Morningview Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Morningview Baptist Church
Statement on CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
March 12, 2020

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

We are sure you’re aware of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation unfolding around the world. Like you, we are continuing to pray for those affected, and we also want to let you know how we are thinking through this situation and the impact it may have on our church body in the weeks (and potentially months) to come. In the midst of this situation, our highest calling and goal remains loving Christ and loving our neighbor as ourselves. In this particular case, loving our neighbors means taking proper precautions to protect their lives and stem the spread of this virus.
Please understand that we are not in a position to be a source of information about coronavirus, nor a source of medical advice. If you want to know more about coronavirus, you should visit the Centers for Disease Control website. And naturally, you should always seek medical advice from qualified medical professionals. As your pastors, our purpose now is simply to let you know that we are thinking ahead about ways we can mitigate the spread of illness during our weekly public gatherings, and to ask for your help in several ways.

#1 Pray: Any reminder of our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9) and brevity of life (Ja. 4:14) is good for our
souls (Ps. 119:67,71). It reminds us that we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19). It reminds us that our lives are found in Him (Phil. 3:9). It reminds us where our true and lasting treasure is found (Phil. 1:21;Mt. 13:44, 45-46) and to fervently pray for ourselves, and others, with these greater realities in view.Most importantly, do not be anxious, but rest in God’s good sovereignty (Rom 8:28).

#2 Gatherings: We encourage you to continue to gather with your church family for our normal
Sunday services and Wednesday activities. At this time, public health agencies in Alabama are not
recommending the general public avoid large group gatherings. If a civil directive comes, we will
decide on biblical grounds at that time. If you have traveled recently (either domestically or
internationally) to an area known to have COVID-19 cases, or been in contact with someone who
has, please see #5 for our recommendations. If you and your family are well, please keep public
worship a priority.

#3 Cleanliness: We are taking extra precautions around the church to disinfect all surfaces,
Washing hands with soap for at least 30 seconds is the most effective preventive measure as soap and warm water kills the virus by dissolving the lipid
membrane that encases it. It is also important that we avoid, as much as possible, touching our own faces and shaking one another’s hands. For the time being, the most charitable way to greet one another will be with a verbal greeting. We can also love one another by keeping a courteous social distance from the very young and very old who are more at risk.
especially in our children’s areas.

#4 Caution: People who are at higher risk of illness may want to consider ways to lower their risk of infection by limiting contact with crowds, including those: (1) over 60 years old, or (2) with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, or (3) who are immune- compromised. If you are part of one of these higher risk categories and choose to remain at home, we support your decision. You can participate in worship by watching the media feed of our services through Facebook Live which can be accessed through the church’s Facebook page.
If you, or a family member, has a cough, fever, heavy congestion, or other respiratory difficulties, we encourage you to seek medical advice and testing. We also ask that you refrain from participating in any church-related activity or gathering of any sort until coughing and sneezing have subsided and you are fever-free for 72 hours. If you or an immediate member of your family becomes sick with coronavirus, please notify us immediately.

#5 Travel: Our president most recently suspended travel from Europe, and we know that China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy remain hot-spots for the spread of the virus. We have also cancelled our upcoming mission trips to Ecuador. If you have traveled internationally or been to a domestic hot- zone for the virus in the past 10 days, we encourage you to carefully monitor your health and consider avoiding fellowship with the body for 14 days from the date of your return. If you have planned travel in the coming weeks into an area where the virus is known to be present, please let us know so we can pray for you and have a conversation about the best way for you to resume interaction with our church family at your return.

#6 Cornerstone: John Bradley and our faculty have already been putting in place excellent measures for the ongoing cleanliness and function of our school. Their Spring Break will start on March 13th and students will not return until March 23rd. Any developments regarding precautions for students and teachers will continue to be communicated through the normal means, and the church will notify our membership if any significant decisions are made to do otherwise.

#7 FLOURISH IN FAITH: This campaign remains vital in the life of our church as we have the responsibility to meet the financial obligations assumed during our renovation. While we may adjust the Flourish in Faith schedule of events, our normal tithes and offerings as well as our further sacrificial gifts to this emphasis remain crucial to the proper function of our body. Please continue to give in worship, register to give through REALM, or if serious risk prevents your attendance, mail your offerings to the church. Call our church office if you need assistance.

#8 Church Office: Our office will remain open and our ministry staff available according to our normal schedule. Please feel free to contact us if you have further concerns or need help with any challenge that arises.

Thank you so much, brothers and sisters, for your help and understanding in these matters. In all of these things, our Lord will show himself sufficient for our needs. He intends to use these circumstances to refine his church and give her the opportunity to reflect his glory in a dark world. We should not fear, or panic, or even be discouraged in this circumstance. We continue to do what the church has done since her founding.

The Pastors of Morningview