Coronavirus Update #15 (8/21/20)
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4 ESV).
Dear Rivermont Family and Friends,
With the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Pastor David opened our August Session meeting with some devotional thoughts from Romans 5. In this ongoing season of endurance, he encouraged all of us to keep our eyes on the Lord. By God’s grace and strength, we persevere knowing that God is producing within His people endurance, character, and hope. We maintain hope as we remain unashamed of the Gospel “for it is the power of God for the salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
In reviewing ongoing publications from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we affirm the following requirements for worship and discipleship. We also want you to know our planned response should someone, who has attended worship in the sanctuary, be diagnosed with Covid-19. You may refer to the EPC’s guidance for churches by clicking here and the CDC’s “Considerations for Communities of Faith” by clicking here.
Affirming Guidelines for Worship and Discipleship
The pastors give thanks to God for Sunday worship in the sanctuary at 8:00 and 11:00 AM and for the Livestream on-line offering. For the sake of unity and safety, the identical services in the sanctuary continue to follow our established social distancing measures with requirements to wear face coverings. Since we limit each service to 150 participants due to social distancing, please continue to respond to weekly emails for sign-up.
Also, our members and staff know to worship at home if sick, showing symptoms, or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19. As information, the Locke Commons is the designated location if anyone becomes sick during worship.
While we long for the day when we can safely return to campus for discipleship, fellowship, and prayer, we continue to embrace unique opportunities for growth and support. Our new ministry year begins on Sunday, September 13. In the days ahead, please listen and look for upcoming opportunities related to the new year.
Response should a member of the worshipping congregation receive a diagnosis of Covid-19
We have prayerfully considered our response should we be notified that someone who has received a diagnosis of Covid-19 has also been in the sanctuary for worship. In reviewing recommendations from the denomination and the CDC, we have a responsive plan that includes the following steps.
First, please communicate with the pastoral staff as soon as possible if you have been in worship and test positive for COVID-19. As with members and friends that have had positive tests to date, we will begin praying for you and will seek your permission before sharing personal information with others.
Second, with love and clarity, the ministry staff will communicate as soon as possible if a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in worship or in the facility. This means that we will consult local health officials and communicate with congregants and staff about potential exposure. We will also maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other applicable laws.
Third, the pastors will advise those who have tested positive for Covid-19 or who have symptoms of COVID-19 not to return to the church campus until they have met the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. We will also advise those with exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms according to CDC guidelines.
Fourth, unless prayerful consideration brings us to modify our schedule, we will maintain worship in the sanctuary at 8:00 and 11:00 and continue to offer Livestream worship. As information, we continue to disinfect the sanctuary after each worship service.
Pastorally, we join you with ongoing focus upon Christ and Scripture. With trust in our God and Savior, we look to the future with hope and courage. May the LORD continue to bless us and keep us to the glory of His name!
Pastor Ron, together with Pastors David, Brett, Mike, and Shane