As I write this article, the State of Illinois has 160 confirmed cases and 1 person has died. There are 1,500 tests being performed in our State right now. So, we still don’t know how high the number will rise, but it will rise. As of Monday, the Centers for Disease Control says the number of total cases in the U.S. stands at 4,226 with a total of 75 deaths. The COVID-19 virus has touched just about every aspect of our daily lives. Restaurants, bars, shops, movie theaters, and businesses are being shut-down. However, many franchises have expanded carry-out services. Hospitals around the country are limiting the number of visitors or not allowing visitors altogether. Unfortunately, churches are feeling the effects as well. The majority of churches have shut their doors and have gone to online services. Yesterday, at the direction of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, the Deacons and I made the decision to suspend all worship services for the next 15 days. While we are hopeful this will be a short-term problem, we realize it could continue well into April. As your pastor, I want our church to do several things while we wait for clearance to begin coming together again in worship:
1. Pray every day for our leaders and nation.
2. Use common sense: wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
3. Join us on Facebook at 10:00 a.m. for Sunday morning worship. Brian is working on making streaming available on our church website.
4. Check on the elderly around you by phone. Check to see if they need anything.
5. Please don’t forget your tithe to the church.
6. Pray for the safety of our church membership.
7. Pray that we will soon be able to worship together again.