Dear Church Family,
With the ever-growing concern, world-wide and at home, regarding the coronavirus, I wanted to reach out to you and inform you of our response to this pandemic. First, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul; (2 Timothy 1:7) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Secondly, let us exercise “wisdom.” (Proverbs 2:6) “For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Many churches, sports’ venues and other public gatherings are suspending events until further notice. Here at Cross View, we care deeply about your spiritual edification and your physical safety. After much thought and prayer, we have decided to move our services exclusively to online streaming for at least the next two weeks.
A few events have taken place that make this seem, at this point, like the only responsible decision:
– First, I have personally talked to the State Health Board and their recommendation was to suspend our services.
– Second, I talked to a research doctor at U.T. Medical Center in Houston, and he said we should take every precaution possible, especially those with underlying health issues.
– Third, all of our local public schools and universities have closed for at least the next two weeks.
– Fourth, several churches in town have now announced their intention to cancel services. After talking with other pastors in the area, I expect more will announce similar decisions soon.
Christians should never be motivated by fear, not when we serve the Sovereign Lord of the Universe. But there’s a crucial difference between fear and prudence. In this case love for our neighbors compels us to join our nation’s extraordinary efforts to minimize contact between people in order to slow the spread of this virus and “flatten the curve” of the pandemic.
We are not cancelling our services because we ourselves, as Christians, are afraid to get sick or even afraid to die. God forbid! “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Rather, we are cancelling because we believe it is imperative for us to be a part of our society’s response to this virus that, at best, will be serious for the most vulnerable, and, at worst, could put even more people at risk by creating a severe and sudden spike in demand on our health care system. So, don’t be afraid or fearful, read God’s Word, remember God’s promises, help those who are needy, and trust in the Lord. He is sovereign over all, and he loves you dearly.
Now let me give you some more information in a few categories:
LIVESTREAM OF CROSS VIEW’S SERVICES
As long as these circumstances persist, we will be livestreaming Cross View’s morning service on Sunday at 10:45am at this link. You can also easily find it by going to our Facebook page or the church website www.cvbaptistchurch.com. Our plan is for the church staff, a small group of singers, musicians and the tech team to gather at the building and conduct the service more-or-less as usual. Please gather with your family and participate with us. Please do not come to the church building for the services unless you are specifically requested to attend. This is important. Even if you are quite convinced that all this is “nothing to worry about” or “overblown” or “fake news,” or even if you feel that conscience compels you to come. We’ll be happy to talk with you over the phone about your concerns, but please do not come.
Until further notice, all Cross View Sunday School classes, Bible Studies, Children and Youth events, and other events are cancelled. Any groups larger than ten people will not gather at the church building. The only exception will be for the minimum number of people it will take to livestream our worship service.
We need your help on this. I’m advised that almost all of our church’s giving is done through physical checks and cash that are placed in offering plates each Sunday. If you are one who normally gives by check or cash, please begin to give through our online giving platform. There is a fee of about 3% that the church has to pay for each online donation. So, if you give a large amount, it would be best to mail it or bring it by the church office.
One of the most important things we can do is continue to communicate with one another through these next couple of weeks. Official church communication will take place by email and Facebook. We will do our best to contact church members who do not have access to email or Facebook.
CARE FOR EACH OTHER
The staff will be discussing ways we can be in touch with one another and care for each other as a church. By far the best way for that to happen, however, is to remain in close contact with the members of your Sunday school group. Set up text threads or Facebook pages if you haven’t already, check in on one another, and meet needs as you are able. Please make it a point to check in with the elderly members of our church family.
Thank you again for your help and understanding in these matters. These are not easy decisions, but we think they are the best way for us to love our neighbor in a critical time. And again, just like we’ve said before, don’t be fearful about this. Be prudent and wise, but not afraid; there’s a profound difference between the two. The fact is, this fallen world has always been a dangerous place. We as Christians know this, we have always known this, the Bible teaches us to expect this, and there is a wonderful fear-conquering confidence in knowing that our God is sovereign over it all. So, let’s live our lives, let’s be wise and careful, and at the same time, let’s rest in the hands of our sovereign Lord. Please do reach out if you have questions or for any other reason.