Dear Church Family,
It is my prayer that in the midst of our circumstances, you are finding hope. As schools are closed indefinitely and our social distancing has been extended through April 30, I hope you are finding creative ways to stay connected to family and friends and are settling into the new norm for a while. I pray that your solid rock is Jesus and that your hope is built on His blood and His righteousness. I trust you are using this time to draw closer to Him and allow Him to work in you.
The church leadership desires to stay connected with you and keep you informed on any changes or things happening, even during this time when we can't physically be together. Please know that the ministry of our church and the work God is doing in our midst continues and every one of you are a critical part. Below are some items we would like to highlight for you:
1. Due to the social-distancing/shelter-in-place extension, all church activities will be cancelled until May 1, 2020.
2. Please be reminded that we changed our livestream service time to 10:00 am on Sundays (Livestream, Facebook, YouTube). If you are unable to livestream, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com or calling the church office. We would love to make the services available to you and will gladly mail you a CD.
3. We believe the Lord's Supper is an important ordinance and it is our custom to observe it on the first Sunday of each month. Since we are not able to meet physically during the month of April, the leadership has decided to forgo communion this month. We did not make this decision lightly and we will be reevaluating this for the month of May.
4. It is our desire to continue to be a praying church, especially during such a time as this. A Fresh Encounter service is scheduled for this Sunday evening, April 5 at 6:00 pm. We invite you and your family to gather in your living room and join us on our YouTube channel for a time of prayer and worship through music.
5. It is hard to believe EASTER is just around the corner. While this year's Easter service will be different than ever before (livestream), the message of Easter has not and will not change. Our Savior is RISEN! And we desire for the whole world to hear this message of hope.
Please use your social media platforms and email to share the attached image, inviting friends and family members to join us live as we celebrate the resurrection of our King!
6. Thank you for your continued giving to the work and ministry of Cedar Crest. This aspect of your worship is a key component in the church's ability to keep ministries going. We are trusting the Lord for His provision and are encouraging you to keep supporting His work. Our online giving is available here. You are also welcome to mail your check to the church.
7. If you are working as a medical professional, first responder, firefighter or police officer and would like prayer during this time, please join the CCBFC Front Lines Group. You will be invited to join a Zoom prayer meeting this Sunday, April 5, either at 9:00 am or 8:00 pm.
8. We miss seeing you! We thought it would be fun to put together a video of pictures of our church family adjusting to the "new normal" and share it before the Sunday morning livestream. Please send us pictures of you and your family working from home, volunteering, making masks, watching the livestream, working on school, etc.
Pictures should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or uploaded to our Facebook page.
As you can see, we are staying busy!! I praise the Lord for technology and the ability to be the church, even virtually. Let's continue to love and serve one another.
Jonathan King, Lead Pastor, on behalf of the Senior Pastor Leadership Team
Dear Cedar Crest Family,
I am sure that, just like me, you have been bombarded by articles, news and rapidly changing statistics regarding the Coronavirus. And while the world around us is changing and shaking, there is ONE solid foundation that we can rest on, and that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I wanted to make you aware of a few changes in light of Governor Wolf's "shelter in place" mandate:
1. We will be extending the Church Office closure until April 9th, 2020. As our government leaders make changes in an effort to keep the virus from spreading, we will continue to follow their guidelines for the purpose of being responsible and keeping our staff, as well as our neighbors, safe. As previously mentioned, the staff is working remotely, meaning we are still here for you!!
We care deeply about every one of you and your needs, and desire to help you in any way we can. Please continue to let us know if there is anything tangible we can do for you at this time (Needs) or if you have any specific prayer requests (Prayer), and be assured of our continuous prayers for you.
2. It has been wonderful to "see" so many of you worship with us via livestream!!! While we look so forward to shaking your hand and extending a hug in person, it seems we will continue to worship virtually for a while longer. Please note the NEW TIME for our livestream service will be at 10:00 AM starting Sunday, March 29th. Please mark your calendars for this new time and join us live.
Also, we have been made aware of some difficulties while live streaming. In an effort to alleviate these issues, we added 2 new platforms for you to be able to 'join' the service. You can livestream via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cedarcrestbfc/) or YouTube(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4wSISdUbMSpERkxg6YiGmg).
3. Lastly, please check out the new pastors' video on our website, providing you with various resources we are working on making available to you.
I am so encouraged to see our church body come together as ONE during this trying time. I am also encouraged to hear of your reaching out to each other, to family members and neighbors in need. You have truly demonstrated that you are ONEbelievable!!!
