The church will be taking some precautionary steps in light of the spreading coronavirus. You can start expecting three things to be different immediately at Schweitzer:
- We will ask people to refrain from shaking hands during our greeting time.
- We will change how we offer food and beverage on Sunday morning.
- We will no longer share a common cup and loaf of bread during communion.
Also, of course, please wash your hands frequently.
To be honest, I’ve been torn on how to respond to the coronavirus for Schweitzer.
On one hand, we absolutely want to keep our church family safe. We will be supportive of whatever guidelines come to us through the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. As we learn more, we will take different precautions and do our best to keep our church family safe and informed. Safety is a top priority.
On the other hand, we don’t want to lead with or cause more anxiety. And there is plenty to be anxious about right now, and not just the coronavirus.
I read a great line recently: “anxiety is a sign I am trusting in something other than God” (Steve Cuss, Managing Leadership Anxiety). Let that line sit with you for a second.
What are the things in your life that cause anxiety? Likely, these are also places you are not trusting God. Generally, I find myself most anxious over things that are outside of my control. Things like the coronavirus (and the stock market) certainly fall into that category.
Perhaps it’s precisely in these places of lacking control that God is calling us to trust him the most. The same author I quoted earlier goes on to say this:
What has been most freeing for me is to not merely remember that God is with me, but to remember that God is actually ahead of me in whatever situation I’m about to walk into that I’m anxious about…God is already there.
Anxiety is natural to feel in light of what we’re reading and seeing in the news. Anxiety can also be a sign that we’re not trusting God in those situations. As you read the news and hear stories of coronavirus and other anxiety-causing stories, I encourage you to spend time in prayer, turn to the Scripture, find ways of bringing your attention back to the Lord. He is trustworthy.
In my devotional time just this morning, I read these words and was once again reminded I can trust God in everything:
Yet I am always with you;
You hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
And afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:23-27)
Friends, be encouraged. No matter what we face. No matter how frightened we may feel. God is with us and He goes before us.
Also, as is our practice you can find our most recent Board Minutes here.