COVID-19 communication

March 19, 2020

Dear Church Family,

The last seven days have been unlike any we have ever seen. The nations of the world are workingcontinuously to stop the spread of COVID-19 and return things to normal as soon as possible. Everypassing day has brought about new restrictive measures for necessary social distancing. Schools aremoving online, businesses are re-thinking everything, group activities have all but ceased & churches areresponding in unprecedented ways. We know this: our God is neither surprised nor shaken by thesedevelopments and he says…​“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I willstrengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10

In times like these, we must not isolate ourselves from God or from one another. While we are supportiveof, and willingly submissive to, our governing authorities’ instruction to ​socially distance​ from oneanother to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must not ​relationally isolate​. We are blessed with incredibletechnological tools that allow us to talk, text, video chat & message one another at any time. And, in thecoming days, Salem Church will be utilizing all of it to bring us together to worship God & to serve others.

To that end, the elders and I have made the following decisions:

We have opened a new email address during this time: ​Prayer@SalemChurchNYC.org​. If you should needprayer, support or encouragement, please send us an email at this address. It will be monitored everyday& responded to in a timely fashion. Do not hesitate to use this address for any needs you have!

All to Jesus,

Pastor John Welborn
Matthew 6:33

March 12, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Like many of you, Ashley and I have been watching the events of the last few weeks with prayerful concern over the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Now, in our own city, many people are fearful and anxious about this pandemic. While the situation here is very serious, and requires a careful response, we do not fear. We followers of Jesus are people of deep peace, strong faith and complete trust in God!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power & love & self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

We can take courage in the fact that God has given us many good gifts on which we can rely in moments of uncertainty and danger. First of all, we have the presence of God in the midst of our trials as he promises, “… never to leave us or forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5) Secondly, he has given us each other so we can, “…bear one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2). Also, we are blessed with a government that has been “…instituted by God…” (Romans 13:1) to order our society for greater health and prosperity.

The Salem Church leadership team has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 across our city. We have been seriously considering all recommendations from the international (WHO), National (CDC) and Local Health organizations. Based on these recommendations, we are making the following decisions:

At this time, we have no knowledge of anyone associated with Salem Church being diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. The above decisions have been made out of abundance of caution and in partnership with our governing authorities. I deeply love my faith family at Salem Church, my community on Staten Island as well as my City here in New York. Please join me in fervent prayer to our God who is mighty to save. Pray that, through this crisis, many in our city would turn to Jesus for life abundant and free!

All to Jesus,

Pastor John Welborn
Matthew 6:33