Village Church of Lincolnshire Pandemic Preparedness Plan
March 13th, 2020
In light of the dangers surrounding a community-wide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the subsequent disease it causes (COVID-19), Village Church is officially enacting the following measures to ensure that we continue to provide a safe environment for congregants, visitors, and members of the wider community:
- All services and gatherings are canceled, effective immediately. The elders will review the situation after three Sundays (the 15th, 22nd, and 29th of March) to assess when it is advisable to resume gathering.
- This cancellation includes non-Sunday gatherings, including youth group, children’s events, committee meetings, and young adult events. The elders are advising committees to communicate electronically.
- This cancellation includes all choir rehearsals and non-VCL gatherings at the VCL building.
- Small groups are allowed to continue gathering, though the elders’ recommendation is that they do not, especially if there are any at-risk persons in their group (see below). They are encouraged to communicate electronically.
- The church office is closed, effective March 16th. The elders will review the situation after three Sundays (the 15th, 22nd, and 29th of March) to assess when it is advisable to re-open the office. Pastor Kenny and Pastor Casey will work in office as needed, all part-time staff must work from home.
- The church building is closed, effective March 14th. All persons are prohibited from entering the VCL building without prior consent of an elder. This is to ensure a sanitary environment.
Village Church Services During the Pandemic Measures:
- Pastor Kenny and Pastor Casey will coordinate Sunday morning resources, children’s resources, spiritual formation resources, and video sermons.
- The elders, Pastor Kenny, and Pastor Casey remain reachable by phone and email.
These measures are to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of the most-at risk in our congregation. The elders, at the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are recommending certain actions for all their congregants during this time:
- Utilize what is called social distancing. Limit time in large gatherings or crowded public places. Spend time at home in a sanitary environment.
- Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community:
- Consider 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
- Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).
- Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.
- Know about emergency operation plans for schools/workplaces of household members.
- Those congregants who are fifty-five and older or people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are strongly encouraged to avoid large groups.
During this time, the elders are hopeful that this may be a season of growth and revival amongst our community and our congregation. During the Pandemic Measures outlined above, the elders encourage the congregation to:
- Pray daily. Pray fervently. Pray for the medical professionals, for the church, for those people suffering from COVID-19, and for your hearts.
- Continue to give generously. You can give via our website, http://evcl.org/give/ or via mail.
- Utilize more family time to foster family worship and Bible reading. You can use the New City Catechism’s web app as well: http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#1
- Consider ways to help those at more risk. Offer to pick up groceries, buy toiletries, and pray for your elderly neighbors (VCL and otherwise).
- Consider ways to be a blessing to your community, such as offering to pray via Facebook neighborhood groups, not hoarding resources, and displaying calm in your communications on social media and otherwise. Share VCL resources, especially video sermons, on social media.
The Lord bless you and keep you during this time,
The Pastors and Elders of Village Church of Lincolnshire: