Greetings to our POCC Family!

It is a high priority to make our church a safe, secure place for you and your family to worship and continue to be a place of refuge and support. Due to the ongoing concern about the spread of COVID-19, we believe it is prudent to exercise caution in a number of ways and wanted to communicate with all of our POCC family. The spread of illnesses like the flu and the Coronavirus is something we take seriously. In addition to the strong safety measures we normally follow, we’re taking extra precautions during this time to help keep you and your family safe and healthy. In an abundance of caution, in the best interest of all our members and guests and to honor the current CDC recommendations and Shelter in Place orders we are not currently conducting live, in person services.  We are currently holding online only services.  We will continue to monitor this ever changing situation.

How should we think about this as Christians? 

Panic does not drive our decisions; we exercise faith instead of fear[1]. The faith that assures us of God’s protection and healing[2], however, must stand in harmony with other Biblical principles[3]. The Lord charges us to consider multiple criteria when we make important decisions[4]. Single-factor approaches result in hasty responses and substandard decisions. As such, we have a responsibility to balance faith with wisdom, while applying the full Word of God[5].

Jesus commands us to love our neighbors[6] . . . and to love them well[7]. Our church members and local community represent our primary mission field.[8] We strive to protect them from dangers, seen and unseen, avoiding the optics of apathy.[9] Currently, 70%-80% of Americans do not support major social distancing protocol changes.[10] Scripture teaches us that all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient[11]. Immediately resuming our traditional schedule likely would result in inexpedient outcomes.

As such, we choose to respect the individual sensibilities of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus[12]. We will exercise consideration toward brothers and sisters as they practice social distancing precautions, or otherwise.

Although the times are abnormal, social distancing guidelines do not place the church under persecution. They are understandably inconvenient for many. Current guidelines recommend that Christians merely follow those requested of comparative venues, such as theaters, gyms, malls, and sporting venues. We understand that some communities have experienced far overreaching civil mandates, which we continue to monitor. Should such an inequity arise locally, we will respond accordingly.

We understand that as individuals we have different views and opinions as to the current COVID 19 circumstances and our society’s responses to them.  We also understand that regardless of the reopening choices we make there will be those that disagree on both sides of the argument.  Some will likely feel we are reopening too fast and some will likely feel we are reopening too slowly.  All are entitled to their opinions on this matter.  We would be happy to discuss this matter with anyone who might like to.  We are certainly in uncharted territory and no one has perfect answers.  However, we would ask that whatever one’s opinion, we remember that our goal as a body is to strive for unity and connection.  We do now want to sow any level of dissent or disunity among the body, even if we may disagree.  Thank you for choosing to demonstrate a spirit of unity![13]

Guiding thoughts/premises

  • We are consulting with may during this season to determine the best time and way to reopen. We have prayed for guidance, direction and wisdom.  We have also discussed these circumstances with church leaders and we have spoken to an Industrial Hygienist and Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant.

 

  • Individual health needs and levels of comfort of church members will result in varying timeframes for re-engagement.

 

  • Our initial re-opening will follow a schedule that differs from our traditional schedule. We will limit some activities and suspend others, as practical.

 

  • We do not yet have a firm reopening date.

 

  • Our current experience, while abnormal, is only for a season.[14]

[1] 2 Tim. 1:7

[2] Isa. 53:5

[3] Isa. 28:10

[4] Eph. 5:15; Luke 14:28

[5] 2 Tim. 3:16

[6] Mark 12:31

[7] Col. 3:23

[8] Gal. 6:10; Heb. 13:2; Rom. 12:13; Phil. 2:4

[9] Rom 14:16

[10] CBS News Poll, April 20-22, 2020¸ YouGov®, 2020.

[11] 1 Cor. 10:23

[12] 1 Cor. 8:9

[13] 1 Cor. 1:10

[14] 1 Sam. 21:6

What You Need to Know

Updated Tuesday, May 26th

Phase One Overview

In Phase One we will be holding five weeknight evening prayer and worship services beginning Monday, June 1st through Friday, June 5th at 7:00 PM each evening.  We will be limiting attendance to each of these services so we can honor social distancing guidelines.  On Thursday, May 28th we will be sending out email invitations to these services that will allow you to RSVP.  We ask that initially our POCC members only attend one service per week so as to allow as many as possible to attend.  Please be certain your email is updated in POCC Connect.  If you or anyone you know does not utilize email you can call the church office to RSVP.

