A letter from the Elders
RE: COVID-19 Pandemic (aka. Corona Virus) Update March 19, 2020
Dear Harbor Church Family,
By now you are all aware of the pandemic affecting our world with the outbreak of the COVID-19 or Corona Virus. Based on the information we had a week ago, we decided we would still gather for our Equipping Hour and Worship Service last Sunday. However, things have changed significantly over the course of just a few days.
The State and Federal Government have issued strong recommendations limiting gatherings to 10 or less. The counties north (San Luis Obispo) and south (Ventura) of us have given orders to “shelter in place” for either all of their residents or those most vulnerable. It seems a matter of time before Santa Barbara County is in the same boat.
All of this has led to our decision to suspend our gatherings on Sunday mornings (both Equipping Hours and Worship Services) until further notice. We may still have smaller gatherings of 10 or less, like some small groups, but are making those decisions on a case-by-case basis. Other than that, we will not be meeting. This includes cancelling gatherings like the Men’s Breakfast scheduled for this Saturday, March 21st.
We are looking into the possibility of live-streaming our services starting this Sunday, March 22nd. A crew of people will be working on trying to set that up over the next couple of days. Our hope is to host the stream on the church’s website harbor316.org. We will send an update about the status of the streaming service in the next couple of days. Please be praying for this effort.
We believe it is vital to find ways to stay connected during this time. Other than streaming our services, we will be reaching out each week to all our members by phone calls, texting, email, social media, etc. We encourage you to do the same with one another, but also with people within your sphere of influence including family members, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, etc.
In addition to staying connected, we need to continue to take care of our financial responsibilities as a church. We would ask you to prayerfully consider how God would lead you to give during this time. We have three ways that you can give: 1) Online through the church’s website at harbor316.org. Simply click the “Giving” tab at the top right and follow the direction; 2) Drop off your checks in the church mailbox, which will be checked regularly; or 3) Arrange a drop off time at the church office by contacting Carol Lambert at email@example.com.
While these times are confusing and even frightening, we have the Light of Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe we may have unprecedented opportunities to share the truth and peace of the Gospel to a world thrown into chaos and fear. I encourage all of us to take steps of faith, being wise about protecting our family and friends, but bold about the name of Jesus.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the church elders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In His Grace,
The Harbor Elders
May 7, 2020
Peace Beyond Understanding
Over the past week or so, we have started to hear a lot of information about the potential of states reopening. While this prospect is exciting, it has also brought up confusion and questions. Is it too soon? Is it safe? When do we, as a church consider reopening our doors? What should our position be as followers of Christ?
As we wait for our federal, state and local leaders to make these important decisions, let’s remind each other Who is ultimately in charge. God has a plan for all of this, and will not abandon us in our time of need. Let’s be praying for those in authority over us to have wisdom and calm in the process of making these crucial decisions. But let us first seek God’s Kingdom and His direction.
We would ask for your prayers for our church leaders (elders and ministry leaders), as we consider how we should proceed. For now our plan will be to continue live-streaming our services each Sunday. We will let you know when we begin to make plans to regather as soon as we deem it prudent to do so. For now, we would ask that you remain calm, pray for one another, care for your family, your neighbors and others in your circle of influence, and that you would pray for the peace that is beyond understanding.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email the Harbor Elders at email@example.com.