Dear Post Falls Church Family,
As we are already aware our national and denominational leaders are taking the growing risks of the coronavirus very seriously. Even though symptoms and risks are lower for a large part of the population under a certain age, it is a virus that can be passed on without notice which can unintentionally lead to introducing the virus to new communities who are in a higher risk category and exposing them to the harm of the virus, especially towards our elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
As Seventh-day Adventist we believe in meeting together often in order to share our faith, serve our community, and to grow together learning to love God and each other. Yet, loving one another during this crisis means keeping a bit of distance between us for just enough time for this virus to pass or "social distancing.” It does not mean that we cannot visit family or friends, but do we aware of the symptoms and risks associated with the virus when visiting. It is highly recommended by the CDC, Health Department, and others:
1. Not to visit when you are sick, rather stay home except for medical attention.
Reason: Some who would not be affected much by the virus could carry it to someone that would be. That places others at high risk.
2. Limit the size of our gatherings to 10.
Reason: This is to ensure that if the virus does spread it is contained within a smaller group.
For more suggestions on prevention you can read the directive here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
Just yesterday there has been new recommendations from the conference to all the UCC churches. Here is the new recommendation:
“The UCC is asking that all in-person church services in the Upper Columbia Conference be suspended beginning March 21 with the possibility of resuming no earlier than April 18. And for those who may be considering meeting in small groups, the NAD has also discouraged this option during this critical phase of combating the virus.”
There are different opinions regarding the virus and what is happening around the world. That is understandable and expected. At the same time it’s important to heed guidance and counsel which God provides through different means, so that we can show our love and make a positive impact in our community and in our church family by not taking chances with their safety.
With that said, we want to follow the recommendation of the conference by suspending our Sabbath services and potlucks beginning this Sabbath, March 21, until further notice. We will also be suspending our prayer meeting on Wednesdays until further notice. Because new information is continually coming out, our board will re-evaluate/re-visit this decision on March 30th. We will be taking into consideration any new conference recommendations, medical recommendations, and/or government guidelines to help identify the future direction of our church.
As we anticipate this change our church elders and church board will be working on creating a plan that will help members and our community engage with church life. These are just some of the things being planned:
1. We will be live streaming an abbreviated worship service on different platforms: Facebook and YouTube. Please stay tuned for more information.
2. We encourage families in their own homes to have a dedicated time together to have a Sabbath school devotional between our regular Sabbath school time. That time can also be used to draw personally closer to God through reading of scripture and prayer. There is never a great time to draw closer to God that now.
3. Remember that the elders, deacons, and I are still here to minister to your needs and lift you up in prayer. I am personally available for any pastoral needs, great hours to call are mornings and afternoon – M, T, W, F. Overall, please don’t hesitate to call, send a text/email, or drop a note.
4. If there is a prayer request feel free to share that with Dorothy, our prayer coordinator.
5. We encourage small groups not to be over 10 people if the group decides to continue.
6. Tithe & Offering can be sent to our church’s address at: Post Falls Seventh-day Adventist Church, PO Box 160, Post Falls, ID 83877-0160. Jodi has been working on setting up online giving through our website. Once it is ready we will notify everyone. Please stay tuned for more info.
7. Finally, social distancing doesn’t mean you are stuck at home, take time to walk outside and explore God’s beautiful nature with your family, if weather permits.
Please Note: To receive church news and updates, please text: @pfsda to 81010 and reply back to the text. Or if your having troubles with 81010, then you can try texting @pfsda to (205) 545-8871. If you are unsure how to join just reply back to this email with your name, cell number and/or email address.
As a body of Christ our purpose in life is to show love towards God and each other and towards our community. This virus is not a problem, but it is an opportunity to be who God has called us to be in this world: a light in the darkness, a stable influence in rocky times, and comfort during uncertainty. If God is all knowledgeable, merciful, loving, patient, powerful... and has allowed us to live such a time as this, it’s because He has a wonderful plan. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’”
With some more time that we may have, it is a great opportunity to connect even more with our friend and Saviour. Jeremiah continues to say, “‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Let us search God with all our heart.
Since we have this hope, let’s use that hope to comfort and strengthen one another. Purposefully calling each other to check in with each other, by making sure your neighbors, friends, and fellow church members are safe and have what they need. If the Post Falls church can be of assistance please let your elders and Pastor know.
May God continue to be a lamp unto our path during this time of change, so we can reflect a light of hope to others.
Let’s Keep Praying,