Important Church Information
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for taking the time for reading this email. It will hopefully answer most of the questions you have in our church’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. We want to apologize for what may be considered a delayed response. But as you can imagine, the state of national affairs has been radically changing from hour to hour. And rather than responding incrementally, we wanted to provide you with comprehensive information. We have needed time with both staff and elders to think through how to equip and edify the church. Thank you for your patience.
First, we have suspended all church gatherings for the foreseeable future. This is done with the best advice from recommendations by the state and the medical community. While many have set a target date for April 8 as possible time to have k group again, we are not confident that we can resume meetings by that time. But rest assured, you will receive notice when we can restart again.
But life continues and the Church will continue to minister and to serve even if we are unable to physically gather. In fact, we think this is a perfect time to implement our new five points of emphasis in our unity in the gospel, our dependence upon the Holy Spirit, our obedience to Christ’s commands, our loving the world through the love of the Father and our perseverance until Christ returns. So below are the steps we are working on to move forward.
Worship Services- Worship services will be streamed via our website. We now have the ability for everyone to log on and participate (see www.providencebaptist.us). You can find the direct link to the live stream on tabs at the top of the front page. We will broadcast this week at 10:15. At this point only a small crew of no more than five will conduct the service at the church; and they will follow proper protocols for social distancing. You will receive an email later this week, with a link to a worship guide that will provide the lyrics of music you can sing with your families.
The Town Hall- We will still have a virtual town hall meeting using gotomeeting.com on Sunday afternoon at 2:30. You will be sent a link to access the site so you can see the presentation by the building team and ask questions in real time via the chat. If you are intimidated by technology, do not worry we will provide assistance to you with precise instructions. If you are unable to join us, we think can provide a recorded video of the meeting to be viewed later.
Sunday School- We are working on ways to continue Sunday School via a virtual experience. Beginning March 29, Adult and Youth Sunday School will continue via live stream starting at 9:15 on Sunday mornings. It may conclude earlier than usual since teachers will be using a style of lecture/powerpoint style. Ric and Giselle Crooks are working on a plan that will allow children and parents through a virtual platform and see their teacher and the other students. This is a great opportunity for kids to see that their friends are safe. These will be assigned a unique time on a different day throughout the week. It should provide the children a safe community experience to help break the monotony of being sequestered. Either Ric or your child’s Sunday School teacher will be sending the parents the process of how this work in the days ahead.
K- Groups- We are also working towards also having a virtual K group experience via gotomeeting.com. If we are able to get this going, your facilitator (or some other tech savvy member of your group) will be contacting you. It is still our desire to use our small groups as a means to care for one another while families are isolated. In the meantime, feel free to work through the questions on the back of your worship guide with your families.
Assisting others- Our Pastoral Assistant Intern, Robert Smith, is our point of contact if you become aware of someone who is ill and/or in need of supplies. Or if you are elderly and need someone to run an errand for you, Robert and his team will assist you. They will use proper safety protocols when making deliveries. His email address is robert.m.smith628 at gmail.com. You can also contact him via the church phone number or email address pbcoffice1355 at gmail.com. If you would like to serve on this team, let him know. We will also be developing a yard work team to assist families that have to be quarantined.
Other Ministries- Please check your email daily for possible changes and updates about ministry opportunities. We have an incredible staff that is coming up with innovative ideas on how to do ministry without physical contact during this period of time. We want you to be aware of them. Also, check the church website regularly.
While it would be wonderful to have this crisis pass quickly, the church leadership is taking the view that this inconvenience might be long term. Therefore, please help us with the following.
- Communicate your needs and prayer requests to your elder shepherd. If you should become ill, we especially want to know so we can pray and serve you. We want your feedback and help. If you have ideas about how we can serve others and still practice ‘social distancing’ we want to hear from you.
- For the time being, only authorized personnel will be able to enter the church building for the safety of our members and families. Please call the church office first and speak to the staff before assuming you can enter.
- This is a great time to serve your neighbors. If you have not done so already, call them and make them aware that you and your church have the means to assist them should they become sick. Do this now, so they will be aware of this service before the time comes.
- Please do everything you can to maintain your giving. We will have many benevolence and ministry needs in the near future. The staff will be doing everything it can to cut back in anticipation of a drop in giving due to some of our members being out of work. You can still contribute online via the website.
Under God’s sovereignty, we can view any crisis as a great time to bond together in unique ways. This pandemic is no different. Let’s work together to be a display of God’s hope and glory during this time. We will continue to pray for you and ask that you pray for us. If there are any questions that we can answer for you regarding the church. Please feel free to email the staff or your elder. ‘Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth’ (Psalm 57:7).
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