Advent’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advent is closely monitoring the situation and we have formed a coronavirus team that consists of members of the Session, staff leadership, and medical personnel. This proactive approach will help us to stay as up-to-date as possible on the virus itself, as well as be able to take necessary steps to insure the safety of our church.
 
We will be utilizing this page as well as email and social media to keep everyone informed and up to date about how Advent is responding to this rapidly changing situation.
 
 
 

 

 

Advent

 

Community

 

Assistance

 

Fund

 
Helping our community during this crisis.
 
 

Giving to Help our Community

Hello, friends! Here we are in the middle of social distancing in response to the coronavirus. Maybe you saw the meme that said, 
“Our grandparents were called into war.
We are called to sit on the sofa. We can do this.”
 
All jokes aside, we are living in a strange season. It seems that we are just feeling our way through this, one day at a time. If you have been around Advent for a while, you won’t be surprised to learn that we have received calls and emails from many members who want to know what they can do to help. Of course that’s what they want to know! Advent takes service to others seriously.
 
In response to this crisis, we have set up a fund called
Advent Community Assistance Fund.
You can access this via the website and on the ShelbyNext app. 
 
We will use these funds to address the needs of folks in our community who have been impacted by the current health crisis.

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Updates from Alan

Yesterday I sent out a video message with a lot of information as to where we are as a church when it comes to decisions regarding our response to the coronavirus. In order to allow you time to “soak-in” all that we are doing as well as have information at your finger-tips, here is a recap of that video.
 
Out of an abundance of caution and love for our vulnerable, elderly and all members of our congregation, we have determined it is in the best interest of the church to suspend live worship services and on-campus activities for at least two weeks through March 29. We will reassess at that time to determine next steps.
 
I want to remind you that we are still the church whether we are gathered or scattered. God is still God and Romans 8:28 reminds us that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
 
So, what will church look like over the next few weeks? I’m glad you asked. Let’s talk about Sunday first. At 8:55 and 10:55 am, You can go online at facebook.com/adventpres or youtube.com/adventpres to watch our services.
 
Throughout the week we will be posting short devotionals to keep us engaged as a church. You will be able to find these as we go live as well as recorded on our Facebook page.
 
We will have content for our kids daily. Parents you need to download the DEEP BLUE app on your smart device for access to weekly lesson videos, trivia and games. Please like us @adventpreskids on facebook and Instagram to get daily engagement options to add to the weekly lesson.
 
For students in 6th-12th grade, we encourage you to watch our @adventyouthmin Instagram page and Advent Youth Ministry YouTube page as we roll out different ways, we can connect with one another digitally. We’ll continue our small group conversation over a Zoom group on Sunday at 10am for Connect Groups. And we’ll have a great time on Sunday night for Huddle over video chat at 5pm. So keep those times set aside as we gather in a different way. Contact Pastor Greg with any needs or questions: 724-698-4264.
 
For our small groups, circle groups and Sunday school classes, Video Chat Technology is available. If any group leaders would like to utilize a group calling technology called Zoom, we have a church account that you can use to keep your community together. Let the church office know if you need help setting up a Zoom call or if we can schedule one for you. Our current plan allows up to 100 participants on a call for an unlimited time. You can use audio or video. It’s easy to join a call from a computer or a smartphone. Contact Geoff Nelson with any questions (tech@adventpres.com).
 
In the meantime, we have formed various teams to ensure we are providing needed service and outreach to our church and community. Here are a few of the teams we have formed in our effort to continue to engage and execute ministry during these uncertain times:
 
Spiritual Communications/Messages/Devotions (This is the team that will be providing our weekly messages for Sunday services as well as devotional and on-line material during the week).
 
Care/Outreach (This team is responsible for making sure we are caring for the needs of our congregation as well as those in our community). This includes a variety of needs including prayer as well as practical needs and concerns. If you want to submit a prayer request you can go to online at www.adventpres.com/prayer or call the office.
 
Community Engagement: This team will provide opportunities for engagement, with offerings to meet remotely online and through digital meeting platforms. They will also look for opportunities to meet needs throughout our church and community.
 
Communications: This team is responsible for communicating what’s happening as well as keeping the church up-to-date regarding church offerings and other critical information that you need to know.
 
Giving/Stewardship: It is critical that we continue to give faithfully. Not only are we looking at the need to continue ministry in a very different way, but as a church and as ambassadors of Christ, we are called to be a light in the darkness. This means we have to be mobile and agile when it comes to meeting needs, not only for our church but also our community. We are currently looking into setting up a coronavirus fund that you can directly give to. These dollars will be used to help families and individuals directly impacted by the virus as well as those who are in need because of lost wages etc.
We encourage you to continue to be faithful in your generosity during this season. Please go online at www.adventpres.com/give 
You can also give through the Advent Presbyterian Church app in the giving section; so, if you haven’t downloaded the app on your smart device, I would encourage you to do it today!
 
