Updates & Statement on COVID-19
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
Psalm 91:5-7, 10-11
"Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you...
9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter
10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go."
(Statement as of 5/1/2020)
As of May 1, 2020, the governor of the state of Georgia has lifted the "shelter in place" on all counties in the state of Georgia. While we are very excited and looking forward to things "returning to normal" our Pastors and leadership team have decided to continue to meet online only until the end of May 2020.
We are tentatively looking at a Sunday, June 7, 2020 return to "in-person" and online meetings, however we are constantly monitoring the situation and will adjust accordingly should we feel the need to do so.
Be assured that your safety, health and that of your family is our top priority and we are covering every decision and plan in prayer and wisdom. In the meantime, don't forget to stay connected and plugged in:
- Feed your Faith - Say NO to fear!
- Stay Connected - Via Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Vimeo!
- Serve - Look for ways to be a blessing to your neighbors, friends, family, essential employees and frontline workers!
- Give - Continue to give and tithe online - www.lifeway.church/give
- Think commUNITY - plan hangouts with Lifegroups online, by phone or in groups of 10 or less (provided you are following the guidelines set forth by local, state and federal government.)
(Statement as of 3/18/2020)
With the issuance of the President's Coronavirus 15 day guidelines on Monday 3/16 we have decided to move Lifeway Church to an online format this coming Sunday. Meaning the church will be open but the building will be closed for now. We will be reviewing the situation daily and will be connecting more and more through social media to keep you informed and minister to your needs. We continue to pray for our leaders that they would lead us in wisdom and in safety, so we honor our President's decision to implement the 15 day guidelines that states "avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people".
Beginning on Monday we began to send out short video devotionals through social media to continue to feed our Lifeway family faith during this challenging time. And we are asking you to do 5 things:
- Feed your Faith - Say NO to fear
- Stay Connected - Live Stream with us!
- Serve - Look for ways to be a blessing
- Give - Continue to give and tithe online - www.lifeway.church/give
- Think LifeGroups - meet online, by phone or in groups of 10 or less (provided you are following the Presidential 15 day guidelines)
(Statement as of 3/12/2020)
We realize that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a worldwide concern and is on everyone's minds. While it's good to stay informed, don't allow the overabundance of media reports (which are sometimes confusing and/or contradictory) to create fear in your heart. In times like these, we as believers are to stay anchored in the truth of God's Word so that our fearless faith speaks to those around us. We are continuing to monitor the situation daily and we will follow recommendations from federal, state and local government agencies, should they be given.
Currently, we are planning to hold our regularly scheduled services and meetings at Lifeway Church and we want to assure you that we are committed to offering a clean and safe environment. Our facilities team regularly and thoroughly cleans our buildings -- giving special attention to surfaces that are commonly used and touched. In addition, hand soap is available in the bathrooms and we have a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes available for use at every meeting and service. (read more details below)
As a general rule, if you have a fever and are not feeling well, online viewing is the perfect way to be part of the church. You can watch our Sunday morning live services online at: https://vimeo.com/lifewaychurch or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lifewaychurch/
HERE’S WHAT WE’RE DOING AS A CHURCH
- TRUSTING GOD: It is important to keep perspective and not panic. No matter how dire circumstances get, the Lord remains our refuge and strength, “an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
- PRAYING: We are praying for the sick, for public health officials, for doctors and nurses, for researchers, and for caregivers. As Christians, we believe prayer has power, and prayer changes things.
- STAYING INFORMED: The media is aflame with daily updates (sometimes confusing and/or contradictory). We’re following a reliable list of information for educational, planning and management purposes.
- CDC on COVID-19: The US Center for Disease Control’s up-to-date resources on coronavirus.
- CDC Resources for Community and Faith-Based Organizations: The CDC has also created resources specifically for faith-based organizations to respond to influenza pandemic, which are applicable in this situation. As a church, we’re implementing this guidance.
- Managing Anxiety Around Coronavirus Coverage: The American Psychological Association created this resource to help manage anxiety around coverage of COVID-19.
- Addressing Mental Health Issues: This resource from the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network provides guidelines for addressing mental health issues that may arise, and offers advice for messaging, including among children, older adults, people with disabilities, and those in quarantine.
- PREPARING: Because COVID-19 likely spreads like the cold and the flu, personal hygiene is very important among staff, volunteers, and participants in our services and those attending events on our church grounds (washing hands, avoiding contact with the sick, staying home if you’re sick, and so on). Our facilities team regularly and thoroughly cleans our buildings. In addition to additional cleaning measures, hand soap is available in the bathrooms and we have a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes available for use at every meeting and service. We’re also implementing CDC recommendations on our routine cleaning practices to include all frequently touched surfaces in workplaces, restrooms, and nurseries, including workstations, countertops, doorknobs, and toys in our kids areas. In addition to these practical steps, we’re also doing the following:
- We’ve established weekly communication with our staff and leadership reviewing all of our efforts in response to COVID-19.
- We’re in direct communication with local public health officials and staying aware of local, state and federal recommendations.
- We’re reviewing all of our communication practices with the congregation and implementing appropriate communication when appropriate – like this webpage and live streaming service.
- We’re adjusting our greeting practices in our meeting time and encouraging everyone to smile, wave, air-fist bump and air-five as a preferred greetings over handshake or other common physical greetings.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Pray for our community and those directly affected by COVID-19. Pray for the health care workers that are treating the sick and those public health administrators making difficult decisions. Pray that God would protect our community from further spread of the virus.
- Reflect Christ. In these anxious days, the body of Christ can shine as a light of hope, strength, faith, and peace . We can demonstrate for the world how our faith provides true assurance against worry and fear. Don't panic, and don't fear!
- Practice recommended personal hygiene:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are not feeling well.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your forearm when coughing and sneezing.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time. Use soap and water when possible.
- If no soap and water are available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Stay home if you’re sick and enjoy our service online on Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo!
- We encourage you to prepare now for any potential issues with supply chains or in the event of any spread or unexpected quarantines. We recommend you prepare by doing the following:
- Be sure to refill your important prescription medicines and keep extra medication and medical supplies on hand.
- Keep 14-21 days of essentials on hand - things like disinfectants, water, paper products and non-perishable food.