GracePointe & COVID-19

Dear GracePointe Family,
I am sure by now you are aware of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation unfolding around the world. Like you, we are continuing to pray for those affected, and we also want to let you know how we are thinking through this situation and the impact it may have on our church body in the weeks (and potentially months) to come.

First, a reminder that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1)—whether spiritual, financial, emotional, relational, or physical. This is crucial to keep at the forefront of our hearts amidst the unfolding outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in our country. Our God reigns, and nothing happens outside his loving, wise, and good sovereign reach—even disease and death (Dt. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 1:20-21; Jm. 4:13-16).

Cultivating a Godward perspective grounds our hope and gives us confident poise as we seek to be wise (Jm. 1:5-6; Mt. 10:16) amidst a world subjected to futility, longing to be set free from its corruption (Rom. 8:20). Therefore, we will not fear (Isa. 41:10). This is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last (e.g., H1N1/Swine flu, Avian flu, Ebola, MERS, SARS) until the Lord ushers in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1-4).

With that said, we must find the wisest, most prudential path forward when faced with these situations. As your pastors, our purpose now is to let you know that we are thinking ahead about ways we can mitigate the spread of illness during our weekly public gatherings, and to ask for your help in a couple of ways:

#1 PRAY:
Any reminder of our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and brevity of life (Jm. 4:14), is good for our souls (Ps. 119:67,71). It reminds us that we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19). It reminds us that our lives are found in Him (Phil. 3:9). It reminds us where our true and lasting treasure is found (Phil. 1:21; Mt. 13:44, 45-46) and to fervently pray for ourselves, and others, with these mega-realities in view.

#2 GATHERINGS:
For 2000 years, the church has gathered together during the most difficult of seasons. It is the church that is tasked with the privilege of displaying to the world what it looks like when a people hope and trust in a sovereign God rather than themselves. We encourage you to continue to gather with the church body both formally and informally whenever possible.

That said, James City County has recently reported the largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Virginia and all schools are closing for the next couple of weeks.  As your pastors, it is our responsibility to do what we believe is best for the well-being of the people that God has put under our leadership.

At this time, it is our belief that it is best if we do not gather corporately at Greenwood Christian Academy this Sunday, March 15.  It is our intent to broadcast the service via the GracePointe Facebook page live feed as we do each week.  We encourage you to take advantage of this option to participate in the service. Please reach out to us if you need assistance in connecting.  Although we know this is not a direct replacement for our corporate gathering, it is a way that we can agree together in prayer and teaching of God’s word.

We will re-assess the situation in the coming week with the information available to us to determine if we will come together for our corporate gathering on Sunday, March 22 and we will communicate regularly with you on our plans.

We will be in communication with our community group leaders to determine what is best for those gatherings.  Meetings will be at the discretion of group leaders and hosts and they will communicate directly with those in their groups.

We believe the current circumstances may limit the participation of our partners in our quarterly meeting that was scheduled for Sunday, March 15.  For that reason, we will postpone it until a date in the (hopefully) near future.  We believe this is an important family meeting, so it’s important that we do it at a time when most of our partners are able to attend.

When we do resume our corporate gatherings, we will be taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of those who attend.

#3 SANITATION:
In order to help prevent the potential spread of illness, we will have hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. We will also be making extra efforts to wipe down and sanitize hard surfaces before and after services. Please make an effort to wash your hands and sanitize regularly. Medical experts advise that handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and others from disease-causing microbes.

#4 GRACEPOINTE KIDS:
We will be taking extra measures within the GracePointe Kids classrooms to wipe down hard surfaces (handles, toys, dispensers, etc.) before, during, and after our gatherings.

#5 COMMUNION:
We will be providing an additional communion option, for those uncomfortable using open cups and bread. Each communion tray will have sealed wafer/juice communion packs to partake of if you would like.

#6 CAUTION:
People who are at higher risk of illness may want to consider ways to lower their risk of infection by limiting contact with crowds, including those: (1) over 60 years old, or (2) with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, or (3) with weakened immune systems. If you, or a family member, have a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties, we encourage you to refrain from participating in any church-related activity until you are fever-free for 24 hours.

#7 NOTIFICATION:
If you become sick with the Coronavirus, please notify us immediately.

#8 MONITORING:
We are continuing to monitor the latest news and recommendations released by the CDC, state, and city officials. We will keep you posted as we learn more. If you have any questions, please contact one of the GracePointe pastors.
Please understand that we are not in a position to be a source of information about Coronavirus, nor a source of medical advice. If you want to know more about Coronavirus, you should visit the Centers for Disease Control website. And naturally, you should always seek medical advice from qualified medical professionals.

Thank you so much, family, for your help and understanding in these matters. We certainly don't want you to be worried about this, just prudent. And we want you to know that we are thinking ahead and taking some easy, common-sense steps as the situation dictates.
Above all, though, even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God that he is working all things according to the counsel of his will and that he is in absolute control.

We love each of you and care for you deeply.

