Saturday, May 23, 2020
By now most of you have heard the President’s announcement regarding places of worship being considered essential and receiving permission to open. Additionally, it was announced yesterday that Centre County will move to the green phase of reopening on Friday, June 5.
From the very beginning of the US outbreak, both local and state leadership have declared that churches are considered essential, but to be wise in how we go about ministering to our congregations. I also know that in past weeks, both at the beginning of the US outbreak and as recent as last week, religious gatherings have become spread points for the virus. My desire through all of this, not just this season with COVID-19 but also every season, is to move with wisdom, be Christ like, and honor those above us as leaders, and those around us as neighbors and friends.
In the past some have asked me how we as Christians put into practice the promise of God in Psalm 91:3 that says, “…he will save you…from the deadly pestilence.” Their question is asked in sincerity, wanting to live out faith in God’s provision and protection, but also with a desire to be wise in what they do. My answer has been to direct them to Psalm 91:13 that says, “You will tread on the lion…” and then tell them I doubt any of us would rush to the zoo with our families if we knew the lions were loose. God gives us both promise of protection as well as wisdom to use, and He intends for us to use both.
I know not everyone will agree with this, but we’re not planning to start physical gatherings this weekend. There are a lot of things to consider and the elders, pastors and I have been and continue to pray, talk, plan, and then pray some more. We have already started working on a re-gathering plan and a potential timeline of what that could look like. My hope is to give you a more defined date in the next week or so as to when we will physically gather again, as well as some different things to expect in those first few weeks back. It is our hope and desire to have services resume in the very near future.
For now, if you’ve been thinking the church is closed, I encourage you to change your perspective. Our method has been different for a season, but the Church and its mission move forward. You are the Church. I am the Church. Let’s let His Spirit fill us and guide us as together we seek to lift Jesus up in the State College Area and beyond.
Trisa and I, along with the leadership team, look forward to our re-gather date with great anticipation!