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DATE: MARCH 7, 2020 FROM: DR. TIMOTHY M. HILL SUBJECT: CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT
As the world navigates through the complexities of dealing with the coronavirus issue, please be aware that the Church of God takes very seriously the health of all our ministers, employees, and church attenders. It is our plan to assure that every possible consideration and precaution is taken. Likewise, I would personally encourage every local church, state/regional office, and every church entity to exercise wisdom and care as we deal with the potential spread of this virus. Most of all, I encourage all of us to pray for a speedy solution to this situation. In that regard, the following call to prayer was issued earlier on our media platforms:
“I am asking our Church of God family around the world to pray for those impacted by the coronavirus and for many others that are fearful of the possible continued spread of the virus. Because of the deadly consequences of coronavirus, it is important that we lift up those directly impacted by the virus, but that we also take the necessary health precautions personally to prevent the spread of the disease.
Since the outbreak of the virus, I have not changed my travel schedule and have visited several countries around the globe. I am currently traveling with a group of our Church of God family in the Holy Land on our “Journey of Pentecost” tour. However, I have tried to stay mindful of the health recommendations by the local authorities and have exercised personal caution as I have traveled and met with local groups and congregations.
As the coronavirus continues to spread and new cases are discovered, I am calling on our church family to pray for God’s mercy and favor to stop the spread of the virus and bring a total halt to this deadly disease. There is no doubt that we serve a God that hears our prayers and our pleas for help.
As we continue to prayer for healing around the world for those impacted by the coronavirus, all previously scheduled church events will go forward.”
As you face questions about how our local churches should respond or questions about whether certain state, national, or international meetings are going to be held, it is important for you to know that I have appointed a task force to stay on top of this issue and to report to me recommendations that are made by health officials. As noted in the Prayer Alert above, no church events have been cancelled as of this date and each event will be considered on an individual basis as it approaches.
For churches in your state/region, I would encourage you to pass on information about how they can access the reports issued by the Center for Disease Control. Instead of us trying to issue separate guidelines, we suggest that local congregations be familiar with the suggestions and guidance from the CDC and that they follow their recommendations.
Most importantly, I ask that our church family continue to pray for a stop to this disease.