COVID-19 Update

This Sunday, March 15, services will be held, as usual, at 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Governor Brian Kemp has echoed public health officials who recommend those who have chronic respiratory ailments or are a member of a vulnerable population remain home from public gatherings. If you choose to do so, you may participate at home via our livestream option off our Facebook page. The link is at the top right of this page (F logo) or by clicking here. Note: You do not have to have a Facebook account to view our page.

We hope you will choose to join us online if you cannot in person. Please also send in your offering to the church. Our expenses remain constant even when events impact church attendance. Send in your gift via PayPal by clicking here or by mailing to the church at P.O. Box 129 Eastman, GA 31023

For your reference, below is a copy of the email sent to the church yesterday morning.

Email from the morning of Thursday, March 12, 2020:

Dear church, 

I write to you today to update you on the plans our church has relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States. While there are no confirmed nor presumptive cases in Middle Georgia at this time, it is best to be informed and prepared in advance. 

First, I am keeping a close eye on news reports, especially local Georgia media, the CDC website, and statements from our bishop and Annual Conference. As there are developments, we will respond accordingly, as noted below. 

Second, here is what we are currently doing: 

  • We endeavor to keep the church as clean as possible on a regular basis. This includes sanitizing surfaces, especially in the nursery and children’s areas. 
  • I also recognize that, with all the hands I shake on a Sunday morning, I can be a chief spreader of germs. For many months now, I have a regular habit of washing my hands and using sanitizer with great frequency to keep both myself and all of us healthy. I will continue to do so.
  • Live stream: we will begin live-streaming our 8:45 am worship service via Facebook Live every Sunday so that, if you need to stay home, you can do so and still participate in worship.

Third, here is what you can do now:

  • It may seem to go without saying, but we can all help each other out by washing our hands frequently and keeping our hands away from our faces. The CDC and public health officials continue to state that this is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you have respiratory illness, please stay home from church activities, including worship services. This includes if you have any flu-like symptoms, including a fever.

Fourth, if there are cases reported in the greater Middle Georgia area, here’s how we’ll respond 

  • Church leadership and I will monitor closely with local officials
  • We will cancel communion, currently scheduled for April 5
  • We will require that no one shake hands nor hug when greeting each other at church 

Fifth, if there are cases reported in Eastman 

  • We will follow the guidance of local authorities and our local government
  • Any decisions about cancellations or closures will be posted to the website and social media

If you have questions, please let me or Kenton Haley, Operations Council Chair, know. 

Let me close by reminding us of a statement I have often made in my tenure here: fear is not of God. Throughout scripture, the phrase that appears most often is “do not be afraid.” In the midst of an outbreak we cannot control, we need not fear. God is with us. Consider and hold close the words of Psalm 23, the Psalm we prayed on Monday and Tuesday as a part of our praying the Psalms effort:

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff–they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me al the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.” 

Peace be with you.

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