Hey there SCC Friends and Family,
I hope this note finds you safe and in good health. The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious challenges for both leaders and citizens around the world. This crisis is straining the abilities of churches to serve their communities, for governments to protect their citizens, and for healthcare organizations to mitigate the spread of this virus.
One key to successfully confronting this crisis is for churches to conduct themselves as co-equal partners with civic entities to combat the spread of COVID-19. This is the posture I hope SCC will lead with during these difficult circumstances. As believers, we are exhorted to “seek the welfare of the cities we serve" (Jer. 29:7). Assuming this role in this season is paramount in loving our neighbors well, particularly our vulnerable neighbors.
Our civic leaders and public health experts have identified a number of helpful tools and practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. One such practice mandated last week is for all citizens of Louisiana to wear facial coverings while in public. According to CDC guidelines and local health officials, wearing a face mask can reduce the potential of transmitting this disease from person to person. Our leadership has discussed our perspective and understanding as it relates to government involvement in religious liberties and autonomy and feel that, by cooperating with these specific guidelines being given, we are not being forced to violate our biblical and moral values. Instead, SCC is committed to fostering partnership with our civic leadership and health officials to combat the spread of COVID-19 by considering and implementing guidelines and general health practices that complement the overall efforts of dealing with this pandemic. We’ve always taken opportunities to proactively engage with our local officials and elected leaders to build pathways for dialogue and collaboration and intend to do so as the Lord wills. As followers of Jesus, we choose to “be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” (1 Pet. 2:13) as long as it is for the Lord’s sake. We exist to make much of Him in any and every circumstance and opportunity, including this one.
We believe this kind of collaboration is one way we can steward our unique role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Since we resumed our physical worship gatherings in May, we’ve continued to implement many of the guidelines given to us by our civic leaders and health officials such as encouraging social distancing, minimizing additional gatherings, continuing to halt kids ministries, and many others.
With the new statewide mandate for facial coverings, we want to continue our role in this fight and will be requiring all attendees to wear facial coverings while inside our facilities. Following these guidelines could dramatically lessen the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 in our gatherings if a person with the virus were present. For those who continue to be vigilant in isolating in your homes, we will continue to encourage your participation online through our live streaming. For those who are unable to wear masks due to health conditions or inconvenience, we hope you’ll also join us during our live stream worship gatherings. For those who plan to attend physically, please join us in the fight to eradicate COVID-19 by wearing your mask when you arrive on Sundays. If you happen to forget your mask, we will have disposable ones available for you at the front entrance.
Finally, let me remind us today that our God is in control. All through time and history and through our lives, there have been times when it looked like everything was completely out of control. But there has never been a moment that our God wasn’t a loving God, sitting on a throne, who had a purpose and a plan for your life and for this world. Remember that His word says He will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him (Isa.26:3). So let’s keep our eyes on Jesus in this season and our minds fixed on Him. Let’s keep our hope and our confidence alive today. God has a purpose and a plan and He is sovereign in all of this!
Let’s walk into these uncertain days as the people who know the God who rules our story!
Blessing on you,