CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

Follow along below with our latest information about our health plan concerning the coronavirus. This information can also be received via our email system (click here to sign up).

Update #5 - March 16, 2020

In light of what the U.S. Center for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) is recommending, Pioneer Drive is moving to Stage 2 of our health plan. We believe this decision is the responsible one to make for the health of our members and community. We want you to know that our ministries will continue to go on, but they will look different for the foreseeable future. We will keep you posted daily on any updates or changes. We continue to monitor the situation and discern how God is at work during this time. Know that we are praying for you and your family.

 

We are setting up a hotline for the most vulnerable church members to call if they need something. The hotline’s number is 325-695-8336. We will have deacons and staff members, who are healthy enough, deliver goods like groceries and prescriptions as needed. If we do not answer, please leave a voicemail. We will be checking the messages a few times a day.

 

We will have church via radio and online this Sunday, March 22nd. The Celebration Worship service will be on radio (AM1560) and Livestream at 9AM. For the gathering worship service, we will Livestream at 1030AM. At the appropriate times, you can find both Livestreams here: http://pioneerdrive.org/worship-online. You can also listen and watch previous sermons if desired.

 

We are staying in touch via phone and online with our Sunday schools and small groups on a regular basis. We encourage you to call one another and pray often. In addition, we are working on ways to still have Bible study lessons for you and your family. We will still send out a weekly email on Wednesdays with an updated Prayer List. Here's where you can submit your prayer requests: http://pioneerdrive.org/resources/request-prayer.

 

As far as following our plan of Stage 2 goes, all non-essential ministry activities are cancelled for the foreseeable future, including small group meetings and any activities during the week. If you have questions, please contact your team leader or minister.

 

  • Child Development Center will follow health authorities. As of today, they are open, but they are day-to-day while taking precautions.
  • High School Choir Garage Sale is being postponed, including work hours.
  • Pioneer Possibility and Celebration Sunday is being postponed. We will have more information on the capital campaign in the near future.
  • The Eggstravaganza event is being cancelled. Therefore, we do not need to collect any more eggs and candy at this time.

 

We encourage all of our church members to adhere to the CDC’s guidelines. If you are in a high-risk category, we encourage you to use the hotline. With God’s guidance, we will continue to be the church that God has called us to be in Abilene and throughout the Big Country. We look forward to the creative ways that the Spirit will use us.

coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE FROM DR. ROB WILEY

This video details an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) from Dr. Rob Wiley, a Pediatrician for 25 years; Pioneer Drive Deacon and Sunday School Teacher; and Chief Medical Officer at Hendrick Medical Center.

LOADING PLAYER…

ways to help the abilene community - march 15, 2020

As you may know, leadership at AISD is already working on a plan to feed children in the district during the time students are away from campus. About 70% of the children in the Abilene district are on free and reduced lunch, making for an extra burden on those families when school is out. 


Unfortunately, we’ve heard this won’t start until Tuesday, possibly Wednesday, with the logistics of all of it, which leaves two days for families to figure out how to feed their children. We have a plan for those families who may struggle during this time.


  1. We partnered with House of Faith (HOF) and All for One Missions to provide items for sack lunches for the children in the Alameda neighborhood. 
  2. We will partner with Love and Care ministries to assemble food packages for the families who receive extra food in their backpacks on the weekends.
  3. We will partner with Shining Star Fellowship to provide items for sack lunches for their community.
  4. We are working with Baptist Social Ministry’s food pantry to find the best way to help them as they help the community. 


Here are some ways our church body can help:


  1. Tonight: We need a few people tonight at 6PM in the gym foyer to help with putting sack lunches together for Shining Star Fellowship’s community and Bonham families as well.
  2. Tomorrow: All for One Mission and HOF will be assembling sack lunches 10:45AM on Monday morning, March 16, at All for One Missions (650 Corsicana). They will need a couple people to help put all those lunches together. These lunches will go to families that have kids in school and are a part of their ministries.
  3. Tuesday: Love and Care Ministries and AISD will put together more food packs for the most vulnerable families this Tuesday night, March 17, starting at 6PM at 4126 North 1st and volunteers are needed.


Remember, there are no Sunday or Wednesday night services or activities this week.


As with everything else, this situation is fluid. We are striving to be proactive in caring for the most vulnerable in our church and our community. If you have any questions or would like to help out, you can email our Associate Missions Pastor, Erica Currie, at [email protected]

UPDAte #3 - March 14, 2020

In consultation with local health professionals, including Dr. Rob Wiley (a Pediatrician for 25 years, Pioneer Drive Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and Chief Medical Officer at Hendrick Medical Center) who is following the guidelines of the Abilene-Taylor County Health District, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention; our staff would like to let our church know our health plan procedures (see chart image below) as of March 14, 2020.


We will gather for worship tomorrow, March 15, 2020, following Stage 1 of our health plan in preparation to reduce the risk associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We believe it is important to worship God, pray, hear a word from the scriptures, and talk about what we can do going forward tomorrow. While we could offer one service for both Celebration and the gathering, we are going to have a 9AM and 10:30AM for both to reduce crowd size. No Sunday School classes will meet tomorrow, March 15. We will have a nursery available for birth to 4-years-old.


