UPDATE: Restoration's Response (COVID-19) - May 22, 2020
RESTORATION CHURCH WILL CONTINUE TO MEET ONLINE THIS WEEKEND, 5/24.
If you watched or listened to the news today, there was a big announcement from President Trump regarding the reopening of churches. While we are encouraged to hear churches deemed “essential,” we are still processing this news and the many questions surrounding our future gatherings.
Our staff and elders have been in discussion regarding necessary protocol and safety measures, and we will continue to evaluate with the recommended guidelines moving forward. We want to be wise and take this time to process, as well as properly prepare for meeting in person again. We understand the many conflicting views and division toward COVID-19 response. Please, pray for wisdom for our leaders as they continue to dialogue in how to lead the church in unity, whatever decisions will be made in the coming days and weeks.
Now more than ever, I am so proud to be part of the Restoration family. Thank you for loving, honoring, and respecting your neighbor. I want to urge you to continue walking in unity together as a church. Let’s keep with the mission that God has given us, whether we are meeting online or physically together again.
Restoration's Response (COVID-19) - March 13, 2020
The information regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve so we, therefore, continue to adapt. Today, local authorities have recommended the cancellation of gatherings larger than one hundred people, as well as our state governor has canceled all public and private K-12 schools in Washington.
Therefore, Restoration Church will not be holding our physical Sunday gathering until further notice. Rather, we encourage you to join us for an online experience Sunday morning on Facebook. More information to come.
With the coronavirus outbreak that is happening around the world, we are being given a tremendous opportunity as Christians to speak the love of Jesus into each other’s lives. Will you take a few minutes to reflect with me on how we should respond as Christ-followers, as well as how we respond as a church?
First, our response as Christians to the coronavirus. While this outbreak is serious, we need to keep in the forefront of our mind that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1). God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7), so let’s not allow fear to rule our hearts and our responses. We want to take a wise approach, but we do not want to lose sight of the promise that our God is sovereign over all things, including virus and disease.
This outbreak gives us a great opportunity to speak the peace and comfort of God into people’s lives, as well as an ever-present reminder to be praying with and for our families, neighbors, and community. While we could easily respond in fear- let’s be the light that God has created us to be. Our hope and future is secure in Jesus- therefore we can let that love and security flow into the people around us.
So, let’s love as Jesus loved. Let’s pray for people and countries that have been deeply impacted by this virus, for those who have lost loved ones, and those suffering with this virus. Let’s pray for our government and health officials who are trying to make the best decisions for the general public. Let’s pray for those who are most susceptible and for those living in fear, isolation, and loneliness.
Second, our response as a church. While keeping our eyes and faith on God, we want to take a wise response in how we respond as a church in the midst of this outbreak. Therefore, here is what we (the church) are doing together to love our neighbors:
- Are there people in your neighborhood that are more at risk (older, unhealthy, sick)? Offer to go to grocery stores, pick up prescriptions, and do errands for them.
- Call your local school, church, or non-profit to find out if there are any families who need financial assistance or food.
- Donate a $50 grocery gift card to your local school, non-profit, or church so they can give to people in need.
- With schools closed, set up a co-op in your neighborhood to take care of each others healthy kids so that people can still get to work.
- When you hear of people who are in quarantine, arrange ways to safely drop off food, books, magazines and games.
- Pray for people who are suffering around the world (lost loved ones, sick, isolated, fearful and lonely).
- Pray for government, healthcare and non-profit groups who are doing their best to respond well.
- Don't be easily offended when people don't want to interact physically or otherwise. There is a lot of fear right now, so speak peace and hope.
Through this crisis, let’s pray to see God glorified. While fear can cripple a community, we want to respond well with informed thinking and the steadfast hope that we are cared for by the sovereign God of all creation. Please feel free to share this with anyone who might find it helpful.
In HIS Name,
Pastor Kevin Deyette