We will continue to stream online only Sunday services so as to allow the entire church to gather together virtually in worship.  Following this first week of June 1st, we will not be holding weeknight evening meetings the week of Monday, June 8th through Friday, June 12th.  We will be using this week to solicit input from POCC leaders and members regarding the first week of weeknight evening services and to monitor ever changing COVID-19 circumstances and health department recommendations.  We will be making any needed adjustments from there.

Below are the guidelines we will be following during Phase One.  These will be reviewed and revised upon each subsequent phase.  We have collated these measures after praying for guidance and direction, reviewing health and governmental recommendations and having numerous conversations with POCC leaders and members, leaders from other churches, medical professionals and an Industrial Hygienist/Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant.  We have also been meeting and planning with all of our teams that will be serving at each service to provide a safe environment for all our POCC Family.  We are doing our best to consider all factors and use wisdom.  Thank you for your patience and for choosing unity during this very unique season.

Phase One Guidelines

  • We will be cleaning and sanitizing the building before each service using disinfecting cleaners.
  • Those who are 65 years of age or older, have preexisting health conditions, or have concerns about attending church should continue to stay home and watch the Sunday services online at this time. We completely understand and encourage you to make the best decision possible for you and your family.  We look forward to seeing you in person when you are able to do so.
  • Social distancing will be expected of all who attend. Please be courteous and maintain a minimum of 6 feet from anyone not in your family.
  • Social distancing means that members should not engage in handshaking, hugging, laying hands on one another, elbow bumps or any other unnecessary physical contact.
  • Greeting should be done with a minimum of 6 feet distance using smiles and waves.
  • No congregating in common areas. Upon entering, members should sanitize their hands and proceed to the Main Sanctuary.
  • Please enter via the north drive through external main foyer entry doors and exit via the south drive through external foyer entry doors.
  • Dismissal instructions will be given from the pulpit at the end of service. Everyone is asked to remain seated until dismissed.  Once dismissed you can proceed to the parking lot.  Please – no congregating in the common areas.
  • There will currently be no POCC Kids, Thrive or Illuminate services or classes.
  • The nursery is currently closed. Infant care should be handled in the restrooms with changing tables.  Changing tables should be sanitized with the provided cleaner before and after each use.
  • Restroom use should be limited. We encourage members to NOT use the restrooms unless it is an emergency.
  • Entrance doors into the sanctuary will be propped open to minimize shared touching of surfaces.
  • Those wishing to give tithes and/or offerings should give online or via our text to give option by texting POCC to 77977. You may also drop your giving envelopes into the drop box behind the welcome center.
  • Every other row will be closed and clearly marked. Please avoid sitting in these areas.
  • Families must sit together. A minimum of six feet must be left between each family unit.
  • All attendees over 5 years old are required to wear a mask upon entering and during the service. Please note – we are not wearing masks for ourselves.  We are wearing masks with other people in mind as one could be asymptomatic and still spread the virus.  Please bring your own mask though we will have a limited supply available.  Only the minister in the pulpit and praise singers will be asked to forego masks and only while they’re ministering.  Wearing a mask while singing or preaching can pose a secondary health issue.  Ministers and singers will be wearing masks when not actively ministering.
  • Please avoid attending in the short term if you have a cough, fever or you feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • All staff and volunteers will have their temperature checked prior to each service to ensure that those serving you are safe to do so. If any staff or volunteer registers a 100.4 fever or more they will leave that service.
  • Please be sure to sneeze or cough into a cloth, tissue or one’s elbow and continue to wash and sanitize hands frequently.

Thank you for working with us to ensure the safety of all of our POCC Family.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult, uncommon and inconvenient season.  Even though we may be out of our comfort zone, we know that God is still in control and working in this season!  We love each of you and look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

  • Our Spanish translation of the preaching during our livestreams is still available to you from home. Download the “Interactio” app from your app store or go to interactio.io.  From the app or the website search for POCC to find our English to Spanish translation stream.

