Two-week shift to online services begins Sunday, Nov. 1
Updated: Nov 1
The health and safety of our people and community have been high on our list of priorities and prayer during these challenging times. We have made some difficult decisions this week with these priorities in mind.
In the past week at least eight people connected to a small group at our church have tested positive for COVID-19. Some of those also attended our Sunday morning worship service on Oct. 25 before they had been tested. Hopefully our efforts to avoid handshakes and hugs, wear masks and use hand sanitizer each Sunday have helped prevent much of the spread, but it is clear that the virus has been present in our church facilities.
With these facts in mind, we have made the difficult decision to close our church doors for the next two weeks with plans to reopen on Sunday, November 15. This decision was made through a unanimous vote of our church board on my recommendation.
All mid-week ministries and small groups have been cancelled, and we will shift to online-only worship services for the next two Sundays (Nov. 1 and 8). Guidance from the Center for Disease Control tells us the virus cannot survive on surfaces longer than seven days and those who have been exposed to the virus may not show symptoms for up to 14 days. So by closing the church doors until Nov. 15, we have given our church facilities and congregation the opportunity to recover from the recent exposure and avoid further spread.
Pastor Billy’s two-year review with the church board and district superintendent Jim Bond, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 1, has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.
I am relieved to report that all eight people who have tested positive have experienced only mild symptoms and no one has been hospitalized. All are now in quarantine according to our county health department’s guidelines and everyone who attended the small group has been contacted. We will not release the names of those who have tested positive to protect their privacy, however please keep all of our church family in your prayers.
Of course, God’s Church and His work in this crazy world will continue on! Please join us for special online-only worship services the next two Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook Live and winfieldnaz.org. Sunday School via Zoom will also be offered starting at 9:30 a.m. Stay safe, be careful and may the Lord bless you and keep you!
‘til the storm passes by,
Pastor Billy Byler