March 13, 2020
This is a follow up to my previous email (see below). We recently had a chance to meet via conference call with medical professionals within our local church and community. I have also been observant of our local government and had a chance to hear from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. He was kind enough to host a conference call for local pastors to discuss expectations for Sunday services. We were able to hear him thoroughly and asked questions. The summary of feedback from medical professionals, local government officials and our church leadership team can be summarized with these points: Be Informed; Be Responsible; Be Fearless.
The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health officials are the trusted sources for the most accurate information, as well as updates on the status of vaccines and treatments (which are in development).
These are the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick. Let me say that again, STAY HOME!
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Infection Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/infection-control.html
- Home Guidance:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-home-care.html
- Specific groups are at risk and should consider not gathering this Sunday. For more information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-n8cov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
Mayor Turner repeatedly reminded us that the city (Houston and Greater Houston) is open for business. People are still going to work, engaging in the community, shopping, etc. He even mentioned that he will be at his church this Sunday. We simply need to be responsible. He stated that they would not hesitate to “shut down the city” if they felt that would be needed to contain the virus. As an example, he also mentioned that the primary reason show shutting down the rodeo was because they knew with certainty that a food vendor had the virus and the responsible thing to do, would be to limit the risk of those who came in contact with that vendor. To our knowledge, no one in our local church has the virus. In fact, confirmed by Brazoria County as of this morning (03/13/2020) there are no cases of COVID-19 in Pearland, and a few cases in surrounding areas. If we find out something different, we may adjust how we handle our time together on Sundays.
Starting this Sunday, we will go live! Since the 10:00 am service is the largest service, we will go live at 10 am to help reduce the Sunday morning crowd. You will be able to view the entire adult worship service online. In addition to that, our Kid’s Ministry lesson is available below. Our Student Ministry will go live via Google Hangout.
+1 262-546-6410 PIN: 391 299 607#
For Kids Ministry
Click here for Sunday’s lesson
We will have worship services at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30 am. Please note the following:
- We will have “Fist Bump Sundays” as an alternative to shaking hands or giving high fives when greeting one another for the next few weeks.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers are available at each entry and throughout the building.
- Harvest Kids will continue to sanitize all toys, chairs, children and youth worship spaces and other tools throughout the day and between services.
- Harvest Kids will work to create extra space between children and watch for children who may be sick.
- We currently employ City Wide Janitorial services to thoroughly clean and sanitize our space weekly. This is in addition to what our team does to contribute to the cleanliness of our facilities. Going forward, we will increase the use of City Wide to three days weekly for additional cleaning to ensure optimal health conditions.
We hope that you are informed and responsible. Coronavirus is a serious matter and you are not less “spiritual” because you are using wisdom, medicine and strategy while responding to this pandemic. All of this should be done, though, without being fearful. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God did not give us the Spirit of fear. Please do what you think necessary to protect you and your family, but not as one who has no hope. Updates are available at https://harvestpoint.org/coronavirus-update/.
Harvest Point would like to make you aware of some of our local Community resources.
Please let us know via email at email@example.com if there are any others that you would like to share, also if you need assistance yourself.
Resources that we are aware of listed here for your use:
Harvest Point Fellowship Church
website address: harvestpoint.org/care/
Houston Food Bank
website address: houstonfoodbank.org
Alvin I.S.D. Food and Nutrition Services will be providing to go meals for all Alvin I.S.D. students ages 18 and under from noon to 1:00 p.m. on March 16th through March 20th. All meals may be picked up at Passmore Elementary, Rodeo Palms Jr. High, or Manvel Jr. High locations only.
website address: alvinisd.net
March 11, 2020
Many of you are very aware of the COVID-19 concern, as well as a contagious flu season, and some of you have been curious about how the church plans to respond. We wanted to take a few moments to share our plans for this week. As of 9:00 pm on Wednesday, 03/11/2020, we do plan to host our regularly scheduled worship services at 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30 am.
In the spirit of genuine concern for God’s people and safety, I wanted to share with you what we are doing to limit risks for our members and visitors, related to the coronavirus. Harvest Point Fellowship Church will continue to actively and effectively manage our church and ministry in response to COVID-19, with three key objectives in mind:
Keeping our members, visitors and their families safe.
Ensuring our church and ministry is fully operational to serve.
Doing our part as a corporate citizen to contain the spread of the virus.
To promote a healthy church environment and do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have and will implement more sanitizing measures in all of our adult and children’s areas. These steps will take place and be initiated by our professional cleaning services. Our team members will also take extra measures before and after every worship service. We are evaluating even more steps or measures necessary to keep everyone safe and secure as we press forward through preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are continuing to emphasize WHO and CDC guidelines for personal prevention techniques and encouraging ministries to hold group meetings virtually. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and are committed to ensuring our core church operations and ministry remain fully operational and ready to serve you.
These are some of the steps we are planning to take:
When you arrive to church, don’t worry about opening the door. We will do our best to either have them propped open where possible or have them opened for you.
We encourage you to greet one another with joy but as much as possible do so without handshakes or hugs for the time being.
The Center for Disease Control reminds us of the best habits to prevent the spread of any virus.
If you or your loved ones are ill with flu-like symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, and coughing), please stay home and contact a physician.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
We want to create a clean environment for the children who come to our gatherings to hear the Gospel and participate in fun activities each week. We will continue our deep cleanings and bleaching of toys before our gatherings. Here are some things that you can do to help us stop the spread of germs:
Remind your child to wash their hands with soap, to cover coughs and sneezes, and to use a tissue.
Keep your child at home until they are 24 hours free of:
- Fever – without the use of medicine
- Shortness of breath
Please be advised that we will host a conference call on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 7:00 pm for an update and to hear from medical professionals within our church body. Please feel free to call in 563-999-1272.
If we need to cancel or postpone events or services in the future due to the spread of illness in our area, we are prepared to do so. If we find it prudent to take those steps, we will make necessary accommodations to stay connected remotely. For now, let’s continue our journey together toward Jesus for the glory of God and be a presence of the hope and peace of Jesus in this world.
For quick updates follow us on Facebook and Instagram @myharvestpoint
Yours in Christ,