The Harrisburg Plan to Love Our Neighbors
The World Health Organization has labeled COVID-19 a global pandemic. Our response to this sickness is more than what you will read here, but it is also not less. There will be many ways each of us can pray, serve, and care for those who are impacted by the virus. But, there is also a need for each church to have a plan for how they will operate and gather in the event that the virus spreads throughout their communities. We all want to be a help to those in need, and none of us want to help spread this sickness that can harm our neighbors.
The Centers for Disease Control have recommended strategies for communities and the organizations within them. You can read the recommended steps to try and contain the virus here: CDC Strategies. Our hope is that by following the recommendations we will be good neighbors to Tupelo and Lee County, MS.
If you read the article, you saw that there are three categories (or levels) used to describe the impact or transmission of the virus. The categories are “None,” “Minimal to Moderate,” and “Substantial”. The designations are based on the amount of people in a city or community who have been diagnosed with the virus. Moving forward we will refer to these as Level 1 (None), Level 2 (Minimal to Moderate), and Level 3 (Substantial).
Level 1 (No confirmed cases in our city or county)
As of March 11, 2020, Tupelo and Lee County are in Level 1. This means we should be preparing and communicating as best we can for the potential that we will be in Level 2 or Level 3. As long as we are in Level 1 we will not make changes to our weekly schedule.
As a member of Harrisburg, you are encouraged to do the following:
1. Familiarize yourself with information concerning the signs and the spread of COVID-19.
(Click here for info)
2. Identify family members, church members, and friends who might be susceptible to the virus, and
make plans to help them as needed.
3. Take every measure you can to protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus.
If you are at risk due to age or health, we want to encourage you to prioritize your health.
If you need to miss, our services are available live on Facebook at 8:30am on Sunday,
online all the time, and on tv each Sunday at 12:00pm.
As a church we are doing the following:
1. Identifying those who are at risk and who depend on our church and its members for help.
We will be developing a ministry plan for checking in on them and for helping them avoid
2. We are taking extra care to make sure our facility is clean and that our gathering spots
3. We are making every effort to point our members and community to the information available
through the CDC and other organizations.
4. We are making every effort to have hygiene supplies ready throughout the building.
5. We are canceling any travel for the church to areas where there are confirmed cases
Level 2 (Minimal to Moderate transmission of COVID-19 in our city and county)
If we reach this level we will make the following adjustments to our weekly schedule of worship services, meetings, and programming:
1. We will move to one worship service on Sunday at 11:00am, and continue to provide a live feed
on FB and all of our other media services.
2. We will have a modified version of our Sunday school classes. The recommendation of the CDC
is that all gatherings of 10 or more people in the high risk categories be cancelled. Out of a
great love for our members at risk we will be canceling their SS classes. For more information
on what qualifies as “at risk” click here.
3. We will cancel all Sunday night activities, Wednesday night activities, rehearsals, weekly outings,
studies, and meetings.
4. We will provide a live online Wednesday night Bible study that will also be posted on the web.
5. We will cancel all mission trips leaving during this time period to avoid unknowingly spreading
6. We will continue to minister to one another and serve one another in every way possible.
7. Our pastor and ministry team will continue to work and serve as long as they are able,
but it is possible we will modify the work schedules of our support team members.
8. Provide regular prayer updates for our church members and give guidance on how to pray
during this time. Reminder: There is no joy in the cancellation of these services and activities.
We are holding on to our weekly gathering at this point out of our love for God. But,
as stated at the beginning of this letter, our love for one another requires us to make some
sacrifices for the good of our city and the containment of the virus.
Level 3 (Substantial transmission and diagnosis of COVID-19 in our city and county)
1. We will cancel the gathering of our Sunday morning service, and continue to provide a live
broadcast of worship and preaching at 11:00am and continue all of our other media services.
2. We will cancel all Sunday school classes.
3. We will continue with the previous cancelations of Sunday night, Wednesday night activities,
mission trips (that happen during this phase), weekly meetings, studies, rehearsals, and outings.
4. We will continue to offer a live Wednesday night Bible study, and continue posting it online
on our website.
Reminder: If the virus spreads to this degree, we will have a neighborly responsibility to make
every effort to help the pandemic come to an end. If we reach this point, we will not cancel
our gatherings for any longer than is medically necessary. As soon as possible we will return
to at least Level 2, and prayerfully to Level 1.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Who do I call if I have a need?
You can continue to contact the church office. We have recently updated our phone system and as a result, we are able to access our office phone lines through our cell phones. (This includes voicemail)
2. What do I do about giving?
You can mail your tithes and offerings to the church office, or you can give through our online system.
Click here to tithe or give to a special offering through PushPay.
3. What if I need counseling about a situation I am going through?
Contact the church office, we will make every effort to be face-to-face to listen, pray, and give counsel.
4. How can I make sure that myself and someone I care about is prayed for?
Contact the church office, or you can click here to do it online.
5. Will we visit those in the hospital?
Yes, we will continue to make hospital visits as long as we are able to do so. But, when it becomes unsafe to those in the hospital or unsafe for visitors, we will follow health guidelines and rules.
6. What about the Day School?
The Day School will follow the guidelines and recommendations of the local government and the CDC as it applies to them.