Updated March 17, 2020
Our response to COVID-19
This page includes some new information, so please read all the way through.
Our elders and ministers met with several of our medical doctors on Sunday morning, March 15, to discuss the developing virus pandemic and how the church should respond. At the end of that meeting, the elders prayerfully made the decision that was announced Sunday:
Effective immediately, we are canceling all on-site services of our congregation. This includes worship services, Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes, fellowship meals, Tuesday morning ladies’ class, Lads to Leaders practices, youth events, Young at Heart meetings, AHEPA services, and any other organized gathering. This will remain in place until further notice.
This may seem like a drastic move to some, but based on what is happening in Italy and elsewhere, as well as advice from respected medical professionals in our church and beyond, we believe this is the best way for us to follow Christ and serve our community right now. Based on what we know at this point, most of us will be fine, but we have vulnerable people in our congregation and community. And we know that church gatherings are prime places for viruses to spread. Many people will at some point have the virus and not even know it, and they might share it with others, who will share it with others, and so on. Doctors have advised us that continuing to have regular meetings—even if we followed “social distancing” protocol—would likely lead to more people being infected. A consistent aspect of Jesus’ life and teaching was his concern for the vulnerable, so we believe in this particular moment that we can best follow him by canceling our assemblies in hopes of protecting our community.
What does this mean going forward? Please note the following concerning our online “gatherings”:
- We plan to have an online worship service each Sunday morning at 10am. Chuck will present a lesson, and we will sing and pray together. We plan also to have a time for the Lord’s Supper during this period of worship. Once we have the particulars confirmed, we will contact you with the link and with more information.
- Last week we ordered more communion sets (self-contained juice and wafer), and these are scheduled to arrive at the church sometime this week (as you might expect, there is a high demand for these sets, but we believe that we will receive them by Wednesday or Thursday). When we receive them, we will let you know so that you can stop by the building and pick up enough for you and your family if you are comfortable leaving your home. If you cannot (or prefer not to) come to the building, we will bring them to you if you wish.
- Please continue to make your contribution to the church. You can either mail your check (3248 Lorna Road, Hoover, AL 35216), or give online (https://hooverchurchofchrist.elexiopulse.com/default.aspx).
- Chuck will also teach a mid-week lesson on Wednesdays at 7pm.
An important note: We want to minister to our church family during this time, so PLEASE let us know if you have needs, or if you know of needs within our congregation or community. If you are someone who is at high risk for serious complications from the virus (older, underlying medical conditions, etc.), you really need to try not to leave your home during this time. Please let us know if we can get groceries for you, go to the pharmacy or bank, etc. We will use every precaution in helping you, and we want you to be safe. Please don’t risk your health . . . we want to help. Email Chuck at email@example.com or call or text his cell phone (if you don’t have his number, call the church office and ask for it, or check the front of the bulletin) or call or email the church office (205-822-5610; firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, some of the people who may need to know this do not access the internet or check email, so please contact us if you know of needs that we should know about.
A couple more things:
- We do not want the strangeness of this time to cause us to drift in our relationship to Christ. Please continue to read from the One Word devotional books. This week (beginning Monday, March 16), we are reading about humility, and this begins on page 69. The Sunday morning lessons will coincide with the reading topics, so reading in the book will help you to get the most out of these studies.
- Please do not fail to “assemble” with us in our online meetings. We believe that God can use this time to strengthen our relationship with him, giving us more time for reflection and prayer, as well as opportunities to serve one another.
Thank you for your patience as we try to navigate uncharted territory. We want the church truly to be “the church” during these difficult and uncertain times, so let’s stay in touch with one another and ask God to give us opportunities to bless one another and the world. Perhaps he will use these scary times to do something big that leads more people to seek after him.
Your elders and ministers