Dear Church Family,
We (your elders) met this morning to consider the best course of action for these next weeks. As we talked, there were a couple of assumptions and convictions that guided us, and sharing those with you seems a helpful way to begin.
First, we have a responsibility to care for and protect our congregation, especially those who are older or in ‘high risk’ categories. This goes without saying.
Second, we have a responsibility (and a special privilege as the church) to care for and serve our entire community. In other words, we need to think not only about doing whatever we can do in order to make sure that our people do not get sick, but also about doing whatever we can do in order to make sure that no one gets sick. This means that we need to think about altering the way that we gather and live as a church in order to do what we can to help curb the spread of this virus in our community, city, nation and world (this is called flattening the curve, and is what is behind recommendations by our governor that people not gather in large groups).
In the end, this second conviction has played a large part in the following steps that we will take as a church community:
Effective immediately, we are suspending all gathered church programming. That means that there will be no worship services held tomorrow, 3/15. We will have a short, live broadcast at 10:45 am on facebook live. We invite you to join us virtually for that by visiting facebook.com/signalpres.
Effective 3/22, we will hold worship services in an online only format. Between now and 3/22, the staff will work diligently to prepare for live streaming, to communicate with the congregation about how to participate. We will do this until further notice.
A group of elders, doctors and others are working over these weeks to adapt what we do in order to continue the work of ministry in a way that honors the kind of social distancing that we need to be practicing right now.
Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church is not a Sunday morning service in the sanctuary, nor is she a people confined to a building. The church is a community of people who have given their lives to the Lord who redeemed them, and to the mission he has given them. That means that Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church will be open and at work during these days of uncertainty. Our church will be at work as you worship with your family and small groups in homes, as you reach out to one another and as you serve and love your neighbors, shining as lights of gospel confidence and love for a panicked world to see.
While none of us is excited about this season in which we find ourselves, it is not lost on us that we are entering a season in which we will be forced to live in ways similar to the early church that we have been studying together in Acts. We know that was good for the church – a season of great power and fruitfulness for the people of God! We have every expectation that it will be the same for us.
Along those lines, please do remember to continue your financial support of the church in this season. You can do that by mail, or online at www.signalpres.org/give. We desire to continue to supporting not only our staff but also our mission partners across this city and world.
Again, in the days to come, we will follow up with more information and with answers to the many questions we know you have.
Do not be afraid…you are mine (Isaiah 43:1). These are good words to remember! They apply now as much as ever, even as they remind us of the God who reigns over us in every season. To him be all glory and honor as we explore these unchartered waters together!