The Church is not the building. We are the Church.
Effective immediately all services at Manbeck’s Zion are canceled and will remain canceled until the current crisis is over. Please read the following:
The above decision has been made after much prayer and in consultation with various Board and church members. Many factors were considered including the following:
- As Christians we are responsible to God for all of our actions, but He has instructed us to be obedient to those in authority over us. Currently all leaders on both a national, state, local and denominational level have asked everyone to avoid gathering in groups. The numbers suggested vary from 10 to 50. As Christians we should listen to them. (The current list of mandatory closings in PA as sent out by the government allows for religious organizations to meet but that does not imply we should not obey other restrictions on gatherings.
- While we are ultimately citizens of heaven, our current citizenship is in this community and we are responsible to that community to care and protect it. Continuing to meet may prove to the community that we are brave but will not show love or set an example for them to follow.
- Our membership is extremely faithful so some would make the effort to attend a service or program even when they don’t feel totally well. Given the older nature of our membership it means that many are considered to be at a higher risk of having a serious reaction to the virus were someone to get it at church. We dare not realistically take that risk.
To minimize the impact of a closure we will try to do the following:
- As pastor I will try to post on our web site a weekly short message of encouragement.
- We will post praise and prayer requests and needs on both our prayer chain and web site and encourage you to send praise and requests via email to me.
- We will have posted on our web site information compiled by our denomination on other EC churches that are streaming their services or placing excerpts on their web sites. In addition, I know that on Sunday several ministries such as Dr. Jeremiah have TV programs that we can make use of.
- I would encourage everyone to make use of the time confined to home to study God’s Word and to pray for one another.
In the days ahead I will try to set up a caring community list whereby each of us can be responsible for calling other members to not only check on them but to fellowship via phone with them while they are unable to come to church for that fellowship. We need to check in on one another and pray for one another.
Being closed does not mean that expenses of the church do not continue nor does it mean we are not responsible to continue to give to the Lord what is His. Obviously, if you are one of those who has or will lose employment because of this crisis God is not asking you to give but if you continue to receive income you continue to be responsible for it. Offerings can be sent to Deb. Reiter at the address in our directory.
God is ignoring the quarantine and continues to be everywhere!