homes on Sunday morning, 10:30 am, to join the livestream on our website.
  2. We will be giving direction, via that livestream, that will include most of the components of a regular Sunday morning Celebration Service, including “corporate” prayer, announcements, a message and we will also plan to provide some application questions and prayer points to be used immediately in your home.

We also want you to know that we will NOT be gathering together for our corporate prayer meeting on Sunday evening.

We are going to continue responding to this one week at a time. We don’t know what next Sunday will hold. For now, we’re only making the decision regarding THIS coming Sunday.

We want you to know that none of these decisions are being done out of fear. Not at all. Honestly, we are just striving to humbly listen, respond with prayerful wisdom, and do our best to care for you, both soul and body. We love each of you.

As always, if you have any questions, or needs, please, please let us know.

With gratefulness,

Pastors Steve and Dan