From the Office of the General Overseer
The world is anxiously following reports that seem to change almost hourly concerning the COVID-19 virus. Some information is factual, some is not. I’m sure you have felt, as I have, that it is hard to know who or what to believe. And, because the Church of God of Prophecy has always been a serving church, we also want to know how to effectively help our communities.
I have been in continual communication with the general presbyters about what our response should be. We have earnestly sought the voice and direction of the Holy Spirit to know how to navigate this storm. Storms are a part of life on this earth. This current world-wide situation is a storm of trouble and fear that is trying to get us to panic. There is hope, Church. Jesus taught us to speak “Peace” to storms. We can also declare, “The Lord has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” I encourage you today to be mindful of these truths as you prepare wisely.
National, state, and local government officials are responding to this health crisis and those responses vary from region to region. I am asking all of our churches and senior pastors to stay aware of developments and to comply with government directives issued for their area. Some ministries may choose to meet in small groups in homes, some may livestream. Meeting in homes is not a new idea to us; it’s how the early church started, and we still do it around the world. It may be that we actually grow in number, strengthen our bonds one to the other, and deepen our discipleship during this time. Jesus will be with us if even two or three gather in His name.
I know many are wondering about the International Assembly scheduled for July 8 through 12 in Orlando, Florida. Just a few days ago, the Assembly Task Force was in Orlando to finalize plans with our Assembly hosts at Rosen Shingle Creek. I am making plans to meet and fellowship and hear from the Lord with you as we have purposed in our hearts. As of this time, the Assembly will take place as planned.
I and the general presbyters will closely monitor how things develop and give you immediate updates if anything changes. We are scheduled to meet in April. We will reassess the situation and communicate with everyone afterward. My thoughts are continually with this global family. I am praying for you all.
In order to help you, as you prayerfully discern the best course of action, links are provided below that are useful and factual.
Sam N. Clements