March 10, 2020

Dear Cherrydale Family,

In light of the spread of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus), the leadership of Cherrydale Baptist Church wanted to reach out and communicate our response as a church family. As believers, we are not to be influenced by fear but exhibit faith in God’s sovereignty; the world incites us to fear, but Jesus gives us His abundant peace (John 14:27). At the same time, we must be wise and practice good stewardship over all that God has entrusted to us.

At this time, we are not aware of anyone in our congregation who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus; however, we want you to be aware that we are monitoring and discussing the situation, and to inform you about some initial, temporary changes in our church gatherings in response to the spread of this disease. The following is a brief review of how we are approaching this concern:

Be Informed

We encourage you to stay abreast of the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and follow their recommended practices for prevention at the following sites:

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC Prevention Recommendations

Prayer

We are called to be people of prayer, caring for the sick, weak, and vulnerable (Matt. 10:8). Pray for our leaders, doctors, and caregivers to bring healing and be protected from harm. In addition, pray for those who have lost loved ones.

Wisdom

We are called to use wisdom at all times, and here’s how we are seeking to apply that at Cherrydale:

Gatherings
  • Our Sunday morning worship will continue to occur; nothing has been cancelled. (In fact, a quick plug—please register for our upcoming Members Gathering on March 15!)
  • Nevertheless, if a decision is made by local officials that impacts our ability to gather on Sunday, we will be prepared to utilize technology to continue to worship together. We are currently researching and testing ways to be able to worship as a church family online. As with our inclement weather situations, please visit our website or call our office for an updated message on our meeting status.
  • If you are sick, or you think you might be, a wise decision is to stay home. Please feel freedom to do that and get some rest. This shows compassion to your brothers and sisters in your church family, some of whom are more at risk of contracting a disease.
  • For gatherings involving food, such as Sunday morning Communion or Members Gatherings, we are making some temporary changes to err on the safe side. For example:
    • For Communion on March 15, we plan to offer an individually-wrapped communion cracker and cup set to minimize the chance of spreading germs. Please feel the freedom not to participate if you are concerned for any reason.
    • For our Members Gathering, also on March 15, we are cancelling the dinner portion of our program and will meet in the sanctuary from 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm.
    • If you are an individual ministry leader and your ministry involves food, we encourage you to use wise discernment to avoid the spread of germs.
Commitment to Cleanliness

We always clean all our spaces well, especially in the Children’s Ministry spaces, which includes:

  • Treatment of our church building with an electrostatic sprayer and disinfectant. This includes the sanctuary and all children’s ministry rooms.
  • After children’s rooms are used, they are cleaned, disinfected, and locked.
  • Hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant is applied to surfaces, floors (including carpet), bathrooms, tables, and chairs.
  • The entire church building is vacuumed three times a week to remove debris on the floor where germs can grow.
Personal Hygiene

Please, wash your hands regularly. We have hand sanitizer dispensers in Children’s Ministry rooms upstairs and in the South Lobby. Since the supply of hand sanitizer is limited, we encourage you to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We recommend you check out the CDC Flu Prevention Guidelines for additional suggestions. These recommendations include everyday preventative actions that can help stop the spread of germs.

Stay Focused on Christ’s Mission

Remember, our mission is to make disciples who love God and people above all else. Be encouraged that throughout the course of history, nothing has stopped the advance of the gospel and the building of God’s church—and it won’t now, either.

Keep your hearts and minds rejoicing in what we’re learning together in the life of Abraham—that a merciful, just, and faithful God is committed to fulfilling His promises. Pray that God would bring a speedy and safe resolution to this disease and its effects.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our pastoral staff or our admin support team at info@cherrydale.org.

In Christ,


Tom Oostdyk
Lead Pastor
Cherrydale Baptist Church
3910 Lorcom Lane
Arlington, VA 22207

Making Disciples Who Love God and People Above All Else