Dear Church Family,
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Lee expanded his previous state of emergency declaration with an updated statement “strongly discouraging” gatherings in the state of Tennessee numbering more than 250 people. He also urged congregations throughout the state to “consider alternatives to traditional services by utilizing livestreams, pre-recorded messages and other electronic means.”
Also yesterday afternoon, the President of the United States declared Sunday, March 15th to be a National Day of Prayer in response to the growing Coronavirus pandemic in our country and around the world. After prayer and discussion in a specially-called meeting last evening, the Elders of our church have decided to support both of these requests from our Governor and our President.
Therefore, we WILL NOT be holding our regularly scheduled services or groups or ABFs at West Park this Sunday, but will provide a livestream worship service available on West Park’s Facebook page at 11:00am that will focus on prayer to God on behalf of our nation, community and congregation. This service will also be recorded and made available on our website on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, this is an unprecedented event for our congregation, but these are also unprecedented times for our nation and community. The danger to the health of countless individuals through this incredibly contagious and dangerous virus is incalculable. Responding in love to the most vulnerable members of our congregation and community by “SOCIALLY DISTANCING” while we are at the same time “SPIRITUALLY CONNECTING” in prayer, is a response we believe best expresses our Biblical vision as a church to LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, IMPACT THE WORLD.
You will find a Prayer Guide attached to this email that will assist you and your household members in participating more actively during the service on Sunday. Members of our staff and our Elder team will lead us in united prayer times during this special service. What a powerful moment of unity and focus for us as a church family! I do hope you will make every effort to participate in the livestream service at 11:00am on Sunday morning or by viewing the recording of the service available on the church website on Sunday afternoon.
Please know how grateful the Elders of West Park truly are for your understanding and cooperative spirit as we seek to respond in a loving and godly manner to the challenges and opportunities this unfolding health crisis brings. By the grace of God, we are committed to sharing in word and deed the love of Christ to the most vulnerable of our congregation and community. Please pray for us. We will be continue to update you regarding plans over the coming days.
Yours in Christ,
Coronavirus Prayer Guide
March 15, 2020