An Update regarding Coronavirus
Here at SPC, we’ve been monitoring the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 Pandemic, with prayerful hearts. This is an unprecedented time in our world, and it is understandable that we are searching for the proper words and actions to respond to this moment. Christians have always sought to be those who care for others in need, and that is exactly what we must do as servants of Jesus. We must face this pandemic with grace, mercy, love, and sober judgement. How do we, as the Church of Jesus Christ, responsibly serve the Kingdom?
The Session of SPC (our Elders) met on March 12th and prayerfully discussed next steps for our congregation, in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as we cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities.
The following decisions were made by our Session:
- All church-related gatherings, including worship, small groups, and Bible Studies are suspended until further notice.
- Sunday worship will be presented during this time through video, for all to engage and worship together as one people. The link for these videos will be sent via email, and will also be placed on our website and social media, such as Facebook. You can always find links to everything at www.stowpres.church.
- Giving envelopes may be mailed to the church. Online giving to SPC will be available soon. A link for this new, secure, online giving will be sent via email.
- The Staff of SPC will be working during this time, though we may be remote from the church facility. As always, please leave a message if we are not at our desks, and we will return your call promptly. Our staff loves you, and we will do our best to be available for the needs of our congregation and communities.
- Why have we made these decisions? As leaders, we believe it is best to follow the guidelines established for other organizations to slow the potential spread of COVID-19. While religious organizations are currently exempt from the governor’s decision, we felt it was best to put public health and the wellbeing of our people ahead of what we would rather do—meet together as a community of faith.
We don’t take this decision lightly, and we have done this with a sincere desire to care for our members, especially those most susceptible. We’ve done this because we want to be a part of combating this virus and not contributing to its spread, nor its potential to disrupt healthcare systems and threaten more lives.
We ask that you pray alongside us, for the Lord to bless and destroy this virus in Jesus’ name, that peace and healing would rule and reign around the globe. We invite you to serve and care for your neighbors and loved ones. Call them, and provide for their needs, as appropriate. These are the times when the Church can shine brightly in how we share and care for others around us. We ask that you continue to give to the mission and ministry of SPC. Our staff will still be working to find new ways to connect with all of you while we are physically apart. Even now, we are still the Church!
2nd Timothy 1:7 reminds us: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”. This is an opportunity for each of us, as the Church of Jesus Christ, to press in to these truths from God’s Word.
We must remember there is power in belonging to Jesus Christ, because we know and are known by the Sovereign Lord of Heaven and Earth. There is strength and hope for us beyond these moments! We are serving a mighty God, and He is with us. We are called to love and serve others during these times of uncertainty. I encourage you all to find a neighbor to check on regularly, even if it is just to call them and pray with them. How we serve and care for others is key during this time. Our Ruling Elders have established Shepherding Groups, and they may be reaching out to check on you, because we love you.
We trust you understand these temporary changes have been made in a spirit of prayerful and sound judgment. We invite you all to exercise this same practice in your lives, as this situation seems to change moment by moment. We must respond to this uncertainty with faith in God’s power and loving concern for others.
God is surely with us, and we are His Church. Though we are not physically together, we are still united as His servants. Now is our time to share that hope by serving and caring for others.
Stay connected through our website and social media, and watch for email updates, devotions, and more in the days to come.
With love and gratitude for you all,