Coronavirus Update - March 17, 2020
For the health and safety of our community, all Sunday morning gatherings and MGroups have been cancelled for the rest of March 2020.
Realm post from 3.17.20:
I’m am thankful for the time we had together last Sunday, March 15, during our worship gathering and our members’ meeting at the Y. Unfortunately, because of the spread of the coronavirus, we are canceling our Sunday morning worship gatherings at the Y and MGroups in homes through the end of March. With the new recommendations by the CDC and narrower restrictions at our county, state, and national leaders, everyone needs to enact a more cautious plan, even smaller churches like The Fields. The YMCA officially closed its facilities Monday night through the end of March which forces us to match their closure as well. This brings great sorrow to our hearts and reminds us that things are not as they ought to be in this world. However, it should also remind us of a time when Christ will return and make all things new!
In response to our sermon on Sunday from Acts 6:1-7, the elders committed to fast and pray on Monday before our conference call meeting on Monday afternoon. We read and prayed James 1:2-6 where James, the brother of Jesus, opens his letter to the early church like this
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:2–6 ESV)
Together we sought God’s wisdom for our church, our families, our missionaries, our YMCA, our community, our nation, and our world. The Lord gave us unity in our conversation and in the decisions we had to make.
In Acts, we’ve been seeing how in the midst of persecution we ought to obey God rather than men to glorify him and be faithful to the great commission! However, the coronavirus and these restrictions are not persecution against the church for speaking Jesus’ name. The virus is a pandemic and the government does not care not whether you are a Christian or not in this situation. So we, as the church, ought to do our best to obey both God AND man through these trials. This is our best attempt to love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourself as opposed to giving into fear.
The truth is, this virus will likely hit our community, our YMCA, and even our church. It’s in those moments that we need to trust the Lord even more and persevere in faith and wisdom from above. The challenge by the writer of Hebrews to the early church is an especially important challenge for us today.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23–25 ESV)
The “Day” is definitely drawing nearer and we must hold fast to Christ. Until we can meet together again to encourage one another in person, let us consider how stir up one another to love and good works from a distance. As elders, we will be following up with you over the next couple of weeks, but please do not hesitate to reach out to us if any needs arise. Our plan is to provide you with an Order of Service for a Home/Family Worship Gathering to use together on Sunday morning! It will include scripture readings, prayers, a prayer for the nations, songs, and a family devotional. We also hope to send you resources to continue your Field Training classes and to teach your kids what they would have learned in their classes as well!
We encourage everyone to continue to set aside time on Sunday morning to participate in this time of worship. But let’s be honest. It’s not going to be the same! It shouldn’t feel normal and in fact, should cause us too long for the time when we can gather together again. At the same time let us remember, this is the reality for many of our missionaries and believers around the world who don’t get to gather with their home church every week. They too long for the day when they get to meet with their friends and family and worship Christ together, but until then they faithfully worship and serve the Lord where they are at.
When we commissioned you last Sunday and sent you out to be the church in the world in response to Acts 6:1-7, we never knew it might look like this. Nevertheless, until we can gather together again, let us prioritize the ministry of prayer and the word in our lives in new and fresh ways. Let us commit to serving one another as needs arise. And let us consider how we might use this time to serve the world in the name of Jesus in hopes of them being made new and becoming one with us.
In love for God and love for neighbor,
Bryan and the elders"