March 18, 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE
Elder’s Report The Elders of Living Water Church greatest care and concern is and always will be the well being of all whom God has given us the responsibility of caring for. Considering these recent waves of events, we have decided to make the following changes to the activities of our community. Below is an outline of these changes. These Guidelines which will be re-looked at regularly but are in place until further notice.
All events of 10 or more people are cancelled. This includes Sunday worship services and all small group activity. We also encourage social distancing in general, hand washing, and all the other requirements set in place by the CDC and our State health organizations.
Please spend time in prayer for LWC, your neighbor, and that God keep your eyes focused. Scripture reading is very helpful in times like these.
Sunday’s sermons will become ‘live’ by no later than 8:30am on our Youtube page each and every Sunday morning. The video can be found directly at www.livingwaterflows.com or on our youtube channel . Also in the link you find in the Splash newsletter as well as on our facebook page. We are encouraging our whole church family to get together and watch the sermon and take a moment to pray for the world, the church, and the community.
‘Twice a week videos’: Along with our Sunday morning sermons online, we are going to add a mid-week video as well. This will include mid-week messages or content that we would have liked to do in person, but now can be participated in through digital means. Keep an eye out for: Extra Splash Newsletters. To keep everyone up to date with links and information, some quite pertinent, we will be sending out an extra newsletter most weeks.
WATCH OUT for Scams: Cybersecurity professionals are speaking about the rise in scams right now. Since people are fearful, scammers are taking advantage of them. If you receive any phone calls asking for your personal information, hang up. This includes watching out for emails that may ask for important personal information. Various nefarious individuals and groups pose as your bank or other institution you are a part of to try and get your information, and then use it to steal from you.
WATCH OUT for False Information: As information spreads quickly, both truth and falsehood can move fast. If someone gives you information about the virus or the goings on of our government, please do a quick google search to find legitimate articles which prove or disprove the point. Check and make sure the site is credible rather than some blog based only on an opinion.
Online Giving: It goes without saying that our church relies upon the support of its people. If you have not already set-up an online giving account with our church, please take the time to do that. If you need help, our Financial Manager, Emily Olson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to the link here to begin.
One more thing, Elders want to thank several of the Doctors of our church who we reached out to for guidance or who reached out to us. We appreciate God’s grace/knowledge to us through you. The Elders
Dear Living Water Church,
I am going to be characteristically long worded here. :)
I am filled with hope. It is not however the hope of this world’s system. It is the hope of an eternal God whose kingdom cannot be shaken. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.
I am very concerned. I am aware of the difficult realities before us. Chief of these concerns are those most vulnerable to this virus. That is why in our Elder report just about everything we do in person is canceled. Keep a safe distance everyone. A second major reason for distancing now, is that hospitals are not likely going to be able to deal with all the cases coming in. Helping slow the spread is very important.
A second and growing concern of mine is hearing about people in our congregation (and elsewhere) that are getting laid off or must begin shutting down their businesses. If this was two or three weeks, we could all get over the speed bump. This however is a steep hill that goes on for some time. It looks as if this virus is going to extend on into the middle of summer or perhaps even into fall. This bodes bad news for so many of our families, community, and nation. Let’s be praying and helping those in need currently, and that includes avoiding contact with those most vulnerable groups.
A need to adapt. I think we all need to begin adapting as much as possible currently. Get your food stocked up, and if you are able, get a little extra for a neighbor or friend who may find themselves on hard times. It seems wise to lower spending and put some extra aside for the many ‘rainy days’ we have ahead.
A lesson from Acts. In the book of Acts the church was persecuted in Jerusalem. At first glance this was a bad thing. However, it served to bring the gospel to many other nations because the Apostles were forced out of their safe zones. What can we be doing now that brings people into faith with God? Let’s be following God through this mess, He is still here among us and identifies very well with pain, suffering, and loss.
Living out Acts. For us at LWC the lesson from Acts likely is lived out by going all in on things digital. I am a bit of a laggard when it comes to putting services online, because I still believe in the sacred dimension of togetherness and real physical fellowship. However, for now, you will notice a lot of digital media from the church throughout the week and on Sunday to provide opportunities for families to engage with the church in their homes. Stay tuned.
I am reminded of how God’s people in the Bible’s history have been through famines, persecutions, horrible leaders, poverty, and disease before. The Church’s memory is long and has seen more difficult times than these. Her people have adapted and followed their God into victory (even if the victory took years to achieve). There is nothing new here for us with that backdrop, only new people (and good people) affected by a dangerous virus.
Russian Chess World Champion, Gary Kasparov: A couple of years ago I read a book by the World Champion of Chess Gary Kasparov. The book was on leadership and how the lessons of chess translate well into other contexts. He asked a very key question that I have been pondering the last week. “What do you do when it seems like all of your next moves are limited?” I think that is a great question for a good number of people, businesses, and churches right now. He pointed out that at a certain point in a tough chess match’s there are no apparent gains to make. Unless one player makes a mistake, there is no progress. In fact, it can be a very dull time in the game, because it seems like there is nothing happening. His advice during this time was to start moving pieces that are in the background to positions that will help win the match later. For us, I do think God has opportunity here, but it might mean positioning seldom used pieces for later gains.
I am asking Living Water to pray about all the above and keep your eyes open to how you can remain compassionate and also healthy.