In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and out of concern for our local communities, both within our church and outside it, our normal worship service is cancelled. This is in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Lemon Cove Community Church
A Member of:
May 26, 2020
These last weeks have been very challenging to us all. Many of us have seen substantial changes in our lives, and this has certainly been true of the way we practice church together. I have heard from many of you how much you miss our weekly gatherings, and I certainly have as well! I hope and pray that the sacrifices you and I have made in these days will serve not to atrophy our faith, but instead to deepen it. And, from the book of Philippians, I am “…confident of this
The situation regarding the pandemic remains fluid, particularly in Tulare county where new cases continue to occur at rates above where we would normally consider reopening for in-person worship. However, directions are beginning to arrive from our various experts and authorities about best practices for beginning to gather again together. Your church leadership is beginning to evaluate these directions with the hope of gathering again in a matter of weeks. With that said, I want to be very clear that we will only gather again together when we can be reasonably certain that gathering is safe. We will be cautious because faith that God will protect us is not a substitute for reasonable prudence, and many people in our church are part of a more vulnerable demographic.
I also want to paint a realistic picture for us all; a return to in-person worship will look and feel different for a period of time. We will have more information for you over the coming weeks, but you can expect that we will be sitting farther apart, conducting smaller services (perhaps more than one to accommodate the entire church family!), and that we will need your cooperation to make all of this work!
I also want to let you know that we will continue to offer online options for the foreseeable future. We recognize that some people will not be able to return to in-person worship immediately, and that others may not be comfortable with it immediately. We will still be providing options for those of us who do not immediately return.
These have been difficult days for us all. Thank you for encouraging me and for encouraging each other. Please keep it up! Shine brightly where you are and allow God to make use of you as He chooses.
I leave you with the exhortation of Martin Luther, who lived through plague himself and left the following advice:
You ought to think this way: “Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God."
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Ian Hodge
Lemon Cove Community Church
Though we are living through an uncertain and anxious time, our constant prayer is that you would remember that God is, and always has been, in control. Church is not canceled even though our worship service has been. People need the gospel in Word and in deed, and this coronavirus situation may bring that need more prominently to the surface. There is a natural fear that arises with an unknown future and the short and long term physical and economic challenges that might occur. However, we are called to be a disciple for Jesus Christ as we live our lives and still be a Church in our communities.
There are multiple ways to worship the Lord at home. Along with Prayer and reading the Bible, there are multiple online opportunities. Our website offers Daily Devotionals, Audio Podcasts, Video Podcasts, a link to our Facebook page, a link to our YouTube channel and links to Live Streaming of Sunday Services from ECO churches in our denomination.
Here are some links that you can click on that offer worship opportunities.
- Live Streams ( from ECO churches in our denomination )
- Our Video Podcasts ( NOW PREMIERING! )
- Our Audio Podcasts
- Our Daily Devotionals
- Our Facebook page
- Our YouTube channel
Be encouraged, for our God is not in quarantine, and He is our great physician! Celebrate His goodness and take comfort from Psalm 121:
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”