As the situation in our community continues to evolve, the elders met for a while last night to discuss how to be wise, full of faith, and good neighbors to each other and Tippecanoe County.
Here’s the short version: we’re still going to have worship, but we’re going to have two (identical) worship services at 10am and 5:30pm, and split the congregation by last night into the two services. If your last name begins with A-L (and you’re planning on worshiping together), please join us at 10am. If your last name begins with M-Z, please join us at 5:30pm. Both services will, Lord willing, be streamed live on facebook (on IRPC’s facebook page).
Here’s the slightly longer version: If at all possible, we want to both continue worshiping together and be good citizens who respond well to our governments regulations and recommendations. Our county health department has recommended keeping gatherings under 50, thus the decision to have two services. While this may seem overly reactionary to some, the purpose of the sudden and great changes in Indiana are not to keep the virus from spreading but to slow the spread enough to allow our health services to keep up with demand. Having fewer people in our building and spreading out in the sanctuary (in addition to maintaining good hygiene) is a very effective way to be more safe. It will also allow us to disinfect the building between services. We trust this decision was not made out of fear, but out of faith and faithfulness. It’s also understanding that changes like these are vastly more effective now, before the virus spreads in our county.
A few other important points:
- As with our previous letter, we strongly urge anyone in an at-risk category to contact their physician today to ask their doctor’s counsel on attending worship. Any household with symptoms needs to stay home and join us online.
- These decisions are on a week-to-week basis. Because so much is changing, the elders will plan to evaluate the situation every week to respond to God’s providence.
- We will not be having Sunday school or youth group this week.
- We will be having small groups this week, and encourage fellowship in smaller groups more than ever. Please consider prioritizing getting time with another family in church this week.
- This afternoon I will be heading to the building to work on disinfecting it. I could use a few teammates. If you’re available, shoot me a text: 765-418-5471.
Finally, it would help the elders if you would (1) let us know if you’re planning to stay home from worship (the shepherds care about the sheep and want to make sure they’re being fed!) and (2) let us know if we can minister to you in any way. If you find yourself lonely or fearful or discouraged, please speak up. We’re ready to help. If the changes in our economy begin to cause problems for you, please let one of the deacons know. They’re ready to help, too!
Looking forward to worshiping a good God who proclaims an unchanging gospel!