Temporarily Suspending All Public Gatherings
Mar 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We are aware of the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 and are committed to prayer, decisive response, and thoughtful intentionality. There are many moving parts and details to this response, and we ask you to continue in prayer with us during this time.

The best science and research available indicates that gathering in large groups increases transmission of the virus, which impacts those who are immunocompromised, immunodeficient, or vulnerable due to age and underlying medical conditions.

It is important to note: there is no model for this. This situation is rapidly evolving, and people are doing the best they can to respond appropriately. We will not shame, disparage, or denigrate any other community for the way they choose to handle this situation, just as we would not want to be disparaged for the decisions we make.

After much prayer and discussion, the elders of Ecclesia Clear Lake have decided to temporarily suspend our public gatherings for the remainder of March, in order to protect the most vulnerable among us and love our community well. This is an ever-evolving situation, and the elders will constantly monitor and update our church on any further decisions.

Suspension of our public gatherings is a way we can love and protect the vulnerable, guard the capacity of our healthcare system, and participate with wider efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Suspending our public gatherings is not a magical solution, and it is not something done out of fear. It is part of a series of solutions in cooperation with many other local and regional groups.

Beginning this Sunday, March 15, we will offer a Sunday morning live stream prayer and sermon, hosted on our website ecclesiaclearlake.org. Additional digital content will be made available through our website and social media outlets to encourage and connect our community in this uncertain time.

We believe we are called to BE the Church - especially in times like these. We must protect those vulnerable among us. We must do what we can to limit community spread of this pandemic. We must be mindful of ways we can embody love, speak peace, and provide meaningful points of spiritual and emotional connection during a period of widespread anxiety and illness.

All public ECL activities will be suspended during this time. Please note: Our upcoming congregational vote to install new elders will be postponed until our public gatherings resume.

Our building at 218 Clear Creek Ave. will still be made available to The Mercy Tree throughout the coming weeks, so that they can continue serving and feeding their unhoused clients (who are particularly vulnerable at this time.)

Additionally, we are earmarking monies from our cash reserves to provide for the needs of those who might be impacted by illness, prolonged absence from work, or those in the gig economy/tip wage/hospitality industries. If you or someone you know falls into this category, please notify our Lead Pastor Coby Cagle, and we will be in contact with you throughout the coming weeks.

Finally, dear friends, it is important that we be a voice of peace and love in a chaotic season. We ask that you embody love to everyone around you, knowing that this pandemic is cause for serious concern. Be gentle in word and deed and be the body of Christ in the world. Please heed the advice of medical professionals regarding handwashing, and other steps to minimize the spread of illness.

Our pastors and elders are always available via phone and email, and you can find that info on our website if you do not already have it. Please reach out to us with any needs, concerns, or questions you may have. We are here to walk with you through whatever is ahead. You are loved and Christ is with us all.

The Elders of Ecclesia Clear Lake

Marla Morris
Melissa Pride
Lacy Hilbrich
Lucas Hilbrich
Coby Cagle
John Hatfield