We continue to seek guidance and pray about the situation. We realize the situation is evolving so we will be flexible as we learn more. We are making decisions as best we can with the information we have on hand. We will keep you posted. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email the church.


We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our church and community as safe and healthy as possible. We know God is with us. He was not caught off guard by this virus; may this situation be used to further His love to the nations and our neighbors.

update #2 - March 13, 2020

Our leadership continues to talk with local health professionals and monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation both at-large and locally. We do not take this matter lightly. We are following the advice and best practices as best we can during this uncertain time. We also know God is still on His throne and trust His faithfulness through it all.


At the time of this writing, we are having church this Sunday, March 15th, with a few changes that we’d like to share to promote healthier hygiene. We acknowledge that information is growing and evolving, and thus we too will need to be flexible and adjust accordingly as we learn more.


Please know we are making these changes, not out of fear, but out of love for one another. These are a few of the noted changes this Sunday to be made aware of. We setup extra hand-sanitizing stations and healthy hygiene signage throughout the campus. In both services, the greeting time will consist of less physical contact, i.e. no shaking hands. In the Celebration Worship, the offering will be accepted via offering baskets at the entrances instead of passing the offering plates. In the gathering, the offering will be held in a similar way with offering boxes by the doors.


Considering the health of all, we are asking for certain groups of people who fall within the following categories to stay home this Sunday:


-Elderly
-A medical condition that would make you more susceptible
-Have compromised immune systems
-Recently traveled from a place of infection
-Currently sick or running a fever


These groups include everyone, i.e. staff members, etc. For those who may have symptoms or come in closer contact with the virus, local health professionals are recommending self-quarantining for 14 days. For more information on the coronavirus, we recommend getting accurate information from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html


We thank you for your cooperation in keeping others and yourself as safe and healthy as possible. If you are unable to attend this Sunday or in the future, we encourage you to worship with us through the radio broadcast (AM 1560) of Celebration Worship at 9am or via live streaming the gathering (10:30a.m.) at http://pioneerdrive.org/worship-online.


We advise everyone to make the best decision possible for their situation, leaning towards the safer side if you are unsure on the matter. In addition, if you are not coming this Sunday and serve in some leadership role, please notify your staff member, team leader, or person of responsibility so that they know.


There are no Sunday or Wednesday evening activities this week. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this matter. We will keep you updated as we know more. May God give us all the strength and peace in the days ahead that we might show others the hope and salvation in Jesus Christ.

Update #1 - March 12, 2020

Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how Pioneer Drive is responding. Our leadership is carefully monitoring the situation. On February 25th the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged businesses, hospitals, and communities to plan for the possibility of community spread and disruption from the coronavirus. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community. We take this matter and the health of our people and community very seriously.


For more information on the coronavirus, we recommend getting accurate information from the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html


How should I respond spiritually to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?


God did not give us the spirit of fear or timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Likewise, we can be both wise (Proverbs 2:6) and prayerful (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can pray that the sick are healed, those who have lost loved ones would be comforted, and for opportunities to share the gospel’s hope and promise with people during this time. Additionally, we can ask God to give health professionals strength, protection, and wisdom as they seek to stop the spread of this virus.


What precautions is Pioneer Drive taking to make our facility as safe as possible?


-Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with disinfectant.
-Offering hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
-Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis.


In all of our Children’s areas, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with an elevated temperature (above 100°F). A child must also be fever free without fever reducing medications for 24 hours before coming to our Children’s ministry activities or Child Development Center. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your children into our programs due to health concerns.


We encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions to avoid spreading germs (e.g. waving instead of hand shaking).


What precautions can people take?


While we place a high priority on gathering together as the church for worship and other activities, and we always want you to feel welcome at Pioneer Drive, if you are sick or running a fever, the best way you can love your neighbor is by staying home. If you need to stay home instead of coming to a worship gathering, we encourage you to worship online with us through the radio broadcast (AM 1560) of Celebration Worship at 9am or via live streaming the gathering (10:30a.m.) at http://pioneerdrive.org/worship-online.


Additionally, precautions everyone can take include:


-Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
-Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
-Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
-Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
-Staying home if you are sick
-Covering your cough or sneeze
-Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly


Even if you don’t feel sick, you should consider staying home from church if you recently traveled to an area with a high concentration of infection or knowingly came into contact with someone infected with the virus.


What About Pioneer Drive’s mission and ministry during this time?


Pioneer Drive plans to continue to function as normal at the time of this email. We can be wise and diligent, but keep in mind it is in times such as these when the people of God are needed most to pray, worship, and minister. We can continue to stay close to our church family during this time, gathering in groups for mission and ministry as appropriate. If unable to attend worship, we can stay connected through our live streaming capabilities.


We are continuing to assess our domestic and international mission trips we have planned for the summer, making wise decisions based on the best information available at the appropriate time.


Our leadership will continue to stay in contact with local health professionals and adjust our ministry as needed. We ask the most vulnerable individuals (i.e. the elderly, those with previous medical conditions or compromised immune systems) to do what is safest for you. We will keep you updated daily as this situation continues to evolve. May God shine through Pioneer Drive during this time that we might point all people to the assurance of salvation we have through Christ Jesus.