On Wednesday afternoon (3/11/20), the World Health Organization released a statement that COVID-19, otherwise known as the “coronavirus,” qualifies as a pandemic. In light of that fact, there have been many steps taken in our country and around the world to stop the spread of this virus. As the people of God, called to love neighbor (Matt. 22:39) and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), it is incumbent on us to determine the steps we will take in order to protect our neighbors from infection and keep our at-risk brothers and sisters safe.
Here are a few precautions that we are taking this weekend at our gatherings:
If you, your child or a person in your household is ill, has a fever or doesn’t feel well we ask that you contact our offices and let the pastoral staff know so we can pray for you and check in on you. Also, we ask that you abstain from the gathering in person but participate through our Livestream that can be found on our Facebook page.
Cleaning: There will be teams of people that clean and sanitize the building in between services.
Coffee: This is by far the worst news, we will not be serving coffee. Lord Jesus come quickly!
Offering and Pew Bible: As of now, we are removing the pew bibles and pens due to those being a point of contact in our gatherings. Also, we strongly encourage you to give online this week (www.westsidepb.org/give) if not, we will have offering boxes out in the lobby but we will not be passing the offering plates.
Communion: We strongly believe here at West Side in the sacraments (baptism and communion) that Jesus gave his church. We see them as vital to our gatherings, in light of the recent news we will be switching up what that looks like in our services:
- We will have communion servers.
- These servers will be sanitized and wear gloves.
- You will walk up as normal , open your palms and be handed the dipped piece of bread by the server. It is important not to take the bread but rather receive it.
Also, if you are uncomfortable with partaking in communion at this current time, feel free to abstain. We are saved by the free gift of grace that is found in Jesus Christ!
Lastly but most importantly, we as believers and the church of Jesus Christ must seek to be a non anxious presence in such an anxious world C.S. Lewis put it beautifully when he said, “In such a fearful world, we need a fearless church.”
Rest in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
West Side, see you this Sunday at 9am and 11am as we worship faithfully not fearfully!
Pastor Jason and the Board of Directors