Below you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions.
During this time, it is important that everyone has the most reliable and accurate information on this new Coronavirus. While there is a lot of information on the internet and elsewhere, here are the best places to go to receive updates that are both TRUE and UP-TO-DATE:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – https://link.zixcentral.com/u/
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- County of Los Angeles Public Health – https://link.zixcentral.com/u/
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- World Health Organization – https://link.zixcentral.com/u/
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In December 2019, what would become known as the Coronavirus started in Wuhan, China and began spreading, ultimately reaching the entire globe. On March 19th, in an effort to stop the spread and transmission of the virus, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 ordering residents to stay at home except those who were determined to be in critical support jobs. The entire order can be read here. Shortly after this, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a similar “Safer at Home” order for Los Angeles County, the most recent version of which can be read here. These orders closed down all “non-essential” businesses and greatly limited the ability for many businesses (including churches) to operate as they normally would.
The experts at the CDC have found that the virus travels about 6 feet whenever an infected person coughs or sneezes, which is why the government is asking everyone to practice “social distancing”. This means keeping at least 6 feet of space between people wherever you are, except when you are in your home with the people you live with. Some people who have this virus may not have any symptoms or might feel like they have a slight cold, but might infect someone else with underlying health problems who could get really sick or even die from the virus. The CDC thinks a person can be contagious for up to 14 days and not even know it.
This is why the government is asking everyone to stay home as much as possible, only traveling out for needs such as food or medicine. This is a temporary measure to try to prevent the virus from being spread out in the community and to help protect the people who are most at risk. You can find more information about why here.
The orders from California and Los Angeles County state that churches can still operate for live-streaming services. We can also continue running the Food Bank, since we are providing food to people in our community who need it. All other in-person meetings, gatherings, and classes have been cancelled while these orders remain in place. The State of California has determined “faith based services that are provided through streaming or other technology” as one of many essential critical infrastructures in this document (page 11). The Food Bank ministry is also listed as essential in this same document (page 4). When combined with the details from the Los Angeles County document (page 2, point #2), Newlife is able to do following:
- Live-stream the Thursday mid-week service and Sunday morning worship service, on Facebook at @newlifepomona.
- The services are closed to everyone except those essential to the service (worship team, media team, pastoral staff).
- No more than 9 people will be in the sanctuary at any time, and we are maintaining the minimum 6 feet distance between people.
- We are ensuring ample soap/water at all of our sinks and have added multiple hand sanitizer bottles throughout the sanctuary, hallway, and offices.
- The Food Bank will continue to operate to serve the community from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Fridays.
- Staff and volunteers are using gloves and masks and are staying at least 6 feet apart for social distancing as they are able.
- The Food Bank has changed the way it is serving people, now with an extended time frame and a drive-thru option to avoid long lines and minimize risk of contact.
- People may still walk-up to receive food but will be asked to remain more than 6 feet apart from each other if a line forms.
- Office, administrative and support staff whose work directly supports the live-streamed services and Food Bank will continue and will maintain safe social distancing.
- All other staff are working from home when practicable.
- Office hours will continue to be 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Monday through Friday in order to answer phone calls, respond to emails, process mail and ensure essential functions are able to continue smoothly.
- Pastoral and support staff are still accessible via email. Contact information for the staff can be found here.
- All meetings that normally would be face to face are now done via phone or Zoom, including weekly staff meetings.
- Connect groups that typically meet at the church or in a member’s home have been provided the ability to use Zoom online so people may continue meeting, just not in person.
These protocols will remain in place for the duration of Executive Order N-33-20.
First and most importantly, you can join us in praying.
Here are some specific prayer points:
- Pray for the outpouring of God’s Spirit. – Many prophetic voices have talked about Him taking us from ‘outbreak to outpouring’. God takes what the enemy sends for evil and turns it around for His glory. Let’s pray for an outpouring of Holy Spirit and a shift in the Church that puts God’s glory on display.
- Pray for the ending of the Coronavirus – Pray that the disease would end and that people who have been infected with it will be healed.
- Pray peace and comfort – Pray for those who have lost loved ones.
- Pray for salvation – Pray that during this time, people will be stirred to turn their hearts to the Lord.
- Pray for peace and safety – Pray for our communities and for the nations of the earth.
Refuse fear and stand in faith.
As fear fills the airwaves we must choose to stand on the truth of God’s word. In our speech, our prayers and our thought lives we must choose to believe for God’s healing, protection and power.
“Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.” – Ps 91:9-11
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Tim 1:9
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deut 3:18
Please continue following the recommendations of local government.
While we do not live in fear, we also want to have wisdom and also submit to the government.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Rom 13:1-2
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work” Titus 3:1
Stand with the Asian Communities
There is a lot of mistreatment of people of Asian descent right now because of where the virus started from. Some people mistakenly believe that Asian people are more at risk for spreading this virus. Please do not feed into this and pray that this practice would stop. Let’s continue to love all of our neighbors as ourselves!
Check In with Your Elderly Neighbors
Check in with your elderly neighbors to see if they need anything. They are more at risk than the general population for getting very sick from this virus and feel very limited to even go to the grocery store. See if you can pick up some food for them and leave it at their doorstep.
Create a Prayer Box
Create a prayer box for your neighborhood! Let your neighbors know you are available to pray for them and leave a special mailbox or space in your yard for people to drop notes off for how they need prayer if they are out on a neighborhood walk. Or perhaps send a text to let them know you are available to pray for them.
Invite your friends/family to our live-stream services! “Attend” service by watching live when you can and worship along with us from the comfort of your home. There is nothing more powerful than the Body of Christ coming together to praise in the middle of difficult circumstances! Join us on Facebook Live.
YOU are the Church! Church isn’t a building, it is the people of God who have His Spirit living in us. Connect groups are so important because they keep us connected to each other in community where we can encourage, get to know and pray for one another.
As we are being asked to limit the number of people meeting in person, we’re encouraging Connect Group Leaders to host online calls with video calling services like Zoom. Zoom is a free, easy way to host an online call! We encourage group leaders to set up an online meeting and send out the link to group members through text or email.