Statement Regarding COVID-19

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Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Congregational Update – March 13, 2020

Dear Lebanon First Assembly Attendees and Guests:

With the heightened awareness and public concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as the ongoing seasonal flu virus and common cold, we want to assure you that public health and safety concerns are our highest priority. At Lebanon First Assembly and Lord’s Storehouse facility, we are very intentional about providing clean, sanitary, and safe environments for people to meet and worship God. We have enhanced our cleaning procedures. This includes a comprehensive cleaning of all restrooms and various touch points (doorknobs, handles, water faucets, handrails, etc.). The children’s classrooms and toys will be disinfected after each service by cleaning staff and volunteers.

While we realize no public environment is 100% safe, we take every precaution and safety measure possible and will continue to update our custodial staff in regard to proper cleaning standards and sanitation.

We encourage you to wash your hands or sanitize frequently and to refrain from simple actions such as shaking hands. Also, if you or your children are ill, please stay home. You can order a CD or DVD of the service by calling the church office during the week and we will have it available for pick up.

At this time our church office and the Lord’s Storehouse will remain open during regularly scheduled business hours. After prayer and conversations with our church board, giving consideration to recent developments within the community of Lebanon regarding the COVID 19, we have decided to suspend our Sunday services and mid-week large group gatherings for this upcoming week. Small Group gatherings will continue at this time. While we do not walk in fear, we do carry a responsibility for the safety of those the Lord has entrusted to us. Keep in mind that this is a constantly changing event and schedules might need to change. Moving forward we will be communicating via the church website, email and social media as to what is happening here on campus on a week to week basis. Those who are affected by this virus are in our prayers. If you need prayer or to communicate with us during the week, you can email us at info@lebanonfirstassembly.com or call us at 541-259-1265.

I think we must acknowledge that our response matters, especially as the church. When trouble comes, “what we do next determines what we believe about God” (Henry Blackaby). It is our trust in the mighty power of God that shines like a light in the darkness when all hell breaks loose.

This verse comes to mind: Philippians 4:4-7

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As Christians, we should be reasonable. Why? Because the Lord is at hand. Want another reason why? It’s simply because God says we can trade in our anxiety and fear for peace if we would come to Him in prayer and supplication. In any and all situations, we have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with us and ready to guard our hearts.

Two viruses are breaking out. One is COVID-19. The other is fear. I know which one is more powerful, spreads faster and causes everlasting harm.

This isn’t a license to point at those who are generally and sincerely afraid, it’s an opportunity to pray for them. Erase your social media posts if they don’t encourage and calm. Jesus calmed the storm, He never came to make it worse. Lebanon First Assembly, be sensitive. Be compassionate. Be Christ-like.

Do not submit to fear. Submit to Jesus. He is with you.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Ask God to give you His Spirit today, ask Him to drive out fear and to transform you into a conduit of peace. May His Spirit flow through you as you pray for this world, our people, and our communities. Oh, Spirit of God, may we only submit to the perfect love of Jesus.

Don’t just wash your hands, but also fold them in prayer.

Don’t just guard yourself against germs, but let the Father guard your heart against fear.

Don’t just protect your mouth from what goes in, but keep an attentive ear to what comes out.

Do the right things to stay safe, but do even more to stay close to Christ.

Where we live needs us now, in these moments of trouble. Shine.

Thank you,
Lebanon First Assembly Pastor Kevin Parker and Church Board