Phases of Quarantine

I hope this ends sooner then we think, but in case this drags on for sometime I think some observations from the church in China might be useful for us. (This is the counselor side of your assistant pastor coming out)

The following is a list of phases that missionaries observed (you may have seen this) people go through over time in quarantine. It helps just to know so you think you’re not the crazy one feeling this way…as in “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Also so you can mention it without shame as well as ask for prayer.

Let’s continue to be in prayer for one another!

Here are are the phases as related to me by an unnamed missionary in China:

Phase 1: Anxiety – this is the time the family/individuals are most focused towards a common threat, the sole aim is to prep enough food and supplies to ensure the family’s physical needs are met with the uncertainty ahead. Fear is prevalent, and thus possibly more prone to violent and hostile behaviors based on survival instincts and concerns for families well-being.

Phase 2: Isolation – after awhile the reality of the quarantine, constant seclusion in residence and severed social networking hits hard with constant media dooms-day predictions, lack of information on what to do, etc. which causes stress and anxiety to escalate. Common issues we’ve observed are increases in anxiousness, conflicts/arguments, anger and/or violence.

Phase 3: Helplessness – uncertainly of when will it end makes people feel like life’s losing control. Continual fear of contagion, infection, illness and death cause stress and anxiety to increase exponentially. Shock, numbness, confusion, depression, grief, anger, and frustration results. For some they will be more prone to temptations of sinful behaviors and activities to escape, or an attempt to seemingly regain control in life. Great spiritual battles during this phase.

Phase 4: Hopelessness – with seemingly no end in sight individuals may start to act or think in extreme ways. Loss of faith in government, health institutions, and trust between peoples. More prone to conspiracy theories and believed to be treated unfairly (victim of unfairly distributed medical care and daily needs) and blame-shifting. Very prone to sins and temptations.

Not all people may go through all 4 phases, and some may even go forwards and backwards (phase 1 to 2 to 1 to 2 to 3 to 2 to 1). Reminder for us that at these tough times to keep a strong prayerful life, constant daily devotions with family members to minister to one another, and remind ourselves the Lordship of Christ and our daily reliance on Him and Him alone.

As the churches and Christian community prepping for the economical and physical effect the virus will have on us, let us not forget even when we are healthy physically one may not be healthy spiritually. Let us all pray and rely on Christ to carry our burdens through the storms ahead, and navigate us to the bright radiant sunshine of God’s glory.

Matteson Bowles, Assistant Pastor

Covid-19 Announcement

Since the threat of the Coronavirus has come near, your Session and Diaconate has been assessing the level of risk of exposure and how to respond.  Since the Session meeting on Monday night, much has transpired throughout our nation and our community regarding closures and postponement of public meetings.
After a lengthy meeting today, the Session has determined to cancel Sunday School and Worship for this Sunday, March 15.  We will reassess in the middle of next week to  determine whether to meet the following Lord’s Day and so on.
In addition, the Session has deemed it prudent to close the facility for all activities this coming week as well.   During this time a deep cleaning will be taking place to disinfect surfaces, toys, and materials that are commonly handled.
Even though the Session has determined that the level of risk right now is moderate, the action taken to cancel services for this Sunday should be viewed as an attempt to keep ahead of the curve of infections and reduce the possibility of contracting the virus by those most vulnerable in our congregation.  It has been brought to our attention that cases of infection now exist in Prince William County.  We are working to stay abreast of the latest information available from sources such as the WHO and CDC as well as community public health services.
The Session will be sending out a more comprehensive plan or response to this situation in the next few days or so, so please stand by.
We covet your prayers and your patience.
The LORD is sovereign and controls every aspect of this uncertain malady.  The psalmist encourages God’s people not to fear “the pestilence that stalks in darkness” (see Psalm 91:3,6, 10).   At the same time, we walk with prudence and wisdom in confronting issues such as this (see Proverbs 27:12).
Should there be any family in the congregation that contracts this virus and needs help, please let us know so that we can assist in prayer and in deed.
Please be in prayer for one another – and for your officers, the Elders and the Deacons, that we would be wise and discerning.  We care very deeply for all of you and desire your peace, safety, and well-being in body and in soul.
Pray the LORD use this circumstance at this particular time to soften hearts to receive the Gospel of grace to find the true living hope about which Peter writes.
May the LORD’s blessing be upon you all.
Michael Mang, Senior Pastor