From the Pastors of Summitview Community Church
We have been closely following the news related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the last few weeks. Like many of you, we are thinking and praying about how to best prepare and protect our families and church during this time.
As your pastors, we are praying for God’s protection and guidance (Philippians 4:6-7). We must remember that the Lord is sovereign over all things, including this virus, and therefore we do not want to give in to anxiety or fear. With that said, we also believe that it is wise to make preparation for what may come. (Nehemiah 4:9).
We are taking this medical situation seriously and are following the Center for Disease Control and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s suggestions regarding how we should respond. It is difficult to know what to make of this virus, and many of us are trying to determine what we should do next in response to what is happening around us. If further recommendations are proposed, we will weigh each one before making any decisions that may affect you and your families.
For up-to-date information from our state government, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
We would encourage all families to review basic principles of hygiene that are most impactful in helping to reduce the spread of disease, most importantly, proper handwashing.
Additionally, we would remind everyone to not attend any future Summitview gatherings during this time if you or someone in your family is sick, whether that be due to coronavirus or something else.
With that being said, we want to inform you that we will not be gathering for our service this Sunday or for any further Sundays through the end of March. If at any point this changes, we will update you immediately and share any plans we have moving forward.
This decision has not been an easy one as we have not wanted at any time to be swayed by fear or anxiety of what may come. There is certainly a lot that is being said in the media that is unhelpful and misinformed, and we want to make clear that this response is not one driven by what has been said through the media.
We have sought the counsel of other church leaders, read articles and documents from trustworthy Christian sources, and have consulted with medical professionals in our own church body. Through all of this, out of a desire to love you all well and love our community well, we have determined that this is the best direction for the time being.
In lieu of this situation we will attempt to live stream services during this time. We are still working out details as to what this may look like, but at the very least there will be a live teaching each Sunday continuing in our James sermon series. Of all the voices that we are hearing right now God’s voice is the most important, so we will do everything we can to provide you with biblical teaching each Sunday at our normal time. More details regarding the live stream will be available later today.
This also means that the Conquer series will be pushed back to a later date. Youth Group is already off for Spring Break this coming week, but we will keep you informed of whether or not that group will meet through rest of March.
Even though we will not be meeting on Sunday mornings, we recommend that our Community Groups continue to meet each week. The absence of gathering together on Sunday morning makes it all the more valuable to gather with others on a smaller scale. If your group is large, consider meeting as smaller groups for the time being. We will certainly need one another for encouragement, prayer and guidance, so meeting together in some form is still very important to us and should be pursued with wisdom and discernment.
As groups you may even consider gathering together to watch the Sunday stream each week so that some form of community is still taking place under the teaching of God’s word. You may also consider how you can spur one another on in love and good works towards your neighbors. We have a tremendous opportunity as Christians to help those around us with their physical, emotional and spiritual need.
We would ask that you would all be praying for our church and for our government, both on the local and national level. We will schedule times of prayer for specific things tomorrow and during the next few weeks as well so that we can continue to be the church even if we are not physically together as often as we were before. We will send out signup information for those intentional times of prayer later today.
Possibly our greatest threat in all of this is that we would slip into unbelief in our great God. Let this not be said of us. Over the years, through our Sunday services and weekly gatherings as groups we have studied God’s word together. We have been learning and growing in Christ as a community of believers. We have heard his word and we have seen him work. Remember who God is, remember who you are in Christ, and remember how much he loves you and cares for you.
Truly, the church is a benefit to the world in times such as these. We have a tremendous opportunity to shine light into this gloomy darkness that the world has fallen under. Many are without hope and are desperately afraid of what may come. If there is no God, there is no hope for this time outside of what we can do in our human ability. But if there is a God, which we believe there is, then no virus can overcome his mighty power and work in our world.
There is no doubt that this will be a difficult time for many reasons. There are risks regarding our finances, our employment and our health. Many of us will either get coronavirus or will know someone who will. The question is, how will we respond to all of this?
Brothers and sisters, let us not lose hope. Let us continue the fight of faith. Let us encourage one another in the midst of the confusion. Let us love and serve our neighbors. And let us be in prayer more than we are in fear or worry. We will continue to update you as this situation progresses. We love you all and are so thankful for each of you.
Isaiah 4:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Grace and peace to you all in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul & Mike