UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
(Updated March 16 at 10:30 am)
With a desire to love our neighbors as ourselves and an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community amidst a global pandemic that is affecting our city, as of Monday, March 16, all NVCCC worship gatherings are moved online until further notice. Please plan to worship online this Sunday. Each week we sing together, pray together, and hear what God’s Word says about freedom from fear, peace over anxiety, joy amidst sickness, and life that conquers death
In addition, all NVCCC buildings are closed until further notice. The only exceptions to this are for staff and/or volunteers whose work necessitates being at the building. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
WHY ARE WE MOVING NVCCC WORSHIP GATHERINGS ONLINE AND CLOSING OUR BUILDINGS?
Our goal in these decisions, as in everything we do, is to glorify God as biblically and wisely as possible. By God’s design according to God’s Word, the church thrives on gathering together face-to-face as we love one another, care for one another, and encourage one another by doing things like singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another. As much as we are thankful for technology that allows for us to do many of these things online, a biblical picture of a church prioritizes being together in person. This is why Christians around the world gather together every single Sunday at the risk of their lives. If they are caught, they will be persecuted, potentially imprisoned, and possibly even killed. But it’s worth it to them because this is what it means to be the church. These brothers and sisters in Christ have much to teach us about the value of physically being together as a church family.
At the same time, the reasons above concerning why we normally gather in person are the same reasons why we are choosing not to gather in person right now. Because the Bible calls us to care for one another and love one another (and all our neighbors) as ourselves, we believe the best way we can do that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is by not gathering in person. We believe the best way we can love our neighbors as ourselves in this unique time is to participate in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing (defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”).
HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. Most of our church family (and much of our city) is Asian-American, and we want every Asian-American (as well as Asians around the world) to feel and know the love of Christ. So just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
Continue to faithfully give financial offerings (by mail, if necessary) so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.