March 13, 2020
COVID-19 Update | Coronavirus
Dear Grace family,
Like you, we have all been watching the coronavirus international drama unfold on a daily basis. However, the announcement last night by Dallas County for gatherings in the city was a game changer. In case you haven’t heard, the county government has made any group gatherings of more than 500 people illegal, and strongly recommends against any gathering of 250 or more. Additionally, the high-risk population (60+ years of age, other health problems, etc.) are strongly encouraged to avoid gatherings of over ten people.
According to what we have read, and heard, the primary concern is that we slow the rate of infections so that our hospitals can keep up with the demands for those who experience the extreme symptoms of the virus. In Wuhan, the serious cases were so numerous that medical facilities were not able to meet the needs of those who needed hospitalization to survive. The American medical community is learning from the outbreaks elsewhere and attempting to respond accordingly.
Presently, only one of our services (10:00) regularly exceeds 250, and we do not believe that there is ever a time where over 500 are in the same room.
However, in light of the fact that many in our congregation are in the at risk group, and many others will choose to stay home, and finally, as a testimony to our neighbors of our concern for the safety of those around us, the elders have chosen to have only a streamed service this Sunday while we await more information. Additionally, we are canceling all events at the church this next so that we can do a thorough cleaning while Grace Academy is on Spring break.
Our prayer is that we who follow Jesus will respond in a way that brings Him glory.
The streamed service Sunday will begin with contemporary worship at 10:00, followed by the sermon roughly at 10:20. Then we will have traditional music around 11:00. (Obviously these times are approximate.) You can watch the streaming on our church website (www.gracebiblechurch.org), or on Facebook.
The worship team is committed to providing a meaningful experience online this Sunday. It will also be posted on the website later for viewing during the week. I will be speaking on the Christian response to a crisis in our community.
During the Ebola crisis in Africa, the Young Life staff there committed to pray Psalm 91 for 91 days. The same week the 91 days was completed, the New York Times declared that the virus outbreak had ended in its epicenter of Liberia. Will you join us in praying Psalm 91?
The church office will be open next week, and your staff will be checking in on you. Please feel free to contact us. May God grant us strength and peace as we seek to live for Him during this time.