March 13, 2020
As you know, the situation with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is fluid and
changing rapidly. Both Pennsylvania and
Maryland have chosen to cancel school for two weeks. Governor Hogan in Maryland has stated that no
public gatherings of over 250 should take place and Governor Wolf has “encouraged”
that no public gatherings over 250 be held.
He also requested that churches consider not having services. Both federal and state authorities are
recommending social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.
After prayer and
discussion among our staff and leaders, we believe it is wise for us to cancel ALL
onsite church activities from Saturday, March 14 – Friday, March 27. We will make a decision about having onsite church
services on March 29 after we have a better understanding of the impact of the virus
in our local area.
We are planning to live-stream
our worship service on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with just the Worship Team and Staff
in attendance in the Worship Center. The best way to watch the service is on
our website (Click Here). You can also view it on our church App
and on our Facebook page as a live event. We will rebroadcast the service at 11
a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Sunday for anyone who can’t watch it in the morning. We hope you will join us in your home as a
family or with a small group of family and friends.
In some ways this has
been a difficult decision for us and in other ways it hasn’t been difficult. We don’t want to live in fear and clearly God
will see us through whatever we face in the days ahead. At the same time, we need to submit to our
governing authorities and need to show love to our neighbors – especially those
who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
We believe LOVE DEMANDS OF US to not do anything that might unnecessarily
put the health of our church family and community at risk.
Our desire is to minister
to you and your family during this challenging time. As such, over the next several days, we hope
to send you some additional resources to help you engage your children and
teens spiritually and help them process what is happening in our world right
now. When we have those resources
available, we will send you an email or text to let you know how to access
We are planning to
have our church offices open during regular office hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-
4:00 p.m. If we can assist you in any
way, please feel free to call us at 717-762-7147 or email us at email@example.com.
We would like to encourage you to do a few things in the days and weeks ahead:
> Pray for God to intervene and
stop the spread of this global pandemic.
> Pray for people who have already
been affected by the coronavirus.
> Pray for people who are caring
for others affected by the virus.
> Ask God to show you anyone that
He would want you to reach out to and help during this time – especially those
who are elderly and shut-ins.
> Pray that we would represent
Jesus well to those around us in the weeks and months ahead.
2) Worship Online with
us the next two Sundays. As mentioned above, we will live-stream a worship
service this Sunday and next week at 9:30 a.m.
The service will include music and a message from me. As you join us, we encourage you to share any
prayer requests you might have and complete the online attendance card. We will also have a link for you to give your
offerings to our church so we can continue to impact our community, nation, and
world with the message of Jesus. We are
so thankful for your faithful giving to our church each week and we are
trusting in God’s provision for our ministry even though we will not be having
services in our church building.
3) If you have a
prayer request anytime throughout the week, please share it with us. You can submit
prayer requests here on our website and on the OC App. You can also call us at 717-762-7147. When we receive your prayer request, we will
send it out to our prayer partners and they will pray for you.
4) Reach out to your
neighbors and anyone else God prompts you to minister to in the days ahead. Look
for ways to be a blessing and help them anyway you can. The next few weeks will
be especially hard for some people and your encouragement and expressions of
love to them will be important.
5) Share your faith in
Christ. People are fearful right now.
It’s understandable that people are anxious, but we as Christians can take
comfort in knowing that God is in control. We can have peace during times like
this because we know God is Sovereign over everything and He promises to be an “ever-present”
help in times of trouble. People are more open to spiritual conversations when
life is uncertain. Please don’t miss the
opportunity to point them to Jesus.
Lastly, I encourage
you to trust God, pray hard, show God’s love to others, and don’t lose hope or
become fearful. God loves you and cares
about the details of your life. He cares
about your family. He promises to redeem
what is taking place for some kind of good. Let’s be the Church of Jesus Christ
as we help one another and point people to Him.
We will reach out to with
additional information as things become more clear. If you have any questions or concerns, please
don’t hesitate to contact us. You can
reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-762-7147.
I’m looking forward to
having you join us online on Sunday at 9:30!