Church Update

The Lord’s Day and COVID-19 (2nd Update)

March 14, 2020

Congregation of ZCRC(Imus),

Grace and peace from our Triune God!

We would like to update you again on our Lord’s Day service plans in relation to the COVID-19 situation.

Last March 12, 2020, President Duterte placed Metro Manila under “community quarantine”, following the Department of Health’s move to raise the Code red alert from level 1 to level 2. As a result, travel bans are imposed and mass gatherings are temporarily suspended. In a sense, this is a partial lockdown, which would restrict us from gathering publicly every Lord’s Day. This being said, we will be suspending our public worship services every Lord’s Day starting tomorrow, March 15, until the lockdown is lifted on April 14. We will make the necessary announcement should there be any change. 

For the time being, private worship remains an option for all of us. Therefore, your office-bearers decided to proceed with a contingency plan – supervised family worship at home. This is part of what was explained in our previous letter.

  1. Family worship will be conducted simultaneously every Lord’s Day from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Each family will gather in their respective homes. They should be dressed up so the worship services may be conducted formally in coordination with the office-bearers.
  2. A presider will be assigned to every family:
    • Elders and deacons will preside over their own families in worship.
    • As heads of the family, husbands who are members of the church will preside over their own families.
    • Families without a male head who is a member of the church, the eldest member of the church in the group will preside.
    • Single or Individual members have two options:
      • They may preside over their own worship with families who may not be members of the church (if applicable);
      • They may join the nearest family worship of a co-member in their area (assuming there is no travel restriction).
    • Guests and non-professing attenders are encouraged to also follow our guidelines for family worship.
  3. A condensed version of our liturgy will be sent every Saturday afternoon along with an easy-to-read guide for presiders.
    • Sermon – manuscript and the mp3 recording of the preaching will be sent to our chat group. The presider can choose either to read the sermon or if they have a good speaker system, to play the audio recording.
    • Prayer –  a list of prayer items is included in the bulletin. The presider will lead the prayer.
    • Hymn – an accompaniment of hymns will come from playable mp3s online. Links to each hymn will be provided in the bulletin. 
    • Offering – no collection will be made. Instead, members are asked to save them until collected when public worship resumes.
    • Benediction – this is allowed only for ministers. Reading of a text and ending with a prayer will replace it instead. The presider will lead the prayer.
  4. Everyone is encouraged to take pictures after each family worship service gathering, and post them in our group chat for encouragement. If there are any questions and concerns, please inform any of your office-bearers.

Again, let us remain calm, but alert. Let us continue monitoring the situation, and always keep in touch. Lastly, remember that when we lift up our eyes to the hill, and ask the question, “Where does our help come?”, we all reply, “Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psalms 121:1-2).” Amen.

One body in Christ,

Rev. Lance Filio
Minister of the Word and Sacrament

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