A Letter from our Elders concerning the Covid-19 Situation and Our Immediate Response

Dear Westwood Family,
This week your Elders have been having conversations with health care providers, community leaders and other Pastors. We’ve been trying to stay in front of the issues concerning COVID-19, yet it in the past 24 hours the issues surrounding the Corona Virus have multiplied greatly. What we planned to address next week has happened much sooner.
As followers of Christ we are to be driven by love of God, obedience to his Word and love for our neighbor. We are citizens of God’s kingdom and at the same time citizens of our state and country. Today Governor Roy Cooper requested that public gatherings of over 100 people be postponed this weekend. Your Elders met tonight, and we have agreed that we want to honor this request. So, Westwood will not have our Sunday activities this week. This includes Sunday School and worship, Choir and Student Ministries.This Sunday we will broadcast the sermon live, and you can view that HERE. By next week we plan to have in place the capability to broadcast our Sunday services live via online media and our website.
We have been asked about LifeGroups getting together this Sunday. That is a decision we will leave up to each individual group. If you want to meet to watch the message together and have a home worship gathering, we encourage you so do so. But we also urge you to be considerate of your neighbors and the well-being of your own family. If you or someone in your family are showing any symptoms of illness, stay at home. Use good judgment as you decide whether or not to meet and whether or not you will participate.
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, the leaders of our Convention are asking all Southern Baptists and our 47,500+ churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to commit to a dedicated time of prayer this Sunday, March 15, 2020. You can get details about this time of prayer here: http://www.bpnews.net/54460/greear-floyd-entity-heads-issue-call-for-day-of-prayer If you do gather with your LifeGroup, we encourage you to include this time of prayer in your activities.
We also want to remind you that the church’s financial needs and obligations will continue regardless of whether or not we meet together. We ask you to use the online giving options that are available on our website and the Realm app, or mail your tithe/offering to the church office at 970 Leasburg Road.Decisions concerning activities for next week will be addressed on Monday, and as soon as decisions are made we will let you know.
It is very easy to lose faith and to live in fear of the headlines and the unknowns. Remember church, we walk by faith and not by sight, and faith and fear cannot co-exist in the heart of those who trust in Christ. In a world gripped by fear of what might be, the people of God should be the non-anxious presence that witnesses to the peace of Christ that lives in us.
We should also be the voice and example of compassionate love and concern for our neighbor. Our attitude and actions must be guided by the compelling love of Christ and his command that we love our neighbor as ourselves. During this time opportunities to serve will abound. A heart of service, not stigma or fear, should be what guides our steps.
With you in His Grace,
The Westwood Elders
“…..fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
You can view the stream for Sunday’s sermon by clicking here.