Sirviendo, Equipando y Capacitando a los Ministros y Ministerios para Avanzar en el Reino de Dios
COVID-19 Statement Update
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 3:00PM, EST
By the Superintendent of the
Kentucky Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God are a people of faith and prayer. Exodus 15:26 declares, ...for I am the Lord that healeth thee. Jeremiah 30:17 declares, ... But I will restore you to health and heal all your wounds, declares the Lord. And, the Psalmist offered in Ps. 30:2, O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. We join with Americans and those around the world in prayer for the nations.
In consideration of Governor Beshear's latest declaration (yesterday) that all non-life-supporting businesses be closed through April 7, and of Louisville Mayor, Greg Fisher's declaration extending the "state of emergency" for Louisville area metro-area gatherings until May 10:
I have closed the KMN Offices and Camp Crestwood beginning tonight at 5pm until (presently) Wednesday, April 8, and our office staff and Executive Officers will now be working (as much as possible) REMOTELY until that time. There may be times when one person will be at the office to accommodate mail, fiscal needs, mailings, etc. but, the office itself is officially closed until that time.
· It is important to recognize that Remote office environments also raises issues for our churches, as well. I have had a number of pastors messaging and emailing questions related to how they perform even the basic Sunday morning on-line service ministry without help from a handful (less than 10) of their I.T. support in their church to set up cameras, etc. I suggest you limit your total team to less than 10 including music, video, camera, etc. And, when you post photos on social media, make sure you send correct messages in your visuals, assuring your photos/visuals do not include multiple people. Have only one person on the photo at a time, when possible. Further, practice social distancing in all instances.
· The KMN Office does have a remote cell phone (502-689-5912). Administrative Assistant, Jackie Tank will have this cell phone with her remotely to continue to receive your calls and inquiries during regularly scheduled office hours (9AM - 4:30PM EST). We can as mentioned function remotely from our Network office and will be able to accommodate your standard calls and questions, emails, and inquiries.
· RE: DISTRICT COUNCIL / NETWORK CONFERENCE / APRIL 27-28, Crown Plaza Louisville:
1. As of this morning, Wednesday, March 25, I have released our guest speaker, Dr. Melissa Alfaro from her obligations and commitments. I am working with her to reschedule her for an upcoming District Council in the next few years to come.
2. I am instructing all Department Heads to now cancel all out of town guests scheduled for your/their District Council events/speaking engagements.
3. Bro. Holder is working diligently with Crown Plaza Hotel associates regarding contractual agreements and rescheduling options.
4. The 86th Annual Network Conference / KY District Council scheduled for April 27-28 has been cancelled and as soon as we know of rescheduling options the Network will be informed. Ministers will receive a notice in the mail regarding this matter within days of this posting.
From a Network, Departmental, Sectional, and local church level please cancel or postpone until further notice any scheduled public events/gatherings.
To Clarify: Our initial communication from two weeks ago was that we hoped to return to public services in our church buildings on Palm Sunday, April 5. That will now not occur in Kentucky, as the Governor and White House have both extended closures of public gatherings. It continues to be a fluid situation nationally. We all are navigating this together and daily information changes, as you are well aware. Could we be meeting together on Easter? Personally, doubtful. We will have to inform our people to be flexible as you lead them, daily following the updated directives and guidelines of the CDC, the KY Governor's office, and the White House.
I am beyond proud of you regarding your leadership during this unique hour in our nation's history. God is using you. Lead with hope. Lead with faith. Lead with wisdom. We will continue to communicate as often and as efficiently as possible.
This is important to us. We care about you. Our nation is going through a crisis and we recognize you may be experiencing challenging times.
*If you are a KYAG credentialed minister and you, an immediate family member, or a fellow minister in our Fellowship have experienced severe illness, hospitalization, or the loss of a loved one to which we should be informed, please call the remote cell phone listed above or our main office number, 502-241-7111, and leave a detailed message. A member of our team will respond as promptly as possible.
For Christ, and our Church,
Joseph S. Girdler, D.Min
Superintendent / Kentucky Assemblies of God
Update / Saturday, March 21, 2020, 9:30 AM, EST
By the Superintendent of the
Kentucky Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God
I am so proud and appreciative of our KYAG Pastors and church leaders as I watch the unity and creativity being displayed across our fellowship during this hour. God is using you!
Richard J. Foster wrote in Celebration of Discipline, “As the cross is the sign of submission, so the towel is the sign of service.” The Church has been given an enormous opportunity to serve our neighbors, and certainly the needy, the defenseless, the recovering, or the oppressed. The Church is not confined to a building or a meeting. Be the Church and give Hope. Jesus; no other name.
Let us all continue in prayer – as we have heeded the call from President Trump who called a National Day of Prayer earlier this week. And, if you haven’t watched the recorded video of the Global Hour of Prayer led by Gen. Supt. Doug Clay, with leaders from around the world in our AG fellowship, please do; what a powerful moment in prayer. And, post it- show it- what a superb way to share with your community and friends during this unique hour the beauty of our international fellowship. So many people have misguided perceptions of what they think about “organized Church”. I’m so grateful to be a part of – the Assemblies of God. We are people of prayer.
