COVID-19 & REDEMPTION HILL CHURCH UPDATES

In the face of the current situation facing all members of our community, all RHC meetings, events and activities (including Groups) will move to an entirely online experience through at least Monday, May 4th and possibly longer. Additionally, the Pastors at RHC share the following specific considerations*:

What Appears to be the evolving situation?

We should assume that the virus is present in our community.  COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is considerably more deadly than ordinary flu, especially for vulnerable populations: the elderly and those with existing medical conditions.  The disease can be mild in many people, even unnoticed. But this actually increases the risk to others, as “asymptomatic” carriers can transmit the virus to the highly vulnerable without realizing they are infectious.  Therefore, there is a serious risk beyond the virus’s simple fatality rate: its potential to overwhelm our health-care system, leading to many more otherwise preventable deaths from COVID-19 and other causes.

What should be our most basic attitude?

As followers of Jesus, we should seek to respond with the mind and heart of Christ. We should turn to God consistently in prayer, in order to experience his peace in the midst of this troubling time. We should love one another and our larger community through practicing wisdom, empathy, and acts of service. The good news of Jesus teaches us that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Let’s depend on God’s help during this time and rest assured of our living hope through the resurrection of Jesus (Psalm 46; 1 Peter 1:3-12).

What should be our response in general?

It will be wise for us to prepare for difficulty and uncertainty, change behaviors with love for others as our reason, and resist the temptation to fear.  Public health officials are urging all citizens to change current norms of social interaction in order to minimize the transmission of the virus.  Although some changes may feel drastic, when dealing with pandemics, the measures that will actually make a difference always need to be taken sooner than we think.  Additionally, motivated by our love for others, we call upon all followers of Jesus to redirect social energy from anxiety and panic to love and preparation.  This current crisis presents an extraordinary opportunity to fortify small communities of love and care for our neighbors. That will only happen if we reduce fear, increase faith, and reorient all of us from self-protection to serving others.  Therefore, many of the practical questions that face the guests, attenders, and members of Redemption Hill Church are addressed below.

HOw does this effect our sunday worship experience?

In order to exercise love for our neighbors and appropriate caution, the Elders have decided to not hold our Sunday Worship service at Medford High School through Sunday, May 3rd at minimum. We will be live streaming our services via Church OnlineFacebook Live and YouTube at 10:30a each. You can also access the live stream and Worship Guide at rhc.church/live. This will provide an opportunity to turn our hearts to God together at a unified time. If you have any questions concerning how to participate, please email us.

How will we do groups and other smaller gatherings?
 
All Groups have moved to an entirely online experience using zoom through Monday, May 4th at a minimum. While gathering in small groups seems to be a grey zone, given the current state of Massachusetts and the recent spread of this virus particularly in our county, we feel the need to take drastic measures, even limiting small group gatherings. You can find zoom links to connect with a group here. Please keep your group leaders up to date regarding any needs and/or prayer requests that you may have.
When we decide to return to in-person small group gatherings, we recommend the following social distancing protocols:
  • If anyone is sick or has any reason to think they have been exposed to the virus, they are obligated to not attend.
  • All shared surfaces should be disinfected before and after the meeting (door knobs, counters, chairs, etc.).
  • Everyone must wash their hands thoroughly (more than 20 seconds) upon arrival and upon returning to their home.
  • Food and drink are served individually (only offer pre-packaged food).
  • As much distance as possible is maintained between people and their belongings (stand at least three feet apart and arrange seating accordingly).
 
What About Redemption Kids? What resources are available for families with kids?

 We have created this resource that provivdes an overview of what we are currently offering for families. It includes suggestions and encouragements for how to do Sunday worship, links to our Gospel Project Curriculum, links to Grades 1-5 Sunday evening Zoom meetings, and other resources. If you have a need during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out to Pastor Jon Chasteen.

How Can I serve others in practical ways?

Whether you live in Medford or not, there are ways you can meet very specific felt needs in Greater Medford. Do find more details about the ways you can serve during this time check out the COVID_19 Response section on our SERVE Medford page!

How Can i submit my financial Gifts?
Over 80% of our donors share their offering to support the mission of Redemption Hill through our giving platform SubSplash.  If you are enrolled, continue to share faithfully.  If you are currently not enrolled, simply click here
If that is not an option for you, you can mail a check payable to RHC to PO Box 482, Medford MA 02155.
How can I get updates and information from Redemption Hill Church?

During this unique time, we will provide timely updates on this page until it appears no longer necessary.  If you have a question or concern not addressed on this page, we encourage you to email us. If you would like to receive email updates, sign up for our Weekly Newsletter on our home page at the very bottom. 

Where can i get public health information?
What spiritual resources might you recommend?
We have every reason to trust that this pandemic will pass.  However, real Christian hope is our ultimate confidence - rooted in the sovereignty of God the Father, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  The following resources may be useful during this unique time in our lives.

*In drafting our response to this crisis, we acknowledge the work and contributions of author Andy Crouch https://journal.praxislabs.org/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-26aaeb0396e3