COVID-19 update: Switching to Online Services

Mar 12, 2020

Dear Church,

Today we are reading about many things being cancelled out of an “abundance of caution.”  However, along with our ten sister congregations, Highrock Acton has decided to cancel Sunday services and all gatherings of 25+ people at least for the next couple weeks for a different reason: an abundance of love. 

During the pandemics that swept the Roman Empire during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, while civic leaders and even medical professionals fled for the countryside to protect themselves, Christians remained in the cities to care for the sick and dying. The resurrection of Jesus made these Christians unafraid to die, which freed them to love their neighbors sacrificially. This compassion inspired many people to become Christians and the Church grew exponentially! When Bubonic Plague devastated Europe in the mid-1300s Christians demonstrated this same sacrificial love by choosing to remain and care for the sick rather than run to safety. 

Such wonderful examples might encourage Christians today to continue meeting fearlessly despite threats from COVID-19. But we believe that today that same sacrificial love for our neighbors must take a different form. We have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable neighbors and the many precious members in our congregation who are at higher risk.

Now that containment efforts have failed, the best way to love one another is to slow the spread of this virus so that medical facilities and professionals are not overwhelmed by more patients than they can care for. We can do this by avoiding gatherings of more than 25 people, and even in smaller gatherings practicing “micro social distancing,” which includes remaining at least 3 feet apart and frequent hand washing. 

While we are saddened by the prospect of sacrificing many of our beloved regular gatherings, let us consider what invitations God may be giving you personally and us collectively in this season. 

First, we are exploring ways to connect virtually, including online Sunday services and other opportunities throughout the week. Ministries that involve high interaction, like ELL classes and youth group, are exploring ways to stay connected virtually. We encourage small groups to exercise discernment about whether or not to meet, and to take appropriate cautions if you do meet together. Please stay tuned for more details about all this!

We also want to take special measures to care for those who are vulnerable or isolated at this time. Just yesterday, I was in a small group discussion where folks shared what they loved about Highrock Acton. Several shared stories about how, in a time of need, Highrockers they didn’t even know showed up and blessed them with meals, cards, and other expressions of love. If you know someone in our community who is in need, reach out; drop off groceries or a meal; schedule an “online” time to chat! If you have a need, please reach out to your small group, ministry team, post about it on the MyRock Community Board, or email the pastors. Let’s love and care for one another well in this time!

There are other ways to serve in this time as well. We have another work day on the new property scheduled for March 21st, plus plenty of opportunities to prepare us for our move in to 255 Great Rd. Or if you want to help a Highrocker in need, let us know and we can let you know some ways you can be a blessing to others!

May our love for one another and our hope in Christ shine in this exceptional time!

With love, 

Pastors Becky & Will