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New Here

New Here

New Here

COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 14, 2020

I am not a person who tends to make decisions out of fear. I’m more likely to make a stubborn decision than a fearful one. I don’t believe this is the time for either. Neither fear nor stubbornness will help us at this point. These are confusing days. News changes by the minute. We are dealing with a situation we know very little about. Scientists and health professionals are learning all they can and still know far less than we wish they knew about this disease. It is unclear how to make wise decisions when so little information is available. It seems best to believe our leaders have our best interest at heart and are making decisions based on the best information available for lessening the impact of this pandemic. It seems prudent to err on the side of an abundance of caution with the hope that we will be a help rather than a hindrance to the containment of this disease and especially its impact on those most vulnerable.

Therefore, after much prayer and consideration, the Vision Team has made the decision all public gatherings will be canceled until after March 29. This initial decision puts us in line with Governor Hogan’s mandate that all schools be closed for two weeks and gatherings of more than 250 people should be ceased.

I’ve been asking a lot of questions about the church and our worship gathering concerning this decision. I believe there is immense value in the body of Christ gathering together for worship. I believe the scriptures encourage such practices. However, I have been reminded that Valley is not defined by our gathering for worship. We are not defined by our music or our preaching or our time in the building at 1401 York Road.

You are Valley. I am Valley. We are a people. Valley is a people defined by our desire to follow Jesus and our commitment to do so together. No pandemic, no enemy, no persecution, no government edict, no schedule change can stop us from being the church. Only you and I have the ability to decide we will stop being the church. Only we can decide we will no longer be faithful. Only we can decide to follow our own ways rather than Jesus’s ways.

So in these days where we do not gather together let me encourage us to faithfully do some other things. 1.) Strive to grow in our personal faithfulness. As we need to remove the spiritual practice of corporate worship, what can we put in its place to help nurture our soul? Read scripture. Pray. Take extended times of silence and solitude. Listen to worship music alone or with family and friends. Pursue Jesus anxiously awaiting the day we do so together again. 2.) Be cautious about what we take in and what we share. Social media is not trustworthy. The news is sometimes tainted. Too much of it is scary and damaging. Educate ourselves by looking at wise sources. Be cautious about trying to speak as an expert when we are not one. 3.) Be the church! We don’t need worship gatherings to do this. Check on your neighbor. Check on those in your small group. Call one another. Send texts and emails. Find ways to love and serve one another. Think especially of those who have been deemed most vulnerable to this disease and its ramifications. This should include the elderly, those who need help with childcare, those who need help with meals, those who need a place to stay, those who need financial support, those who need a friend to hear their fears and anxieties and struggles.

These days could prove great days for the church. These days could prove great days for Valley. As we are forced to reevaluate what it means for us to be light in a dark place…the salt of the earth…hope for the hopeless…the church to the world we have the chance to shine. Let’s do so.

Grace and peace,

Chad Morreau
Lead Pastor