COVID-19 Ministry Update 3-13-20

Dear Stonebrook family,

In light of the rapidly changing news in local and world health, we are moving to an online-only service for this Sunday, March 15.  And for this coming week, we recommend canceling other gatherings such as Community Groups, Parent-Teen Ministry, ISM, Campus Fellowship, and others.

However, we are planning to livestream our service on Sunday morning.  You can find details about how to join that livestream at stonebrook.org/how-to-livestream/.  So we encourage you to gather on Sunday morning with your family, roommates, or a few friends in your home or apartment.  Worship and learning from God’s Word remain paramount for our walk with the Lord, even in the face of health and financial challenges. 

We have spent much time this past week discussing, listening, and counseling on this subject, and we believe that canceling is the prudent and loving decision for this week.  This also gives us time to catch our breath and reevaluate early next week for future plans. Stay tuned for future changes through our Stonebrook updates on COVID-19.  

We have kept abreast of the recommendations of CDC, Iowa Department of Public Health, and other official health sources.  In addition, we have counseled with other churches and with some of our own leaders. We recognize that while some of you will agree with our decision, others may not.  We respect those opinions. Be assured, we have taken a calm, faith-filled approach to this.

One input we received was from a very thoughtful article, “Love in the Time of Coronavirus,” by Andy Crouch.  It’s a long read, but his insights are persuasive.  God’s church needs to both worship together and be on mission to the world, so it’s upon us not to hole-up and only protect ourselves, yet at the same time we are to care for others who are sick or could get sick.  In the weeks ahead, we will continue to assess action steps we should take as a church and as individuals and families.

If you have questions, please contact us.  We value the conversations.  

With much love,

Brad for all the elders

P.S. One more thing:  let us walk by faith and in love, not in fear.  Whether it’s about our health or our economy and personal finances, many of us are tempted to be afraid and even to panic.  Here’s an excellent and brief article, Should Christians Be Anxious About the Coronavirus?  You will be encouraged and emboldened.