Dear South Grove Church,
As you are all aware, there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) throughout the country. At a time like this, as Christians, it is important for us to find a full assurance of peace, faith and confidence in Jesus. We trust in him! We do not need to let our hearts be carried away by fear or anxiety. We remember that, "from him and through him and to him are all things" (Rom 11:36). We remember that God is in control and that we live for his glory.
During this time, let’s pray together for each other, for our city, and for other parts of our world – that God would protect, heal, give peace to people, and bring hope and faith to many! Proverbs warns us: "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (Prov. 24:10). At times, we realize that our strength is indeed small, but it is then that we turn all the more to Jesus. Remember Philippians 4:4-7, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We have great reason for our hope in Jesus; let’s continue with confidence and love.
Trusting God, we should also exercise wisdom at this time. We’d like to share some best practices as a precautionary measure to help our church and community:
Services and Small Groups
Due to the ban of public gatherings of 10 or more people and the mandatory stay in place order from the Athens/Clarke County Commissioners office, we will not be meeting for Sunday services or small groups until further notice.
We will be recording Sunday morning teachings and temporarily making them available to those who attend South Grove Church on our website by 10 am each Sunday. We encourage each member of the church to listen to the teaching and to take time to sing worship to God and pray on their own.
We will also be sending Kids' Church curriculum to each parent and encourage parents to go over it each Sunday with their children. If you need curriculum you can email our Kids' Director here.
Please hold to best health practices, including regular hand washing, covering your face when coughing/sneezing (with a tissue or elbow), and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
If you are sick – experiencing fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or other flu-like symptoms, please stay home and refrain from gathering with the church or your small group until recovered. We encourage you to reach out to your small group, so that they may pray for you.
If you are at higher risk due to age, various health conditions, or other personal or professional circumstances, we encourage you to use wisdom. If you feel safer staying at home, we encourage you to do so. If you need assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your small group leader.
If your children are sick, please keep them home from church functions and small groups.
Almost all of the ongoing expenses for South Grove Church will continue. If South Grove Church is your church home, please be faithful and consistent in your tithes and offerings so that we are able to continue in the things Jesus has asked of us and, when this disruption is over, we are still able to move forward effectively.
Because we don’t have regular Sunday morning gatherings as a place to give tithes and offerings, you can continue giving your tithes and offerings by using your own bank’s Online Bill Pay option or via our website.
Caring For Each Other
It is an important time to care for and encourage each other! The uncertainty puts all of us a little bit on edge, but we have great reason to trust Jesus and go forward with confidence. Praying together, talking on FaceTime, and texting are all ways for us to stay connected and give each other courage.
When friends from your small group are sick, figure out how to help them. Prepare a meal and leave it outside their door. Take them flowers. Buy them toilet paper (if you can find it ;-). Anything to encourage and build up their faith and confidence that Jesus is with them.
Jesus’ church is not fragile! Let’s do our best to not be afraid, to give one another courage, and to trust him as we walk this out. His promise “I am with your always, to the end of the age” in Matthew 28:20 is still true. And Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” encourages us that God is at work for our good even through difficult times. We believe that South Grove Church will come out the other side of this stronger and full of faith and confidence in Jesus. He has given us a mission to help people know Jesus. Let us live out our faith and be a strength to those around us during this time.
We'll keep up to date and inform you of any changes as they come.
Hope to see you soon.
South Grove Church Leadership