A sizable number of our congregational leaders met online Friday, March 13th to discuss our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the advice of scientists, health care workers, and fellow Christian churches, we have unanimously decided to suspend all in-person activity at Community Protestant Church immediately until further notice. At this point, we can say that it will be at least through the end of the month of March and possibly longer. Our sister church, Ivanhoe Congregational UCC, has determined a very similar course of action. We will be directing all groups using the building to suspend their activities as well, including Jubilee Community Church. The church remains slated for use as a polling place on Tuesday, March 17th, which will not change unless it is directed by the Lake County Clerk’s office.
We will not stop being the church. We will be live-streaming a worship service this and the following Sundays at our regular worship time of 9:30am on the church’s Facebook page and will upload a copy of the service afterward to our YouTube Channel and our church’s website. We will be working to help facilitate opportunities for connection, support, and prayer as well as opportunities to serve our community in ways that are as safe for everyone as possible. We’ll be figuring a lot of new things out and we ask for your patience and your prayers. With only two employees, the church office will remain open during regular office hours (M-Th 9a-2p), but we ask that you call or email rather than drop by in person unless it’s necessary to do so.
You might be wondering why such a move is necessary when things “don’t seem that bad.” As folks around the world have been discovering, we simply cannot wait until things get worse. The best way to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 is to limit face-to-face contact to about 50% of “business-as-usual.” This means that everyone should remain as physically isolated from others as possible, keeping public interaction limited to necessities (groceries, drug stores, doctors appointments, elections, etc.). The more you can limit your physical contact with others, the better.
Feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns. It’s been one heck of a week, but our community is blessed with faithful, loving, and strong people and the power and presence of our God who will guide us through this wilderness.