Like many of you, we have been learning and tracking the development of COVID-19 in the past few weeks. In light of the announcement issued by the World Health Organization characterizing COVID-19 as a global pandemic, there are some important guidelines we would like to share with you in response to the uncertainty COVID-19 is causing around the globe and to help prevent the spread of the virus.
I. WHAT TO KNOW?
Below is the summary of statement issued by California Department of Public Health on March 11th:
A. Effective immediately, at least through the end of March, all large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.
B. Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person should be postponed or canceled.
II. WHAT TO DO?
We recommend all EFC churches to be in compliance with the local COVID-19 prevention strategies including the following:
A. California: Suspend all large gatherings that include 250 people or more immediately at least through the end of March. Any fellowship involving elderlies should not exceed 10 people
B. Pennsylvania: Suspend all non-essential gatherings and events
C. Taiwan: If any member is tested positive for COVID-19, all church gatherings should be suspended
D. Suspend all meal services including coffee/tea/drinks.
III. HOW TO MOVE FORWARD?
We recommend churches to utilize technology and find alternatives methods to continue living life together and not to stop fellowshipping, here are some ideas:
A. Sunday Service: Pre-recording or live streaming through YouTube, Zoom, or other broadcast mediums. Many EFC churches already using live streaming could be great resource include: EFCLA, EFC Irvine, EFCOC, EFC Arcadia.
B. Small Groups: Zoom, Google Hangouts, or other social media platforms
C. Personal Devotion: Emails, Line, or other distribution channels
D. Giving: Mailing checks or online giving through applications such as Pushpay, PayPal, or Vemo
As we continue to closely monitor the situation, we ask you also to keep up with any new developments in your local area. Let us pray fervently and to seize every opportunity to share the gospel with people around us.