COVID-19 and Our Commitment to the
Community of New Hampton
From the Elders at Harvest Church - March 17, 2020:

Harvest Family: We planned to meet tomorrow (March 18, 2020) to finalize our decisions
about our gatherings, but we were concerned that this morning’s shutdown announcement
from the Governor needed a more timely response. We emphasize that we will choose
to live in faith, not fear, but we also want to obey the government as far as we can with
integrity and we want to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Our next three Sunday services (March 22, 29, and April 5) will be online with just those
involved in the service present (though we won’t throw anybody out if they show up).
We will make a decision about Easter services when we get closer.

Sunday School will not resume until after Easter. Small groups (including the 7 Weeks
in John groups) and the worship team will make their own decisions about meeting.
A decision about youth meetings will be announced in a couple of days. The men’s
Iron Sharpens Iron conference in Cedar Rapids has been rescheduled for June 27.

We will emphasize regular communication via e-mail, Facebook and the
church website.

Please alert us if there are needs the church should be responding to, and please honor
God with your selfless conduct in a time when many will need the peace that only Jesus
can bring.

We encourage your continued faithful giving, either by mail, online bill pay or PayPal.
If you use PayPal, contact Jennifer for the “how-to.”

The Harvest Church Elder team:
Doug Harvey, Scott Carey, Rod Reicks, Dean Schroeder



Harvest Church’s elders have been considering our response to the ongoing Coronavirus
outbreak. We want to promote faith, not fear. We want to focus on protecting vulnerable
people, not on self-preservation. We want to take the threat of the virus seriously, but to
not overreact.

Following are some of our conclusions and decisions.

  • We will cancel “Meet and Greet” time during worship services.
  • We urge everyone to avoid handshaking, hugging and other physical greetings that might help
      spread a virus. This is going to be a really difficult change of long-established habits, but needs
      to begin immediately for all of us.
  • If you are not feeling well, stay home. You may be putting someone else’s life at risk to show
       you're not going to give in to minor symptoms. For their sake, don’t come while even a little
      bit sick in any way.
  • If you are immunocompromised, please don’t take chances. We want you in worship, of course,
       but not at the risk of your health.

  • We will continue to hold worship services as usual as long as there are no local cases
      of Coronavirus. If such cases arise, the Elders will make decisions about cancellations on a
      day-by-day basis.
  • We will actively communicate with you via e-mail and Facebook as any decisions
      are made. We are developing a list of Harvest folks who do not use e-mail or Facebook
      so they can be contacted by phone if needed. If Sunday services are cancelled, we will also
      list the closing on local radio and the Waterloo TV station.
  • We will continue to post our Sunday sermons online as usual. If a service is cancelled,
      Doug will record the message for that Sunday and it will be posted online to help us keep
      worshiping and to help maintain a sense of continuity in the church’s life.
  • If we have to start cancelling services and events, we will begin sending brief messages
      to our e-mail/Facebook lists several times a week in order to keep communicating and to
      give encouragement in a stressful time.
  • We encourage everyone to continue their faithful giving to Harvest Church, both as an act
      of honoring God and as a way of assuring the continuity of Harvest’s ministries.

If the coronavirus becomes a significant problem in our area, we will seek to implement the following:
  • Develop a system for volunteers to make daily phone calls to our more
      vulnerable people
  • Develop a volunteer ministry to offer practical help such as grocery shopping or transportation
      to doctors to those affected by the virus and/or quarantines

            “God is our refuge and strength,
            an ever-present help in trouble.
            Therefore we will not fear.”
                            (Psalm 46:1-2)

From the Harvest Church Elder team: Doug Harvey, Scott Carey, Rod Reicks, Dean Schroeder
© Harvest Church   |  Pastor Doug Harvey   |   481 South Linn Avenue   |   New Hampton, Iowa 50659   |   641-394-4380   |