March 18, 2020
Dear Chapel Family,
The elders and deacons of the Chapel are continuing to monitor and evaluate the COVID-19 situation and its impacts on the body of Chapel by the Sea. In addition to prayerful consideration of this event and our response to it, we have convened a “Health Advisory Committee” of the healthcare professionals in our congregation. We held a virtual meeting last night and will likely be consulting regularly over the coming weeks. We have sought their wise counsel and have remained engaged with state and national resources in order to act on the most comprehensive and accurate data possible. The call on the Body of Christ at Chapel by the Sea to go and make disciples has not changed, though the methods by which we do so may temporarily look a bit different.
WHAT WE KNOW
- The restrictions placed on travel, meeting in large groups, etc are in place to help prevent, or at least slow, the spread of the virus
- Those considered “high risk” for complications from the virus include those over 60 years old, those of any age with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, other immune system disorders.
- It is possible to carry the virus without symptoms; therefore, it is important to limit the possibility of exposing others, especially those in high risk categories, to the virus. If you are sick, stay home and call your physician if necessary per CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (http://www.dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx) guidelines
- The restrictions are advised through the end of the month because of the incubation period of the virus and the time required to receive test results. Within the next 2-3 weeks, we should all have a better idea of what the future holds.
WHAT WE ARE DOING...
- In accordance with national and state requests to refrain from meeting in groups of 10 or more and to practice social distancing as much as possible to slow/prevent the spread of the virus, the Chapel campus will be closed for the next two weeks through March 31st.
- All regularly scheduled Chapel events are cancelled through March 31st. This includes but is not limited to:
- Sunday worship services, Sunday School, Children’s and Toddler Church, Youth Group, Youth Bible Studies
- Small group leaders are requested to either postpone gatherings or conduct some form of virtual alternative for the immediate future.
- Wednesday Night Bible Study and choir practice are cancelled.
- The Spring Conference (Johnathan Morrow) will be rescheduled for the Fall
- We will be live-streaming a time of prayer, scripture reading and teaching this Sunday, March 22 at 11:00am.
- Instructions for viewing the livestream will be posted in the Mid-week update and on the Chapel website.
- The livestream will be recorded and available via YouTube as well as the Chapel website; however, we encouragereal-time participation in order to worship together even if we are physically apart.
- Please do not try to attend the service at the Chapel; the facilities will remain closed except to those directly involved with the livestream service.
HOW YOU CAN HELP…
- Love one another
- Practice the recommended hygiene and “social distancing” measures on behalf of others and our medical system.
- Minister to one another
- Share your needs and concerns; don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Pray with and for one another
- Meet each others needs; if the need is too great, contact an elder or deacon for assistance
- Stay connected to the Chapel
- Get signed up for Chapel e-mail updates (contact the church office to sign up)
- Regularly check the CBTS website for updates (http://chapelbythesea.com/) or the Chapel Comm Facebook page.
- Take proper care of yourself and your family members
- If you are feeling ill, call your medical provider first
- If you do not have your own doctor, the following are options for you which may have virtualvisits and which accept many forms of medical insurance
- Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center (907) 257-4686
- Providence Family Medicine Center (907) 562-9229
- Providence Express Care (several locations)
- Family Medical Care (caveat they don’t take Medicaid)
- For the time being, remain away from group gatherings
- Call someone if you are feeing anxious or alone; stress shows in many ways
- Spend time in God’s Word together or work though a Biblical, online resource. As always, be very careful that the materials are doctrinally sound; just because they are available via a Christian website does not necessarily mean they are true to the Word. You may want to carefully search:
- The Gospel Coalition (articles, blogs/vlogs, study materials)
- RightNow Media (again, there is a variety of material, some good, some not so)
- If you are not sure of the orthodoxy of the material or source, please talk with an elder for assistance.
Finally, in the words of Paul, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. God is in full control of all things and our hope rests not in our health, our wealth, our recreation, or even our church, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ who reigns now and forever.
In His Grace,
The Elders and Deacons of the Chapel