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RFC CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (3-16-20)
The last several days have seen dramatic changes. It’s like we are moving very fast and at the same time, it seems like last Monday was months ago.
Here’s where we are now.
Therefore, the elders of RFC have canceled the following ministries until further notice:
Live Streaming the Worship Service?
Some of you may be asking if we will live stream a worship service on the internet on Sunday Mornings. We are certainly sympathetic to the desire that might prompt this question. Missing the Sunday gathering for the next several weeks is extremely undesirable. It’s heartbreaking to not gather together as a church family to read the Word, pray, sing together, hear the Word preached, take the Lord’s Supper and enjoy meaningful conversation together. We can’t do this and it hurts.
But we also can’t reproduce this. It’s not something that we can do by means of a sermon or singing with just Erik and Andrew.
There is something much more important and profound that is happening when we gather together as embodied creatures indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus dwells with his people as the church gathers together in one location. It’s profound.
And it’s too precious to attempt to reproduce.
But the desire for connection and spiritual nourishment. This is something that I think we can attempt to address.
Daily Connection & Videos
We will be sharing short videos that are devotional and informational. We’ll consider Scriptures, make application, and provide instructions for how we can faithfully be the church while being effectively quarantined.
This is a significant challenge. Every day we are surprised. But, we can be sure that God himself is not surprised.
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RFC CORONAVIRUS UPDATE (3-13-20)
This morning the RFC elders decided to heed the Massachusetts Department of Health’s recommendation and postpone our Sunday gathering. This applies to all activities at the church for Sunday, March 15.
Over the last 48 hours we have seen a flurry of updates in our community. Universities, schools, and museums have closed. Major sports events have been postponed. The mayor of Boston has restricted meeting in public buildings to less than 25 people. And like us, many other like-minded churches in our area have decided not to meet this week.
There is simply too much we don’t know. And in the interest of love and in the pursuit of wisdom, the elders believe this is the right decision at this time. We will evaluate again next week as we get more information. Let’s simply receive the recommendation from the Mass. Department of Health and heed it for our good and the good of others.
Our thinking as elders accords well with a pastor's reflections during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918:
“The fact that the churches were places of religious gathering, and the others not, would not affect in the least the health question involved. If avoiding crowds lessens the danger of being infected, it was wise to take the precaution and not needlessly run in danger, and expect God to protect us.”
In times of emergency such as this, we understand that it’s not a sin to not meet as a church. We are not disobeying Hebrews 10:24–25 in these unique circumstances.
A few other logistical items to consider:
Fellowship Groups may continue to meet at the leader’s discretion. Do be sure to follow previous safety guidelines and considerations for meetings.
The next few weeks may prove to be a financial hardship for those whose jobs will be affected. If you are in need of assistance, please contact the church office and we can set up a meeting to discuss helping from our benevolence fund (firstname.lastname@example.org).
During this time, we encourage you to not pause your giving. The need for gospel ministry and mercy continues even if traffic and commerce slow down. In fact, if the Lord has blessed you such that you have the means to increase your giving at this time, it would be a significant help to the church. If you have set up automatic giving, this break should not affect you. But if you typically deposit your offering in the box on Sundays, we encourage you to consider making your offerings online HERE or setting up auto-payments through your bank. If you have any questions about this, contact elder and church treasurer Lay Tan (email@example.com).
While the church is closed to public services this week (and if necessary in the weeks to come), we will not be streaming services online. Let us use any absence of gathering as an exceptional time under the hand of God, to reflect on our own life, our church, our community, to pray for the sick and medical professionals, to help where we can, and to rest.
We will be in touch next week, dear church family.
"'Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!' The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:10–11).