March 17, 2020
Welcome to the new COVID-19 Weekly Update, your source of information pertaining to members and events of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. We hope we don’t have to publish this update very long, but while this situation exists, we want to keep you as fully informed as possible. This update will usually be posted every Thursday (and more often if any special need arises). Each week your pastor will forward this update to everyone on his email list, but you can also subscribe to be notified whenever a new update is posted (see how to subscribe below). During this situation where we are greatly cut off from one another, we want to stay as close as possible through regular communication, so this will be just another way to keep in touch.
Be sure to watch this week’s In Accord, in which Jim Franks addresses some of the important spiritual principles that are guiding our decisions, gives more background information and guidelines, and shares a number of announcements. In Accord will be posted on Thursday as usual.
Even though this COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted life on every level, and circumstances are changing daily from country to country, in God’s Church we know we have the stabilizing factor of His presence with us. And even though convening for services in our local congregations is canceled for the next couple of months, one of the most stabilizing factors is that every seven days we will still able to come together as one body, through remote services, to worship God on His Sabbath.
The Church’s administrative team has established a plan for conducting services remotely for the next eight weeks, which includes Sabbaths, the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. For your planning, here is the schedule for the next few weeks:
- Sabbath services will be provided via webcast from the Church’s headquarters office in McKinney, Texas, on March 21, at 12 noon Central Daylight Time.
- Sabbath services will be provided via webcast from the Church’s headquarters office in McKinney, Texas, on March 28, at 12 noon Central Daylight Time.
- Beginning, April 4 local congregations will be prepared to provide their own remote Sabbath services via webcast and phone hookup. Your pastor will provide information beforehand on how to connect.
The Passover should be observed shortly after sunset on Tuesday evening, April 7. It now appears highly unlikely that in the U.S. we will be able to hold the Passover service with all the brethren in physical attendance, but each pastor will arrange to conduct the service via webcast or phone hookup. Members can arrange to get together and tune in to a Passover webcast conducted by their local pastor. Each pastor will provide you with instructions for connecting and the time that services will commence. (If you are unable to tune in to the webcast of the Passover services, we have DVDs of a full service that you can play. We also have written instructions on how to take the Passover at home if you were to have difficulty with the DVD. Your pastor can provide you with the DVD and the written instructions, and he will be able to send someone to help you if there is a need.)
Days of Unleavened Bread
- Holy day services on Thursday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 15, will be webcast from the Church’s headquarters office. There will be one service each day at 12 noon Central Daylight Time.
- Instructions regarding the holy day offering will be coming.
Connecting to the Sabbath webcast
- You can access the webcast from headquarters simply by going to COGWA.tv. No password is necessary.
- It will also be available on our ROKU channel. We will also be providing simultaneous Spanish translation. Need the ROKU channel?
- We are offering a phone hookup option for Sabbath services for those who do not have access to Roku or the cogwa.tv website. Simply dial and enter an access code to join a conference call. Long-distance charges may apply. The connection details are:
Dial-in Number: 605-472-5473
Participant Code: 130095
If you get disconnected for some reason, simply dial back in. The service is being offered by the East Texas congregation, so if you have any problems, feel free to call Ken Treybig for assistance at 903-714-3684.
Any church-sponsored social activities should be canceled until further notice. We encourage everyone to stay in touch with one another (by phone, mail, email, social media, etc.) even more than usual, but if you actually get together on your own, we strongly urge you to take the recommended hygienic precautions from the CDC and government officials.