Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in Christ! By now you’re probably aware of the COVID-19 virus and its arrival in our county. I’m sure your minds have been working hard to determine what this means for you as an individual or as a family. Some aspects of the situation are uncertain. But God knows. This is still very much his world and we trust his hand in this time.

We recommend you read and listen to material from the CDC and the WHO regarding the latest updates on a national and global level. We, the elders, want to emphasize that the adjustments we are making at Emmaus Road Church and this statement are not a means to promote or spread panic. We just want to be informed and responsible. We have been following the situation closely and are taking our cues from local, State and National medical professionals as well as leadership within Sovereign Grace Churches. We’ve received wise counsel as to the best way to lead our church body through this.

For starters, we are not participating in the Lord’s Supper for the time being. We are also asking people to bring their own coffee to church so that we aren’t all handling the coffee station. We are canceling kids’ church until further notice. Please don’t hug or shake hands. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick or getting sick.

Lastly, please be ready to be very flexible as more changes may be coming.

Should we deem it wise, we will temporarily switch to an online platform for streaming weekly sermons and other updates. We encourage you to join our Facebook Page and Youtube Channel.

At this time, we are still holding Community Groups with basic precautions in place to ensure safety for all who attend.

Here are a few important ways to chart a path forward during this time:

We want to be people of prayer

Philippians 4:6–7
[6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Church, let this time take you to your knees before our God. He hears. He knows. He answers our prayers according to his perfect will. Pray that the virus would be slowed or stopped with minimal illnesses. Pray for our county, state, and national leaders – that God would grant them wisdom to lead people and address the situation. And pray for our hearts. We don’t want to be people known for anxiety. We want to be people whose hearts are guarded by God in Jesus Christ.

We want to be people of the Bible

Colossians 3:16
[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (ESV)

Church, let’s take this time to draw closer to our God through his word. He has given this great gift, the Bible, where we find comfort, assurance, and salvation. Husbands and wives, read together. Families, read with your children. Singles, read in rich solitude or in small groups. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

We want to be people known for our love

Galatians 5:14
[14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV)

Church, let’s take this time as an opportunity to love our neighbors and city well. First, this means to offer real hope through the gospel as you interact with your neighbors and community. God may be pleased to reach people for salvation in this time. Loving our neighbors also means we should work hard to slow or stop the spread of this virus by limiting physical contact with others outside of our households. While you or I personally may not be at high risk to develop serious illness, we could easily pass the virus on to others who are vulnerable. Additionally, by slowing the spread of the virus, we are helping prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Loving our neighbors in this case also means paying attention to and following the guidelines and recommendations of our regional and national governments (Romans 13). God has burdened them to lead at their levels and we are called to honor them.

We want to look back on this time as a time when our church both trusted God in his goodness and sovereignty and as a time when we sought to be wise according to his command to be loving. Thank you for being flexible. Please stand by for further updates!

Warmly in Christ,

David and Joel