FURTHER UPDATE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS AND OUR GATHERINGS
MARCH 29, 2020 | 6:00pm
As of this update our church leadership has decided to cease all physical gatherings at First Baptist Church of Delassus “until further notice.” Due to the President and the CDC’s extension of the rule to gather in groups of no more than 10 until April 30th, we believe this is our safest plan of action. It is assumed that more of our neighboring churches will follow suit. We are certainly praying that lives will be saved, health will be restored, and our community can return to normalcy.
Because of this new guideline our restriction to gather is forced through Easter Sunday. I am hopeful that we will be able to plan something special for our upcoming Easter holiday. If not, we will continue to minister to you through live streamed services and a new weekly virtual fellowship and prayer through a program called Zoom. (More info to come soon!)
Here are our updated steps during this time:
1. We will continue to offer a Sunday worship service via live stream at 10:45am each week. Please gather your family together and check-in to our church website, and Facebook Live to watch the stream of our service. We will provide announcements, prayer, music, and a Bible message.
2. We will provide Virtual Fellowships, via Zoom, where members of our church can connect with each other for a scheduled time of conversation, prayer, and scripture reading. We want to use this means to remain connected to one another for spiritual encouragement through this time of physical separation.
3. Outside of the above mentioned steps, all other church activities/gatherings are fully suspended “until further notice.” If any of this changes, we will quickly make adjustments and communicate them to you as soon as we believe it is safe to do so.
Please continue to do the following:
* Check on your church family. Don’t let a day go by without reaching out to another member to encourage them and find ways to help them during this time.
* Feel free to contact me for prayer and counseling. If you need any help during this time, contact our deacons who are able to pray with you and counsel with you through technological means. You are still able to call the church during this time as we can check our messages regularly.
* Continue your giving to the church. Thank you for the ways that you have faithfully continued your giving both via dropping it off or through the mail (we are still picking up our mail daily). Lord willing, we will soon have online giving as an option for everyone. Your continued faithfulness helps us to maintain our day to day operations and missionary obligations during this season of limited gatherings.
* Stay engaged with our church ministry. Whether it be through the Sunday services, weekly virtual fellowships, social media, phone calls, etc., do what you can to stay engaged with our church family. Also, remember to regularly check fbcdelassus.org for further updates.
As always, please let the pastor, secretary, or deacons know if there’s anything we can do to serve you during this time. I cannot encourage you enough to pray. Pray for the health of our community. Pray for the protection of our medical professionals. Pray for the well-being of those who are impacted financially and economically due to the crisis. Pray for the gospel to shine brighter and brighter in this day of trial. Pray that we can gather together again soon!!
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those that trust in him.”
Cheston D. Pickard
AN UPDATED STATEMENT REGARDING CORONAVIRUS AND OUR GATHERINGS
MARCH 17, 2020 | 2:00pm CST
A lot has happened since our first statement regarding the coronavirus. I want to continue to communicate with you as our church leaders are committed to doing whatever we must to provide a safe environment for you and your family.
On Monday afternoon President Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Parson announced several measures that the state and CDC are recommending Americans follow to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 infection. One of those recommendations was that gatherings of more than 10 people should be canceled, postponed, or modified. I personally recognize that this is not a mandate for our state, but only a recommendation at this point. However, as a Christian and Pastor I have two heavy burdens. One, I love our people dearly and am daily concerned about your well-being. Secondly, I’m also faced with the decision of whether or not we should view this recommendation as an Acts 5:29 issue or a Romans 13:1 situation.
While God has not given us a spirit of fear, He has called us to love our neighbors and prefer one another. Our church leadership feels that exercising caution is not only wise, but a good witness to our community. So, our decisions are not reactions of fear, but reactions of faith as we trust our Lord’s word and consider the well being of others.
After meeting with our Deacons this afternoon, we have chosen to respond to this health issue in accordance with Romans 13:1 recognizing that what is being asked of us, at this time, is not an issue of persecution or direct control over the biblical convictions of local churches. We find that this decision is ultimately out of our desire to follow the recommendations of our officials while exercising caution to protect the members of our church who are most vulnerable.
With that being said, First Baptist Church of Delassus is making the following decisions effective immediately:
All “physical” church gatherings, programs, and services are canceled for the next 15 days.
Let me clarify, the church is not canceling. We are the church. However, the physical gatherings are being canceled and we are working currently to try to meet needs and provide services through different means during this incredibly trying time in the world. Our leadership is in unanimous agreement that this the best decision of caution for our church.
The structure of our Sunday morning worship services will be featured online on March 22 & March 29 and is being planned out now and will be communicated tomorrow.
We know that many in our church may not all have the same online capabilities, but we also want to assist and aid those who desire to worship in any way they can.
One final note to consider is the major impact that transitions like this can have not only on the economic condition of our families and businesses, but on churches as well.
1. We ask you that you not discontinue your giving to the Lord by means of your absence. We are currently being assisted by the Missouri Baptist Convention to install some means of online giving for our church members.
2. Please consider using this upcoming online giving option or mail your tithes/offerings to the church office so that the ongoing work of our church can continue forward without interruption to our day to day operations and our global missions obligations. This is both spiritually acceptable as well as fiscally responsible for the work of our ministry.
I am not discouraged. God allows these things to take place in our lives for His sovereign purpose, but we must not let our fears keep us from being faithful to His gospel in our lives even when His sovereign control disrupts are routines. Do what you must for your best interest, health-wise, as we seek to be a good light to our community by honoring the recommendations of our leaders.
The Pastor and Deacons will continue to assess the situation throughout this time and will meet to discuss further plans on March 31. Also, we will communicate a plan regarding our online Sunday morning worship gatherings on Wednesday March, 18, 2020.
Lastly, please be in prayer.
Ask God, in His mercy, to stop this pandemic and save lives—not only in our communities but around the world, particularly in places that are unequipped medically to deal with the virus (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Pray for President Donald Trump and other government leaders—international, federal, state, and local—to have the wisdom to direct us in the best courses of action for prevention and care (Romans 13:1-4).
Scripture says—teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in this moment of fear as the foundations of what we know are shaken, that others would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God (Psalm 90:12).
Ask God to protect our missionaries and their families around the globe, using this global crisis to advance His gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:15).
Cheston D. Pickard