LFC and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Lawrence First Church of the Nazarene,

The conversations and response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to be significant in our community and in the world around us. It appears likely that the impact of the situation on our daily lives will only continue to increase. Some perceive the rampant fear and preemptive action to be justified, while others are downplaying the seriousness of the situation–even to the point of making light of those who are falling for the “media frenzy” and subsequent panic.

No matter which side you find yourself on, the fact is we may find ourselves as a church needing to take action as a result of the coronavirus and the response that is taking place in its wake. We want you to know that we are monitoring the situation and getting ourselves prepared in the event that we do need–or are forced–to take action that may interrupt the regular rhythms of our life as a church.

As we keep an eye on the situation, please be aware of the following:

  1. We will not operate out of fear. We believe that God is in control of the situation and is with us all in the midst of this.
  2. We will not make decisions based on what everyone else is doing, but we will base our actions on our best efforts to understand our role in maintaining the safety of the church. At the same time, as Christians, we need to respect those in authority over us. If officials decide for a period we need to not meet together, we will honor their instructions.
  3. We encourage you to be a voice of reason in the midst of what could be a great opportunity to witness to the hope that is found in the sovereignty of God. This is not a time to take sides. This is not a time to belittle others who may perceive the threat to be more or less serious than you do. We are called to be different, to be set apart from the world, to be holy people who trust in the rule and reign of God and to share that hope with others.

As we move forward we will be instituting the following recommendations when we do gather:

  1. If you are sick, please stay home. This is no different than our policy on all sickness. For those of you with babies and toddlers, please be aware that we will not allow a child in the nursery who has signs of sickness. Signs of sickness could include fever, runny nose with green or yellow mucus, persistent coughing & sneezing. Please understand that we reserve the right to make a judgement on the health of each child who enters into our care and will do our best to protect the health of all involved, even if it means refusing to let a child into a classroom.
  2. Please wash your hands often and keep them away from your nose, mouth and eyes. If you do need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow. Make regular use of the hand sanitizer stations that are located throughout the church.
  3. We will continue our diligence in disinfecting/sanitizing the high-risk areas of the church.
  4. Refrain from shaking hands with others. Yes, this seems to go against everything that is “church”, but fist-bumps and affirming words work too.
  5. Instead of passing the offering plates down the isles during the worship service, we ask that you deposit your offering at a location to be determined. Of course, you can always give online at https://lawrencefirst.org/giveonline/ or have your offering mailed to the church through your online banking platform. This not only keeps us from passing the plates, but also ensures that your tithes and offerings continue to be consistent in the event our regular worship times have to be interrupted.

In the event that we do need to postpone gatherings we will be prepared to worship, pray, teach, preach, give, fellowship and serve through alternative means.

Finally, in referencing the church, Jesus says in Matthew 16:18 that “The gates of hell will not prevail against it.” If the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, then a virus will not either! May it be so.

Pastor Robby