NECC’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
COVID-19 Update – August 2, 2020
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
As I write, I yearn for the days that when we will be able to meet together regularly. I know these times we are living in can be uncertain, but I want to reassure you God IS at work in our midst.
With the school year beginning (in a VERY DIFFERENT fashion for many families), I thought it prudent to provide you with an update as to what/where our NECC planning is leading for this fall. As you recall, we appointed a re-opening team in late spring. This team continues to meet faithfully and refine its recommendations as new data for the Naperville area becomes available. We continue to prayerfully discern what the Holy Spirit is calling us to as a church family, monitor regional school district decision-making (which have changed continuously over these last few weeks) and to the extent possible, follow local and state health guidelines.
Since the team’s last update in July, most of the surrounding school districts have made the decision to postpone in person classes until later this year. Just this week, the number of new virus cases in the state are rising, particularly in Will county, and Naperville itself has its highest number of cases since the early spring in the beginning of the pandemic. After much prayer and discussion, the re-opening committee and the Executive Board have decided to postpone resuming in-person inside Sunday worship services until later in the fall. We are aware of churches have made the decision to reopen; some have done so without incident, other have caused super spreader events. On the other end of the spectrum, some churches have made the tough decision to postpone gathering until January, 2021. Brother and sisters, there is simply no perfect solution, but we feel God is calling us to recommend this more cautious path forward.
Despite our decision to postpone inside in-person Sunday morning worship service attendance, we recognize our strong desire to be together as a church family. Therefore, we invite you to:
- Host a “House Church”: invite a family over to watch service together and fellowship. You can do this by creating a new bubble with one or two other families who agree to meet together, stay safe together, share snacks together and watch services together, perhaps engaging in dialogue about all that is happening.
- Host a “Watch Party”: Use Facebook to invite your friends on FB to watch service with you
- Attend: We will resume small gatherings at NECC including youth group, MOPS, other small groups and Bible studies. More information to come soon.
- Attend: Over the next weeks, we will have several opportunities to gather outdoors in-person. Please consider joining us for Drive Through Communion and Outdoor Worship.
- Participate: We will continue to offer “Pastor’s Book Club”, please consider joining us on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. We will also be offering Sunday School classes for youths and adult.
- Join: If you are not already in a Small Group, please look for an opportunity in the near future to join one, as we will be forming new groups this fall.
As you can see, NECC is still the church, your church and the Lord’s church. We continue to seek out opportunities for connection and will keep you updated. We pray you stay connected and embrace the programming available this fall.
I also want to take time to thank the Lord, our wonderful staff and all of you, our church family, for we have much to celebrate this season. Despite this pandemic, our church giving remains strong. We finished our fiscal year on May 31st with a surplus, and we have started out our new budget year strong. The full fiscal year summary can be seen below. Basically, as a result of the PPP grant and good expense control, our surplus amounted to almost $89,600. Since we have taken our Sunday worship services online, we have new givers who watch along with us and have begun to participate in the ministry of our church. Across the three platforms we use to stream (Facebook, Church Online, and YouTube) we have over 90 unique screens (many have multiple viewers per screen) watching on Sunday mornings, with hundreds viewing at different time later in the week. God is not only sustaining us, he is allowing us to thrive during this pandemic. Thank you, again, for all of your prayers, love and support. God is AT WORK within our NECC family, despite these uncertain times!
May you rest in the assurance of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ,
Leslie X. Sanders
Naperville Covenant Church
Our church staff is hard at work developing ways that we can stay connected and still join our hearts in worship, even if we can’t physically gather. We will be attempting to set up a live-stream simplified worship service this Sunday. Our Facebook and Instagram pages will continue to be places for information and virtual connection. We’d like to encourage you to continue participating through your giving, which can be done online. Any essential information — including details about live-streaming services — will be available on our website and communicated by email (please contact us if you do not currently receive emails from NECC).
As the world tries to cope with the spread of COVID-19, let’s remember that the promises of God are still true today! God is bigger than the Coronavirus! So when we are tempted to panic in the midst of uncertainty, let’s remind ourselves that our great God still sits on the throne! Trusting in God equips us to take the threat seriously without giving into panic or despair.
Let’s replace our fear and anxiety with faith and PRAY. The Bible reminds us to pray about everything. Pray that the virus will be contained. Pray that government officials in charge will have the wisdom and discernment to respond appropriately. Pray for medical professionals who are on the front lines of caring for patients. Pray for families already affected by the Coronavirus.
As you go about your daily lives—as different as they may be right now — we encourage you to seek out credible information and follow guidelines from sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Health.
And if you are unwell, please be in touch. We want to know how we can pray and care for you. Many of our members stand ready to deliver food or other necessary items should you need to quarantine at home.
Things are changing rapidly, and new information is being released constantly. We will continue to make adjustments in response to the information we are receiving. Please, be in prayer and have patience with the Executive Board as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Yours in Christ,
The Executive Board
David, Flory, Kelly, Roy and X