Elders Update on COVID-19 outbreak

Dear Heritage Church Family,

Due to the unprecedented events of the past few weeks and our President’s announcement regarding public gatherings of no more than 100 the oversight have decided that the following is the wisest course of action:

With immediate effect and until further notice all formal church gatherings will be cancelled apart from our 9h30 Sunday service. This means there will be no Evening Service, Growth Groups, Ladies Meetings, Young Adults or Iron Men.

Those in the following categories are most at risk when it comes to the Coronavirus:

• Those over 60
• Those whose immune systems are compromised (Anyone sick with a short-term illness or chronic disease)
• Those who have recently spent time around anyone whose immune system is compromised
• Those who have recently returned from high risk areas such as China and Europe.

If you fall into any one of these categories, please do not attend the Sunday service! You will not be sinning or disobeying Hebrews 10:25. God’s commands are given to preserve life not destroy it.

If those who fall into the above categories do not attend, along with the students who have gone home, we believe we will be in line with the government’s requirements for public gatherings (Romans 13).

In order that those of our number who cannot make the Sunday service are still able to hear God’s Word on His Day, we will be live-streaming the service on YouTube (This the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0AxJ8ZsftjIP52X-0xSfg. Please subscribe so that you can receive notifications. If you need any help, please contact Mpumelelo).

We will also be uploading the sermon to the website and iTunes immediately after the service.

Some additional comments:

Events like this create fertile breeding grounds for fear-mongering, conspiracy theories and newspaper exegesis (Interpreting the Bible through the lens of current events). Christians, unfortunately, are often prone to believing and spreading any fantastic or fanciful theories on Facebook or WhatsApp. Please think carefully before posting or forwarding anything. If you are uncertain about something you have read, please speak to someone in leadership.

You will not find the Coronavirus, as a unique event, in the book of Revelation (This Sunday’s sermon will deal with this topic in greater detail). The Coronavirus is not Satan’s master plan to stop churches from meeting. Satan is under the control of God! Calamity comes from God (Isaiah 45:7); He is sovereign and everything He does is for the good of His Church (Romans 8:28). Satan can do nothing without God’s permission (Read the book of Job). At times like this we need to focus our attention more on Christ and less on the Devil. Our President’s announcement, again, is not some conspiracy to destroy the church. Rather our government has responded wisely and preemptively. We should praise God for this and continue to pray for more wise and strong leadership especially as they seek to navigate the economic fallout (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

As you self-isolate please use this time with your family to strengthen those relationships. Strong families mean a strong church and a strong church means greater witness to the world.
The government’s restrictions do not prohibit us from meeting with one another in our homes or publicly but please use sanctified wisdom.
This moment in time provides us with an opportunity to care for those who are most vulnerable. Many of you who fall into this category have already been contacted by someone who will help you in practical ways as well as encourage you spiritually. If you have not yet been contacted but need help with such practical things as fetching groceries, please contact the Deacons.
Finally, remember that God is in control and He is Good. We must not panic but rather learn from this moment and see how we can grow spiritually, strengthen our familial ties, and do good to God’s people and others.

If you have any questions, please contact the Elders.

The Heritage Elders