Over the past 72 hours, the situation with the CORONA (COVID-19) virus has developed significantly. The Governor and state public health officials have issued several guidelines and orders. We want you to be aware that our staff and leaders are taking every precaution to keep our church family safe and healthy.
We are staying updated with communications from local, state, and national organizations, as well as the Assemblies of God, who are working around the clock to keep us well informed, both from a health standpoint all the way to legal counsel, and will follow any guidelines recommended by these organizations.
We have waited until today, Friday, to provide you with this update on purpose. We wanted to be sure to provide you with the latest information necessary to make the wise decisions in the days ahead as a church family.
At this point, our church remains open during normal business hours and proceeding with THIS Sunday morning worship service as usual, as well as Family Night on Wednesday evening, but we recognize that the situation may evolve in the coming days which we “may” have to cancel for extra caution. We appreciate your flexibility in this season as we adapt along the way.
Though we will be having our church service this Sunday, March 15, 2020, there are some Partners of our church family that would like to participate in our All Church Business Meeting this Sunday night but are not able to due to this virus and their physical conditions at this time, we are going to cancel Sunday night church meeting, and will reschedule it for a later date. We will keep you updated on this.
Harvest Time Leadership takes the health and well-being of our church family seriously. To that end, we want to update you on the safety guidelines we have in place as concerns grow regarding the spread of COVID-19.
While many of these safety guidelines are in place year-round, they are especially important during parts of the year with elevated concerns about spreading germs. Though there have been no reports of COVID-19 within the Harvest Time family, we want to share our existing wellness plan, as well as a few of the additional precautions we are making throughout the remainder of the flu season to ease any concerns that you may have.
Your Health and Safety is Paramount, so we have taken extra precaution and additional measures to make your church experience as safe as we possibly can.
In Person Changes while at Harvest Time
We keep our facilities very clean all year round, but we have gone the extra mile with the following measures:
In addition to hand soap available in the bathrooms, we have good alcohol and aloe-vera based hand sanitizers available for use at any, and all times.
We’ll also be doing a complete sanitation of our toys in the children’s areas. This is a practice we do on a regular basis, but we are doing it again.
All handles, doorknobs, tables, and places that need to be touched by your hands, will be fully sanitized tomorrow Saturday and before each service.
We are a hugging church family. This is part of our culture. Unfortunately, in the next few weeks, we will not be hugging, shaking hands, or touching much. Use your discretion and don’t get offended is you feel comfortable shaking someone’s hand, but they choose an elbow bump instead. So, let your greeting be an air hug, a wave, an elbow bump, or a foot bump or something fun you come up with. Let’s just have fun during these times.
We will not be passing the offering at our weekend services. Instead, there will be ushers by the doors available as you exit.
We also recommend that you give your tithe and offering online (this would be a great time to set up a recurring donation if you wish). You can give online now here at: https://www.harvesttimeaog.com/ and go to the “Giving” tab. Yes, we have it all set up for you. It’s simple, save and easy.
If we must cancel services in the weeks to come, please we aware of your commitment to God in your giving and also our missionaries still need their support. This is simply a reminder as it is easy to forget during times like these.
HEALTH PREVENTOIN IS KEY
If you are sick in any way, or are an elderly with a lower immune system, please stay home on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights, until this virus is dead and gone. Also, if you or any of your family members have any type of symptoms of coughing, sneezing, fever, nausea, achiness, or any flu-like symptom, please remain at home and take care of yourself. No need to feel guilty or bad about “missing church.” Educate yourself on the COVID-19 symptoms at the websites linked below.
As you remain at home to recover from your illness, let our church office know so we can pray for you. With any illness, we love you and are here to support you. Please do not hesitate to share your need with us. We do have praying church who is willing and ready to pray for you.
Nutrition, Sleep, and Exercise. A healthy immune system can head off disease or lessen its symptoms. Please continue to eat nutritious meals, plan to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night and maintain any exercise program in which you are currently engaged. Above all, Build your immune system with good whole foods vitamins or herbs.
We encourage you to take some time to understand proper prevention measures to avoid spreading the virus by reading through the CDC recommendations Covid-19 CDC recommendations.
Here are some of the basic measures listed on the CDC website:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
WHEN OUT AND ABOUT
When at work, at the store, at the gas station, or anywhere, please keep yourself safe and follow the same healthy measures.
Let’s try to help our neighbors, and our community. With the working parents and now children at home from school (they’re now closed for the next three weeks), we can find creative ways to be a blessing and reach out to the community. So think creatively and prayerfully.
We are in the process of communicating with our local leaders to find ways to be a blessing to the community around us. We will keep you posted on this.
Stay on the Word and OFF the News. They don’t give you the full report. Just go to the websites provided below for a more proper update on this virus. The News channels are filled with fear and Lord knows we need to stay in faith and not fear.
Keep an eye on Facebook for more updates, emails, texts, etc. If we need to cancel in the future one or two services, we will keep you updated and will also do messages online. I, Pastor Alex, will provide with more spiritual nourishment and updates as I can possibly do. Or, I may send you good information from great ministers that we know to help you enhance your walk with God. Though we may not gather as often in the next few weeks, we continue to work just as hard to keep our ministries moving forward with our God-given vision.
We understand that uncertainty can create fear, but we want you to know that our “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7).
We are The Church, and we can show our faith through this time that while we are preparing carefully, we do not lose sight of our ultimate mission to provide access to Jesus and His kingdom in whatever way necessity dictates.
Let’s shine during these difficult times. Pray for others as often as you can. Many have already been miraculously healed from this nasty virus. Be the voice, be the hands, and be the feet of Jesus. Let’s glorify the Lord as we’ll see him take what the enemy meant for evil, for our good and for his glory.
We can all continue to use the gift of sound thinking as we take necessary precautions AND pray faith-filled (not fear-filled) prayers for healing, the death and destruction of this virus, and divine wisdom for those working toward solutions.
Let’s pray for God-ideas and solutions to be imparted into the public health communities as we continue do our own part to act wisely in navigating this situation.
Thank you for all you do and for your understanding. We have amazing people in our church working behind the scenes, so your health remains safe while attending our service and bible studies.
Our number one concern is for your safety. Please let us know if you have questions or specific concerns.
And yes, our ladies’ and men’s bible study will go one tonight at 7:00 pm as previously planned.
We love and appreciate you greatly! Pastor Alex and Leadership Team
PS: Updates Hear, Near, and Far As the situation develops, it is important for all of us to stay up to date on the latest information. To that end, the following links may help you understand what is happening in the Cleveland area, as well as the region, country, and beyond.
Also, read Psalm 91: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.…