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Coronavirus Update #8 (5/12/20)

coronavirus alert

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Dear Rivermont Family,

The staff and session of REPC remain in steadfast prayer for you, our missionaries, and the local and national communities during this season of the coronavirus. As we pray for encouragement, strength, wisdom, protection, and unity,  we also know to trust the LORD and allow Him to direct our steps.  We seek Him daily for His blessing and guidance.   

God-directed Adjustments
Beginning in March, God gave us wisdom and directed our steps with on-line worship and discipleship.   The church staff, our officers, together with medical doctors from our community, sought to discern God’s direction and assimilate information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the governor’s office.

With God’s guidance, 

  • We entered a virtual world of worship, prayer, and discipleship that most of us would not have imagined at the beginning of the year. 
  • Our elders, deacons, and many loving members have joined together in connecting with one another in love and in prayer.  
  • Many of you remain on mission with family and neighbors in ways never anticipated. Praise God for His mercies as you respond to opportunities of open hearts. 

Re-opening for Worship
Over the past several weeks, the ministry staff, our officers, and prayer teams have been in fervent prayer and seeking God’s wisdom for what re-opening would look like for Rivermont.  Last week, Governor Ralph Northam  announced plans for a gradual re-opening of Virginia businesses in phases over time.  With the governor’s announcement that churches may be allowed to operate at 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing, the ministry staff sought wisdom from Dr Scott Wade, Dr. Jarrett Dodd, and various church leaders. Looking to God to direct our steps, we continue to pray and collaborate.  

For worship while demonstrating the love of Christ, 

  • We will begin to worship in our sanctuary after the first full week that the Commonwealth of Virginia has entered Phase 1.  This means we will meet on May 24.  
  • Worship services will be at  8:00 AM and 11:00 AM (and later in the day as necessary) with each service lasting less than one hour. The sanctuary will be cleaned after each service. 
  • Sign-up for worship will be necessary to  honor appropriate health considerations for all.  Look for instructions for sign-up (and for worship in the sanctuary) early this coming week.   
  • Each pew will be clearly marked to allow sitting with required social distancing.     
  • With current guidelines, only the sanctuary will be open for worship with entry through the three double doors at the front portico. Ushers will be available to allow entry to restrooms and the Cheatham Center as necessary. 
  • We ask you to arrive no sooner than 20 minutes before each service and leave the campus immediately after each service.

 For those who need to remain at home, we will continue to have on-line worship available.  

Ongoing Discipleship and Care
God has blessed on-line Zoom discipleship groups.  They will remain our primary means of gathering until we can open the building safely, with cleaning procedures in place. 

  • Zoom  Sunday School classes will be adjusting their schedules and will be listed on the Rivermont website available by clicking here
  •  If you would like to join a committed Zoom Sermon Discussion Group, please fill out the on-line form by clicking here
  • The Men’s Dawn Patrol gathers by Zoom on Tuesday mornings at 6:30 AM, and the Women’s Oasis Bible Studies meet on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM. 

For care and outreach, our primary connection will continue to be through faithful elders and deacons, together with loving members reaching out to one another with the love of Christ.  

  • We give God thanks for our officers and prayer teams who have been faithful in ministry. May the LORD continue to bless us as we demonstrate the love of Christ!
  • The pastors remain humbled and grateful for the ways that our officers have been communicating with the ministry staff of the church.    With reports from our elders, deacons and caring members, Janet Freshour provides daily updates for pastoral prayer and follow-up.  You may email your prayer requests to Janet by clicking here

Praying for Wisdom and Faith

While the church campus remains closed as we continue to seek best practices to protect our community and staff, please remain in prayer for God’s wisdom for re-opening. Please remain in prayer for our ongoing faith and trust in the God Who will direct our steps.   Praise God for His blessing of unity as we move forward. 

In Christ,

Pastor Ron, together with Pastors David, Brett, Mike, and Shane