Because we care about the safety and health of our family, and in light of a situation that has great potential danger and mostly nebulous information, we will temporarily MOVE any in-person mass-gatherings ON-LINE to protect our elderly, immunocompromised, and young families, effective immediately.
We will still connect as a church via social media and our website on Sunday mornings. We will still connect through smaller gatherings and personal communication. Our staff will still communicate and offer daily and weekly challenges to us spiritually as we seek to share the love of Christ during this crisis.
On a practical note: social distancing seems to be the only feasible solution to stopping or at least slowing the spread of the virus. We, as a church, can do this by discouraging close contact in large group settings through the temporary pausing of corporate in-person worship.
We are aware that many businesses, organizations, and local churches have already paused operations, and some have not and remain in limbo. For our leadership, we would rather err on the side of safety and caution. Here are some additional perspectives we took into account:
1 We believe the official government announcement is coming very soon for all large gatherings to temporarily cease. We believe limitations on large scale gatherings will only increase and we gain nothing by waiting. Hesitating in making an inevitable decision only risks contamination and infection for all of you.
2 There are already confirmed cases in Florida, and now even the panhandle. There are also active cases with pending tests for COVID-19 here in Bay County and Panama City which are still awaiting results.
3 Our City Church family largely consists of young families, senior adults, and a number of immunocompromised individuals with pre-existing conditions, many of whom have reached out to our staff. This puts volunteers, children, elderly, and others at significant risk.
We ask that each of our church family members not live in a spirit of fear during this time, but in a spirit of generosity. Generously pause your live corporate worship in order to help families and individuals in our city have a decreased risk of infection. It is not what we want, but it is something we feel like is the most helpful step in order to assist our already overloaded health system.
Please be safe and vigilant to remain healthy during this time. We will still worship as a church, even if it looks slightly different for a few weeks. Visit our social media platforms @CityChurchPC on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as our website www.citychurchpc.com.
Personally speaking, this was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make as a pastor. But ultimately, it came down to protecting all of you and the people of our city.