Updated 6 p.m. March 16, 2020
The following is a copy of the communication we have sent to our members at The Summit Church. We are sharing it here as well since many other churches are curious about how to navigate worship services—and other events—in light of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
–Chris Pappalardo, Editor
This weekend, in response to growing concerns over coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Roy Cooper gave an Executive Order indefinitely banning any gathering of more than 100 people. The CDC later issued a similar statement, limiting groups to 50. And just today, a presidential order recommended group sizes no larger than 10.
In the interest of public safety, and as a display of love of neighbor, The Summit Church is making the following decisions and recommendations:
1. A Small Group Hiatus
In light of the recent presidential recommendation to limit groups to no more than 10 people, small groups should refrain from meeting in person until further notice.
During our current small groups hiatus, we still want you to be well-equipped. Our discipleship team is currently working on a resource which we will make available as soon as it is finished. This resource will offer practical ways to pray, creative ways to continue practicing community (even remotely), and many other helpful tips.
2. No Gatherings Until the Lifting of the Executive Order
We will not meet for worship gatherings at any of our campus locations this weekend (March 21 and 22), and we anticipate that this ban will affect future worship gatherings as well. Until we communicate otherwise, you should assume that the Summit is not meeting for weekend worship gatherings.
However, for as long as the Executive Order is in effect, we will operate as we did this past weekend—recording and streaming a worship service, which will be available on Saturday at 4 and 5:30 p.m., and Sunday at 9 and 10:45 a.m. on Facebook, YouTube, and live.summitchurch.com. After 10:45 a.m. Sunday, the service will be archived for playback at any time on all three channels. We will also stream a service in Spanish for our Summit en Español congregation at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at summitenespanol.com and on their Facebook page.
All other official Summit events scheduled between today and the lifting of the governor’s Executive Order will not be meeting as scheduled. We will assess, in due time, whether we can reschedule these events.
3. Serving Opportunities
As Pastor J.D. said recently, followers of Jesus are not called to run from tragedy, but to run toward it. While we will continue to take wise precautions (as mentioned above, canceling our gatherings), we also recognize that we have a responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ, caring for the sick and the vulnerable in times of great need.
In addition to helping those in your immediate circles, our ServeRDU team recommends partnering with the following local ministries and organizations: Coronavirus: How to Serve.
4. Further Communication
We recognize that this is a dynamic situation with constant new information and updates. While we do not know when we will begin operating according to a normal schedule, we will continue to communicate updates on social media, via email, and on our website.