March 13, 2020 @ 1:00PM

Dear CrossWay Family,

Much has happened in our world this week.  Even in the past 24 hours there have been some public health decisions made that are unprecedented, at least in recent memory.  Yesterday both state and local government officials issued statements urging practices aimed at slowing the spread of the Coronavirus and protecting those in our community who are most at risk.  One of the things both state and local government are strongly urging is the cancellation of public gatherings of 50 or more people.  As a church we want to be subject to the governing authorities as God’s Word instructs us to be.  We also want to be acting in love toward our neighbors. In light of this we have decided to cancel our services for this weekend (3/15) as well as other gatherings that were scheduled for this weekend and this coming week (3/13-21).

It is likely that the measures the government is recommending will need to continue for some time, potentially a period of several weeks.  At this point we have cancelled meetings only for this coming weekend and next week.  We will be meeting again early next week as a pastoral team to carefully look over the church calendar and further attend to the developing situation and the government’s recommendations.  We don’t think it will be best to make decisions week-by-week but at this point we feel we need a fuller picture, especially as it relates to a likely time period.  So, for now, we are cancelling just the gatherings from today, March 13, through Saturday, March 21.  We will communicate with you next week regarding what action we will be taking going forward.

We recognize this is a significant decision and in light of this significance we want to encourage you along several lines.  We want to continue to be a faithful and vibrant church during this time.  So, what are we encouraging you to do?

Continue to Worship and Receive the Word on Sunday mornings.
This situation will provide an opportunity for us to be the church in a different way.  Set aside time as a family or with a few friends on Sunday mornings.  Perhaps gather as a Gospel Community.  Have God’s Word open.  Maybe sing a song or two.  We will continue to provide a sermon online and, depending on how long this situation lasts, we will look into other delivery options.  Look for a video with a brief devotional and pastoral word that will be posted on the church website by 10:00 this Sunday morning.

Continue to meet in your Gospel Communities.
Smaller gatherings in homes will become even more important in our life together. More guidance will be sent out later today to Gospel Community leaders. We would encourage those healthy and able to gather.  

Care for those in our church body who may be in need.
Let’s be in touch by phone and email and text.  Let’s pay special attention to those who might not be able to get out due to age or physical weakness.  Maybe offer to get groceries or simply make a call of encouragement.  If you have particular needs please call the church office and let us know.  And let’s pay attention to opportunities to serve our neighbors as well.  Christians have a long history of being ministers of mercy in their communities during times of public health strain.  Let’s continue the tradition.

Pray.
There is obviously much to pray about.  Pray for our government and especially our medical officials.  They have important decisions to make.  Pray that the measures our government has taken will have the intended effect.   Pray for our missionaries who are in situations more tenuous than ours.  Pray for one another.  This is a great time to be focused in prayer.

Continue to live faithful lives as followers of Jesus.
We want to be doing this all the time, of course, but situations like this provide an opportunity to let your light shine.  To not be afraid.  To live out and speak of the hope you have in Christ.  We have the only lasting good news in the midst of a fallen and vulnerable world.  In times of tension and strain the world needs steady people who are strengthened by God’s grace.

And, yes, let’s continue to take wise practical steps.
Wash your hands.  A lot.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.  Be content to not shake hands for awhile.  Stay home if you’re sick.

Dear ones, I believe God has good for us in these days—likely good that we do not expect.  So let’s trust him and continue to be faithful in the responsibilities he has given each of us to do.

We will be in regular communication in the coming days via email and the church website (cwc.church/coronavirus).  I’m already looking forward to when we will be together again.  Until then, steady on.

With much affection in Christ,
Pastor Mike
For the Elders of CrossWay

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