DEAR GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH FAMILY,
In light of national, and even, worldwide efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, we as elders believe that it is necessary for us to immediately suspend all in-person activities at Grace until further notice. That includes, but is not limited to, Sunday morning worship service, Sunday school, Grace Groups, and Wednesday evening Word of Life clubs and Youth group. (Please take time to read this entire letter!)
Pastor Curt will continue to prepare and preach a sermon each week that will be video broadcast on our church Facebook page, website, church app, and possibly other platforms as well. The first sermon broadcasted will be the very first sermon in his new sermon series on Joshua entitled, “Don’t Fear; Don’t Faint.” Can you think of a more appropriate series in light of our current situation? This is a series that Curt is really looking forward to preaching, and we hope you would won’t even miss one Sunday of our time together in God’s Word.
Pastor Curt and Pastor Rob will continue to keep normal office hours and continue to minister to people both inside and outside the body as usual. Personal discipleship, counseling, and bible studies will continue to take place. If you want to touch base or have any needs, please stop by the church or give us a call!
It will be essential to body life, during this time away from the gathered church, that we are all the more diligent and creative in reaching out to one another, ministering to one another, and staying connected to one another! Whatever you do, do not neglect one another during this time away from church! The pastors, elders and deacons are all planning to contact you all by phone even more often we currently do. So, don’t be surprised by a phone call, it’s just our leadership making every effort to stay in touch!
One of the challenges we face will be to continue to meet our budget without actually meeting together. Please remain obedient in all areas of your Christian life, including your giving, during this time. Church expenses will still remain. Some of you may want to sign up for automatic withdraw for your giving (forms are in the foyer of the church). The church will be open daily, so drop you offering off in the box in the foyer. Another option is to mail your offering to the church at 2801 17th Street. We are also currently exploring online giving options.
We realize that there will be people who think that we should not take these steps; that we are being unnecessarily cautions and are succumbing to “extreme hysteria.” We also know that there will be those who will think that we are not even taking things as seriously as we should. We want to assure you that we have sincerely sought the Lord’s wisdom in making this decision; that it was not done lightly or with a lack of fervent trust in our Lord’s sovereign protection. If you don’t agree with our decision, we ask for your gracious heartfelt submission and your sincere prayer for us as we continue to seek to make wise decisions.
We are all in uncharted waters here. What should our response be? First, do all that you can to draw even closer to the Lord. Guard your personal time with the Lord in Bible reading, study, and prayer more than ever. Trust the Lord more than ever! None of this took our Savior by surprise. He wants to use this time in your life to conform you more into the image of His Son, Jesus. This is a time to devote more time in prayer for our nation, for protection, for healing, and for comfort for those directly affected by this virus. This is also a time to be lovingly bold in your witness for Jesus Christ. Others that you come in contact with may be overcome with fear – by your trust in the Lord and peace in Him, they may ask you a reason for the hope that you have – be ready always to tell them!
We love all of you and we are really struggling with the thought of not being with you each week. But God is our help and He will enable us to come through this stronger and tighter than ever.
Your humble servants and friends,
The Elders of Grace