This email was sent to the Bethel Evangelical Free Church body on Saturday afternoon:
After closely and carefully monitoring the dynamic and rapidly changing situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the elders & trustees met Saturday morning and have decided to cancel this Sunday’s service, out of an abundance of caution. We will not be meeting tomorrow, March 15th. We also decided to suspend all mid-week activities for the next few weeks.
If you would like to post any comments or prayer requests on Bethel’s Facebook page, the live-stream will be monitored to provide an online ministry.
We do not want to be fearful about what is going on around the globe, but we do want to be wise. Prudence & precaution are not signs of panic (thank you for that wording, Russell Moore). We have an opportunity for a gospel witness and to demonstrate love for one another by caring for the health & safety of those who are most vulnerable.
If you are in one of the high-risk categories, we encourage you to reach out to us. We want to help you find the supplies you may be missing. If you need something delivered, please let us know. We want to be a church that loves our neighbors, especially those neighbors in need.
We will continue to monitor the latest city and state guidelines, as well as reports from the Department of Health & follow the recommendations of our government officials. We will also be working to supply the church building with necessary equipment & supplies that will help better protect everyone entering the building.
Later next week, we will announce if we will be meeting the following Sunday, March 22. Before making that decision, we want to acquire the necessary supplies and setup the building to better protect all people coming to worship with us. However, regardless of whether we have service or not, we will need to cancel the fellowship that was scheduled for after service. Please continue to watch for announcements regarding next Sunday’s service.
This is a time to remember that our hope & faith is not in hand sanitizer or isolation from people. Our hope is in the living God who supplies us for all we need.
Our first verse in Awana this year (T&T) was Psalm 9:10: And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Isaiah 41:10 – fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
If you have questions or concerns or needs, please contact the church office at (718) 984-6838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you & God bless.
The Elders & Trustees of Bethel Evangelical Free Church
The Gospel Coalition has several helpful articles about the coronavirus and Christians that are worth reading:
“The FAQs: Coronavirus Explained by an Infectious Disease Expert and Pastor” by Miguel Nunez
“8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us” by Mark Oden
“How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus” by Cameron Cole
“All things from His Fatherly Hand” by Kevin DeYoung
“What the Early Church Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus” by Moses Y. Lee
Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman released a portion of their podcast about how churches should respond to the coronavirus:
“What Should Churches Do about the Coronavirus?” by Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman https://www.9marks.org/pastors-talk/quick-take-what-should-churches-do-about-coronavirus/
CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation) Article: