1016 North Avenue * P.O. Box 494 * Athens TN 37371
A Note From Our Elders
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Part of our responsibility as shepherds of the Athens congregation is to care for the overall welfare of each of you. Your spiritual, emotional, and physical health are constant and prayerful concerns to us. Today our concern involves your physical health in view of the Coronavirus disease. This virus has been classified as a pandemic this week by the World Health Organization and the U. S. Government.
Due to our concerns we are suspending the Sunday worship services and all midweek classes for the next two weeks. We will not be meeting starting tomorrow the 15th through at least the 28th. We will make a decision if we are to resume meeting on Sunday March 29th at a later time.
We offer the following suggestions during this time.
1. We encourage you to worship in your homes. Mark is preparing a video for a devotional which will be available on Facebook. Mark is also working to be able to put the devotional on our website if possible. http://www.acoctn.org. The devo will be posted by 9:00 am in the morning. James Summers will be at the building from 9:00 am to 10:00 am Sunday morning if you wish to come by and pick up prepackaged communion like we used when we met at the Y.
2. You should not feel guilty about “missing church.” Look at it as the same as not driving on icy roads or in bad weather conditions. As of this letter all worship services and classes are cancelled until the 29th. If you have any questions about the schedule please call or text one of the elders or ministers. We will make a public announcement before we resume meeting.
3. When we do resume meeting we will be using the prepackaged communion supplies or alternative methods to mitigate the risk of transferring germs until we are absolutely certain the health risk have become normal again.
4. Our expenses will still be with us. We are used to coming to services and making our contribution. We have an online giving platform on our website. It can be reached by copy and pasting, or typing in the following link into your web browser. https://acoctn.org/give-online/
You can also mail your contribution or save them at home until we resume meeting.
5. We had planned a special offering for the tornado victims for this coming Sunday. We still plan to have this offering once we resume meeting.
6. If you are in a high-risk group due to age, chronic health issues or symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or fever we ask that you do everything possible to remain home and not put yourself or others at risk from the COVID-19 virus. Please act with extreme caution to protect your health and the health of those around you. Please consult your personal physicians for your specific health needs. Ask your doctor for advice if you experience symptoms.
This is not a panic response nor is it an attempt to promote fear. It is our prudent effort to try to protect the people we love. If we look back in six months and see this was an overreaction we can live with that. What we don’t want to happen is that we look back in six months and see serious illness or death because we chose to do nothing on this day.
Remain calm, be cautious. Don’t live in fear but lean on your faith. Pray for our local, state, and national leaders to lead us through this stressful time. They are asking us to exercise cautious behavior to contain this contagious disease. We encourage you to listen to the health officials to protect yourself and your family.
Pray for those who are already ill from the Coronavirus. Pray for the healthcare workers who are taking care of them as they expose themselves to danger to do so.
We will continue to monitor the circumstances and communicate with you. Call, text, email one of us with special needs or prayer request.
We have been and will continue to pray for all of you.
The Elder Body of the Athens Church of Christ