Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

Dear ACEFC family,

Psalm 25:1—5

1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.

5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

These words written years ago by David remain true and trustworthy! Our trust is in the Lord and in times like we’re experiencing currently, we realize the absolute value of our faith and fellowship with one another. We’ve received several notes from people saying how much they miss the opportunity to gather and enjoy each other. This letter today is intended to provide some information about our plans and procedures during this time when some additional safety measures have been put in place by the State of Wisconsin.

Our church staff and elder leadership wants to do whatever we can to help everyone maintain some true sense of closeness, even though we can’t meet face—to—face in groups. Please feel free to contact us through email, phone calls, texts, or social media online. (At the end of this letter is an explanation from the Elders about becoming involved in a Facebook group developed specifically for our church.)

We plan to continue providing a Sunday sermon video presentation along with some YouTube songs on video to supplement your worship experience. Pastor Blake and Lisa are working on some special video presentations for young people as well. These will all be posted week—by—week on our website.

**There are some frequent devotionals (some longer & some more brief) that are being emailed to the Church mailing list.

**Mary Noggle has been maintaining a discussion with the ladies from the Monday night/Tuesday morning Bible study.

**Pastor Greg is working to send out discipleship notes to the Tuesday morning Men’s Discipleship group.

**Pastor Blake and the Youth Group leaders are using Webex (an online video meeting platform) to meet together each week.

**The Elders are continuing to meet on their normal schedule thru online/phone apps.

**The Elders have offered to provide help to anyone needing assistance. Note the listing for Elder contacts below:

Last name beginning with A – C: Justin Zaruba

Last name beginning with D – H: Tim Diestler

Last name beginning with I – M: Desmond Van Houten

Last name beginning with N – R: Rob Fox

Last name beginning with S: Marshall Legg

Last name beginning with T – Z: Ted Parish

**A note about Facebook groups for ACEFC

Over the past 2—3 weeks there’s been some discussion about a Facebook group for our church.  Some of our church family have used Facebook as a platform to share encouragement, struggles, and friendships among our community of believers for several years.  

As another means to share together when we can’t physically meet, Kayde Kempen has set up three private Facebook groups: (1) for the entire church, (2) Women’s Ministry, and (3) Men’s Ministry.  Please don’t feel obligated if you’re not comfortable with this, but if you’re looking for an additional means of connecting and sharing encouragement about how God is working in and through us in this season of uncertainty, consider the opportunity to become involved.  The group is private to invited church members and attenders only, so no one outside our community will see our shared thoughts and feelings.  We hope God might use this as a means to strengthen our bond as a church family.  

To participate in these groups, establish a Facebook account and follow these links to join the groups Kayde has started.  

Here is a link to the all-church group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/appletoncommunityefc/.

Here is a link to the women’s group: www.facebook.com/groups/acefcwomensministry/ 

Here is a link to the men’s group: www.facebook.com/groups/acefcmensministry/

If you have questions and need help establishing the account, you may contact Kayde Kempen.

Please continue praying for one another and remain in touch through the ways we have available.

Be encouraged, God is at work in the midst of this challenge!

With prayer for our Church family,

Our church staff and Elders

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 UPDATE

Dear beloved ACEFC Family,

As was explained yesterday in our email message, we’ve decided as a leadership team to suspend all church related activities (except for the wedding that’s scheduled to take place on March 21) until Friday, March 27.  This decision was made based on the guidance being provided by health authorities recommending minimizing large gatherings of people.  As we approach the end of March, we’ll be consistently monitoring the situation to help us determine the most appropriate time to begin our regular schedule once again.  We want to assure everyone that our church leadership and staff are working to provide any necessary assistance and encouragement to you during this time.  We would like to also offer this additional information to help with questions that you may have.

What activities are cancelled?

As of this time, all Church related activities are cancelled.  This includes Sunday service, AWANA, and Bible studies.  We are leaving it up to the small group leaders and attendees to determine their level of comfort for continuing on.  The Youth group leaders have discussed their desire to continue to meet at this time being.  Pastor Blake will be communicating out the details of youth group gatherings.  For both small group and Youth group if you don’t feel healthy or comfortable, please stay home.

Will there be a sermon to listen to?

Pastor Greg will continue to record sermons in accordance with the topics that he had originally planned.  You can access the messages by going to: https://youtu.be/VFuvq9GuGws

Will the office be open?

We currently plan to maintain our regular office hours Tuesday through Friday.

What should I do if I have a need?

Please contact our Church staff or one of the Elders

How will additional communications be made?

We will continue to utilize email, the church website (www.applefreechurch.org), and our church Facebook page to communicate additional information.  If you know of someone who does not have access to any of these means of communication, please relay the necessary information to them.

How will my kids complete their AWANA lessons?

At this time, the AWANA leadership has decided that we will treat the next few weeks as a snow day.  That means that kids should continue to work on memorizing their verses according to the plan.  There will be email communication from the AWANA email regarding ways that kids can recite their verses and the future plan for when we can resume AWANA.

How can we stay connected to our church family?

We would encourage you to reach out and call members of our ACEFC church family.  The up-to-date church directory was sent out in January.  If you need that information, please contact office@applefreechurch.org.  You can also post on the church’s Facebook page to continue to feel connected. The prayer chain will also still be active.

We would encourage families to view and use this time as a blessing. It is very rare in today’s society that we have the opportunity to really slow down and spend time as a family. It is unprecedented that we don’t have the typical programs of sports and activities to pull us in all directions.  We would encourage families to listen to the Pastor’s messages, worship God through airing Christian music over the radio or streaming, take time for a family devotional, and eat together as a family.

Praying for the health of our church family.

Pastor Greg, Pastor Blake, Lisa Schodorf, and ACEFC Elders

FRIDAY, MARCH 13

Dear ACEFC family,

After evaluating the current circumstances surrounding the ongoing spread of the corona virus and with respect to the recommendations by the State of Wisconsin, the elder board has decided to cancel all church related activities (except for the wedding that’s scheduled to take place on March 21) until Friday, March 27.  We’ll be consistently monitoring the situation to help us determine the most appropriate time to begin our regular schedule once again.  We want to assure everyone that our church leadership and staff are working to provide any necessary assistance and encouragement to you during this time. We’ll be sending out additional information to explain our plans for maintaining a sense of personal contact with one another within the next day.

With prayerful consideration and concern,

Pastor Greg, Ted Parish, Justin Zaruba, Desmond Van Houten, Marshall Legg, Tim Diestler, Rob Fox, Pastor Blake and Lisa Schodorf