Estes Park Baptist Church Response to COVID-19
After consulting with other pastors and leaders, reviewing the CDC’s information and recommendations and talking with some of you about the Coronavirus outbreak, I feel we need a plan as we move forward. Saying that, we must avoid panic. We are believers in the God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us. We have Christ living in us. Regardless of our circumstances, we have His power, His peace, His wisdom. The world does not have this! What an opportunity to show those who don’t know Him who He really is. He is fully aware of what is going on. So, we won’t panic! The Center for Disease Control identiﬁes 3 categories (or levels) used to describe the impact or transmission of COVID-19. The categories are “None,” “Minimal to Moderate,” and “Substantial.” These designations are based on the number of people in a city or community who have been diagnosed with the virus. We will refer to these as Level 1 (None), Level 2 (Minimal or Moderate), and Level 3 (Substantial). Level 1 (No conﬁrmed cases in our city or county) Level 2 (Minimal to Moderate transmission of COVID-19 In our city or county) As of today, March 13, Estes Park and Larimer County are at this level. In Colorado, there so far have been 72 conﬁrmed cases of the virus, 8 people hospitalized, and unfortunately, 1 death. In Larimer County there is presently 1 conﬁrmed case of the coronavirus. Level 3 (Substantial transmission and diagnosis of COVID-19 in our city and county) We are already hearing of event cancellations, group meetings of over 250 people prohibited, and much more on a wider scale. Since we are already in a level 2 situation and the virus is almost certainly spreading, and most importantly, since the majority of our members and attendees are in the highest risk category (older adults, some with chronic medical conditions), we will be suspending all gatherings including worship services beginning Sunday, March 22, until the situation proves otherwise appropriate. We will have our regular prayer time and service this Sunday, March 15. If you are sick, or don’t need to be around other people, please do not come. Though some of us are huggers, we will be careful about hugging, hand shaking and other physical contact. I am grieved about all of this, but we believe it is the appropriate response at this time. I am working on ways to communicate in the mean time, even with providing a recorded or live message on the Sunday’s we cannot meet. We will stay strong together and I know God is going to show us new ways through this hard time to be His people in a tough world.
Your pastor, Gary Richardson