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Regarding COVID-19

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UPDATE: Due to reports that COVID-19 has been confirmed in Central Illinois and with direction from the governor to practice social distancing, we will not be having New Life Worship services tomorrow, 3/15/2020. 

We will, however be streaming our sermon via Facebook Live so make sure to join us online at 10:00AM!  

Also, tithes, offerings, and missions faith promises can be given online securely and simply at the following link:

www.newlifebn.org/give

We may not be able to be physically together, but that doesn’t mean we can’t worship together!  Your faithfulness in these times is appreciated! 


 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 

Dear New Life Family,

So much has changed in our world in the last month.  Now with the present national state of emergency and school closings as precautionary responses to COVID-19 our leadership team wanted to share with you what we are doing.  In addition, I wanted to share with you what our future plans will be concerning church life and corporate gatherings should we face more drastic measures.

First and foremost, we must be a people whose trust in God, whose peace, whose confidence in the blood of Jesus and the word of God keep us from being entangled in and deceived by the spirit of this present age.  We must recognize that in times like these people are open to the gospel. People are looking for hope as we are being forced to recognize that we are in control of very little in our lives. While some may be leery of group gatherings, this is your opportunity to share your story, pray with others, show kindness and courage by loving and serving with the heart of Christ. Remember, we do not worship at the altar of fear but before the living God who with a word commands storms to be still.  At the same time we do not discount. Let’s use both faith and wisdom. This should be the finest hour of the Church.

Second, concerning church gatherings, as of now, we have no plans to cease meeting but are following the guidelines set forth by our government in the interest of public health and safety.  We want to be wise in the way we conduct worship gatherings, so here is our internal protocol for the time being: 

Our leadership team is taking extra steps to make sure things are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

  1.  If you feel fill ill please stay home to rest, recover, and protect others as to not pass on any sickness!  In addition please join us online for our live stream.

  2. Should you feel the need to stay home please join us on FB Live and participate by commenting, sharing and engaging!  In addition, during this time the business of church life will continue on normally. So please remember that your giving keeps the ministry moving forward and supports our reach goes around the globe. Online giving is simple and secure and can be done easily at the following link: www.newlifebn.org/give

  3. Until this passes we want to encourage people to avoid handshaking, hugs, and similar close contact forms of greeting during our gatherings. Instead, consider elbow bumps as a greeting.

  4. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands often.

  5. For the next four Sundays, I am asking all serving as CLC members, ushers, nursery workers, and greeters to do double duty wiping doors knobs, handles, hard surfaces, and countertops after major times of traffic, after Sunday school and immediately after worship service begins, and again following service once the majority of people have left.  Disinfecting wipes will be available in every bathroom. Feel free to use them as you like.

  6. Should the time arrive where public gatherings of less than 250 people become disallowed we will create a more universally available online streaming platform which we will inform you of as a means of connecting.  In which this becomes the case please take extra care to stay engaged as a church family! In addition, should things come to this we will find other ways to build community online that you will be informed of at that time. 

Thirdly, considering the previous two items, it is doubly important that we take advantage of this time to recalibrate our thinking as “The Church” to being excellent at outward focus by becoming excellent at inwardly focusing on pressing into Jesus. Spend more time in prayer and reading the word of God during this time.  Pray for our nation, pray for the world. Pray for our leaders - national, state and local and those in charge of addressing COVID-19 from a medical standpoint. Pray for The Church around the world that we:

  1. Find ways to serve our neighbors in the name of Jesus.

  2. If you know of people who are elderly offer to serve them by running errands, going to the pharmacy on their behalf, etc.

  3. Let’s be The Church.  If you are ill and need somebody to run errands, please call the church office at 309-829-7777 and we will do our best to serve you.

  4. If you need help with childcare due to the change in your work schedule as a result of this crisis, please reach out to fellow church members, or call the church office and as a church family let’s do our best to serve one another!

  5. If you are ill please call us right away so we can begin praying and believing God for healing.

  6. Do not forsake gathering, whether online or in-person.  Let’s keep on worshiping and praying together Church!

Our faithfulness to God is all the more important in seasons like these.  The world is watching to see the hope that we have.

 

Spoiled for the ordinary,

Pastor James