Dear Estes family,
As we continue to learn more from medical professionals about the risks of the coronavirus and the best ways to protect those who are most vulnerable, we must constantly re-evaluate our plans. The most recent guidelines from the federal government suggest that group meetings should be limited to ten people. Because of these changing realities, we believe we must temporarily change the way we meet for worship on Sundays.
Beginning this Sunday we will move to streaming an online Bible class and worship service until further notice. This week, we will be working with our ministers and song leaders to plan for these classes and for worship. A link will be made available no later than Sunday morning for you to join. We will have class as usual at 9:30, followed by worship at 10:30. One of our preachers will bring a lesson. An option for online giving will also be made available, and we ask that you would continue to give generously, which enables Estes to support a number of missions and ministries locally and around the world.
Plans are being developed to make communion supplies available. More information about this will be shared later in week. Or you may choose to purchase your own communion supplies. Some of you may want to meet in small groups with other members of the Estes family in homes. However, we strongly encourage all of our members over the age of 60, and those with pre-existing health conditions, to stay in.
We realize that this is an unsettling time for many. We do not want to be alarmists, and we certainly put our confidence in our God, who is mighty to save and the greatest of physicians. But we believe these measures are reasonable and are in keeping with our Lord’s desire for us to care for each other and for our community. We trust you will find peace in Him, and we look forward to the time when we can all be together again in our building. These changes are temporary, and the elders will continue to assess the situation in order to bring us back together as soon as the imminent threat is over.
Until then, please know that we are concerned not only for your physical well-being, but especially for your spiritual well-being. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to call one of us.
Romans 8.38-39 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In addition to our spiritual well-being, the elders are also mindful of our physical and social well-being, and we want to be good stewards in our community.
In consideration of health concerns for our community and church family, there will be no services at the building tonight or Wednesday night, March 18.
We will be streaming a message tonight at 5:00 p.m., and you can view it on Facebook Live (even if you do not have a Facebook account). You can join us online or use this time for Bible reading, study, prayer and reflection.
Our Hispanic ministry will meet tonight at 5:00 p.m. at the building.
All other services and events are postponed for the time being.
Check your email for announcements and information on upcoming worship assemblies and church activities.
An update from the Estes Elders 3/14/2020
The Estes Elders have been following the developments of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus 2019, closely. While the risk to the general population appears to be low, the situation is changing day by day and exercising caution is prudent. We are carefully evaluating options and responses that will protect the health and well-being of our entire Estes family.
With that in mind, please consider the following.
Join us in prayer regarding this developing situation. Pray for our Estes family. Pray for our community. Pray for our nation and our world. We serve the Great Physician, and during times of uncertainty there is nothing better we can do than bring our cares and concerns to Him.
As of now, we will hold our regular class and worship assemblies on Sunday, March 15. However, all fellowship activities, including visitation team meetings, youth events, Incite, and other events taking place at the Estes building, are postponed until further notice.
The virus appears to pose a greater risk to our senior saints and those with compromised immune systems. Because of this, the elders encourage these members of our Estes family to avoid gatherings – including worship assemblies – until more information is known or the situation changes. You can stream our worship services and classes online. Please let us know if you need assistance setting this up.
If you do not feel well, stay home. Before attending any event, including our worship assembly, we ask that you pay close attention to symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you believe you are developing symptoms, please consider the health and wellbeing of your Estes family and remain home.
Be mindful of good hygiene. Whether at Estes or at any public place, be aware of the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose or mouth, and washing your hands often with soap and water. You may wish to bring personal hand sanitizer for use before and after communion service to minimize the spread of germs. You can find more tips at CDC.gov.
Look for opportunities to serve. We are a family. Be on the lookout for unique opportunities to love your brothers and sisters. The next time you go to the grocery store, consider asking one of our senior saints if you can pick up anything for them so they don’t have to get out.
This is a fluid situation, and the elders are prepared to take reasonable and responsible actions to protect the well-being of the Estes family. There will likely be more decisions and changes made in the coming weeks, so check your email often. We will keep you updated and informed.
We love our Estes family, and we are praying for your health – both physical and spiritual.
The Estes Elders