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Coronavirus Update

March 19th, 2020

Light of Christ members and friends,

Things continue to change daily with COVID-19. Based on what is going on, I have made some difficult decisions. One thing I always try to do is get a consensus on issues and act accordingly. It is VERY CLEAR that can’t happen with this situation.

Having said that, I have made the decision to do something I never thought possible: we are canceling our Sunday morning services.

The question is, “Now what?” I don’t have all those answers yet. We are working on it. We are not currently set up to do any type of streaming/video at this time. I don’t anticipate having anything set up by Sunday, but I am hoping to have something in place next week. I have set up a Light of Christ YouTube page that we will be using. I need to get some video recording figured out. My biggest concern isn’t getting video of what we do, rather, it is the audio. If you have any equipment or expertise, please let me know.

For this Sunday, there are many other churches that stream their services. I am including a link below to those churches. It lists LCMS churches in California that will be streaming services, the times of those services, and whether the service is a traditional or contemporary service. This will buy us time to figure out what we will be able to do.

Link to other Sunday services: https://www.psd-lcms.org/live-streamed-listing

Before I talk about why I am making this decision, I want you to read the following. I found it on Facebook and it perfectly sums up what life has been like for me the past week or so.

 

Your Pastor has never pastored a church through a pandemic before.

When he opens, people are going to say they should have closed. When he closes, people are going to say they should have stayed open.

When he does not shake hands, people are going to say he needs faith. When he shakes hands, people are going to say they're foolish.

He’s going to make some difficult decisions to protect the flock, considering everything from your spiritual growth to legal liabilities that you aren’t even thinking about.

Every pastor believes he pastors the most amazing group of people. Remember this: No one wants things to go well at church as much as your pastor. Your pastor needs your prayers and support right now.

     -Author Unknown

 

For those of you still reading, here is why I made this decision and what has been heavy on my heart. I am being honest with you all because I think you need to know where I am coming from.

I am not 100% sure this is the right thing to do. Usually, I like to be much more confident in my decision making. This isn’t the case here. At the same time, I am not 100% sure that meeting together is the right thing to do either. Obviously, I do lean more towards not meeting and here is why.

My first consideration is the safety of those who attend worship. I know if we have services, the attendance will be lighter than normal, but we will have many people here. That would include people who shouldn’t be here because they fall into one of the high-risk categories. On one hand, I think every person needs to make their own decisions and live accordingly. However, I am not comfortable in providing an avenue to allow people to make a decision that could cause them physical harm.

In addition, COVID-19 can be spread by people who have it but don't show symptoms yet. That means any of us could unknowingly have the virus and pass it on to others. I could have the virus and pass it on to you. If I caused one of you to get sick, or worse, I would struggle greatly with that.

My prayer is this virus passes as quickly as possible, no one gets it, and those that do make a complete recovery.

Finally, I am 100% certain of this: God is bigger than this virus, churches canceling gatherings, and people panicking. The Kingdom of God is going to be just fine. Jesus is still Lord. Jesus is still our savior. Jesus still loves you. Jesus has already died on the cross and Jesus has already risen from the dead. No quarantine can take that away. Even though we are approaching Easter, I find myself harkening (please see the pun) back to Christmas. Jesus is Immanuel- God with us.

 

The Lord bless you and keep you,

The Lord make His face shine on to you.

The Lord look upon you with his favor and give you peace.

 

- Pastor Jim