A Letter From Our Pastor

Dear Park Crest Family,

We are living in unprecedented times with the recent surprise of the CoronaVirus in our local community and state.  

Although, as believers, we do not live in “a spirit of fear” (2 Tim.1:7), there is wisdom found in following informed counsel.  Our Springfield top public health department official, Clay Goddard, made a request to “Faith-based institutions” to voluntarily suspend events expecting 250 people or more with the intention to curtail the spread of this virus.  Officials understand that this virus is commonly carried and less harmful in those younger, but is most detrimental to those older and with compromised immune system.    

Instead of trying to separate age groups and regulate differing meetings, we will not meet in the church building this Sunday or Wednesday.  Please join us tomorrow online at 10:15 am for morning worship. There will be several options available for you to watch online through our website and Facebook.    

Our President has declared this coming Sunday as a National Day of Prayer.  I think that is best fitting… understanding the circumstances. With that in mind, I would ask that you pray for our Government leaders as they make decisions for the best of our country.  I was reminded of Romans 13 and Paul’s words to, “be subject to the governing authorities….” and that “the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”  

At this time, practically, adhere to the guidelines you have been encouraged to follow.  Wash your hands. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. That is for your well-being as well as others around you.  At least for this short time, try to stay out of large groups. 

Along other practical lines, I have tasked our Janitors to spend extra time and greater frequency sanitizing all surfaces in our facilities.  Our Deacons have Seniors they have been tasked to watch over. I have asked them to discontinue physically visiting those in their care and yet stay in contact with them by phone.  Our Staff will still faithfully work and serve in our offices to continue fulfilling their responsibilities as well as strive to meet the additional demands in other areas. The offices will remain open, fully staffed and if there are needs, we are asking you to call or stop by so that we can help.

At this time, spiritually, let’s be aware that there are many that have no “anchor” to hold on to and may be afraid or anxious.  This could be a settling time for them as you seek to share the HOPE and real comfort found in knowing Christ.  Invite them to watch the service on our website tomorrow. I am going to be speaking on the subject of “Fear”.

The church has never been led by God to focus only on itself.  Look for opportunities to serve others as we follow Him. I have a feeling God will help us see those opportunities if we ask Him. 

I am also going to ask you to set aside a time Sunday to Pray.

o       Pray for our President and other government leaders tasked with making plans for the benefit of the country.  Remember that they (Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc.) are not perfect. But through the prayers of all those that follow Christ, they might lead well.

o       Pray for our Country.  There are many that are worrying beyond health issues, about their jobs, their retirement, their travel and even family members that are more susceptible to this virus. 

o       Pray and ask God if He would have mercy to a nation that makes every effort to live without Him.

I have spent much time in prayer alone as well as with our staff, deacons and various church leaders.  We will always make a decision that we consider God honoring and in the best interest of everyone at that time.  You can count on us to wade through the sensational to get to the facts and stay educated about the situation.  This way, we can make current and informed decisions concerning our future service times. I will keep you up to date as things change.

Last but not least,  I have never wanted any decisions to be influenced solely by finances.  I think you would agree, this schedule change is not financially beneficial for your church. So, I want to remind and encourage you to be faithful in your giving as the expenses of the church are ongoing even if we do not meet collectively.  It may be that God would impress upon your heart to give in a greater way, understanding the growth of our expanded efforts to minister. As always, you can give online at our website or stop by the church office during office hours.

As your pastor, Thank you for your encouragement and support.  These are definitely different times. While the Times may be different, we serve the same God that we did before the virus.  The same God spoke the world into existence. This is not an issue to Him, nor did it surprise Him.

TOGETHER AS PARK CREST, Let’s continue to trust Him through this, continue to serve Him in this, and continue to share His Gospel to a world that still needs Him.

Phillip Housley

Senior Pastor

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