Let's continue to live out our calling and live worthy of the Gospel.
Dear Church Family,
It is nice to be back in the United States, but it is unfortunate that we returned to the COVID-19 pandemic. God answered your prayers and allowed us to have a good and successful trip to Chad.
I wanted to personally inform you of how the church is planning to navigate the rapidly evolving impact of the coronavirus. Our priority during this time is the health and well-being of our church body and our community. In conjunction with Governor Wolf's closings of school and non-essential businesses and the Trump Administration's guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, we will be closing the church office/building effective Tuesday, March 17th through March 29th. Please note all activities and meetings are cancelled for this time period.
Please understand that during this difficult time, we are not suspending all activities and gatherings out of fear or a lack of faith. We are respecting our authorities and loving our neighbors and communities by being responsible.
While our building will be closed, our availability to you remains unchanged. This season is a great reminder that our church is so much more than a building. We are a community and a body of people. Let's continue to encourage, care for, and love on one another during this difficult time for our nation. If you are in a Life Group, continue to stay in touch with each other through email or phone calls in order to pray for and encourage one another.
Below are a few important items during this time:
1. For the next two Sunday mornings, March 22 and 29, we invite you and your family to join our dedicated worship team and pastors online for our 11:15 am service, continuing our series in Ruth.
2. Your giving plays a big role in fulfilling the work of our ministry, so we encourage you to continue to honor the Lord with your giving during this time. Our online giving is available here. You are also welcome to mail your check to the church.
3. If this unfortunate pandemic has created an financial hardship for you and your family, I wanted to graciously remind you that our deacons are committed to helping you and being available to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of them, or use this link to share your need.
4. Our church staff will be working remotely. If you have any questions or needs, we are still available to you. You can reach us at email@example.com or call (484) 619-2210 (during office hours), and someone will connect with you as soon as possible.
5. We want to ensure that you remain connected and informed of any upcoming events during this "social distancing" time. Our website and social media platforms will be updated so please be sure to check-in and see what's happening.
Pastor Jonathan King on behalf of the church staff and elders.
Dear Cedar Crest Family,
We never know what the next day will bring, and with the COVID-19 virus, it seems to be changing rapidly. We want you to know that Cedar Crest Church leadership has also been having numerous conversations because the health and safety of our church body is important to us. As of 2:00 pm today, March 12, Governor Tom Wolf has declared an EMERGENCY DISASTER DECLARATION. Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Individuals most at risk for severe symptoms include the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. He has encouraged all religious leaders to use discretion to prevent the spread.
As we continue to stay informed through the CDC and local health organizations, we want you to know how we are responding to this current threat. Currently, we are unaware of any individuals associated with Cedar Crest, who are infected with COVID-19.
To be proactive and wise, the Elders have made the following decisions.
- All Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (3/12 – 3/15) programs and events have been canceled or postponed.
- We will not be opening our doors on Sunday morning, 3/15, but will still be holding a worship service via live stream at 11:15 am. https://livestream.com/cedarcrest/ccbfc Please don't forget you are still able to tithe through our website. https://cedarcrest.church/give/Our exceptional custodial staff will once again do a deep clean as the building will be closed.
- We will not make a future decision at this point but will continue to monitor what is happening. We will communicate to the church body Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning concerning our next course of action. Additionally, it is important to remember how Cedar Crest communicates in the event of an emergency or closing. Should an event be canceled, an email will be sent through Crossroads at least two hours before an event starts. In conjunction with that email, a notice will be placed on our website and social media accounts. Please also check WFMZ. We will regularly review and evaluate this situation and keep you informed of any adjustments.
Lastly, we want to remind our people that God is in control. In times of crisis, it is easy to allow fear to overwhelm us, but we are called to something greater through Christ. "7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God" 2 Timothy 1:7-8.
We have an opportunity as a church body to show our friends and neighbors the love of Jesus Christ is more than being invited to a Sunday morning service, a program, or an event. We get to show them that the Church is about loving one another through Christ. Now is the time to reach out to them and see how they are doing. Offer to pray for them or even make them a meal. In China, some Christians instead of fleeing the areas of greatest virus infection, have gone into those areas to serve and help in the name of Jesus. This is walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
Please know, the Cedar Crest leadership loves and prays for you often. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For a guide on how to prevent or what to do, please see the attachment to this e-mail.
Gov. Wolf Emergency Disaster Declaration
The Pennsylvania Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pastor Adam on behalf of the staff and Elders of the Church.