March 12, 2020
What times we live in! Considering the stir that we’re all seeing surrounding the COVID-19 Corona Virus, I felt it was important that I send a note to share my thoughts, as well as our leadership’s plan regarding our gatherings as we continue to navigate this developing situation.
While I am not qualified to make a statement about the severity, scope, or management of this virus, there is one thing that I do know, and that is that our God is the God of peace, and He has made us children of peace through Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Indeed, Jesus Himself said:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – (John 16:33)
As things in this world get more and more chaotic, we have an opportunity to live out the gospel of peace and in so doing shine the light of Christ in a powerful way. So, please don’t panic!
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – (2 Tim. 1:7)
Having said that, the Bible also commends the exercise of prudence:
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. – (Proverbs 27:12 NLT)
First, I offer a little perspective – As of this writing, the number of cases of COVID-19 in California remains low (Of the 40 million California residents, only 201 are infected with COVID-19, & only three of those people reside in Riverside County…in the Coachella Valley)
However, you have likely heard by now that California public health officials have mandated the cancelation or postponement of gatherings of 250 or more people statewide through the end of March in an effort to slow the spread of the Corona Virus.
Accordingly, beginning this Sunday, we will begin implementing the following in our weekend services:
- Sanctuary seating will be limited to 249 people, and the spacing between seats will be expanded in an effort to implement social distancing.
- Hand Sanitizer stations will be placed throughout our campus
- Live-streaming of our weekend services will be offered on-line
- Communion elements will be limited to individually sealed packages (Like those we use at Easter)
- We will no longer pass the offering basket in our services. Rather, as you worship The Lord in your giving, we encourage you to utilize on-line giving, text to give (text any dollar amount to 84321), or to simply place your offering into one of the wall-mounted tithe boxes.
In addition to the above steps, we will also continue our regular strict sanitizing policies & practices throughout our campus and children’s ministries.
That being said, we do want to use wisdom and we especially want to protect the most vulnerable in our fellowship; those who are more advanced in years or who have pre-existing medical conditions. So, if you are unwell, or if you have or have had a fever recently, please stay home. In this particular context, sharing is not caring.
In regards to our mid-week gatherings and other up-coming events, many will continue unchanged. However, some will need to be cancelled or re-scheduled and we will notify you accordingly as needed with any changes.
As always, Reliance Church aims to be a safe place for our church family and good neighbors to those in our community. By adjusting our gatherings as listed above, it is our hope to better serve our more vulnerable members and to play a small part in fighting this new contagion.
In times like this it is a great reminder that our community is not based on a church service but upon the reality of God’s redeeming love. There will be surely plenty of opportunities that arise in the coming days and weeks for us to show His love to one another and to our neighbors, and If you have any needs please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Above all else, let’s continue to pray for God to bring healing to our sick and broken world, both physically and spiritually. I am thankful for each one of you.
May the peace of Christ be upon you,
You can watch our livestream on several different platforms:
To watch our livestream on facebook, visit facebook.com/reliancechurch
To Watch our livestream on Youtube, visit youtube.com/reliancechurch
Reliance Church Website
To watch our livestream on our website, visit reliancechurch.org/livestream
Reliance Church App
To watch our livestream in the Reliance Church app, visit reliancechurch.org/app and click on the link to download our app in the iTunes App Store, the Google Play store, or the Amazon Appstore.
Our livestream will appear a half hour before each of our regular weekend service times and we will go live promptly at the start of worship (which will be included in our livestream so you can worship with your family from your home!)