As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads across the United States here is an example of how an EFCA Church in the North Central District of Minnesota responded to the situation. Services were canceled and moved online. In addition Constance Free Church stressed the importance of financial giving. In my view that is stressed more than it should. Especially with all the issues playing out right now.
“They certainly give very strange names to diseases.“
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is [e]desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
Acts 8:26-29 NKJV
Many EFCA churches are being affected by the COVID-19 medical crisis. In the North Central District of Minnesota this is how Constance Free Church is responding to this pandemic. Randy Discher, Sean McDowell, and Randy Ahlberg lead this EFCA Church. The next two Sunday services are canceled and will be online and they think that it will be back to business as usual in time for Easter. In addition to speaking about the unique situation that exists Constance church also stressed for people to continue to give. To be honest I find that a little troubling especially in light of the larger threats and the potential loss of life that exists. Money should be a lesser issue especially with all that is going on right now. Below you can see what is posted on the website.
Just like you, we’ve been closely tracking developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor’s office and the Minnesota Department of Health recommended the postponing or cancelling of gatherings larger than 250 people and social distancing in groups less than 250 people. We want to do our part to slow the virus, not out of fear, but out of love. So we have cancelled all on-campus programming through Saturday, March 28. We will reevaluate the following weeks based on official guidelines.
We are so grateful for the technology already available to us. We will have ONLINE ONLY worship experiences at 9:00am and 10:45am on Sunday, March 15 and 22. Visit constancefree.org/live at either of those times to join us.
This is a unique time, and we are praying you would use these moments to their fullest – to seek God, be a good neighbor, and use wisdom in your decisions as a reflection of Christ. God invites us to not be anxious about anything, but instead to pray (Phil. 4:6-7). So let’s pray for those suffering from the virus, for our health care workers and our government leaders.
Let’s also stay in touch with each other, caring for and praying for one another, as a church community. Please submit your prayer requests online as we pray for you. If you have needs or know someone who has needs during this time, please reach out to our church office (763) 434-5995.
And please remain faithful in your giving. Even during this two-week closure, much of our ministry expenses and missionary support to others here, near and far remain the same. In fact, we will have increased needs and opportunities in our community to help show and share the love of Jesus. The ministry of Constance happens because of the generous people of our church, and this is a time when online giving can be even more important. We urge you to consider signing up for regular online giving if you have not already done so.
Things are changing so quickly right now. We will continue to use our website, eNews, and social media to communicate any changes as necessary.
Thanks for being a part of the Constance family!
Despite that this blog hopes that the people at Constance will be safe during this time of uncertainty.