March 18, 2020
From the Council of Immanuel URC
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Immanuel,
Greetings in the name of the Lord!
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the government restrictions and recommendations, the Council decided to suspend corporate worship services and all church-related meetings, including Bible studies, prayer meetings, and in-person pastor, elders and deacons’ visits. The suspension is effective immediately and will continue for a period of three weeks (through Sunday, April 5, 2020). At that time, the Council will re-evaluate the situation locally and comply with federal and state government recommendations and restrictions (Romans 13). Meanwhile, I want to encourage you to call me or your parish elder if you have spiritual concerns and prayer requests. If you have any physical needs or financial hardships, please contact your parish deacon. We stand ready to minister to you in these unique and challenging times.
The most important part of our lives is worship. The decision to suspend worship services was a very difficult one, but all of your leaders believe that it is a wise decision. God calls us to “love my neighbor as myself.” These precautionary measures are acts of love toward our neighbors as we seek to avoid the spread of this highly contagious disease, especially among the elderly and “high risk” people.
For the next three Sundays I will lead a time of prayer, Scripture reading and a message via the internet at 10AM and 6PM (details forthcoming). This Sunday I want to preach two messages of Christ’s comfort and peace in times of fear and anxiety. We hope and pray that you and your family will be encouraged and comforted by the Lord and His Word. Concerning tithes and offerings, members are encouraged to mail their weekly offerings to the church (please see below).
Brothers and sisters, our lives have been altered in many ways. The coronavirus pandemic reminds us, once again, that we have no control of the future. We believe, however, that our God is in control, and He calls us to trust in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. We can trust that His plan is perfect, and He will do all things well to His glory and for our good! Let us humbly seek His face in prayer, depending solely upon His tender mercies and finding our peace in Christ and the Gospel.
Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Roberto Rossi (for the Council)
God’s mercy towards those afflicted by the disease
God’s wisdom to government officials, doctors and researchers
God’s comfort to the elderly in nursing homes and their families
God’s provision for those who have lost work due to the pandemic
Patience for college students who suddenly returned home
Families adjusting to children at home from school
People’s fear and anxiety of the unknown. May God grant the Church opportunities to point people to the peace and comfort of Jesus Christ.
Tithes & Offerings Information
March 22: General Fund & Illiana Right to Life
March 29: Building Improvement Fund
April 5: General Fund & Mid-America Reformed Seminary
Please send to:
9991 W 1200 N
DeMotte, IN 46310
March 14, 2020
From the Council of Immanuel URC
The Council of Immanuel URC has been monitoring the coronavirus situation, and we plan to continue holding worship services. We will contact the congregation if anything changes. Based on the council’s research and consultation with other organizations we have decided to implement the following precautionary measures. The virus may pose a significant danger to some of our members who are at higher risk. We realize that some of these measures may seem excessive. However, it is our desire that everyone who attends worship is as safe as possible, and we encourage families with any sick members to stream the worship service from SermonAudio (https://www.sermonaudio.com/solo/iurcdemotte/webcast/)
Cancellations: For the week of March 15, we are canceling the following gatherings including Sunday School, Catechism, Men’s and Women’s Bible Study.
Prayer Meeting - The Wednesday evening Prayer Meeting will be held at 7pm. The decision to continue with this meeting is due to its nature & function. Please continue to pray for all those directly impacted by COVID-19 throughout the world.
“God is our refuge & strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way,
Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 46: 1-2
Worship Service Modifications
Greeters will still greet, but without handshaking,
Pastor and Elder greeting at the end of the service will be suspended until further notice.
Offerings will be collected at the end of the service as you exit the sanctuary. Deacons will be stationed to collect the offerings.
printed copies of the songs and scripture passage will be available o discourage the use of the pew hymnals and pew bibles. People are also encouraged to bring their own bibles.
Organized fellowship time (coffee & cookies) will be suspended until further notice.
Nursery services will be suspended until further notice.
Sunday School classes, Catechism classes, and Bible Studies are canceled for the week of March 15. The Council will keep the Congregation notified as decisions for upcoming weeks are made.
Common surfaces will be sanitized after each service.
Updates. The Council also wants you to be aware that we will keep you updated as best we can. For now, we have determined that we may continue to meet for worship. However, we want to prepare you that, should the situation escalate, the council may possibly cancel worship services for a time. For example, if the government requires us to close for public health reasons, we will honor that request, per Romans 13. The council will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the situation on a weekly basis.
Let us again emphasize that this is not a time to panic, but it is a time to be wise and careful. Our God is sovereign, and in His sovereignty, He has given our council the responsibility to see to the well-being of our congregation—body and soul. We take that responsibility seriously.
Let us strive to love one another, and let us trust in the Lord! As we take these precautions, let us trust the Lord to set His favor upon us, and let us pray that He would “establish the work of our hands!” (Ps. 90:17).
Finally, may we all be comforted with the words of Philippians 4: 4-7
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Chairman of Council