Update From The General Overseer on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease)
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Cleveland, TN: The General Overseer of the Church of God, Dr. Tim Hill, issued the following statement on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic:
“As we hear more and more news reports, I wanted to once again reach out to our church family and let you know that we are continuously monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Since the World Health Organization has today classified the outbreak as pandemic, church leadership has been considering the impact of the virus on our church family, particularly in regards to Smoky Mountain Winterfest and our upcoming church services scheduled for this weekend.
After meeting with a task force on this issue, consulting local doctors and health officials, as well as governmental officials at the White House and in the Tennessee Department of Health, the Smoky Mountain Winterfest will continue as planned this weekend after much consultation with officials at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. We certainly do not want to take any risks
with our children and youth leaders, but after multiple conversations, we believe that Winterfest can proceed ahead. I would request that you join me in prayer, not only for the safety of the young people and leaders who will be attending Winterfest, but in prayer for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God upon this incredible event.
In addition to Winterfest, our churches will be holding their regularly scheduled services this weekend and I am encouraging each local church to take precautions to prevent the possible spread of this disease. The Center for Disease Control has issued some very specific guidelines and suggestions about precautions to keep people healthy. Those guidelines can be found by clicking or tapping HERE.
In addition, the Church of God communication department has created a resource page that contains links to various governmental entities that are providing specific guidance on the coronavirus pandemic. Visit this resource page by clicking or tapping HERE. I would encourage everyone to review these guidelines and to follow the suggestions closely. Since this is an ongoing issue and things are changing daily, additional updates will be issued as needed.
Towards that end, the Executive Committee is in almost continuous discussion as new information is received and we will act quickly if the situation merits such.
While we need to take every precaution to protect our church attenders, our employees, and ourselves, I do not believe that we have to live in fear. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures teach us that we are not to have a spirit of fear. So, once again, I ask that you join me in prayer for our nation and our world that God would bring healing. I also pray that our church family will be a lighthouse and refuge to those families who are suffering from the impact of the virus.
May God bless you in the fulfillment of your ministry.”