Members and friends of New Life,
Greetings! I hope this finds you well. With the rising concern over the coronavirus, we thought it would be important to reach out to you with communication from your church, both with information and encouragement.
We are instructed as believers not to act in fear or panic. We are told not to be anxious about our lives or tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). We are told not to fear, for we are of value to our Father. (Matthew 10:29-31) Yet, we are also told to act wisely and seek to preserve our lives and those of others in wisdom. Proverbs 27:12 for instance puts it bluntly: “Be cautious and hide when you see danger— don't be stupid and walk right into trouble.” Thus, we should also not act out of foolish pride or lack of concern.
As Christians our response should communicate our faith in God's Sovereignty as well as our love of neighbor. To your neighbors we encourage you to be sympathetic and gentle with those who are worried. In fact, unbelievers without hope have reason to fret, and need to know the hope we have in Christ. Use this as an opportunity to explain you are seeking to be wise and loving in your behavior, but also, as the Heidelberg Catechism puts it: “my only comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.”
So, accordingly, with a desire to act out of love of neighbor and faith in God, our session met to decide how to react to our government and medical officials requests in regards to meetings and precautions to prevent the spread of a virus that can for a certain segment of the population be serious and even fatal if not treated. In balancing these concerns we made the following decisions on Church Events:
We have no plans to cancel Sunday morning worship. In fact, in times of anxiety, that is when we especially have need of prayer and hearing of God's Word. But with that said:
We ask you to be wise about attendance. If you feel ill, or are in a particularly at risk group (such as those with lung disease, diabetes, or weak immune systems) we would encourage you to follow the requests of our government to practice social distancing and stay home for a few weeks. You can watch from our Facebook page, as we will endeavor to broadcast the services: https://www.facebook.com/newlifehopewell/
We are pausing our other ministries and use of the building for at least the next three weeks. Sunday School, Bible Studies, and Choir practice are included. Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting times of personal contact between members.
Again, we take these measures not out of fear, but love of neighbor. We are to seek to preserve our lives and the lives of others as part of our Christian duty. Even as the young seem not to be seriously affected by this virus, they can be carriers to those who are high risk. Please, pray for our church and session at this time that we would make decisions based on love and wisdom and not fear or foolish pride. We will re-evaluate and announce any changes Sunday April 5.
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,
The Pastor and the session of New Life Presbyterian.Type your paragraph here.
New Life Presbyterian Church of Hopewell Township -- A Member of The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
2795 Patterson Drive Aliquippa, PA 15001 -- ( 724 ) 378 - 4389