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March 19th Update

March 19th, 2020

Hello Clay Church Family,

As you know, the global health concerns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to significant disruptions for our way of life. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed, earlier this week Governor Cuomo issued an executive order restricting the size of public gatherings to 50. This order would have impacted the Sunday gatherings of our church family. However, this order was followed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and President Trump which limits gatherings to less than 10, which also impacted our various small groups.

In light of our current situation, all church gatherings are suspended through the weeks of March 22nd, March 29th, and April 5th, 2020. During this time we will not be able to meet in-person for worship or mutual encouragement. We will be consistently monitoring federal, state and local developments to determine if we are able to gather after this date or not.

The situation we find ourselves in is truly unprecedented. We recognize that the days ahead bring a certain sense of uncertainty with them. Yet, even in the midst of uncertain times, we know that our hope is in Christ Jesus; that He remains sovereign. In light of that truth, it is our deep desire to continue to provide you with resources you so that you can keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and be an encouragement to those with whom you have conversation. To that end, here are some of our current plans.

Sunday Sermons - We will continue to share with you from God’s word, proceeding in our Apostles’ Creed series. Starting this week, our Sunday Sermons will be live-streamed at 10am. To watch live, please visit http://claycommunity.org/livestream. Once the live-stream is completed, we will move the recording to our regular Sermon page, so that anyone who missed it live (or who would like to see it again) will be able to access it.

Prayer Meeting - Our prayer meeting on Sunday was well received, so we plan to make it a weekly occurrence. Our next time of prayer will be this Sunday at 11:15am, shortly after the sermon livestream. We’ll be using a video service called Zoom, which allows our entire body to meet "face-to-face" using laptops, tablets, and smart phones (those who prefer to dial in on a phone will be able to join in, too). The longer our time apart grows, the more important maintaining our connectedness will be. And, the more comforting it will be to see one another regularly! We’ll send the links and phone number information in a separate email as we get closer.

Small Groups - We are working with our Small Group leaders to explore ways to strengthen, encourage, and connect with one another through technology such as Zoom. As we work together to discern the best path for each small group, the leaders of these groups will be in touch with those who participate. That said, now is a great time to get plugged in, even if you’ve never been a part of one of our groups before. If you are interested in getting connected to our Adult Sunday School or a Community Group, please let us know at len@claycommunity.org.

Pastoral Care - We desire to continue shepherding the body well throughout this time. The SLT will endeavor to connect with everyone who calls Clay Community Church their home next week. If you desire to speak with one of the pastors for any reason, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If you require physical assistance, financial assistance, or spiritual care, or you know of someone who does, please reach out to us as soon as possible. We may not be in the same place physically, but we’re walking through this together.

Giving - As always, it is our goal to be faithful stewards of the resources which God has entrusted to us. Though we're unable to gather physically, the financial needs of the church do continue. Please continue to faithfully support the gospel ministry of Clay Community Church joyfully, as the Lord leads you. Several of you have asked about how to do that during this season. At this time we do not offer online giving. However, you may send checks to the church office (8650 Morgan Road, Clay, NY 13041), and they will be deposited by our Treasurer regularly.

As we navigate this new season, we continue to pray with you for wisdom and courage. Toward that end, we leave you to meditate on the Word of God in Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Amen!

In Christ,

Len & Brandon