Coronavirus Response: How One Church Is Handling This Sunday

by Bobby Gilles

in Church Communications

We put together this communication today at Sojourn Church New Albany:

Dear Sojourn,

We are canceling this Sunday’s service and all church-sponsored events and other group activities in our campus for the following week (March 15 through March 21). We will host the service on, and we hope you will sing along, pray, recite God’s word, give, and listen to the sermon online. It will stream live at 9am and will stay on Facebook permanently. By Sunday afternoon the sermon video and manuscript will be on Rightnow Media, and by Monday we’ll have the sermon audio and video on this app.

Why are we and many other churches, civic groups and other organizations doing this? Because now is the best time to keep the coronavirus from becoming an overwhelming force. If we can slow down the rate at which it spreads and people get sick, then we greatly increase the chance that folks will have a hospital bed when they need it.

By and large we are a young, healthy congregation. What our bodies might be able to easily handle could be deadly if we infect someone else. Therefore we are calling on you to practice social distancing for a short while, so we can take stock and see how it’s going. We are also a mobile congregation, with many of you regularly traveling on business and for personal reasonsThis week alone we know of members who have traveled to areas that have thus far been more heavily stricken with Coronavirus than Indiana or Kentucky.

Meanwhile, God has always led Christians to be wise and adaptive regarding technology, from using the new system of roads developed by the Romans in order to carry the epistles in our New Testament, to utilizing and improving a new, “book like” kind of scroll called the Codex in the 2nd century, to the invention of the printing press which helped launch the Reformation, to the early adoption of film, radio and TV to spread the gospel. Now today, we can more easily get through such a time as this by using the Internet:

We do not live in fear, but God calls us to walk wisely. Even Jesus took measures to protect his life until he knew it was the time appointed to him to suffer for humankind. (Luke 4:28-30, John 7:30, John 8:59, John 10:39).We encourage community groups to refrain from meeting next week, particularly the larger your group is, and particularly regarding shared meals. Take advantage of the technology God has enabled us to discover, build and use, such as phone calls, texts, video chats, social media and email.

To learn more about how canceled events, self quarantines and social distancing can save lives (especially the elderly and those with compromised/weakened immune systems), click this link.

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