Good afternoon; I pray all is well with each of you & your families. As your pastor, I am committed to be the best servant I can to HCF and the community at large. I want to always make decisions that are based on prayer and council from God through the leading of His holy Spirit.
We are definitely in some interesting times as of late, & it seems like information (& misinformation) is overwhelming and staggering to many of you and those in our community. I have stated that I intended to keep the doors of HCF open regardless of the fear, panic, & pandemonium that surrounds this COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation…and I meant that. However, as of yesterday (Wednesday, 3/18/20) the Virginia District Church of the Nazarene sent out a mandate to ALL churches on the Virginia District (I have attached the full letter from our DS, Dr. Phil Fuller, for you to view). Here it is in a nutshell:
- For the next few weeks we recommend no in-person meetings
- Listen to the advice of our President
- Listen to the advice of Our Governor
- Listen to the advice of the Centers for Disease Control
The District Advisory Board took the following action on March 17, 2020:
“In an effort to support our government leaders dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, the District Superintendent and the District Advisory Board are reaching out to communicate with our churches. We are requiring that every local church immediately cancel all in-person meetings, worship services and other activities. This action will be in effect through April 1, 2020 as an expression of love for our community. A new decision will be communicated on or about Sunday, March 29, 2020.”
[Excerpted from Letter to Churches from DS., Dr. Phil Fuller]
Link to the actual letter:
While this is not ideal, and I would have hoped we wouldn’t have to (re)act in this way, as an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, I am obligated to support & follow any rules, regulations, and decisions passed down from either the General Church or the District Church. Also, as a local church in the Virginia District, we are subject to the District Advisory Board as well as the Board of General Superintendents.
So, effective immediately, ALL IN PERSON worship services, small groups, discipleship, ministry team meetings, and other in person meetings will be suspended at Huntington Community Fellowship until April 1, 2020 (with any update to follow on or about March 29, 2020).
With that said, rest assured that I am currently exploring options for us to have an online presence. I am hoping that we can come up with a means that will be easily accessible for as many as possible to still get connected both this weekend as well as the following. As soon as we have something in place, you will be notified as to the how, the when, & the where. In advance, thank you for your continued support and patience.
I ask that each of you continue to pray for one another, our church, our community, and our nation. And, in that regard, I am encouraging everyone to set 2 (two) alarms for 7:14 (AM & PM) as a reminder to pray what 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us:
“13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place” (NLT)
Anyone on the YouVersion App knows I have been posting that for several days in various versions. Also, please remember this:
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”
– Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
I also would like to remind each of you, that, individually, we make up the body of Christ – which is His Church – and we should be humble & faithful servants and witnesses to His gospel. I encourage each of you to seek God in how He will lead each of us to act during these tense times in service to family, friends, and our community at large. Be encouraging, considerate, and available to the degree that it keeps you and others safe. We may not be able to “do church” as we are accustomed, but that does not stop us from “BEING THE CHURCH” to those around us in times of need.
In the next day or so be on the lookout for a message on how we will proceed with an online service/presence. I will ask that each of you also pray for direction & guidance in that (as your pastor is just a bit technologically challenged [lol]).
Know that Jeannie & I love each of you & are praying for each of you and are with you in all things. May the grace of God through Jesus Christ be with you all.
Be Blessed & Be a Blessing