COVID-19 Response

Check in here for the latest news regarding our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We welcome you to view the COVID-19 – “What Should We Know” informational video below

We had the privilege to have Dr. Frank Rhame, from Allina Health, a colleague of Dr. Vino Raj, who is a council member for SMVC. Dr. Rhame has been an epidemiologist researcher for 30 years and has worked in the Infectious Disease field for over 40 years. SMVC’s Lead Pastor Greg Perkinson, La Viña’s Lead Pastor Miguel Aviles, and SMVC council member, Katie Lafky, also  join Dr. Rhame in the video.

As a church, we want to be proactive in the efforts to help navigate this troubling time and want to build a bridge between the health care field and the church. We want to help the community understand more about the virus, negate panic, and be vigilant in promoting peace. In the video, we ask Dr. Rhame the following questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

– What exactly is COVID-19?

– How should we be informed?

– What should we be doing as a community and individually?

We also address various questions about the most at-risk communities, how the virus affects children, and more. At the end of the video, Dr. Rhame also sheds light on some rumors and false information that have been shared via news and social media.

Links to reputable sites mentioned in the video that include relevant information:

CDC Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

MN Dept. of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Collaborative.gov Website: https://www.coronavirus.gov/

Dr. Frank Rhame’s Website: https://www.drfrankrhame.com/

Sunday services postponed through April 5th – Posted 3.14.20 at 3:19 PM

Dear Church Family,

After further consideration of the information available to us, South Metro Vineyard Church will suspend all in-person worship services through April 5th. This is a continued effort to protect the well-being of the community and prevent the spread the COVID-19 virus. 

Our hope is to help “flatten the curve” in an effort to save the lives of those most vulnerable among us, as well as support our local medical professionals and systems. While this is incredibly difficult, it is best to take the necessary steps now to avoid the possibility of far more catastrophic consequences later.

Instead of meeting physically on Sunday mornings, we will be going online with our worship services.  You can join us on Sundays at smvineyard.org. Vineyard Kids will stay in touch with families virtually, providing lessons and activities via email to do together at home.

All of our other weekly ministries and life groups will continue to gather at this time unless otherwise notified by ministry and group leaders. We encourage you to sign up to join a life group to stay connected with our church community.

During this time, we remind you to continue giving! We usually receive about one third of our total tithes and offerings in-person during Sunday morning services. In order to maintain healthy finances and keep up with our facility’s bills, we ask our church family to continue giving generously. You can give online through our website. If you usually give in-person on Sundays, we thank you for mailing your offering during the next few weeks to 13798 Parkwood Drive, Burnsville MN 55337. 

We will continue to post updates via email, social media, and on our website. If you have any needs or questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email us at council@smvineyard.org.

Even though we are facing great challenges, those challenges come with great opportunities. We look forward to growing in many ways as a community and still pursue reaching the 300,000 people in our surrounding cities. May we seize every opportunity before us to become like Jesus and be Jesus to the world!

As we go forward, we trust in our God who does not change, who sees the big picture, and knows exactly where all this is going. Thank you, Lord, for this truth: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

Peace to you,

Greg and SMVC Council 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response – Posted 3.13.20 at 5:23 PM

Dear Church Family, 

I have never seen anything quite like what has unfolded this past week. We have all watched as Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected halfway across the world, make its presence known in our country, and now our state. In just a few weeks, this virus has canceled travel plans, closed borders, forced college campuses to move online, stopped almost all major events, and wreaked havoc on our economy. Worst of all, the death toll continues to climb as the virus spreads. Since there is currently no vaccine and it tends to affect the most vulnerable (the elderly, those with underlying health conditions), vigilance is in order. We want to do whatever we can to ensure your safety. 

We will face this as we believe Jesus would have us face it: we will “fear not.” We will not respond in a panic, but we will face the reality before us with our trust and faith in Jesus alone. We will prepare ourselves to do whatever possible in our power, and we will leave the rest to what God will do in His power. I believe God is calling us to be a calming presence to this chaos in our communities. Let’s make it a priority to check on those who are most vulnerable and serve them as we can. Let’s pray for those who are sick, who have been directly impacted, those around the world that do not have access to healthcare, those in the medical field serving patients tirelessly and working towards a vaccine, as well as local, state, and national government officials as they make decisions to keep citizens safe and healthy. 

As a church, we can do several things in addition to prayer:

Stay informed: Here are several links that provide important updates from trusted and verifiable sources. The responses I have seen on social media have been extreme, either overemphasizing the potential or underestimating it. We want to see it for what it really is and not buy into the conspiracy theories.  

Prevent the spread of any illness: It almost goes without saying, but for this case of COVID-19, the most important factors are as follows:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • Stay at home away from others if you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands
  • Do not bring your children or go to large gatherings if you have cold or flu-like symptoms (elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath) 

Keep our church facility clean and other precautions:

  • Our building is regularly cleaned each week, but we are implementing additional sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, including doors, handles, water fountains, sinks, and our kids’ classrooms. If you would be willing to help with this extra sanitization during the week or on Sundays, please let us know!
  • Staff and ministry team members will wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.
  • We will have hand sanitizing stations and handwashing signs up. 
  • We are considering only pre-packaged food items at the refreshments table. For now, there will be hand sanitizer around the coffee and treats; please use it!
  • While we highly value community and the handshakes and hugs that come with it, please ask others if they are comfortable with that before making physical contact. Social distancing is a helpful precaution during this time, and there is nothing wrong with giving a big smile and air-five instead!

If you choose not or are unable to attend services during this time, here are some helpful links to stay engaged: 

  • Sermons – Here is where you can listen to our weekly sermons that are posted on our website.
  • Giving – Here is where you can continue to contribute your tithes and offerings.
  • Prayer needs – If you have any prayer requests or needs during this time, please don’t hesitate to email me at greg@smvineyard.org.
  • Livestream – While we have never done this before, we are considering what it would take to begin live-streaming our services so that you can watch them from home. We will get you this information when available 
  • Email Updates – Please sign up to receive our emails if you haven’t already.

In closing, I encourage you to read Philippians 4:4-7, and then read it again! Meditate on it. Let God speak and minister through His word by the Holy Spirit. It says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Peace to you, 

Greg and SMVC Council 

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