You can find that posted on my personal Facebook page, Joseph S. Girdler, and also the Kentucky A.G. Minister’s & Leaders Facebook Group.
I’ve had a few pastors and church leaders contact me who, likely little-connected to social media, Facebook, etc., have asked, “Are we supposed to stop having church services?” The answer to that is: Yes; at least, publicly/corporately, continuing as “the Church”, but moving to alternative options, online venues, etc. The Church has never been a building. We “are” the Church. The amazing thing is now watching how the airwaves and social media technology has taken “the Church” public – to thousands upon thousands more who would have never attended your services. One pastor shared, of his typical 100 or so in attendance, of his having over 1500 people logging in to watch all or part of his on-line ministry service this past week.
So, do not have public church services or gatherings at this time. The entirety of the United States is dealing with this together. This is temporary. We will get through this “together”. District Council Affiliated Churches are required to follow these guidelines, and General Council Churches are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines.
We have been informed by legal counsel that
Failure to comply with these guidelines may place you and your church
at risk of both civil and criminal liability.
I met this past Thursday afternoon on a Zoom meeting with the Executive Pastors/Officers of the Kentucky Ministry Network, Department Ministry leaders, and a KYAG’s Lead Pastors (who could join the Zoom), praying together and discussing the various questions to which we are all dealing with in our local circumstances.
I have scheduled another Superintendent’s COVID-19 ZOOM conference for Lead Pastors and KMN Department Ministry leaders for Thursday, March 26, 4pm. ET. The link was emailed to Lead Pastors and a text reminder will be sent early in the week next week. We are stronger together.
Today’s update is listed below.
Gov. Beshear declared NO public meetings of any size, as of Thursday, 3.19.2020
This week, the White House - President Trump requested not holding events of 10 or more people offering specific guidelines to help stop the spread of this virus. To contain this epidemic from gaining it’s maximum ability, the request is that people –in groups or in homes- offer focused action to be separated from clusters.
And, you may now be aware that financial stimulus payments for all Americans with incomes of less than $99,000 have been approved by the government and will hopefully offer some level of assistance to many during this hour.
Kentucky’s Gov. Beshear has closed various public businesses and of course, restaurants, for only Take Out or Delivery.
The CDC. Gov guidelines have been set for eight weeks; but, again, it is a very uncertain hour and a changing environment daily/hourly.
Our DA churches are directed to not meet until April 5, (for now). But, of course, the guidelines change daily and we will update as needed. The decision to help curb this virus is the correct decision for our fellowship at this hour. And, all KYAG churches are asked to abide by this guideline likewise.
KSOM was moved to an on-line forum, via Facebook LIVE, for this weekend’s sessions.
In April – there is no KSOM scheduled
In May – hopefully we’ll be open again; but as has been said, this is a fluctuating situation. We will keep our fellowship informed as quickly as we are made aware of schedules and changes.
Our KMN District Council April 27-28 remains on the calendar, albeit we are daily working with officials related to directives given and contractual matters with the hotel, to determine when and how our Conference/Council will be conducted. We will re-address this matter in the days ahead and keep you fully informed.
And, we have provided a practical and useful site for RESOURCES to assist each of you to better equip and minister to your churches during these weeks of “our new temporary normal”. Look for the post, “Pastoring Together During COVID-19” on our Kentucky A.G. Minister’s & Leaders Facebook Group.
Please check daily the CDC guidelines. I have listed a link below and the updates as of this morning.
As of 9:30 AM EST today, the CDC guidelines continue with the recommendations of:
Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
On March 16, the White House announced a program called “15 Days to Slow the Spread,”pdf iconexternal icon which is a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the implementation of social distancing at all levels of society.
Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
Risk of Severe Illness:
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
Older adults, with risk increasing by age.
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
Reiterating Bro. Holder’s encouraging words to us in an update he offered our fellowship on Thursday:
We, as spiritual leaders have a responsibility to guard both the spiritual and physical health and wellbeing or our flocks. The word of God comforts us with this promise, “God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:17).” Therefore, we should not react to these developments in panic. However, through Paul’s prayer, God’s word also counsels us with this assurance, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ… may give to you the spirit of wisdom (Eph. 1:17).” This is a time to exercise caution, faith and wisdom in guiding and protecting the flocks whom the Lord has entrusted to us. Hopefully our calm and gracious resolve during these times can help us impact our communities with the love of Christ.
Sincerely yours, and for our Church,
Pastor Joe / Joseph S. Girdler, D.Min.
Kentucky Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God
KENTUCKY MINISTRY NETWORK
Con el fin de ayudar a todos a alcanzar su máximo potencial en el trabajo y los ministerios a los que el Señor los ha llamado, nos comprometemos activamente a elevar la calidad de vida espiritual para todos en nuestras iglesias en todo Kentucky.
Joseph S. Girdler, D.Min.
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