Dear Canyon Church Family,
As we mentioned in a previous email, part of our continuing care for you, Christ’s body, has been to monitor official communications from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as from the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) regarding information on COVID-19. Our COVID-19 info & status webpage will be updated with the content of this email.
Since our last email on March 14, 2020, the recommendations coming out of the CDC and AZDHS have changed a number of times. Each change required us and church staff to evaluate when and how we need to respond to the latest recommendation change.
The latest recommendation coming from the President is to keep gatherings to 10 people or less for the next 15 days. We expect the recommendations from the President and those organizations to continue to change over the next few days and for them to become enforceable declarations.
So rather than respond to each recommendation, we have prayerfully concluded that it is most beneficial to you, our church family, to establish an approach that is stable and sustainable for the longer term.
This is especially important given the number of our brothers and sisters who are in a high-risk category for complications, those with compromised immune systems, and chronic respiratory conditions.
Last evening (3/16) we met to pray, discuss the situation, laugh a little, draw conclusions, make decisions, and establish plans to move forward.
We have concluded that effective immediately (as of March 17, 2020), all in-person gatherings (worship services and ministries) for Canyon Bible Church of Prescott Valley are cancelled at this time.
This includes Sunday Worship services, Koinonia Groups, Prayer meetings, and Student ministries.
This was a difficult decision for us to make because while it is important for us to gather as a body, we all have the responsibility to care for those of us who are more vulnerable.
We pray that the coronavirus outbreak is contained and subsides quickly so that we can resume gathering together in person.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Sunday worship services will be held online. We have established a plan and are working to get everything in place so that we can start this Sunday.
The online service will have the same order of service... greeting and announcements, a virtual friendship folder for prayers & praises, worship through music with lyrics, corporate reading of God's Word and pastoral prayer, guidance for worship through giving for those who are able to give in this season, and the preaching/teaching of God's Word.
We will be sending out a follow-up email later in the week with the link to the online service as well as having a link in the header of the church's website.
The audio podcast of the weekly messages will continue to be available.
The church office will remain open. We want to continue to care for you through the food pantry and benevolence ministries and other needs as they arise... as well as being available to discuss what is going on and to pray with you.
Koinonia Groups. Koinonia Group leaders will be contacted for encouragement and additional guidance in how to care for their groups. This will include ways to gather electronically via social media, group video chats, etc.
CanyonKids. CanyonKids leaders are working to provide parents with helpful tools and materials to assist them in discipling their children.
Student ministries. Students are encouraged to use technology to stay connected with their peers. (they might even be able to educate us older folk on how to make better use of that tech)
Prayer meetings. Prayer requests and praise reports will continue to be distributed to our prayer teams.
Other equipping and discipling events. Due to the highly interactive nature of G-Men, it will be paused until we can gather in person. We are working toward the possibility of making "CanyonFAQs: The End Times" available online.
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
In the midst of uncertainty, the Lord God is still sovereign and in total control. The God who loved the world such that He gave His only Son is still the Holy and loving God of the Scriptures.
The Lord has equipped us, not with a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind. We should use all three to stay safe and be smart... not succumbing to panic, nor to be flippantly dismissive of the seriousness of this outbreak.
We have hope (joyful confidence) because of who God is and who we are in Christ.
We encourage all of us to continue to seek wisdom and truth from God's Word... to encourage one another with that truth... and where possible, to offer a message of hope to those who have no hope... the hope that is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, if you hear of a need from those who cannot or should not go out as part of a high-risk category, please offer to assist in running errands or important shopping needs.
Stay tuned for additional ways we can reach out to our community in service to them as we share our hope and faith.
We love the Lord, and we love you. Please pray for us as we seek Him for guidance and favor in how to care for you as He would have us do. We pray for you, as we always do, for you to draw closer to the Lord and one another.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us (email is preferred so that we can compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions).
We look forward to the day that we can be together with you in person.
in Christ and for His glory,
The pastors of Canyon Bible Church of Prescott Valley