Wow, the past forty-eight hours have been incredible with announcement after announcement related to COVID-19. This morning, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced the first case in our state and the number continues to grow.
National, state, and local officials have asked that we avoid large gatherings in an effort to prevent additional risk. While our Sunday gatherings are smaller than the threshold set by health officials, we have a disproportionate number of members who fall into the “at-risk” population.
In light of this information, I met with our senior leadership Friday afternoon to consider our next steps. It is our decision at this time to continue with our regularly scheduled Sunday School and worship services this Sunday, March 15th with the following precautions:
- If you have any flu-like symptoms, please stay home. These include fever, cough and shortness of breath. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Please refrain from shaking hands or hugging.
Our leadership team will meet again Sunday morning to determine our response going forward. In the meantime, this crisis presents us with tremendous opportunities to…
- Live with faith instead of fear (Philippians 4:6-7). This outbreak has not caught God by surprise. May we have the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who knew that God was able to deliver them from the fiery furnace and from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. But even if he did not deliver them, they would stand firm in their faith (Daniel 3:16-18).
- This crisis also provides some amazing gospel opportunities. We will talk more about this Sunday morning, but continue to live as those who are sent across the street and around the world. These are uncertain times, but we serve an unchanging God. Listen to your friends and family. Pray for them. Have gospel conversations.
- If you are a regular giver, please continue to be faithful to support our ongoing ministry at HBC, even if you are out for one or more Sundays. When you continue to give, your financial support allows us to continue making Jesus known across the street and around the world. You can give by mail or you may bring your tithes and offerings to the church office during regular business hours (unless you are sick).
- If you have to miss a Sunday, we will have sermons up on the website by the following Tuesday afternoon. All of the messages are gospel centered, so invite others to watch!
Now would be a good time for all of our members to connect with each other and with our larger church family via social media. We anticipate making this Sunday’s service available online from our Facebook page:
Know that we are praying for you, and we ask you to join us in trusting God’s presence, plan and provision in the days ahead.