UPDATE ON THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

This message is from the Elders who love you and serve you because of the amazing love of Jesus.  We met last night in light of the recent events to formulate a plan of action regarding the coronavirus situation.  We have been briefed by the LA County Dept. of Public Health, as have most churches in our area.  But let's begin by grounding ourselves in God's Word:

Psalm 46:1-2a, 10

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear…

 

Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

 

The coronavirus has caused massive changes to our daily lives now.  Leaders in our nation are asking all of us to unite in helping to stop the spread of this pandemic.  But as God's people, there is a big opportunity now for congregations like ours to be a light and a refuge in the face of such darkness.

 

Just to say it up front, our church will continue to hold worship services here on campus at the regular times of 8:30am and 11:00am.  We want to continue to provide a gathering place for the work of God to happen among us and for the community to join us!  BUT, we will be asking the congregation to abide by some changes recommended by the LA County Dept. of Public Health.  These changes are big, but we believe that we will also be a bright light to our community by following wise counsel to reduce the spread of the disease.  The following changes will start this Sunday, March 15, and will be reevaluated on a week to week basis.  Most experts are hoping that a 3-4 week span of social change like this can be enough, but no one knows for sure:

  1. Social Distancing: Medical experts are recommending that people minimize physical contact.  Not only does this mean avoiding touch (handshaking, hugs), but handling objects together (food, passing offering baskets).  The most serious recommendation is to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (except for family and close friends).  Thus, we will be spacing the chairs in our worship space a bit further apart, and providing a few more separate rooms at the church as video venues for both worship services.  The video venues will be D-20, Lindley Hall, Joy Hall, and the Library.
  2. No Children’s programs, youth programs, or adult fellowship groups on Sunday mornings.  This is a big change, and we mourn this loss of fellowship, but we believe that it is wise move to minimize physical contact and the spread of germs among us.  However, we WILL continue to have children’s and youth programs on Wednesday nights in order to provide a weekly gathering for our young people that does not bear the same risk of spreading disease (because far fewer people are present on campus).  The Wednesday night ministry will be reevaluated week to week, and will likely follow the policies that our schools are following, which are still open.  Also, adult small groups are free to continue to meet as they regularly do.  We hope in a few weeks that all of these fellowship groups will return to normal.
  3. If you have any symptoms of illness, or if you feel vulnerable to catching an illness, please stay home.  We will be streaming live video of both worship services via Facebook live that you can watch by clicking on our church Facebook page HERE.
  4. Let us all follow these personal hygiene practices:
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds. There are many helpful instruction videos online.
  • Use hand sanitizers frequently.  We have a hand sanitizing station at the entrance to the worship space, and we encourage everyone to use it as you enter and exit.
  • We will not be passing the offering baskets.  Instead, there will be a box in the back of each room to place offerings in.   You can also give online at www.ghfc.org/give.
  • Don’t shake hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue or your elbow.
  • Wipe/disinfect frequently used surfaces or objects.  The coronavirus can live on surfaces for a few days. Our church staff and volunteers will continue to wipe down surfaces and objects at the church.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now about this disease and what will happen in the near future.  But we are SO thankful that GOD HAS IT ALL IN CONTROL!  And we are His beloved children who can help share the light of His eternal peace to those trapped in darkness!  May we see this time as a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to share the GOOD NEWS that JESUS SAVES!  Please ask the Lord for opportunities each day to SHINE HIS LIGHT!  Let us first receive His light each day in HIS WORD and in PRAYER in order to receive from the Lord everything we need to thrive in this time.

 

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

P.S. If you would like assistance in anything, such as grocery shopping, work around the house, transportation, or anything else, please contact us at the church office (562-943-7255, info@ghfc.org, zoro@ghfc.org, mike@ghfc.org)



update 3/13/20