Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus our Christ.
As I hope you are aware, church leadership has been considering best practices and plans for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our community. Out of an abundance of caution regarding the rapid spread of the virus, and the awareness of the average age and risk of our particular community, the Hillside Board of Directors, in consultation with staff and with the affirmation of the Circle of Elders, has made the decision in a meeting this afternoon, to suspend in-person church activities, including worship, for the next 2 weeks. This means, classes, groups and meetings are postponed through March 27th at this time.
Leading the discussion was the overall concern for the well being for vulnerable members of our congregation, based on our faithful understanding to care for our neighbors. State and Federal declaration of a state of emergency, as well as recommendations from federal and global health organizations have also been influential and helpful in coming to this decision.
While there are no current positive cases of COVID-19 in Platte or Clay counties, waiting for positive cases may be too late to help stem the spread of the virus in our community.
We are preparing for live streaming of worship experiences for these 2 Sundays, on Facebook and our YouTube channel, and start checking the Hillside website for more online connections soon during this time.
While we will not be together in person, our bonds of faith and fellowship remain strong. We will record sermons and other worship resources and you can access them each week if you cannot join us live. Please be sure to open all emails and check in on Facebook (if you have it) for additional notices and information.
I ask you to be diligent in prayer for our church families and their extended families, our city, state, nation, our leaders, and all healthcare workers. This is not a time for panic or a doomsday mindset. It is a time for intercession, good and proactive decisions, extreme caution, and perseverance. Together, from our homes, we will weather this storm, sustained by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Comfort and assurance,
Rev. Andy Beck