Dear Church Family,
The rapid escalation of concerns over the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) have caused organizations of all shapes and sizes in recent days to carefully consider how they conduct daily operations—principally whether those normal operations put members in harms way. Like these organizations, the Pastors/Elders of Clayton Community Church (CCC) experience the weighty responsibility of leadership, especially looking out for the well-being of our precious members. This week, we’ve evaluated and prayed over how this situation impacts our church gatherings and ministries and how we should most wisely guide our church through this season. We’ve been considering the following information:
· COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person, usually through respiratory droplets. The virus can spread easily when persons are in close proximity.
· The symptoms of COVID-19 vary but may be similar to a common cold or the flu, including fatigue, fever, and cough.
· A vaccine for COVID-19 is currently being tested but may not be ready for the public for another 12 months.
· Those who already have an impaired or developing immune system (young children, older adults, those who are sick or battling disease) are more susceptible to get the virus.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick by maintaining a conservative distance from one another
· Wash hands thoroughly and often with a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
· Resist touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes)
· Take care to maintain optimal health (healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, water intake)
· Restrict gatherings of people to 10 persons or less.
Taking all of this information into account—on the one hand, wanting to honor those who are working so diligently toward a solution which limits the effects of this terrible virus, while on the other hand, wanting to express great trust in our sovereign Lord and honor Him by gathering to worship corporately, we’ve decided that we will make the following adjustments to our regular Sunday service, between the dates March 15 – April 5, 2020:
1. Reduce our Sunday schedule to one main VIRTUAL corporate service, 10:45 am – 12:00 pm, with a less formal approach: simple music set, practical teaching, and expanded time of corporate prayer. Services can be streamed and participated in from a smart phone, internet-connected tablet or computer using a platform called "zoom." The pastors will broadcast from the church building.
2. Move our meeting location to the fellowship hall, a larger and more ventilated space where we can be together while still keeping a conservative distance
3. Ask parents to keep children with them in this service as much as possible, thereby reducing our footprint in the building and cleaning demands.
4. Suspend our Gospel of Mark sermon series to specifically address the topics of (a) fear, worry, and anxiety, (b) God’s purposes for calamity in the world, (c) the local church’s calling to be ready to meet needs, and (d) Jesus as light to a dark world.
5. Ask persons who are ill to remain home, to keep the church updated for the purpose of prayer and support, and to view recordings of worship services online.
In addition to these adjustments to the regular Sunday service, we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel the Passover Seder service this year, originally scheduled for April 11, 2020.
We believe that these plans would honor the Lord and bind our church together as a family during this challenging time, while still respecting the suggested precautions aimed at protecting organizations who gather people together.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend at 10:45 am as the Lord allows! Please call the church office at (314) 504-8539 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, special needs, or prayer requests you might have. Cast your anxieties upon the Lord, because He cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7). Remember also that sermon recordings from past services can be accessed also on our website: claytoncommunitychurch.com/sermons.
With sincere love,
Pastors Joshua Clutterham and Jake Rosen
P.S. Ifn order to get a much participation as possible we will have a practice ZOOM session on Saturday, March 21 at 10:00 AM. To join the ZOOM session, visit the main page of our website (claytoncommunitychurch.com) and select the black bar at the top of your screen that reads "Our Sunday Service will begin at 10:45 AM - Join HERE!"