 

  • You can also request live prayer during our livestreaming services via our website. Go to the live tab above.  In the bottom right you’ll see a “Live Prayer” link.  We’d be happy to chat with you and pray for your request.

 

  • Offering: You can still give via our website and by texting POCC to 77977.

 

Prayer Request

If you have a current prayer request, submit it by clicking below and completing the form.  We will distribute all prayer requests to our prayer team.

Click here to submit a prayer request

Thanks and Praise Report

Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, we find that God often moves in surprising, unforeseen ways.  If you have a thanks and praise report please click the link below.  We’d love to read it and encourage others as well.

Click here to submit a thanks and praise report

Baptism Request

The church can still be the church even in these circumstances.  If you or someone you know would like to be baptized, please let us now by clicking on the link below and completing the form.  We’ll be happy to meet with anyone.  We don’t want to miss an opportunity to reach people who are hungry for God now more than ever.

Click here to request a baptism

Plans are currently being made for this coming Sunday, March 22nd.  We will be in contact with additional details in the coming days.

God bless you all and keep looking up!

What We Know and Believe as Spirit Filled Christians

We Choose Faith Over Fear

The God we serve is not just our savior, but our provider and protector as well.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Trust God

Viral disease is a fact of biological existence and part of creation. Keeping perspective and not panicking apply here, just as they do for all risks we face as creatures in a finite world. No matter how dire circumstances get, the Lord remains our refuge and strength, “an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). 

 Ps. 91:5-7

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; Nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, And ten thousand at thy right hand; But it shall not come nigh thee.

Ps. 91:10-11

10 There shall no evil befall thee, Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways. 

Luke 12:25-26

25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

What You Should Do 

Pray

We must pray for the sick and the scared, for public health officials, for doctors and nurses, for researchers, and for caregivers. We know prayer has power, so we choose to respond in faith through prayer, not fear and worry.

Love Each Other

Even if a virus outbreak eventually prevents us from gathering for services, we still support one another. This can happen through prayer, through verbal encouragement, and through coming alongside others to provide help in need.

Call and check on each other.  Check on your neighbors. Love each other and pray for each other.  If we know of anyone in need, please let us know by reaching out to pastoral staff or the church office. 

Stay abreast of local health updates, but be sure to include encouraging material to keep yourself uplifted like scripture reading, worship songs, and online sermons.         

Additionally: 

  • Wash your hands frequently for 30 seconds using soap and hot water and encourage your family to do the same.
  • Use hand sanitizer often.
  •  Feel comfortable avoiding skin contact. We are a loving church.  While we love giving hugs, handshakes, and high-fives we will be refraining from that for the near future.  Try giving an elbow-bump, a big smile, or a friendly wave instead.
  •  If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  •  Use a barrier, such as a paper towel or tissue, to touch commonly touched surfaces, such as bathroom door handles and elevator buttons.
  • Stay home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, especially if you have a fever, are coughing or sneezing consistently or are experiencing shortness of breath.
  • If you’ve been directly exposed to a person with the Coronavirus or influenza, please self-quarantine yourself for 14 days according to the CDC guidelines. 
  • If you have recently returned from any type of international travel, you should also stay home and follow the CDC’s current 14 day self-quarantining recommendations.
  • If you are over the age of 60 or in close contact with anyone over the age of 60, please consider staying home and taking extreme precaution with this vulnerable age group.   
  • If you are ill, call your health care provider before visiting. Phone consultation may be adequate.
  • Avoid non-essential trips to emergency rooms, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. If your loved ones are there, substitute in person visits for phone or video visits.
  • Please be certain your POCC Connect profile is updated with your current contact info and address.  This will help us to stay in contact with one another should anyone need assistance.   
  • If you would like to continue to support the church financially, you can do so by  texting POCC to 77977 or by visiting pushpay.com/g/coopercitychurch.  Thank you so much for your ongoing support.  

We love you all and are believing for protection and we’re looking forward to a speedy recovery for all impacted in any way!