Update 7pm 3/14/2020
As we have continued to watch the developments in our community and in the surrounding areas – particularly the state of emergency and the cases that have been discovered in Tioga and near Ithaca…
and in the idea that we are in this series of ELIMINATING HURRY IN OUR LIFE – I want to STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU to join us online for our worship service at 9 am on FACEBOOK and if you get up late you can watch it anytime after that. Wear your pajamas, we will have some fun things for you to do as you and your family join us.
We still will have a live service – but will not have Children’s Ministry or Cafe… if you deeply desire to get out and worship with us in person you can join us at 9 am but we are strongly encouraging people to join us online. We hope the majority of people will stay home and enjoy the time to SLOW DOWN and yet still worship.
Higher Hope Family –
As many of you are aware there has been and will be an abundance of discussion on the COVID-19 virus. We have been watching carefully the developments as new guidelines and recommendations have come out both in New York State and in our County. We are constantly monitoring these developments and considering and praying how we should respond.
First, I just want us to pause and take an account of who is in control. Rest in the fact that He alone is God. And we can trust Him.
Psalm 46: 1-7, 10
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
So we do want to pray and seek God and also we desire to rest in Him.
But we also want to take the appropriate steps to create a safe and caring environment for God to work. So in an abundance of caution and care for the Higher Hope Church family, and with a desire to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in New York we encourage you to take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your family, and the Higher Hope Church family safe and healthy. At this time, Sunday morning worship services, High Five (Children’s ministry), WIRED (our youth ministry) , and many of our small groups and other events are going to proceed. We are closely monitoring all information and guidance from officials with the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will prayerfully determine on a day-to-day basis whether further steps are needed and update accordingly.
For Sunday mornings, we caution you to practice the standard, flu-season safety precautions that we are already familiar with, including:
● Cough etiquette and hygiene – cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow, not your hands
● Thorough and regular hand washing (particularly after touching your face) for at least 20 seconds (the Lord’s Prayer is a great timer!)
● Social distancing (limiting physical contact with others) – use verbal greetings instead of hand shakes or hugs
● Contain; if you are sick, please stay home
Risk-Related Guidance for Sunday Morning Participation
Based on guidance from the CDC, we request you do not attend Sunday morning worship services or any other events at Higher Hope if you show any symptoms.
We also encourage those with…
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
- Immunosuppressed individuals (people with recent or upcoming surgeries; people on autoimmune treatments, including steroids; people with impaired heart, kidney, or liver function; or people going through cancer treatment)
- Direct caregivers of at-risk individuals (non-medical personnel)
to be very careful in their decisions as they proceed.
Additionally, we request you do not attend Sunday morning worship services or any other event
- Have had flu-like symptoms (including cough, fever, shortness of breath) in the past 14 days
- Have traveled internationally within the past 14 days
- Have traveled recently to domestic areas that have been highly affected by the coronavirus in the past 14 days
- Have been in close contact with someone with flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days
We do plan on having our Sunday Morning worship services this week at 9 and 10:30 am. We are adding a live stream through facebook https://www.facebook.com/HigherHopeNY/?ref=bookmarks for our services this week and ongoing weeks. So if you desire to stay home we encourage you to stay connected through this live stream.
We will be: Requesting people limit hand shaking and other contact, we will have people in place to open the door for you, we will be cleaning between services some high traffic areas, we will be adding chairs so that you can sit further apart.
As we continue to do ministry at Higher Hope we would ask you to consider to set up recurring giving from our website (https://www.kindridgiving.com/app/giving/higherhope) or on our Higher Hope App. You can also set up one time or recurring giving through your bank. You can also mail your tithe or offering to: 356 Maple St Big Flats NY 14845. Offering baskets/buckets will still be available in the Sunday morning services, however you will now find them with our ushers near the exits at the end of the service. We care deeply for those who are already affected by this and are praying for God’s leading and wisdom as we navigate the next few weeks. Stay Informed The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. Thank you for helping us keep Higher Hope Church a safe place to gather as we seek to “lead people to abundant life in Jesus Christ”
If you have questions or concerns feel free to email Pastor Mike at Pastormike@higherhopechurch.org.
Pastor Mike Schooley