No evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will
order His angels to protect you wherever you go. - Psalms 91:10-11
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESPONSE
With a desire to love our neighbors as ourselves and an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community as of Sunday, March 15, all JOURNEY worship experiences are moved online until further notice. Please plan to worship online this Sunday on Facebook or via our website yourjourneychurch.com at 10:00am & 12:00pm and invite others to join us, as well.
In addition, all onsite activities have been suspended until further notice. The only exceptions to this are for staff and/or volunteers whose work necessitates being at the building, including those who are working on key initiatives across our city during this time. All other groups which normally meet on Sundays and during the week are encouraged to explore alternate means of staying closely connected with one another. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
WHY ARE WE MOVING THE JOURNEY WORSHIP EXPERIENCE ONLINE AND CLOSING OUR BUILDING
Our goal in these decisions, as in everything we do, is to glorify God as biblically and wisely as possible. Because the Bible calls us to care for one another and love one another (and all our neighbors) as ourselves, we believe the best way we can do that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is by not gathering in person. If we were to come together for a normal Sunday with hundreds of people at our campus, the likelihood is extremely high that unknowing carriers of this distinct and different virus would expose many others to it. Those exposed would then scatter from our building into and beyond our city, increasing the likelihood of people not only at our campus but in and beyond our city, being exposed to this virus. All of this would be harmful for church members and guests as well as people far beyond our church, many of whom are more at-risk physically due to either age or medical conditions. For these reasons, we believe the best way we can love our neighbors as ourselves in this unique time is to participate in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing (defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”). Further, in light of people who meet at different times in our building all throughout the week, we believe the wisest way to love them all is to limit their exposure to this virus by closing our campus.
HOW ARE WE GLORIFYING GOD THROUGH GROUPS, MINISTRY TO FAMILIES AND CHILDREN, AND OTHER MINISTRIES DURING THIS TIME?
We are encouraging groups across our church to consider alternate means for staying as biblically and closely connected to one another as possible during this time. Group leaders and members have three options to consider during this time: Suspend until further notice, use discretion in deciding to meet offsite, or meet online. We'll be sharing more information in the coming days for groups and their leaders who would like to meet online. Group leaders will reach out to their members to communicate their choices.
Our team is compiling recommendations and resources for families, students, and children during this time. We'll be sharing more information in the coming days.
HOW WILL WE SPREAD GOD’S LOVE ACROSS OUR CITY DURING
While it is wise and strongly recommended for certain members of our church who are elderly or have existing medical conditions to limit interaction in social settings during this time, it is wise and strongly recommended for other members of our church to be actively involved in spreading God’s love to people in need during this time. We are coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help and deliver food and personal care products to at-risk communities across our city during these days. We are undertaking these efforts with extreme sensitivity to sanitary, medical, and safety concerns for all involved.
HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), including its relative risk, at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND PHYSICALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS
If you are sick with a cough or running a fever, or you have a compromised immune system in other ways, we encourage you to remain at home and/or seek proper medical attention. Please also alert your church family so that we can best help and support you.
If you are elderly or have existing medical conditions that might place you at higher risk in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we strongly encourage you to limit your interactions with others during these days. At the same time, we ask you to please let us as your church family know how we can best help and support you.
Regardless of age or medical condition, we encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
Staying home if you are sick;
Covering your cough or sneeze;
Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here are some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online HERE or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.