March 17, 2020
You can read the announcement from Pastor Jon below.
Dear Church Family,
Yesterday afternoon, at a White House press conference about the COVID-19 pandemic, our President, Donald J. Trump, asked all Americans to avoid gatherings of ten people or more. At our Governance Authority meeting last night we prayerfully considered this request and decided that according to the instruction of Romans 13 that we would willingly submit to this request of the authorities whom God has placed over us. Therefore, we are officially cancelling our Sunday morning services, Home Fellowship meetings, Youth Group and Youth Prayer meetings, and the regular Tuesday night Prayer Meeting for at least the next three weeks. Towards the end of this initial time frame we will consider the advisability, in light of then current guidelines from the CDC, whether to recommence our face-to-face gatherings. It is possible that this ban on gatherings may be longer in duration, so as to combat the spread of the virus.
In lieu of our Sunday morning service, I hope to have a video or livestream viewing option for my message from the Word of God. If you go to Youtube and search for “Hoosick Falls Alliance” you should find a video I made about these cancellations. We will also be making audio copies of the sermon available for those who do not have internet access for a livestream or video file. I hope to continue to develop questions that can be used for digging deeper, that correspond to the message content. I would encourage everyone, as this ban on gatherings changes how we live, to utilize free time that may now be a part of our schedules to press into the things of the Lord, and to seize the opportunities that this massive upheaval presents to us.
Yesterday someone I was conversing with said that we should talk about “physical distancing” and not “social distancing”. As I have reflected on that, I think that there is great wisdom in this delineation. We may need to, in light of this pandemic, keep our physical distance from one another, but I believe it is critical that we not distance ourselves socially from one another. We must become creative in how we still connect, but we must be diligent to attempt connections anyway. Phone calls, Facetime, Skype, letters, cards, a visit to your home while I stand outside your closed door and you stand inside behind your closed door: I get to see you and you get to see me.
It is not lost on me that I send out this message to you on St. Patrick’s Day. Many of you know that a personal tradition of mine is to sing the great old (and long!!!!) hymn “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” in honor of the man who sought to advance the Kingdom of God wherever God led him. The final stanza to this great hymn says this:
I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity.
By invocation of the same, blessed three in one and one in three.
Of whom all nature hath creation; Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
In these days of great uncertainty and vexing trials, we can be sure that God is still seated firmly upon His throne, and He is actively bringing about His will as He continues to make preparations for the return of His Son to earth. We need not despair, nor be filled with anxious thoughts. If any of you need groceries or supplies or help of some sort, please do not hesitate to call me or one of the Elders or the Deacons and Deaconesses. We will face this together, and I believe that God will bring us through to the other side stronger than ever before.
Blessings to you and yours,