Dear friends, as of March 16, 2020, all in-person programs and services at First E-Free have been suspended. This includes Sunday services, Wednesday night DQ and youth group, midweek Bible studies and Growth Groups, events such as Food Pantry, WCM, and the upcoming Basket Boutique, and all other events. Read below for detailed information about this decision as well as our future plans…
The church leadership has made this difficult decision after much prayer and based on the overriding goal of maintaining our mission to be and make disciples, which we will continue to do through other methods than meeting in person.
The Iowa Department of Public Health has communicated their own recommendation that gatherings of 50 people or more be suspended unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, our state governor has ordered all Iowa schools be closed for a minimum of four weeks, which we typically use as an indicator to guide our own scheduling decisions. We realize that there are many opinions in our congregation and throughout our nation about this disease and whether the dangers are being blown out of proportion. At this point, our goal is simply to maintain our witness for Christ, and we can do that best – in this case – by heeding the warnings of our authorities. Nothing prevents us from continuing about our mission. If enduring some hardship and inconvenience helps to protect one another from a disease that can rapidly change from mild to severe and spread even before symptoms appear, then those hardships and inconveniences are well worth it.
Guidance for the Future: Pastor Kevin will be posting a letter to the congregation on this website later today, please read it.
As well, over the coming days we will be providing additional guidance about encouraging one another during this time and about online resources that will continue to be available each Sunday.
For the foreseeable future, the church office will still be open for the purposes of communication.
Our leadership’s current plan is to revisit this suspension of gatherings every two weeks until the crisis has passed or we receive guidance otherwise.
All official communications will come through our church website (https://firstevangelicalfreechurch.org). As a matter of convenience, we will do our best to repost information on Twitter, Facebook, and via email.