March 19, 2020
Dear GFCC Family
I am sure we are all aware of the new recommendations for social distancing and for people over the age of 60 and those with chronic illnesses to seriously consider remaining at home as much as possible and to avoid large gatherings of people, including religious services. as we have seen born out, restrictions are in place now requiring no more than 10 people gathering at the same place.
We have been thinking about how we can make the current crisis into an opportunity for us to serve God, serve you and serve others. It is our desire to continue to provide a Ministry of Care to everyone. Let me share with you where we are now, recognizing that this crises changes from almost moment to moment so we want to extend an extra measure of God's Grace to ourselves and others.
First, We will not have in person worship services, bible studies,prayer meetings or ministry gatherings. We must be committed that we will stay informed and concerned, but not worried (Philippians 4:6). Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress will make all of us much more susceptible to sickness of all kinds, including COVID-19.
Second, We will practice and encourage wise (Proverbs 3:21-26) and common sense public health measures, like hand washing, using hand sanitizer, staying at home if we are at all sick, and staying at least 6 feet from others as much as possible.
Third, we will remember our Hebrew word from Psalm 121..."Shamar" .God is our Keeper!
Fourthly, We will submit to the governmental and public health officials who are trying to figure out what will work best for the entire community (Romans 13).
Finally, We want to do what will be best for our extended Christian Family called GFCC. and the larger community we’ve been called to serve (Galatians 6:9-10).
If there is one thing that is clear in preventing the spread of this disease or other similar pandemics, it is the fact that “social distancing”, that is minimizing our exposure to potentially infected people, makes a big difference in the number of infections and death. To that end we are doing the following:
1. Strongly encouraging all persons above 60-65, any person with a chronic illness, and anyone with any symptoms of respiratory or any undiagnosed illness to remain at home. We don’t want to be the cause of any further illness (and certainly not death) for you or anyone else.
2. Asking all ministries that can meet by phone or videoconferencing to do so until further notice.This includes our weekly Bible studies[ We will use Zoom as a platform to communicate] and prayer meetings[ we will use free conferencing calls as our means]. No meetings or gatherings will take place at the church
3. Holding Sunday services and Sunday School classes. We will not have worship services in person until further notice . The worship service on Sundays will be Live stream and for those with out facebook , one call call in on the free conference line.Live streaming of the service will be at 10:00 am on Sundays. Soon we will also have Live stream Via You Tube through the web site. Please check with your Sunday school or Ministry teacher as to whether video services will be available for you class.[Leaders can send a request and we can set up a zoom session for you.
To make these changes feasible, we’re doing the following:
1. Staying abreast of any and all changes in recommendations from public health officials with a readiness to make any needed changes in our practices or policies.
2. Even though we are not in the building, our Professional cleaning services regularly and thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces at the church and having hand sanitizer widely available. Trustees have come behind them to provide additional cleaning.
3. The web site GFCCNET.ORG will have an updated listing of calendar events and their status.One can always call the church office Monday through Friday [2:00 pm to 6;00 pm] to get updates or check with your Deacon\ or Ministerial staff
4. Continue the process of outreach by phone,e mail and text to make sure that every member of GFCC is connected and no one is allowed to become isolated or to lack basic needs.
5. We have begun Investing into upgrading our livestream capabilities so that GFCC family and friends can join the worship experience even when they can’t be in the sanctuary.
Most importantly, we are diligently praying together. Together, we’re asking God for wisdom in dealing with this crisis and interceding for those already affected globally and for those who will be the future victims. Together, by God’s grace, we will weather this crisis with our faith in God that " He is Our Keeper" Without fear and with great faith, we face the future—confident in the God we serve, confident in our Gfcc family to which we belong, and confident that we can and will be a blessing to the community all around us. God bless you.
Your Pastor, Rev Dr. J. Anthony Lloyd