Raleigh church cancels in-person weekend services, going online due to coronavirus concerns

Wake County News

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As organizations, schools and events close shop around the country due to coronavirus, one Raleigh church has taken action by canceling in-person weekend services.

The Summit Church sent out an advisory Thursday evening detailing their plans for the upcoming weekend.

Read their statement below:

Summit Family,

As concerns increase this week surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are committed to doing whatever we can to provide a safe environment for you and your family. 

To that end, our directional elders have recently appointed a team, consisting of several key staff members and medical professionals from our church, to monitor this situation more directly. This team has been meeting daily (sometimes hourly) to assess the current public
health news and policy updates issued by the CDC and other appropriate agencies, applying their recommendations to our current situation.

While God has not given us a spirit of fear, he has called us to love our neighbors and to contribute to the welfare of our community. Exercising caution is not merely wise, but is a tangible way of expressing love toward others. 

In light of the recommendations of our governing officials toward “an abundance of caution,” The Summit Church is making the following decisions and recommendations:

1. NO Weekend Gatherings

This weekend, March 14 and 15, we will NOT meet for worship gatherings at any of our campus locations. Instead, we will record and stream a worship service, which will be available on Sunday at 9 and 10:45 a.m. on FacebookYouTube and live.summitchurch.com. We encourage you to worship at home, together with your small group, family, and friends, and consider inviting a neighbor to join you. In a time of uncertainty and fear, we can be a light of gospel hope.

Canceling these services was a very difficult decision for us, but we have been guided by two principles: (1) honoring our governing officials, who have urged extreme caution, and (2) loving our neighbors, many of whom, like the elderly or those with prior medical conditions, are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

We will continue to assess the situation throughout this week and will communicate a decision regarding our March 21 and 22 worship gatherings by Thursday, March 19.

2. Other Gatherings and Events

Any official Summit events scheduled between today and next Thursday, March 19 will not be meeting as scheduled. Our middle school spring retreat scheduled for next weekend is also canceled. Some of these events will be canceled altogether, while others will be postponed. We will continue to evaluate the situation to assess which events fall in which category.

Summit small groups will continue to meet at the discretion of each group. Our small groups are a great way for us to continue to be the church to one another and to the community in this time. Leaders should consider what is best for their family and members and coordinate directly with their campus leadership on any necessary guidance.

3. Communication and Prayer

We are actively discussing the best ways to love both our community and our people in this time. We recognize that this is a dynamic situation with constant new information and updates. If we have to communicate any last-minute decisions or changes, we will provide updates on social media, via email, and on our website.

While we do not know what will happen as this situation changes, we do know that we can, and must, pray. As we look to the days and weeks ahead, would you join us in prayer?

  • Ask God, in his mercy, to stem the tide of this growing pandemic, not only in our communities, but in cities around the world.
  • Pray that those who are called to address this crisis (particularly medical professionals and those in positions of authority) would be equipped to handle new cases with wisdom and compassion.
  • Pray that local churches would lead the way in exhibiting a spirit of trust in God and love for others.
  • Pray for our overseas missionaries, that they would act as God’s ambassadors, continuing to offer the hope of the gospel to those around them.

As believers, we are called to run toward tragedy and not away from it. Faithful Christians have done this throughout many generations. Let’s be faithful in this moment to be the hands and feet of Christ, caring for the sick and pointing people to ultimate hope in him.

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