Check here for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our church.
Posted: March 19, 2020
A COVID-19 & Capital Campaign Update from Pastor Rob
Watch this video for an update from Pastor Rob regarding our capital campaign in light of COVID-19, ways we can be praying during this season, and a glimpse at this Sunday's (3/22) message.
Posted: March 17, 2020
A COVID-19 Update from Pastor Rob
Watch this video for an update from Pastor Rob regarding the newly increased COVID-19 mitigation measures and what they mean for our church moving forward.
Principles to Live By
I’m not an alarmist, but these are unprecedented times. Certainly in our country, and maybe even our world.
Never before has there been such volatility in the financial markets, such disruption of our economy, and such a rapid onset of a global pandemic all at once.
Our natural response is fear, panic, and retreat. And most people are going to succumb to one or more of those.
But as believers, followers of Jesus Christ, we don’t have to. And we shouldn’t. We should live by faith.
1. FAITH NOT FEAR
Faith, not fear – Trusting God and His Word, instead of succumbing to the what-ifs of all this.
“What if I don’t have enough food?” I trust that God will supply all my needs.
“What if I get sick?” I trust that God will take care of me.
“What if I die?” I trust that nothing will separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
We have not been given a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-control. That includes the self-control to trust God. To trust that He is still sovereign, still on the throne, and still at work.
We don’t know the future, but we know the One who does. We don’t have the power to calm the storm, but we know the One who does. And whether He does or not in this situation, we live by faith that He is firmly in control and will sustain us.
Faith, not fear.
2. PRAYER, NOT PANIC
Prayer, not panic – Casting all our cares on God, all the time, instead of thinking and acting irrationally.
It’s resting in the fact that God knows and God cares.
It’s stopping in the middle of your day or your thought and calling out to the Lord.
It’s keeping your head with the mind of Christ when others don’t.
When you start feeling anxious, get on your knees. When worry creeps in, go to prayer. Do it at the start of your day, the end of it, and any moment in between. That’s where the peace is. That’s where the power lies.
Isaiah 26:3-4 says – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
Prayer, not panic.
3. RESPONSE, NOT RETREAT
Response, not retreat – At our best, the church has always run to the risk and to the hardship, not away from it.
Let’s respond to all this instead of retreating from it. Let’s look for ways to help and overcome our fear to engage.
What that means, I have no idea. But let’s be on the lookout. Ready to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I think we are going to have more opportunities as individuals, than as a church corporately. Crowd size restrictions and social distancing require it.
But what if every single one of us identified two people who may need help, and two people to encourage?
Think of two people or families who may need help, and contact them. “Is someone helping you? Is there anything you need? I’d love to help you.” And see what they say. Then, check back with them a few days later.
Also, identify two other people to simply encourage.
Do you know how far a simple smile goes with people who are fearful and panicked? Multiply that times 10 with a few words of encouragement. “I was thinking of you and prayed for you. I love you and appreciate you. Just wanted you to know.”
And three simple but powerful principles that will allow our light to shine before others, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Just like we do.
Faith, not fear. Prayer, not panic. Response, not retreat.
Principles to live by in any situation, but especially this one.
You are loved,
POSTED: March 12, 2020
A Word from Pastor Rob
It is a joy and privilege to worship Jesus Christ each and every week with you. Our time together fills and fuels my walk with Jesus. I pray the same is true for you. That said, I want you to know how serious we consider our responsibility of having one of the largest weekly gatherings of people in the Quad Cities, especially in light of COVID-19.
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa, we need to be proactive as a church and take necessary precautions. This is not a scare tactic, or an email that is meant to escalate things unnecessarily, but rather an opportunity for us to pray, trust the Lord, and do our part as responsible Christ-followers. (If you would like to understand more about COVID-19, click here to watch a video that explains it well.)
SIX THINGS WE CAN DO
The worst of COVID-19 may not materialize, but studies show from previous outbreaks that wise preventative measures help to decrease the number of people infected and slows the spread. Precaution is wise.
So we would like to encourage you to do 6 things:
- Avoid handshakes and hugs
This is going to feel awkward because it is our natural tendency to shake hands and hug people at church. But until this blows over, please avoid handshakes and hugs. This includes our time of greeting in the service. Social distancing is the new norm.
- Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap often – before you come to church, after using the bathroom, after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, etc. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer also helps.
- If you are sick, stay home
As much as we love you and desire community with you, nobody wants to get sick. Nor do we want to increase the risk of the elderly and infirm who are particularly susceptible to this virus. If you get sick, with anything, please stay home to avoid spreading it. Minimizing risk is important.
- Trust the Lord
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
Trust does not mean cavalier or careless. It means free of anxiety and fear because we know who holds our future. It means standing strong when others wilt. It means bearing witness to God’s sovereignty in the midst of uncertainty. Let’s trust the Lord in all of this.
- Look for ways to help
If COVID-19 spreads to our community, look for ways that you can bless and help others. Like so many other believers throughout history, let’s runto the hurt and need, not away from it.
Pray for protection, provision, and revival. God never wastes suffering and hardship. People may very well be more open and sensitive to the Gospel than before. Let’s pray to that end, in addition to protection and provision.
OUR CHURCH FACILITIES
With all that in mind, here are some ways that we have increased our normal cleaning routine in our building.
- Cleaning of high-touch areas
We are being extra vigilant in cleaning and disinfecting door handles, light switches, handrails, armrests in the Worship Center, children’s check-in stations, and other high-touch areas.
- Cleaning of items that are handled in the Worship Center
The ushers and greeters are wiping down the Bibles that we hand out and the folders that hold our connection cards. In addition to that, we are disinfecting our offering bags as well.
- Disinfecting the children’s area
The entire children’s area is being disinfected weekly with a special sprayer and disinfectant that was recently purchased to combat COVID-19. This includes all surfaces, chairs, and toys. The disinfectant is approved, safe, and clean.
- Deep-cleaning the restrooms
We deep-clean our restrooms routinely, but we are increasing our frequency. Deep cleaning restrooms includes power-washing them in order to reach all the difficult areas that might be missed during normal cleaning.
- Power washing the gymnasium
Our fantastic facilities team just power-washed the gym, and will continue to be vigilant in keeping it clean and germ-free.
In addition to the personal and group precautions, these measures are wise as we help mitigate the spread of this virus. Should additional measures need to be taken in consultation with our local heath department and the CDC, we will inform you immediately.
In the meantime, I look forward to gathering with you this Sunday to open God’s Word, in God’s presence, for God’s glory.
You are loved,