March 14, 2020 | by: 0 Comments|
Church gatherings at FBC are postponed until further notice. We are making efforts to have video services online by Sunday. Check back for further updates at the FBC Coronavirus Update page or on Facebook.
See Brother Jim's letter to the Church Family, below:
Dear FBCG Family,
We are facing a situation that is troubling and unprecedented in our lives. We have watched the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China and has made its way to over 100 countries of the world. We have followed the news as borders have been closed, travel has been banned, universities and schools have cancelled in-person classes for the remainder of the semester, the stock market has tumbled at a frightening rate, and sporting events and entire seasons have been cancelled. This is a sobering time, but we are not without hope. Our prayer is that during this time the Church would shine brightly with the grace and triumph of Christ.
In light of the recent responses all around us, we are faced with the practical decision concerning the gathering of the FBCG family for worship. We prioritize the gathering of the Body for worship as a vital commitment of our lives (Hebrews 10:25), and we do not want to be insensitive or irresponsible in our decisions. The Elders and Pastoral Staff have been praying and discussing this matter with great care.
We have followed prayerfully the rapid changing events of this week, and until last night had made plans to meet this Sunday for morning worship and continue the process of providing online access for those who could not come. However, the Elders are compelled this morning to cancel our worship service tomorrow, and all gatherings of FBCG until further notice. This decision is not taken lightly as your Elders are committed to the gathering of the church for the glory of God. This decision is not motivated by fear, but by several factors that seem to point to this as the responsible decision under the circumstances:
- At every level of local and national life, our leaders have cancelled all events and
many government services. We have been strongly urged not to gather in large groups. While we would not likely exceed 250 people under the circumstances, we would still generate a lot of personal contact which I think undercuts the efforts to contain the virus. Our gathering at this time would also disregard the consensus of the medical field in its call for social distancing as much as possible.
- Many ministries and leaders that we trust have cancelled their gatherings being
motivated out of love for neighbor and compliance with the directives of our elected leaders. What drives this difficult decision for us is that we want to be a part of our local and national response to this virus which carries great danger for the most vulnerable. By gathering we could create a severe and sudden spike in demand on our health care system. We certainly don’t want to contribute to that when there are so many uncertainties.
Our path forward during this time is outlined below:
- Communication: We are planning to have tomorrow’s worship service recorded for you online. We are hoping to have that available by 10:30 tomorrow. For the coming weeks, we are making arrangements to have a live stream of our worship service. Please check the fbcg.net website for regular updates. Though we cannot be together personally, we can certainly meet around the Word of God and worship in spirit and in Truth.
- Pastoral Care and Caring for One Another: At this time, the Church office will remain open during the week with regular hours. The Elders and Pastoral Staff are developing plans on how to respond to needs in the Church family during this time, especially for members who are at greatest risk. Please be praying for God’s leading and wisdom to be with all of us as we navigate the next few weeks (and months).
- As We Walk Through This Together
During this difficult time may we display hope and trust in our good and sovereign God. I read one pastor this week who said to his congregation, “It’s okay to wash your hands, not shake hands and use similar precautions as you would to avoid contracting the flu. But it’s not okay to walk in fear. Fear is sin. ‘The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.’” (Isaiah 26:3) Let’s continue to be a church that puts our faith and hope in God alone, and let’s pray for God’s glory to be accomplished in and through us.
This is a time of financial need as well, and we know the economic drain looks to be significant if this crisis is long term. We want to be sensitive to the needs of one another. We would also call our church family to be faithful in giving to our FBCG ministry through our tithes and offerings. I read a good pastoral word in a blog this week with regard to giving, “Don’t let coronavirus quarantine the Great Commission.” This is a good reminder as we may face changes in routine and in turn forget support of our church’s ministry. Since giving is an important part of our worship and ongoing ministry, we are encouraging you to give in person at the church office, place your offering in the mail, or to give online. Thank you for your faithful support of our shared ministry!
Finally, we will be joining many churches around the world this Sunday in a time of special prayer for the needs before us. We certainly need to be praying without ceasing for our President, Vice President, governors, and local officials as they guide us through this moment. And we should pray especially for those who are elderly or sick, for whom this virus could be a matter of life and death.
If you have any questions, please contact us at 225-647-8575 or by email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Jim Law
On behalf of the Elders of FBCG
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