Hello Village Church family!
In times like these it can be hard to remain calm and keep a hopeful perspective on things. This is understandable given the wide variety of reports, headlines and rumors we hear on a daily (truthfully, minute to minute) basis. Especially the news we are hearing surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, and the subsequent actions being taken to limit it’s impact on communities around the globe.
We have never been more connected than we are in 2020 as a society, which can be both good, and bad. We are thankful for the fact that we hear news quickly and are able to respond quickly to make sound decisions. But must also be on guard to ensure that the news we are hearing is reliable and accurate, and do our best to use sound judgement as we attempt to navigate the difficult media driven landscape we live in. While social media and news outlets are abuzz with panic, we must remember that our God is not panicked at all. Because of this we must also remember that, as born again believers and followers of Christ, we can look to our Heavenly Father and He will give us that same peace, no matter the situation we find ourselves walking through.
The scriptures say in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
- Philippians 4:4-9
Another verse that we as a family often ask our kids to repeat when their hearts are troubled is:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7
For my family and I, these are the promises that we hold on to, and I want to invite you and your family to rest in these same truths. His promises are true my fellow brothers and sisters! He promises that He will give us peace in times of trouble, if we seek Him and ask for it. He promises that He will be our Rock when the winds blow strong against our lives. He promises to be our strong defense. Let us dwell on these promises, and let them fill our hearts today! Remember, you and I have a choice. We can choose to set our mind on things of this earth, or we can choose to set our mind on things that are from above. Choose wisely today my friends.
With all of this in mind, I want to update you on our plans as a church for the Sunday services moving forward in the near future.
It is our intention to continue to gather together on Sunday mornings, both physically at our church location (8:30am and 10:30am), as well as online through the live-streaming of our gathering (10:30am only). As we do this though, we are attempting to do so in a responsible manner, having taken in to account the safety of the members and visitors of our church family. Truth be told, we can’t do this alone, and are asking for your help in the following areas.
What we need from you:
- If you are sick, please, please stay home and view the Sunday morning service online at www.villagechurchwi.com. The symptoms for COVID-19 are subtle enough that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have ANY symptoms of illness at all, please play it safe.
- Please don’t shake hands or give hugs. Either give the “elbow bump” or wave. While this may feel awkward when we are amidst people that we love to be around, it is the wisest thing to do for this time.
- Follow CDC Level 3 and Level 4 recommendations for self-quarantine.
- Take time to read the CDC’s information by following this link: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Last, but certainly not least, make sure to wash your hands. The best way to combat any sickness is to wash our hands. Probably a good idea regardless of Coronavirus 😉
We greatly appreciate your willingness to help us in keeping a safe environment for all to worship in at The Village. We are looking forward to things getting back to “normal”, but are thankful to have invested our time and resources to provide you and your families with the ability to join us from the comfort of your homes via our livestreaming capability.
A final thought:
Remember my friends… these are the times when the world needs to see that God’s people are not shaken by every circumstance that comes our way. We must be willing to biblically assess, consider and heed the advice of our elected leaders (Romans 13:1-7), to come along one another and bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to be a light to those around us (Matthew 5:14-16).
We realize that many people will have many opinions about our decisions on how to handle this. Please understand that we have been continually monitoring this situation as it unfolds, and are attempting to make the wisest decisions possible to protect God’s people, while still ensuring that we are able to come together in worship and fellowship. Know that our decisions are not made lightly, but with a prayerful heart. If you feel that we should not be open for services, I invite you to join us online. If you feel that we are making too much of this, I ask that you remember that it is our desire to honor God, the authorities we are subject to in our state and country, and to honor our requests to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Last, but certainly not least, let me remind you that there are always blessings that can be found in times of trouble. While the world draws inward and becomes less social for a time. Let me remind you that you have people right around you that you may want to reconnect with. Perhaps you’ve neglected time with your spouse or kiddos. Perhaps you haven't taken the time to connect with parents and siblings. Or, maybe there is a friend, someone you know doesn't have someone, or a neighbor who could use a warm smile and a few kind words. Whatever your story may be, let's use this situation as a chance to invest in the relationships that matter most, and to be a light to those around us.
I look forward to you joining us in person, or joining us online, over the next few weeks!
"Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go."
- Joshua 1:7
Offering you God’s peace and joy through His son Jesus Christ!
Your brother in Christ,