Sanitation/Cleaning; This team is tasked with the responsibility of keeping our campus clean and sanitized. This is not only for the situation we are currently facing but also new standards for when we can re-gather on campus.
 
In His grip-
Alan
alan.bugg@adventpres.com
 
 

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DNOW2020 Suspended

 

In the interest of safety, Advent Church leadership has decided to suspend Disciple Now 2020. This decision is unfortunate and was not made lightly. We hope to be able to reschedule this retreat when appropriate, however, we cannot forecast if or when that would happen.
 
We are still excited to have our guest speaker, Terence Gray, preaching at our Sunday morning services at Advent on March 29th.
 
Please follow our social media and check your email for further updates.
 

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Letter to the Congregation

Dear Advent Family,
 
I want to update you on what’s happening at Advent in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Like you, I’ve been following this evolving story with great concern. I’ve also reached out to local city officials, spoken with a number of other pastors, and had conversations with medical personnel to gain perspective on how to best move forward. Additionally, we have formed a coronavirus team that consists of members of the Session, staff leadership, and medical personnel. This proactive approach will help us to stay as up-to-date as possible on the virus itself, as well as be able to take necessary steps to insure the safety of our church
 
Please read through this entire email as it contains detailed plans for keeping our campus safe and how you can help. Advent will remain open and we will continue to have Sunday services. In the event that local and state health officials do recommend or determine it is in the best interest of our Advent family to close, we will inform everyone to the best of our abilities through our website, emails, and social media.During this time, here’s how we are committed to keeping our campus clean:
  1. We will sanitize highly touched surfaces before and after services.
  2. Our staff and volunteer teams will wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.
  3. We will provide additional hand sanitizer stations around campus for everyone to use.
  4. We will position ushers, as you exit the Sanctuary at the end of the service, who will be collecting tithes and offerings so you don’t need to pass offering plates down the row. Remember, you can also give online or on the Advent app.
  5. We will discontinue serving coffee and donuts until further notice. However, please feel free to bring your own coffee to church. We would ask, at this time, that you do not bring any food on Sunday mornings.
  6. We will discontinue the “Fellowship Moment” portion of our service, so we will not be asking you to shake hands, provide fist or elbow bumps, etc. We do, however, encourage you to pray for those around you.
  7. We are suspending all food preparation and service from the Advent kitchen until further notice.
  8. As of now, we are still planning communion on April 5 services. We will be serving communion with pre-packaged and sealed elements that will be distributed as you enter the Sanctuary.
 
During this time, we are asking you to help stop the spread of the virus in the following ways:
  1. Stay at home when you or a family member are sick.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  3. Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your arm.
  4. Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.
  5. Forgo shaking hands at church for a wave or a friendly smile.
  6. If you or someone you know tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know so we can find a way to help, pray for everyone involved, and take any necessary precautions here at Advent.
 
Advent Online:
If you or a family member are sick or need to stay home during this time, you can catch up on the sermons in the following ways: https://www.youtube.com/user/adventpres
Sermons section of the Advent app
 
For families with children and youth:
Our children and youth leadership is monitoring the situation closely and assessing each event to ensure the safety of our children and youth. We have begun instituting stricter safety practices like extra hand washing, food controls, and reduced physical contact between one another and shared surfaces. And as always, if your child does not feel well, we expect them to stay at home for everyone’s safety. You can keep up-to-date by following our social media (@adventpreskids and @adventyouthmin) on Instagram.
 
Three ways you can help:
  1. Pray – Pray for those impacted by the virus, as well as their families and loved ones.
  2. Give –As we head into these uncertain times, we want to insure that we can do the ministry God calls us to as a church, including current ministry efforts as well as opportunities to serve others as it relates to the coronavirus. Please go to
    https://www.adventpres.com/give/
  3. Serve – be open and willing to provide the gifts and talents God has given you to be available to serve where and as needed during this critical time.
 
Questions or concerns?
If you’d like to share your thoughts, concerns, questions, and ideas with us as we navigate our response to this situation, we’d love to hear from you. Your input and feedback are truly important to us. Please email alan.bugg@adventpres.com with any questions or comments. I would also encourage you to check government websites regularly as they provide the best and most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
 
Here are three sites you can visit for more information:
 
While we cannot control the virus, the spread or the impact it has in our church, we’re doing everything we can to make this campus as safe and clean as possible. We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to help us do just that. We must also remember that God has not called us to live in fear but in faith. As the apostle, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” My prayer is that God will fill all of us with these three gifts, no matter what comes our way.
 
In His Grip,
Alan

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