13 Mar Statement of Renovate Life Church to COVID-19e
Renovate Life Church Family,
As the Church, we will respond with faith and wisdom. As Christians, we should be practical, prayerful, and proclaim Christ’s peace in an atmosphere of fear. The truth is that viral fear may be worse than the virus itself. We want to respond to the situation accordingly with knowledge of up to-date facts, avoiding fear-based rumors.
Making an informed decision has proved more difficult due to the extreme panic that has run rampant through our nation over the last 24 hours. Genuine concerns are not irrational but fear-based, quick-triggered responses are what we want to avoid. COVID-19 carries a valid threat for several reasons.
First, it’s difficult to diagnose because symptoms mimic the common cold. 80% percent of people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose, and general tiredness. This means a person may be carrying and transmitting the virus without knowing it.
Second, you don’t have to be around an infected person to get infected. Infected people can cough or sneeze and leave respiratory droplets on surfaces, door handles, etc where these viruses can stay alive for at least several hours. So it’s quite possible to be a carrier and not even be aware that you are a threat to others.
Third, about 20% of infected people develop a more severe illness and may need hospitalization. This virus is particularly aggressive among the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
Regal Cinemas issued a statement that they will remain open as they continue to monitor the situation and implement a plan to sanitize and provide a safe environment. In addition, they are limiting occupancy of all auditoriums to 50% capacity. We support their decision and will seek out ways to assist in their efforts.
Ultimately, if our church can help curb the threat and spread of this outbreak by temporarily modifying our schedule, that is something we’re willing and well-prepared to do. Therefore, Renovate Life Church WILL NOT be meeting at the Regal Cinemas Waugh Chapel theater location this Sunday, March 15, 2020. We encourage people to spend time at home with their family and we invite you to join us online for a brief time of worship at www.RenovateLife.tv at 9:30AM this Sunday morning.
Be wise and stay safe by following basic health protocol that is being communicated by the medical community. Please know that this panic-induced, extreme “social isolation” that’s being touted among the majority of people is not a biblical concept. It’s not the example set by Jesus. Furthermore, throughout history, when people have run and isolated themselves due to fear, the Church has faced and conquered the fear of physical threats in order to love, care for, and minister to those who sick, hurting, and in need. In the words of A.W. Tozer, “A scared world needs a fearless Church.”
- Look for ways to serve local businesses who are not in a position to close their doors.
- If you work from home, consider opening your home to your neighbor’s children as schools are closed and their parents must continue to work.
- Take the opportunity to engage your neighbors in conversation and spend time together over a meal or invite them over for a movie.
Rather than social isolation, in faith, let’s practice safe and intentional social interaction as we continue to be changed by God to change the world by sharing the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Donnie Hatcher