In the third and forth quarter of this bizarre year, we continue to do our best to shepherd our people in love, providing the safest reasonable environment, while being obedient to God to continue our corporate worship.
As of the end of the third quarter, our county has seen an out-of-range rise in case numbers, resulting in Gilmer being listed as an “emerging county of interest” by the state of Georgia.
We are seeing more and more people we know and love come down with this illness. Our hearts go out to our sick brothers and sisters. We pray for you, and we stand ready to assist you any way we can.
Thankfully, the virus appears to be way less deadly than initially reported back in the first and second quarters of this year, yet still remains a potential threat to a lot of our people who have other health issues.
We will continue to do our best to be faithful, consistent, and obedient in our worship while caring as much as we possibly can for those at risk around us.
None of us love the masks or the distancing, but we believe that taking wise, precautionary steps will allow some to worship who otherwise wouldn’t. While it feels restrictive to some of us, we are actually opening the door to worship for others. We take this approach straight from Romans 15:1-3:
We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself.
Thank you for your patience and your willing approach to loving others in this way. In doing this, you are demonstrating that we stand together in Christ, obedient to the first and greatest commandment, which is loving God, and loving others. (Matthew 22:36-40)
We continue to monitor the situation, always hoping that we will very soon be able to relax our restrictions. This time last month, I truly believed we were about to move into phase three of our guidelines and be mostly past it all... But this recent, significant rise in Gilmer County cases has definitely slowed us down. We will continue to watch the numbers, listen to our people, and manage our environments as faithfully as possible, all for the glory of God.