God Bless,
Pastor Bill & Pastor Adam
GracePointe Church
Dear GracePointe Family,
I am sure by now you are aware of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation unfolding around the world. Like you, we are continuing to pray for those affected, and we also want to let you know how we are thinking through this situation and the impact it may have on our church body in the weeks (and potentially months) to come.

First, a reminder that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1)—whether spiritual, financial, emotional, relational, or physical. This is crucial to keep at the forefront of our hearts amidst the unfolding outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in our country. Our God reigns, and nothing happens outside his loving, wise, and good sovereign reach—even disease and death (Dt. 32:39; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 1:20-21; Jm. 4:13-16).

Cultivating a Godward perspective grounds our hope and gives us confident poise as we seek to be wise (Jm. 1:5-6; Mt. 10:16) amidst a world subjected to futility, longing to be set free from its corruption (Rom. 8:20). Therefore, we will not fear (Isa. 41:10). This is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last (e.g., H1N1/Swine flu, Avian flu, Ebola, MERS, SARS) until the Lord ushers in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1-4).

With that said, we must find the wisest, most prudential path forward when faced with these situations. As your pastors, our purpose now is to let you know that we are thinking ahead about ways we can mitigate the spread of illness during our weekly public gatherings, and to ask for your help in a couple of ways:

#1 PRAY:
Any reminder of our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and brevity of life (Jm. 4:14), is good for our souls (Ps. 119:67,71). It reminds us that we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19). It reminds us that our lives are found in Him (Phil. 3:9). It reminds us where our true and lasting treasure is found (Phil. 1:21; Mt. 13:44, 45-46) and to fervently pray for ourselves, and others, with these mega-realities in view.

#2 GATHERINGS:
For 2000 years, the church has gathered together during the most difficult of seasons. It is the church that is tasked with the privilege of displaying to the world what it looks like when a people hope and trust in a sovereign God rather than themselves. We encourage you to continue to gather with the church body both formally and informally whenever possible.

That said, James City County has recently reported the largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Virginia and all schools are closing for the next couple of weeks.  As your pastors, it is our responsibility to do what we believe is best for the well-being of the people that God has put under our leadership.

At this time, it is our belief that it is best if we do not gather corporately at Greenwood Christian Academy this Sunday, March 15.  It is our intent to broadcast the service via the GracePointe Facebook page live feed as we do each week.  We encourage you to take advantage of this option to participate in the service. Please reach out to us if you need assistance in connecting.  Although we know this is not a direct replacement for our corporate gathering, it is a way that we can agree together in prayer and teaching of God’s word.

We will re-assess the situation in the coming week with the information available to us to determine if we will come together for our corporate gathering on Sunday, March 22 and we will communicate regularly with you on our plans.

We will be in communication with our community group leaders to determine what is best for those gatherings.  Meetings will be at the discretion of group leaders and hosts and they will communicate directly with those in their groups.

We believe the current circumstances may limit the participation of our partners in our quarterly meeting that was scheduled for Sunday, March 15.  For that reason, we will postpone it until a date in the (hopefully) near future.  We believe this is an important family meeting, so it’s important that we do it at a time when most of our partners are able to attend.

When we do resume our corporate gatherings, we will be taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of those who attend.

#3 SANITATION:
In order to help prevent the potential spread of illness, we will have hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. We will also be making extra efforts to wipe down and sanitize hard surfaces before and after services. Please make an effort to wash your hands and sanitize regularly. Medical experts advise that handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and others from disease-causing microbes.

#4 GRACEPOINTE KIDS:
We will be taking extra measures within the GracePointe Kids classrooms to wipe down hard surfaces (handles, toys, dispensers, etc.) before, during, and after our gatherings.

#5 COMMUNION:
We will be providing an additional communion option, for those uncomfortable using open cups and bread. Each communion tray will have sealed wafer/juice communion packs to partake of if you would like.

#6 CAUTION:
People who are at higher risk of illness may want to consider ways to lower their risk of infection by limiting contact with crowds, including those: (1) over 60 years old, or (2) with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, or (3) with weakened immune systems. If you, or a family member, have a cough, fever, or other respiratory difficulties, we encourage you to refrain from participating in any church-related activity until you are fever-free for 24 hours.

#7 NOTIFICATION:
If you become sick with the Coronavirus, please notify us immediately.

#8 MONITORING:
We are continuing to monitor the latest news and recommendations released by the CDC, state, and city officials. We will keep you posted as we learn more. If you have any questions, please contact one of the GracePointe pastors.
Please understand that we are not in a position to be a source of information about Coronavirus, nor a source of medical advice. If you want to know more about Coronavirus, you should visit the Centers for Disease Control website. And naturally, you should always seek medical advice from qualified medical professionals.

Thank you so much, family, for your help and understanding in these matters. We certainly don't want you to be worried about this, just prudent. And we want you to know that we are thinking ahead and taking some easy, common-sense steps as the situation dictates.
Above all, though, even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God that he is working all things according to the counsel of his will and that he is in absolute control.

We love each of you and care for you deeply.

God Bless,
Pastor Bill & Pastor Adam
GracePointe Church