Dear Hope Family,
On behalf of the elders and staff, I want to update you regarding our plans for leading Hope Church through the potential impact of the coronavirus on our Mason Plus community.
What We're Doing Now
- Per Governor DeWine’s press conference, we are canceling all Sunday morning activities for the foreseeable future. This is a challenging decision, but we hope that by doing this we will play our part in mitigating the continuing spread of this virus.
- Beginning Friday, March 13 at 5:00 PM all building activities will be canceled until the end of the month. We will reassess over the coming weeks and give you an update on Friday, March 27 as to whether we will reopen on April 1.
What We're Preparing to Do
- We are carrying on This Is the Story through our daily readings in our journals. Though the campus will be closed, we will be taping the sermon, and making it available at 10:00 AM this Sunday morning through Hope’s website (click here). Please plan on following along!
- Leadership will be gathering on Monday to discuss specific plans for how to shepherd Hope Church during this uncertain time while our ministries are suspended. We know that life is going to look different for all of us for a season, but we are eager to remain connected as a church family, to keep growing spiritually, and to keep following God’s direction as we live on mission. Look for an update from us next week.
A Faith Perspective
A virus like this is alarming. The germs are unseen, and the spread is global. When we feel threatened, we scramble to prepare, and we’re easily scrambled internally with fear and anxiety. The blitz of 24-hour news channels generally fans the flame.
: Are we as Christians to respond any differently
than our neighbors and co-workers who don’t know King Jesus?
From a medical perspective, no.
It is wise to follow all the protocols our health officials are recommending. And if you are over 60 and have compromised health, we would recommend that you stay home and avoid broad public exposure.
From a spiritual perspective, yes.
I find the timing of this outbreak fascinating as we are making our way through the
story of the Bible. We have had weeks of preparation. We are ready to practice. God is
bigger than anything. The world is His creation and is sustained by His hand. He is the provider. He is the healer. And He is busy in the good times and in the hard.
As people of faith, we are right to take precautions, but we must rest in the confidence that our Sovereign God remains enthroned even though we are facing circumstances that have us thrown. God is never thrown. He has never had an anxious moment. He is a rock. Steady. Anchored. What confuses us, is somehow this is a part of His eternal plan. As our weekly
summary reminds us,
“God is still unfolding His purposes.”
One of His purposes for plagues throughout Biblical history is to mercifully remind humanity of its limitation and inadequacy, and its need for Him. This
is a pivotal global moment. So, might the fervency of our prayers increase that God would bring future disciples into His Kingdom. When we are leveled, brought to our knees by challenges in life, we are not far from crying out to the living God who is able and eager to save. May we find many new
siblings in Christ on the other end of this crisis.
And finally, Hope Church’s vision is to equip one another to embrace God’s mission in His world where we live, work, and play. This is a great moment to be numbered among God’s people, and a great moment to
be the Church scattered. May you, in your every interaction, offer the calm, anchored resolve of an adopted child of God. People around you are very anxious. You can be a source of peace. Not because you have no anxiety, but because you are bringing your anxiety before the throne daily and trusting the King to guide and direct as He sees fit. You know who you are because you know
whose you are. And you know Christ’s cross and resurrection has secured life in heaven and eternity in a new creation.
So, let’s be thoughtful about our health, prayerful about our world, and hopeful that God might be busy in and through us for His glory and the lasting joy of those around us. I love you. Know that I am praying for you all daily.