Dear Epicentre Family,

As you are well aware, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been spreading across the globe the last couple months, and we are seeing an increase in cases here in the U.S. According to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, the immediate risk to the general public in Los Angeles county is still low.

In times like this, we remember that Jesus says we, as believers, are to be “as wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” (Matt. 10:16), and that we are also the salt and light of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16).

During a time when there is much public fear and panic, we are given an opportunity to be the Church we are meant to be for the Kingdom. 
We want to be prudent and wise, without falling into the same sentiment of fear and panic around us. And we want to be the voice of hope and peace to those who do not know Jesus.

In light of this opportunity, here are 3 ways that we, as the Church, get to respond to COVID-19:
  1. PRAY
    • Matt. 6:25-34 - ask for greater trust in God’s provision, and for provision for those who are affected economically as a result of what’s happening
    • 1 John 4:18 - ask for an encounter of God’s love that casts out fear
    • Psalm 91 - ask God for protection over us, as well as the medical personnel and family members who are caring for those who are recovering from sickness
  2. BE WISE
    • There is a lot of information in our media, some of which creates fear rather than providing accurate information. Please go to LA Public Health Department for official updates. Here are some more helpful links to understand more about the disease:
    • As a church, we will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments to our corporate gatherings when appropriate.
    • On Sundays, we have implemented the following preventive steps:
      • Hand sanitizer is available in various places throughout Marshall campus and in classrooms.
      • Prayer ministers will sanitize their hands before and after ministry, and they will limit the laying on of hands.
      • Parents have been advised to keep child(ren) at home if they are sick, and we ask that everyone also be considerate of others.
      • If you are feeling under the weather, please consider resting at home so you can recover well.
    • One of the best preventive measures to sickness is to have a healthy immune system. We encourage everyone to steward their health. Get enough rest and sleep, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and learn a lifestyle of trusting in God by casting anxieties onto the Lord.

    • This is an opportunity for us to be the Church we are meant to be for people around us. How can we be this Church?
      • In your conversation with friends, family members, co-workers or random strangers wherever you may be, be one to communicate hope and peace.
      • Share where you are placing your trust and why you can walk in peace in the midst of the many unknowns.
      • Offer to pray for people.
    • Let’s be salt and light to transform the atmosphere around us together!
As we share with others, let’s also be family for one another. If you are or know someone who is encountering financial difficulties because of a need to stay home from work, bring those needs into community. Let our lifegroups and church family be a place where we care for one another’s needs. (Acts 2:42-47)

Praying for and with you,
Pastors Janet and Fiona
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