Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

Dear First Church Family,

May this letter greet you with love and God’s peace in the midst of these uncertain times!

Much has happened since yesterday’s letter from the First Church staff:

  • Gov. Pritzker announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people and a recommendation that group gatherings of 250 be postponed.
  • The Mormon Church has cancelled all public worship services.
  • The Archdiocese of the Catholic Church has suspended all mass services.
  • Neighboring church, Willow Creek, will not be holding gatherings more than 250 people.
  • Colleges and universities are moving to extended spring breaks and/or online learning to finish out the school year.
  • And our own local D-47 and D-155 school districts have just made the same decision this morning.

It is certainly a time for precaution and First Church staff and leaders made the decision this morning that First Church will also do all in our power to alleviate the transmission of this disease.

Therefore, we will not hold “in-person” worship services this Sunday, the 15th and the following Sunday, March 22nd. We will, however offer an online worship experience. So, while we may not be physically present with each other, we will still be able to “gather together” as the people of First Church. This will take place at 10:00 am. We will “virtually” gather via our church website. So on Sunday morning, go to www.firstchurchcl.org and look for the link to watch online.

In addition, in following our normal practice of closing the preschool and church when the schools close, the church will also be closed for Preschool, groups, classes, meetings, rehearsals, etc. beginning tomorrow, Saturday, the 14th. We will take this building closure on a week-by-week basis. The First Church staff and leaders will be prayerfully following the situation and the advice of health professionals and will decide to reconvene regular activities when this time of crisis has passed. Therefore, you can expect a regular update from us.

Finally, and most importantly, this is a time for the people of God to engage our faith!

  • We do that through our daily prayers….so please pray for those affected with the virus, healthcare workers, and care in the community.
  • We engage our faith through keeping connected with each other….so be diligent and take this time to connect with one another via messages, phone calls, texts, emails. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts!
  • We engage our faith through scripture reading…so keep doing your daily devotions and engage in your regular Bible readings. Recall those passages of scripture that keep you from fear, panic, and anxiety and commit them to your memory in these days. And trust that the Word is true – like Psalm 27:1-2 that reads, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Or again, Psalm 46….go look it up!
  • We engage our faith through generosity….so please do not fail to keep making your offering to the Lord for the First Church ministry. We want to make sure that our capacity for ministry does not falter at this time, but rather, when this crisis has abated, we will be able to move forward with great momentum because of your generosity.
  • Finally, please know that just because the building will be closed for the time being, this does not mean that your pastors and church staff are not available for you! We commit ourselves to continuing to prepare for ministry, answer your calls and emails, pray with you, and serve you in the best way we can.

In the Hope of Christ,

Pastor Lisa, Pastor Cesar, Katrina Jackson, Tyler Hughes, Karen Klaus, Janet Yaworski and Bryan Doyle, First Church Leadership Council chair

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