COVID-19 PROTOCOL
 

Dear College Hill Family,

Last night at our monthly meeting, your Session made the difficult decision to cancel all church activities, including corporate worship, indefinitely. All things considered, we concluded that this is the wisest course of action at this time.

First, we want to obey Jesus’ command to love our neighbor. I was recently reminded that “The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies and lawful endeavors to preserve the life of ourselves and others by…avoiding all occasions and practices which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any” (WLC 135). Our government and health agencies have advised that, during this unique time, gathering in groups larger than 10 people is an occasion and practice that could tend to the more rapid spread of this virus, threatening the well-being of our neighbors. We do not want to contribute to that.

We do want to be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1) as far as our consciences before God will permit. In short, as people whose citizenship is in heaven, we want to be the best citizens on earth with an eye single to God’s glory and the good of our neighbor. We’ve concluded that this painful decision is what best enables us to do that during this highly unique time.

Our plan for the foreseeable future is to upload a video to our website each Sunday morning in which I will lead us through a liturgy nearly identical to our regular Sunday morning worship. We strongly encourage you to follow along with this in your homes until we resume corporate worship. Specifics concerning how and when to access the video are forthcoming. We are also working on a means by which you can make your financial contributions to the church online and we will continue to receive contributions via snail mail.

As always, if you or a fellow member have any needs (grocery or prescription pickup/delivery, etc.) please do not hesitate to call (662-234-5020) or email (colghill@bellsouth.net) the church. We are ready and happy to serve you in these ways. Continue to reach out to one another via phone call, text, even social media – these means of connection can be a great comfort and encouragement during a time like this. Please also seek to practically love and serve your neighbors as you have opportunity.

Finally, please continue to pray: for the spread of this virus to slow; for those infected to recover; for wisdom and stamina for doctors and nurses; for a cure/vaccine; for God to use this virus to turn people’s eyes toward Christ as it threatens their shaky foundations (Matt. 7:24ff.); and for grace to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12) – something we can do in light of the sure and certain hope of glory that is ours in the risen and reigning Christ.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his book Life Together, “It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word and sacrament. Not all Christians receive this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands stand alone.” We’re getting an unwelcome taste of what it’s like to be “the scattered lonely.” So let’s also pray that our temporary deprivation of this blessing would make us (and all of God’s people) value it all the more in the wake of this pandemic.

Eagerly, tearfully, and hopefully looking forward to seeing you soon,

Justin, on behalf of the Session