Response from Victory SoCal
The concern over COVID-19 continues to escalate. Schools close. Sports leagues suspend play, while others continue competitive play, yet without fans present.
In light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the leadership of Victory SoCal (San Diego and Pasadena) thought it best to keep you informed and full of faith. The following is a make-sense, concise review of how we are approaching this concern. As believers, we are not to be influenced by fear, remembering always how the perfect love God has for us is designed to “cast out fear” (1 John 4:18). The Bible also encourages believers to ask God for wisdom especially when experiencing trials of many kinds (James 1:2-8).
FAST FACTS ON COVID-19
1. COVID-19 was first detected in China and has now been detected in over 100 nations, including in the United States.
2. This virus has recently been declared a pandemic, but much remains unknown, with fatality totals running much lower than for the seasonal flu (which has killed at least 20,000 people in the United States so far this season); yet with the percentage mortality over against contraction a little higher (3.4% as opposed to fewer than 1%). According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu based on current numbers, but it does not transmit as easily.
3. For most of the American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. For the already sick, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, the risk is considerably higher.
1. Faith, not Fear—Unfortunately, the threat of infection exists every day, and in almost every way. God made our immune systems to fight off the pathogens in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it (our immune system) wins the battle without us even knowing a battle has been waged. Yet, that 1% of the time, when we become aware of the fight (symptoms), too often dominates our attention. Still, neither illness nor the threat of illness should cause us to panic, but to trust God. The Lord remains our refuge and strength, “an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). To trust in the Lord amid trouble is to experience and bear witness to the power of Christ.
2. Prayer—We are called to be people of prayer, caring for the informed (Matt. 10:8), at times at the risk of our own lives (John 15:13). Pray for our leaders, doctors, nurses, and caregivers, to bring healing and be protected from harm. In addition, pray for those who have lost loved ones.
3. Wisdom—We are called to use wisdom at all times, so here’s what that looks like:
- Sunday Service Gathering – We will determine whether to push through with our Sunday Service gatherings on a weekly basis depending on the recent developments on COVID-19 so watch out for the updates in our Facebook page. In case of cancellation, please tune in to the Sunday message which will be live streamed at 10:30AM via Victory San Diego Facebook Page
- Personal Hygiene—Wash your hands! We recommend you check out the CDC Flu Prevention Guidelines. These include things like washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, etc.
Additionally, here are some resources that may prove helpful as you seek wisdom in how to respond to this virus:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website
- A Concise Coronavirus Guide for Churches
- Advice for Churches from the Surgeon General by Ed Stetzer
- Coronavirus, Christians, and a Christ-Centered Response by Ed Stetzer
Remember, we’re called to make disciples. No disease, no war, no fear will stop the advancement of the gospel and the building of God’s church. Stay in faith, stay in the Scriptures, and let’s stay together trusting God for a speedy and safe resolution to this disease and its effects. If anything changes, we’ll let you know.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Robert Hern, Jr
Pastor, Victory SoCal