Since the last announcement of the stopping of church activities up to 29 March 2020, the government has extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) to 14 April 2020. Therefore, we would like to inform the church that we will continue to cancel all physical church services, CG meetings, Sunday School, YA!, YWA, College CG, ELC, migrant ministry, ping pong, and all other physical gatherings until 14 April 2020.
However, even beyond the date of extension of the MCO, our church will have to re-examine how we are to continue the social distancing as the virus will still pose a threat for many months to come. The Pastoral Team will be actively looking for ways on how we can remain connected as a community of God via virtual means. Meetings are encouraged to continue online but do remember to adhere strictly to the social distancing needed to curb the virus.
We hope that in these times of extreme distress for all, we will be strong in our faith in our Lord Jesus who is the One who holds the keys to death and Hades.
The Pastoral Team, the Elders, and the church board want to continue reaching out and ministering to our church members. May all of you continue in the fight against this outbreak.
May His grace keep you.
Dr Chew Poy Hoe
Chairman, Emmanuel EFC
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In this time of anxiety and distress, it is an urgent need for the church to be united in our prayer and supplication to the Lord. Prayer is not an optional extra nor is it a last resort when all methods have failed. Prayer should be our first resource. We do not just pray for the work. Prayer is the work.
COVID-19 is an opportunity for the church to serve those who are in need in the name of the Lord and bring hope and light in these uncertain circumstances. Let us set aside time every day to lift our prayers specifically on the COVID-19 situation before God.
Emmanuel EFC will be doing a prayer chain to ask for God’s intervention in this fight against the virus. We need your participation. Please fill one day of your choice and fulfill that day so that we will have a continuous prayer over the weeks until the virus subsides.
We will also set aside March 22 (this Sunday) and March 29 (next Sunday) as our Corporate Prayer & Fasting in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please click on the link below to indicate which day you would like to set aside for your prayer chain participation:
Let us come before the Lord in prayer together as a family in Christ.
1. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Malaysia and the public responsibility to practice social distancing at this juncture in our country, Emmanuel EFC's corporate Sunday services and ministries are put on hold until the 31st of March 2020 (tentative, until further notice).
2. Please refer to the EEFC website (https://www.emmanuel-efc.org/service--home.html) for the following:
• Worship songs, prayer points, Sunday sermon, and also announcement updates in our online bulletin.
• Online tithing details (kindly bank into EEFC's Public Bank account):
- Account number: 3200376331
- Account name: EMMANUEL EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH
3. Pastoral care is still available. Please contact any of the pastoral team members below if you have a need, would like to be prayed for, or would like to talk to someone:
- Pr Yu Jin (012-698 7990)
- Pr Hon Chien (016-311 4697)
- Junie Lim (017-366 1086)
- Pastoral team email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Stay updated. The church leadership will assess the situation again and duly update all EEFC members.
The Elders of Emmanuel EFC have recently met and after deliberation and prayer, have come to a decision to cancel all church gatherings for a period of 2 weeks, effective immediately. This would include our Sunday Church Service, Sunday School, Table Tennis, English Language Club, Care Groups (including those held in homes and in church), Youth Alive!, College CG and YWA.
This means we will not have Sunday Service on March 15 and 22 (until further notice). We will continue to monitor and review the situation and inform all EEFC members accordingly.
We will also take measures to sanitize and decontaminate the church premises, furniture and surfaces for the next 3 months, and beyond, if necessary.
This unprecedented decision is a difficult one to take and many would have questions about the reasons why we have decided to do so. We face a pandemic that we feel necessitated this decision. The COVID-19 virus is a novel virus and because of that, there is no immunity in the community. It appears that it is very contagious. It is spread through droplets from infected persons and contact with contaminated surfaces. Moreover, infected persons may be asymptomatic and well, yet still contagious. In Malaysia, the number of confirmed cases has increased exponentially in the recent week. The lesson we have learned from the experience of the different countries in dealing with this pandemic is that social distancing is vital and necessary to the control of its spread.
That would mean taking the difficult decision to avoid close contact with large groups of people. This is the rationale behind the government's ban on mass gatherings of more than 250 persons, a directive which we feel the church should comply with willingly and voluntarily for the good of the community.
While it is true that the mortality rate is not very high, we feel that it is socially responsible for the church to stop gathering for the time being. If anyone is infected in the church, it could mean that the person may unwittingly spread the infection to his/her family and workmates. We are especially concerned for the elderly and the young children in our congregation who may be more susceptible to serious complications.
It is not our intention to create fear and panic, but we wish to take preventive action for the good of our congregation and the community. Our trust is in God to keep and protect us, and we believe that He has given us the responsibility to do what is best in the present situation.
May our faith grow stronger during this period of Lent as we face uncertain times ahead knowing that our Lord has shown the example by the way He faced suffering and the cross.
We appeal for your understanding and solidarity in this decision that we have made. We will keep you updated on the situation in the weeks ahead. Do check our church website (https://www.emmanuel-efc.org) and Facebook for additional announcements on this. Our sermons are recorded and available online but will require permission (we plan to upload our sermons even when the Sunday Service is not able to meet). You may request access from the Pastoral Team: email@example.com.
Continue to trust in Christ and pray for our world, nation and church as we face this pandemic.
May the grace of God be with us all.
Dr Chew Poy Hoe
Chairman, Emmanuel EFC