March 20, 2020 Update
Our facilities and events continue to be canceled until further notice.
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March 14, 2020 Update II
March 14, 2020 Update
Dear Lawndale Family:
Greetings in the strong Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Session, after assessing the COVID-19 situation and reviewing best practices for how to limit its spread, has made the decision to cancel Sunday School and worship for this Sunday. This step goes further than the current recommendation from the Mississippi State Health Department but is in agreement with other sound advice. Studies show that if a community can get ahead of an epidemic by taking serious measures, such as cancelling large gatherings of people, this will dramatically reduce the number of cases, keep hospitals from becoming over-burdened, and ultimately save many lives.
So, the reason for taking this further measure is love for neighbor. As a church body we want to do all we can to protect the most vulnerable around us and to assist our medical community as they prepare for the novel coronavirus’s arrival to our area.
The Session will reassess the state of affairs each week to make a decision about the next Sunday’s meetings. It is possible that this situation will continue for several weeks or more. Nevertheless, small groups may continue to gather if those groups decide to do so and if they follow the recommended guidelines for personal protection.
All this leads me to reflect again on Romans 8, that “in Christ” we really are safe and secure as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. Remember that wonderful question: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Such a loving God will surely hold us tightly and work out his good purposes in our lives in the midst of any and every trial, including a pandemic.
This Sunday I’m preaching on Luke 9.28-36, Jesus’ Transfiguration. Even though we aren’t meeting this Sunday, this sermon will be available on our website during the worship service hour if you’d like to make use of it. It’s such a reassuring scene, that Jesus strengthens the faith of his core disciples, who are confused and anxious, with a beautiful preview of his true Glory. We do suffer now, but we suffer knowing we already belong to that Glory because we’re already “in Christ.” So, let me encourage you to gather for family worship and pray for God’s deliverance and healing upon our hurting world. And, even more, let’s pray that God use this manifestation of the Fall to turn many hearts to Christ, his gracious remedy for our most serious illness. You may want to use Psalm 91 in these prayers: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
Grace and peace to you all!
With Christian Affection,
March 13, 2020 Update
Members and Staff of Lawndale Presbyterian Church:
In response to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, the Session wanted to update you about the following:
- Sunday School and Worship for March 15 will meet as regularly scheduled with the formerly recommended attendance guidelines in mind. We hope to see as many of you at worship as possible, but we understand if you are not able to make it. Thank you for being considerate of the rest of the congregation, especially if you have not been feeling well or if you have reason to believe you've been exposed to the virus. Click here or scroll down to read the original advisory from March 7.
- Wednesday evening activities through March 31 are suspended.
- The following events are postponed: Church-Wide Cleaning Day, Make and Take Cooking Class, and Primitive Campout.
- We encourage small group bible studies like SNYF, Lawndale Ladies, men’s groups, etc to be held virtually (FaceTime, Facebook Group Messenger Chat, Zoom, etc), but will leave it up to the group leaders and host homes to decide what is best for their particular group.
Let us continue to be in prayer for those impacted by this virus, for those serving the sick, for God’s protection and provision, and that the spread of the Gospel will increase during this time. Look for those opportunities to love and serve our neighbor, especially those who may be quarantined. Lastly, remember our true source of protection … “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
We will post further updates to this page as the situation continues to evolve.
The Session of Lawndale Presbyterian Church
Members and Staff of Lawndale Presbyterian Church:
Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) continues to spread. It is thought to be highly contagious and does so person to person (cough, sneeze as mucoid droplets). It can also spread from contaminated surfaces by hand to face and contact with mucous membranes. Although there are no known cases in Mississippi as of March 6, this is expected to change.
Out of an abundance of caution and following the best practices from the CDC , the Session asks you to consider the following recommendations to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19:
- If you or any family member feels ill especially with fever, cough, congestion, or sneezing, please do not attend any church function. If you become ill while at church, please leave immediately. Phone your health care provider and discuss your situation. They should have recommendations about what tests you may need and how to be tested.
- If you and the family feel well, but there is a possibility you could have been exposed to COVID-19 (visited an area with known cases, work in healthcare field, traveled through an airport, vacationed on a cruise ship, attended a conference or large gathering in a city with known cases, or visited a nursing home) then we recommend that you do not attend any church function for 14 days after the exposure. It is thought that the virus can be spread before people become symptomatic and has an incubation that may be as long as 14 days. The highest contagiousness is during the symptomatic phase.
- If you feel well and have no known possible exposure, avoid shaking hands or having close contact (hugs.)
- Follow good handwashing (20 seconds minimum with soap and water) or use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol gels) after contact with another person. We have hand sanitizers throughout the church, as well as at the entrance to the sanctuary.
Our ushers will not be shaking hands, and we will not be shaking hands during our greeting time. In addition, we have temporarily suspended communion until the risk has significantly diminished.
Finally, let us be in prayer for those impacted by this virus, for those serving the sick, for God’s protection and provision, and that the spread of the Gospel will increase during this time. Most importantly, let us remember our true source of protection … “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Session of Lawndale Presbyterian Church