As you all are aware of the state of the nation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Supt. Ben Tolly has issued the statement below. Through the end of March, there will be no services* held; however, we will broadcast Sunday worship services at 10:30 a.m. ONLINE ONLY through Facebook live, and sermons will also be available on Apple podcast.
*includes Sunday School, Bible-quizzing, Celebrate Recovery, Roots, Women’s Tuesday Bible Study
The Mystery Dinner Theatre to be held March 20-21 has been postponed until further notice.
From Supt. Ben…
FMCUSA and Gateway Conference leadership have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as it has moved across our nation. After discussion with Bishop Cowart, the Gateway Board of Administration chair, Madison County Health, Gateway District Leaders and pastors of our largest congregations, I have come to the following conclusion. The well-being of our communities and churches requires an unprecedented action by us at this time. Therefore, I am suspending all public worship services at our Gateway churches effective immediately until March 31, 2020. In doing so, we will join statewide efforts to mitigate exposure during what is believed to be the peak risk in our area. It is our hope that by that date the worst of this virus will have passed and we can turn our attention to celebrating Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday Services.
I request that local BOA and ministry teams utilize conference calls or zoom meetings to plan how best to continue to serve worship and ministry needs through technology and small interactions. To this end, a webinar is being offered to the first 500 pastors for free through our friends at Mission Igniter on Monday. See the forwarded e-mail pertaining to this event that will come soon to your inbox.
Please encourage your members to continue to give toward the Lord’s work through your church as bills will still come in and ministers and staff will still need paychecks. This quarantine situation is temporary. It is up to all of us to keep a temporary occurrence from causing a long-lasting financial hardship.
As the CDC, State and local governments update, we will also. I will confer with our leadership and act on any new information accordingly.
Let us continue to be the church, albeit in a different temporary form. Continue to love, serve and reach. The Lord is with us and we will move through these days with God’s grace and mercy.