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Friday, March 13, 2020

Update from the Elders Regarding COVID-19

Northside Family and Friends,

On Thursday, March 12, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Holcomb of Indiana issued a statement in which he outlined a series of steps that should be enacted statewide in order to mitigate the spread of the infection. In response to the Governor’s statement, out of a love for our congregation, and in obedience to our Lord’s commandment to love our neighbors, the elders of Northside have decided to temporarily suspend all Sunday activities through the end of March 2020. This decision is effective immediately. All the best data and practice indicates that this action is the most prudent during this time. We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal medical authorities throughout this time and reevaluate as new information and best practices become available. At this time, the church offices will remain open during normal working hours. Many of you will wonder how the church will continue to “do the work of the ministry” during this temporary suspension. On Sunday, March 15th, the elders will call a meeting of various Northside committee and ministry leaders to help formulate a plan for how to adjust our ministries to this temporary change. We plan on addressing how our ongoing weekly ministries, classes, and group should operate. We will communicate those plans to the church in the coming days. We reached this conclusion based on several convictions:

It is our conviction that, according to the Word of God, our physical gathering together is an essential part of our expression as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:24-25). We are committed to this conviction in the long-term, after this short-term disruption has passed.

It is also our conviction that, according to the Word of God, we ought to respect and honor the earthly authorities that the Lord has placed over us. (Titus 3:1-2, Romans 13:1-7)

Furthermore, it is our conviction that, according to the Word of God, we ought to think critically and evaluate carefully how to best express love and care for both the body of Christ, the church, and the community in which we live. (Eph. 4:15-16, Gal. 6:10, Mark 12:31) By temporarily suspending our gatherings, we are signaling our willful participation in a nationwide effort to limit the spread of this infection. We believe that, at this time, this is the best expression of our love for you and our community.

Please continue to monitor our Facebook page and website for official communication regarding next steps. In the meantime, what should we do? Our large gatherings are suspended, but the Church of Jesus Christ is not. Let us be a people who are soberly and joyfully waiting on the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As the world looks for something solid to hope in, let us be a people who are ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. As the world is in the grip of fear, let us be a people who cherish the words of our God, “Fear not, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10) Let us pray that God will be glorified in the world in and through this crisis.

Lovingly, ​​​​

Your Elders