WELCOME to the Southern New England Conference in South Lancaster, MA. We are a Christian community and would love to have you visit with us. Our local mission is to edify our members as we seek God's face. To learn more about what we believe you can visit our About Us page. Please join us for Bible study, worship, and prayer.
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COVID-19 Latest Update
16 March 2020
From: SNEC Administrative Committee
To: SNEC Pastors, Local Church Elders, and Church Boards
SUBJ: SNEC COVID19 Update #4 — Home Churches
SNEC COVID19 Update #1 — dated 03 Mach 2020
SNEC COVID19 Update #2 — dated 12 March 2020
SNEC COVID19 Update #3 — dated 15 March 2020
Dear Pastors, local Elders, and Church Boards.
Grace to you and peace in the Name of Jesus.
This COVID19 is causing harm to our nation. Governmental entities are asking us to cooperate with their many directives. One such directive from the governor of Massachusetts is to not gather in groups larger than 25 people. The Federal government’s CDC has recommended no groups larger than 50 people.
The word “church” means “the called out people”. This implies the people who have been called out gather together.
I would ask the following of the local church boards. At this time, let us voluntarily cooperate with the government. We do so to be good neighbors and citizens. The church buildings should not open for programs and events. The exception would be skeleton crews producing programs for digital broadcast.
Please develop a plan to keep the church family connected. There are several options. A digital service with a devotional talk on Sabbath would be welcomed. But listening to a sermon is not worship. Gathering together to pray, encourage, and fellowship are important parts of worship and church life.
Please devise a plan to let your local church gather in smaller groups — house churches. These groups can rotate to different homes through the weeks. Perhaps each group could have a centralized video message from the pastor. Prior to the worship in each home there could be a modified Sabbath School lesson which is made relevant for both children and adults.
These are simply ideas. You are the elected local leaders. You may have better ideas and plans that you can put into practice. The truth is your plans will probably change and develop over the weeks.
The important thing is to keep the church family together, communicating and working together. Discover where you can be of value in your community. Invite neighbors and friends to your house churches — keeping within the maximum asked for by the government.
Regardless of age there are church members who should not be exposed to other people. They should not be part of the home church strategy. Please develop a plan to keep these older and/or respiratory compromised individuals in the care plan of the church.
The small groups, or house churches should set guidelines for proper greeting etiquette. Also, to start, let us take a conservative approach to shared meals. Let us eat at our own homes.
You also may have members who want no contact with anyone. Respect their desires. Find a way to serve them, and it may mean simply praying for them.
God’s church has gone through many trying times through history. He will get us through this. As leaders in the local church the people look up to you. Be hopeful, patient, and encouraging.
May the Lord bless you as you lead.
DM Dennis, SNEC President