Hello Soma Friends and Family,
Our leadership team has been working to stay informed about the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) over the last few weeks. Based on the current information and recommendations available to us, below are some of the steps that we have decided to take in order to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.
WHY ARE WE TAKING ACTION?
On Wednesday, March 11th, the World Health Organization stated that the coronavirus “now qualifies as a pandemic.” Our Governor — Mike Parsons, held a press conference in which he urged all Missourians to take this threat seriously. He issued a special warning to those over the age of 60, as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected those over that age.
HOW ARE WE TAKING ACTION?
First, we know that God is in control, that He is trustworthy, and we do not have to be overcome or controlled by our fears (2 Timothy 1:7). Unlike the rest of the world, Christians have every reason to remain hopeful – even as we walk through the most uncertain of seasons. This is a scary time, but we can take our fears to the Lord and trust Him to lead us with wisdom. Secondly, Colossians 4:5 exhorts us to walk wisely, making the most of the time. While we reject being controlled by our fear, wisdom means we do not respond flippantly to the advice and direction of the medical professionals and government officials who are diligently seeking to halt the spread of this virus.
WHAT ARE OUR CORPORATE NEXT STEPS?
In Person & Sunday Gatherings.
Starting March 22nd, we will transition to a virtual experience until further notice. We are advising Gospel Communities to operate in a way that provides maximum health safety. If you are looking to get connected to our local body please fill out a connect card by clicking here, after you have submitted your card we will reach out to you with ways to get connected.
Pre-recorded messages can be viewed via live stream on our Facebook Page or our YouTube Page at 10AM. You will be able to interact with Pastor Jon as an opportunity for you to ask questions, request prayer, and engage virtually with our church family. Afterwards we will post the sermon here eachSunday at 11AM. We encourage you to make sure you “like” Soma on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram yoyo u can stay in the loop on any updates that we communicate in the days ahead. We will also regularly and personally stay in touch with every covenant member.
Parents: We are offering a weekly curriculum for our SomaKids. To be added to the mailing list, please email email@example.com.
We will certainly miss gathering with one another in the ways we’ve grown accustomed to over the next few weeks. Let’s remember two important things, and fight to live faithfully in the tension between them.
- The church is a particular people, not any particular place
- This season in our communal and national life has the potential to cause a great deal of loneliness, and to only further struggles for those of us who wrestle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
There is no good time to be isolated. It is not what we were made for. Thankfully, however, we live in a time of great technological tools. And we can use the creativity we have to foster community even from different locations. Here are just a few ideas:
- FaceTime or Skype with your Gospel Community or DNA groups, we are planing to hold GCs or times of prayer and devotions on an app called Zoom which you can download on your app store or here.
- Use other apps like Marco Polo, texting or good old fashioned phone calls to check in on one another and update each other on how you’re doing. As you talk with one another, be sure to ask not only about the physical realities we’re facing but also about the spiritual and emotional toll this is taking on your brothers and sisters.
- Families and married couples, be especially sure to check in on your single brothers and sisters. Your kids might be driving you up the wall in this time of increased family togetherness, but many people are longing to have someone to be sequestered with.
Closures, Cancellations & Postponements.
Beginning Monday, March 16th our campus will be closed during the week and for corporate Sunday worship.
Beginning Wednesday March 18th WhizKids – our tutoring program – will not be meeting until the school district begins school again.
Beginning Thursday March 19th our Gospel Communities will meet in a modified settings as the leader communicate.
- Text “INTHELOOP” to (573) 363-4166 to get updates as they come.
As COVID-19 is particularly threatening for older individuals, our elder team desires to help those who may be hindered from going out around town. Governor Parsons has encouraged those over the age of 60 to avoid highly-trafficked areas like grocery stores, drug stores, and the like. If you have elderly or immunocompromised neighbors, we encourage you to use this crisis as an opportunity to care for them by delivering food and necessities. If you fall into this category or know of someone we can serve, email with the person’s name, email address, phone number, and zip code.
Even though our weekly corporate service will be postponed, we still have financial obligations as a church family. Please consider making it a priority to set-up your online giving profile here if you haven’t already done so. Your continued generosity will help us meet our ongoing obligations (supporting missionaries, paying staff, etc).
We also want to give you the opportunity to help us provide assistance for those within our church who are economically impacted by COVID-19. We created an ‘Emergency Relief Fund’ for this purpose. Financial assistance requests can be made to HERE please understand given the size of our church and limited resources we have we will consider our Covenant Members needs first and foremost. Visit our Giving page, and select ‘Emergency Relief’ as a sub-category under ‘Benevolence’ if you would like to contribute toward this fund.
If you have questions about COVID-19, we encourage you to seek answers from reputable sources such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) or WHO (World Health Organization), of course, should you need medical attention, please contact the proper medical professionals for assistance.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Over the next few days and weeks, it’s likely that things may get worse before they get better. As Jefferson City Public Schools are closed until April 6th and Lincoln University has cancelled online classes we will have increased opportunities to be at home with your family, we want to encourage you to do a few things:
1. Pray. Even without a vaccine, God is still in control. Let’s go boldly before Him and ask Him to pour out His grace upon our nation and upon the nations of the earth that MANY might be drawn to Him as a result.
2. Talk with your kids. For those of you who have little ones at home, take time to talk with them about any fears they have. It could be that the tenderness that typically comes with a crisis like this creates an open door for you to point them to Jesus.
3. Serve your neighbors. By now, you’ve seen all the reports — hand sanitizer, toilet paper, Clorox bleach — it’s sold out everywhere. If you’ve stocked up, take time to check in on neighbors that may not have had the opportunity to do so.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back with you as soon as possible.
In Faith and all Glory to God,
Pastor Jon C. Nelson