Dear family of faith of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church
In an abundance of caution, and out of our concern for the health and well-being of our members, visitors, guests and staff, our congregational leadership unanimously agreed in meeting today to cancel worship services tomorrow, Sunday, March 8 and next Sunday, March 15. Midweek Lenten Services are also cancelled for March 11 and 18, and accompanying Soup Suppers have been canceled for the rest of Lent.
We wish these measures were not necessary. We take them after careful deliberation, based significantly on current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the Washington State Department of Health, the Seattle-King County Public Health Department, and from the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA Bishop Shelley Wee.
It saddens us to not be able to gather in person for worship and fellowship. We know the exhortation of Scripture to not neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). We also appreciate how meaningful our worship gatherings are to you, so that – as disciples of Jesus – we can be encouraged, exhorted, and equipped for the week ahead.
Yet we trust that you will understand our motives: to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus to not only ourselves as members of Cross of Christ, but also our families, friends, neighbors and greater community. We feel this decision is best for us at this time, but also best for all as our medical providers, emergency responders, government officials and others work to contain and hopefully soon eliminate this threat.
For this Sunday, a small group of worship leaders including Pastor Dave will gather tomorrow morning to record a worship experience that we will make available online as quickly as possible – sometime Sunday afternoon. Building on our popular “In Case You Missed It” worship recap, the video of tomorrow’s virtual worship experience will be available on the Cross of Christ website (crossofchristbellevue.org) and Facebook (facebook.com/crossofchristbellevue).
We want to assure you that we take these actions proactively. There are no confirmed cases on our staff, within our congregation, or among our building users. We are taking these steps in the belief that doing so increases the chances that we continue to remain healthy and infection-free.
Office staff will be answering the phone and responding to emails during regular office hours. However, we will not be accepting visitors, including members of the congregation. Council unanimously approved this, as well as the cancellation of all internal and external use of the building with very limited exceptions, including affirming keeping open at this time the Ark Early Learning Center. Please do not come on campus without making prior confirmed arrangements with Pr. Dave Thomas by email, PastorDave@cofclc.net, or by phone at 425-746-7300.
We will be sending out a follow-up email with more information as it becomes available. In the meanwhile, your church leadership asks for your prayers and your gracious understanding. As we do all we humanly can, we continue to place our ultimate trust in the Lord, seeking God’s guidance and resting in God’s goodness.
Peace be with you.
Pastor Dave Thomas and Pastor Judy Brennan
Congregational President Colin Walker
Cross of Christ Council and Staff