Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:6-7

Click here to watch Covenant's Worship Service

Service begins at 10:50am. Click here for bulletin and hymns.

Latest Announcements & Updates

We now have live streaming set up for this coming Sunday morning worship service (and as many Sundays beyond as necessary). A special thanks to all the Fullgrafs, Greg Hannah, and Jared Morrison (and any others who helped) for working tirelessly to make this possible. We strongly encourage everyone to stay home and worship with your family via the web, as it is our intent and desire for people NOT to come to the church building. However, since this is no ordinary event, but rather the public worship of our Lord and Savior, we will not prohibit anyone from attending. If you desire or are conscience-bound to attend, the doors will be open.

You can view the live stream by visiting this link: Covenant Lakeland YouTube Channel. Once there, click on "Sunday AM 3/22/20". The stream will begin at 10:30am with the service beginning at our regular time of 10:50am. We would like everyone to join the service in real time so that we may worship together - even though separated by distance. By “subscribing” to this page you will receive notification when the live stream is about to begin. But the service will still be available as a recording even after it has concluded. Additionally on the website, you will find the bulletin, as well as links to the hymns we will be singing each Sunday morning.

A word of caution about the fallibility of technology and limited bandwidth. The YouTube live stream we have set up has been tested and appears to work without issue. However, we have not had several hundred people log onto it simultaneously the way we will on Sunday. This high volume of traffic could affect the stream. We will not know if this is a problem until our first try at it on Sunday. If you are unable to view the live stream for whatever reason, please return to the link later in the day to watch the recording.

If you come to the service in person, please review the below and be prepared to follow specific instructions on physical separation and distancing.

Please DO NOT come to worship if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Those age 65 and older
  • If you have cough, fever, or shortness of breath
  • Any person immunocompromised or with a history of ANY chronic health condition
  • You have traveled in the past two weeks outside of Florida
  • You have had contact with a Covid-19 positive person in the past 30 days

Please observe the following procedures:

  • No shaking hands or hugging/embracing
  • Keep a minimum of 6 feet between all attendees
  • Utilize every other row for seating
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • When the service is concluded, please exit the building straightaway

We pray that these new ways of worshipping will be short-lived. But we will keep these safety measures in place for as long as necessary to help stem the spread of the virus.

Finally, some of you have asked about weekly giving. We are aware that these times may cause some financial hardship for some, but for those who would like to contribute tithes or offerings, your online bill pay can be directed to the church office (210 Poppell Dr) or you can mail your contribution directly as LouAnn Lewis will be checking the mail regularly.

As always, feel free to contact your shepherding elders or deacons if you need help or have questions or concerns.

Thank you,

CPC Pastors, Elders, & Deacons

Recent weeks have seen unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty in our nation and our world. Your session has been closely following the events and updates as they have become available and as we have considered what actions to take. As in all things, we strive to honor Christ, protect our flock, and use prudence and wisdom in all decisions. To that end, we have decided the following:

1.) Effective immediately, all gatherings and activities at CPC are cancelled with the exception of the Sunday morning worship service. This means the following are cancelled: children’s Sunday School, adult Christian Educational hour, nursery, children’s worship hour, as well as Wed night Kids’ Quest, youth, prayer service, and Sunday evening worship. Those who serve in the choir & music ministry have been communicated with directly from Eric and / or Kae.

2.) The church office will be closed until further notice and church staff will work from home checking their email regularly.

3.) Online streaming of our worship service will be available beginning this coming Sunday. (The link to the stream will be provided in the next few days.)

4.) We expect to follow this protocol for a minimum of 4 weeks.

Some notes:

  • In accordance with CDC guidance regarding group gatherings, we encourage everyone to remain at home and view the livestream. However, if it is your desire to join the service in person, you are welcome to do so. PLEASE NOTE that no nursery or children’s church will be provided.
  • We will soon provide some specific guidance for those who do wish to attend in order to mitigate potential transmission.
  • We will reassess each week to determine if the protocol will continue or be modified, keeping in mind that it could extend beyond the initial 4 weeks.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update you as much as possible. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your shepherding elders.

--CPC Pastors, Elders, and Deacons

In addition, consider the wonderful pastoral words of comfort from the Heidelberg catechism:

Q & A 27

Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?

A. The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.

Q & A 28

Q. How does the knowledge of God’s creation and providence help us?

A. We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. For all creatures are so completely in God’s hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.

{The following has been adapted from our friend, Terry Johnson, pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA}

Members and friends of Covenant Presbyterian Church,

Greetings. I hope this finds you well. With the rising concern over the coronavirus, we thought it would be important to reach out to you with communication from your church, both with information and encouragement.

First, some information. We want to assure you that we are taking every step to protect the health of our church. Here are some of the ways we are doing this:

  • Our facilities are receiving extra cleaning attention with repeated sanitizing of surfaces while we continue to maintain standards of cleanliness and sanitizing. Our deacons, in particular, are continuing to look at what additional care we can provide.
  • We encourage everyone to monitor your own health and to refrain from church activities if you have symptoms of illness. Also, remember that your personal care and hygiene not only impacts you but also your church community. Please be vigilant as a way to love your neighbors, particularly the elderly among us.All church activities are open to the possibility of cancellation except Sunday services. Our audio visual team is looking into the feasibility of “live streaming” our services for those who are ill or otherwise unable to meet for public worship. However, even if we were in the midst of an epidemic (which we have no reason to believe is upon us yet), we would still have Sunday worship. In fact, it is in the hour of hardship that people most need the comfort and stability that churches provide. That being said, we do not want to bind anyone’s conscience if they feel they cannot attend.
  • To our seniors and those with underlying health conditions: if it comes to the point where you feel uncomfortable attending worship, you may participate by watching the service online when / if such streaming is made available.

Second, some encouragement. A colleague in the ministry has extended this wise word to his congregation which we pass on to you:

Thoughtful precautions are good and helpful, but panic and fear are not. We serve a risen and reigning Savior who is completely in control, and that should be evident in the way we respond to a cultural crisis. It was our Christian brothers and sisters in China who led the way during the initial outbreak of this virus. They testified to the surety of their hope by loving, serving, and above all, not despairing. Confidence in the face of panic always has been a mark of God’s people, and let it be true of us. Besides, as our Lord himself reminds us, our fear accomplishes nothing. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to their life?” (Matt. 6:27)

Another minister, also a medical doctor, has added this:

If you are over 65, have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung issues: Be prudent, wash your hands regularly, elbow bump religiously, avoid mass gatherings, and keep your distance (6 ft.) from people, especially those who are sick. Avoid gyms also and strenuous workouts (they lower your immune response significantly for at least a couple of hours). Take a nice long walk at noon (sunlight is your friend). Oh, and get plenty of sleep.

Let us pray for all those impacted and for the sustained health of our Lakeland community, but as we pray, let us do so with confidence that God is sovereign and at work.

Recommended by the Center for Disease Control:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are at a higher risk, stay out of crowds, stay home as much as possible.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.