Given the present environment of growing fear regarding the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19, it is necessary to communicate with you about how we as a church are planning for potential impact.
First, we are actively monitoring the virus outbreak and will keep you up to date with any direct impact on our church community. We strongly encourage you to become familiar with official information about the virus. Seek trusted sites that provides information about how to stay healthy, how to gauge whether you are in a high-risk category, and what to do if you believe you are infected or have been exposed to someone who has the virus. Here are two recommendations:
At the time of this writing, we are not aware of anyone within our church community who has been diagnosed with the virus. However, we would ask that if you were to become sick with the virus, please voluntarily notify us so that we can better care for you and your church family.
We are also monitoring the plans of local major organizations, employers, state government, and our local church partners, so that we can respond consistently with their guidance. That said, we await updates from NSA, APL, and Howard County Public Schools. As of this writing, the Maryland state government has asked that all Maryland public universities close for two weeks after their spring break. There are nine (9) confirmed cases in Maryland, but we expect that to grow in the coming days and weeks.
We are in regular communication with both Granite and Homesteaders and have encouraged them to take whatever precautions, including cancellation of classes, that they deem prudent or necessary. Please refer to those organizations for how they plan to respond.
So, where does that leave CPC?
At this point, we are going to proceed with our regular worship and ministry schedules with some prudent caveats.
- Lord’s Supper – Out of an abundance of caution, we will postpone the celebration of the Lord’s Supper until we come up with a better plan or when the risk has subsided.
- Self-selection – If you are generally sick, use common sense and stay home.
- Ministry Leaders may make more particular decisions relevant to their respective ministry schedules and needs. This may change based on future developments.
- Community Groups Leaders may make more particular decisions relevant to their respective groups. This may change based on future developments.
- Greetings – Refrain from handshaking or hugging, yet continue to communicate kindness, warmth and welcome.
- Children Ministries – We’ve included the following guidance for the nursery from Vicki Vandenheuvel, our Director of Children’s Ministry.
So, what if circumstances change?
We will keep you informed through our various means of communication on changes or new developments. Subscribe to CPC Weekly to receive news in your email. Visit our website for current news.
- Corporate Worship – If the need arises, we are making preparations to provide a form of televised service.
- Facility Use – If the need arises, we will give future direction regarding weekly schedules and facility use.
- Giving – If your presence in corporate worship gets impacted, you may continue to give online.
With all of this in mind, we also urge wisdom without falling prey to panic. To that end, please consider this article: “Ten Reasons Why You Ought Not to Panic.”
As we move into the coming days and weeks, let us pray for God’s grace as we walk in faith and not in fear. The history of the church is replete with examples of how God’s people served others in crisis, and we should consider now how to serve and watch for those around us who are vulnerable. It may be an elderly neighbor, single parent, or a person who is immunocompromised that we can serve by doing errands or bringing needed supplies. I pray that the Lord brings healing to the nations from this virus and gives us opportunity to demonstrate His all sufficient grace.
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Randy Lovelace