Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

May the peace of Christ and the protection of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forever.

I have been asked many times over the past few days for advice or guidance concerning our public worship services this weekend and over the next few weeks. Here are my thoughts:

  1. We should be the Church to the people of our congregations and communities. The same God who protected the Israelites in the Red Sea, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and Peter in prison will protect now. We should be harmless as doves and wise as serpents.
  2. We should listen to our local and national leaders and follow their instructions. When they suggest, we should pray and use our strongest faith and best information to make wise decisions on our own.
  3. We must be diligent in every precaution. Clean and sanitize every part of our facilities used by children, youth, adults, and seniors. Provide materials necessary for our people to cleanse hands, clean surfaces, and protect their families. We should encourage every individual to take precautions when they sneeze, cough, or wipe their hands or faces. We should provide lined trash cans and remove the bags regularly, disposing of them immediately. Limit social interactions (i.e. hand shaking).
  4. Having taken every precaution, we should stand in faith, love, and sound minds. After we have taken precautions, people in our facilities will be as safe as those in grocery stores, shopping centers, or any public place. It will be no more dangerous in our church facilities than any other location in our communities.
  5. We should pray and follow the prompting of the Spirit in holding public services. However, we must minister in every moment and situation. Provide services online, through FaceBook, or any other electronic means available.
  6. I feel we can go ahead with our worship, preaching, and prayer services with clear minds, real courage, and strong faith. When is a genuine ministry more needed than in times of crisis?

I respect every pastor, minister, and leader in Peninsular Florida. Follow your heart. I support you.

I am praying right now for wisdom from the Holy Spirit, the protection of God for our lives, health, families, and properties. God will help us. We can be confident in Him! God bless you this weekend and in the weeks to come, in Jesus’ name, by the power of the Spirit!

Your friend and brother in the Lord,

Terry Raburn
District Superintendent

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