After much prayer, research, and dialog we have decided to suspend all in-person gatherings at Harvest effective immediately and lasting through at least May 1. This was a difficult decision but one we felt was necessary.
In addition to Sunday services, this suspension will include full CG gatherings, larger team meetings, quarterly assemblies (men, women, leaders), classes, etc. We realize this could lead to isolation and a breakdown of the relational fabric of our church. In light of this, smaller adults only gatherings (6 people or less) can still take place at your own discretion and risk if good social distancing is practiced. We ask that anyone electing not to take part be shown grace and supported in their decision.
Even before Governor Pritzker’s press conference on March 12, the elders felt maintaining social distancing was the most effective way to slow the spread of this disease. In countries where the spread of infection was most controlled, early and decisive action limiting mass gatherings was an important factor in their success. We want to be good citizens and members of our community. While we don’t want our congregation to become infected, our greater concern is that we help protect the most vulnerable members of our society by fighting the spread of infection.
We have dialoged with the medical professionals in our congregation and have their consensus support for this decision. We have also been in conversation with the leadership of other area churches and many are taking similar measures.
While we may not be free to gather in person, we want to fight hard to stay as connected to God and one another as we can. We are working on a way to deliver God’s word to you and will encourage everyone to set aside time in their homes on Sunday at 10:00 AM to unite in worship. We will send further information soon regarding this. We also want to encourage you to take advantage of this new church rhythm to find creative ways to draw near to God. We also sense that this could be an opportunity for many of us to renew our prayer lives.
These are unusual times but God is faithful, and we are a resilient church. Let’s continue to stand together in spirit if not in person. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or any of our leaders.