GCC’s Response to COVID-19

GCC’s Response to COVID-19

Update #2: March 14, 2020

Grace Community Church,

The elders met last night and determined that in addition to cancelling tomorrow’s service it would be wise for us to plan on cancelling next Sunday (March 22nd) as well.  However, we would like to provide and opportunity for us to gather virtually for a time of prayer and reflection on God’s word.   This will give us an opportunity to meet together and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25).

The meeting will be at 10am tomorrow.  ALL are welcome to join.
Join the meeting through this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/469104119
You will have to download software to your computer or an app to your phone.  You should click the link and do that beforehand.
The meeting ID is 469 104 119 in case you need it.
We would love to have you join with video and audio but it is also possible for you to join by phone by following these instructions.

  1. Call: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788.
  2. Enter the meeting ID 469104119 followed by the # key.
  3. When asked to enter your participant ID, simply press the # key.

Two other resources that you might benefit from while we practice social distancing:
1. We made a Youtube Playlist of a few of the songs we sing on Sunday morning that you can listen to here.
2. You can catch up on past GCC sermons here.

If you would also like to pray individually with someone, both Paul Pantzer (617-455-8841) and Bill Parsons (978-979-6455) have graciously made themselves available for anyone who would like to call.

In Christ,

Pastor Eric and the Elders of GCC

Update #1: March 13, 2020

Grace Community Church,

After prayer, investigation, and discussion, we have made the decision to cancel our gathered worship for this Sunday.  We feel this is the loving thing to do in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and hopefully prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.  The elders will be meeting tonight to discuss the situation and make decisions about gatherings scheduled between now and the end of the month.  We will send out another email early next week with our decision as well as further information about how we will continue to encourage one another in the faith and serve others in love.

While there may be a sense of uncertainty and even fear as we read the news and observe the reactions to it, we are confident that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2).  This is an opportunity for us to pray to God, our Refuge, and to express our faith and confidence in him.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to express our love for people and to care for them by avoiding large gatherings and caring for vulnerable individuals.  Historically, the church has shown incredible courage and sacrificial love in the midst of health crises.  This faithfulness has resulted in the spread of the gospel.  God can use our current situation in the same way.  Churches in Asia are already reporting how the coronavirus crisis has given them unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel in word and deed, from Christians in Wuhan who are handing out medical supplies in the name of Jesus and believers in Hong Kong who are forming relationships with their neighbors and inviting them to watch their church’s online services on Sunday morning.

We are mindful that health epidemics and the resulting economic effects disproportionately impact vulnerable populations.  We want to be mindful of those who can’t miss a paycheck or would be seriously at risk if they were to contract COVID-19.  We are praying for them and actively looking for opportunities to serve.

As we wait, we encourage you to take time and pray.  The relentless news cycle and social media can take a toll on your soul.  We will all benefit from following Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Below is a prayer guide you might use on Sunday since we won’t be gathering together.  Additionally, you might pray The Lord’s Prayer each time you wash your hands as a way of orienting your your heart to God.  You might also take this opportunity to worship at home by watching a worship service.  Of the many excellent churches offering online services, one is Grace Chapel in Lexington.  You can also catch up on past sermons at GCC.

Finally, if you have a need during this time or know someone who does, please let us know.  We are a group of gracious, generous people and are ready to serve in any way we can.

In Christ,

Pastor Eric and the Elders of GCC

Prayer Guide for a Pandemic

Begin by reading Psalm 46 and then spend in silence before the Lord.

Praise God that he is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Praise him that we don’t have to fear because he is sovereign over the affairs of the world including microbes and atomic bombs and world leaders and natural disasters.  Thank God that he is with us.

Pray for our leaders in government who are leading us at this time.  Thank God for them and pray that they would have wisdom to make decisions that are helpful for all people.

Pray for the healthcare workers who are on the frontlines.  Thank God for them and pray for protection and strength for them.

Pray for the economically and physically vulnerable who will be most impacted by this pandemic.  Pray that God would provide for them and that He would open the hearts of his people to show compassion.

Pray for the church, that God’s people would recognize the opportunity to witness in word and deed.

Thank God that he “will be exalted among the nations.”  Pray that God would bring an end to this pandemic and thank him that he uses all things for our good and his glory and that he will do the same in this situation.