CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE PLAN

March 23, 2020


Dear LCC Family,


To say this month has been strange is an understatement. We closed our doors to public worship on March 15 and have worshipped strictly through Facebook live since then. We have also suspended all in-person activities and ministries. Several steps either have been of are being taken to help maintain our sense of community and support of the church during this time. 

  1. Workplace has been set up to allow our ministries and groups to continue to connect. I am still setting up additional ministries and groups on there.
  2. On March 29, we will begin having not only Facebook live at 10:30 on Sunday morning, but also at http://lutzcc.online.church . It will be linked through our website. I have instructed Eden to send out sermon notes in each Wednesday’s e-blast. This week, Dana will be providing some special music and I am asking Bob Mallory to have the lay assistants film and send me an opening prayer each week to bring in elements from the Traditional service.
  3. I am beginning a Facebook live Bible study on Wednesday, March 25 at 7pm. Gaylene will be my assistant to readme questions in the comments and allow me to answer and interact. It will be on the LCC Facebook page.
  4. Adam and Alexis are planning on livestreaming some music on a regular basis.
  5. I am livestreaming little inspirational moments periodically and Sir Timmy is filming some times for the kids.
  6. Thursday, March 26, I will be livestreaming an Elvis Gospel concert on Facebook Live.
  7. We are setting up a new online giving platform which is more streamlined and offers more ways to give.
  8. I am constantly looking for new ways to enhance our connectivity during this time.

With love as your pastor,

Jody


March 18, 2020


Dear LCC Family,

As we march on, it doesn't look like the virus is subsiding anytime soon. In response, we are working on ways to have community without being physically with one another. Here are some beginning steps:

1. The Worship Livestream will continue each Sunday on Facebook. This Sunday, Pastor Jody will be preaching a sermon directly addressing the virus fears. Kellee May will serve as an online pastor to be available by chat during the service.

2. We are in the process of setting up a virtual office via an app called Workspace. It will allow all of our groups to meet via video chat as well as share files and instant messages. Please accept the invitation and join when you receive it. This can also be used by our small groups to meet virtually.

3. Next Wednesday evening, March 25, at 7, Pastor Jody is going to start an online Bible Study on Facebook Live.

4. Pastor Jody will be starting sharing a short video of encouragement on our social media pages every couple of days.

5. We have been given a free online giving platform through our website host. It integrates directly into our website and PowerChurch, plus it offers multiple giving options; online, phone app, and text giving. It is more streamlined and easy to navigate than the one we currently use. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to continue to support the church. We will make that available once we have it set up. In the meantime, you can continue to give via mail or on our existing online giving page.

6. We are also setting up a dedicated page on our website to integrate all of our online ministries.


With love as your pastor,

Jody


March 13, 2020


Dear LCC Family,

As I mentioned with yesterday’s notice, we have been monitoring the coronavirus situation closely. Thank you for your patience as we have tried to ascertain the best course of action for our community. Each day brings with it a new escalation of this crisis and new challenges. Gov. DeSantis has urged groups to suspend large gatherings for the near future. Although we are not a large gathering by definition, we do have a high percentage of those over 60 and those with underlying health conditions.


As a result, we have decided to suspend all in person activities until Easter. This will include worship gatherings for this weekend, as well as Faith in Action. We will decide on in-person worship on a week to week basis. This decision is based on our desire to be a good neighbor to those around us. A lot of uncertainty exists with this virus. We don’t want to put others at risk by gathering. Especially those who are vulnerable. By taking this step, we can protect them until we understand a little more about the virus.

As believers in Christ, we are taught to walk by faith and not by sight. We do not live in fear. I am hopeful that this scare will subside quickly. Sometime during next week, we will make a decision about the following Sunday, March 22.


You will still have an opportunity to worship with us. On Sunday morning at 10:30, we will be livestreaming the entire Elevate Service through Facebook Live on our Facebook page. We will have moderators logged in so that you may interact with each other as the service is going on. We encourage you to join us on Facebook for this event. The service will remain on our Facebook page for those who can’t watch live.


Some of you already give online, but if you would like to contribute online this Sunday, you may do so here.


This was a hard decision to make. I have never suspended live worship outside of an imminent hurricane threat. We weighed all the options, but felt this was the most prudent. I love you all and we will worship face to face again soon.


With love as your pastor,

Jody


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March 12, 2020


Dear LCC Family,

With the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in recent weeks, we as a church must be prepared to respond to this situation should the virus significantly affect life in the Tampa Bay area. Our staff has developed the following plan in response, which has been approved by Session:

  • Replace worry with prayer. Philippians 4:6–7 (NLT) says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” What a tremendous promise! We have no need to fear the future, because our wise, good, sovereign, loving God knows and holds the future. So we pray the virus stops spreading, pray for those who are sick, and pray for wisdom for officials at all levels and for our church.
  • Wash your hands. You have heard this over and over in recent days. Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of many varieties of bacteria and viruses. We are looking into adding hand sanitizing stations (but these are hard to come by right now…!).
  • Stay home if you are sick. If you show any symptoms, please stay at home. Don’t run the risk of spreading an infection. If you need anything (food or medicine), call the church office and we will make sure to send someone to help.
  • If you are diagnosed with Coronavirus, notify the church office immediately.
  • Greetings. Handshakes are not expected, but love of neighbor is. For the time being, we can replace handshakes with waves or elbow bumps.
  • Cancellations. For the safety of the members of our congregation, especially the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, we will be cancelling all non-worship activities until after Easter. This will include, unfortunately, the Spring Carnival, Bible studies, meetings, exercise group, and Hands of Love. Outside groups, such as Scouts and YoungLife, will make their decisions independently. Faith In Action and Mustard Seed Garden will not be affected as they are outside in non-confined areas, but I would encourage them to adapt hygiene protocols. Session, Deacons, and ministry teams who need to meet, should meet electronically. Through Workspace, we have the ability to set up conference calls and video conferencing for all who need it. After Easter, we will reevaluate. If we do have to cancel a worship service, watch your email, Facebook, and the church website. Should we have to cancel a Sunday morning service, we will have a worship service online.
  • Consider online giving. If we have to cancel a Sunday morning service, consider giving online to support the continuing mission of the church.
  • Regular communication will be vital. Because of the fluidity of the situation, the church staff will be monitoring the situation and recommendations given by the CDC and state/local officials. We will communicate any updates to plans as they occur.

This is an opportunity for us to show wisdom and also love for our neighbors as we live in a world groaning for the return of Christ (Romans 8:22–24). We won’t live in fear, but we will walk in wisdom together until that Day.

With love as your Pastor,

Jody


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