FBCCS Brothers and Sisters
This is the longer update on the update I told you I would send. We elders met Tuesday. We had a remote connection available and those who met face-to-face sat six feet apart at a very long and wide table. It was strange but productive. As usual, the best part was praying together for our body and our world that God would be glorified.
You probably hear at least some of the information and requests coming from government officials and virologists trying their best to understand the Covid-19 outbreak. They want to help protect people if they can. They especially want to avoid infecting those the virus seems to strike the hardest—we who are not as healthy or older in general. Their plans called “social distancing” are sometimes confusing to me. However, it seems limiting as much contact as possible, especially in groups, is the point. This is true even for younger, healthier folks because of the potential to pass on the virus in their wake.
We are called to be “loving our neighbor.” The Apostle Paul tells us to expand that loving even to unbelieving neighbors as much as is possible. Therefore it seems biblical and wise to us to hear what the officials and virologists are saying and suggesting in order to love the weakest among us—both inside and outside the body.
They are now suggesting avoidance of groups for some weeks out and even through April. As sad as it felt, we decided not to re-open the FBC facilities for worship and other activities through the month of April. One elder reminded us, “That is, unless God does a miracle and changes all of this in an instant.” We agreed we would readily adjust if that were the case!
So, again, all meetings and activities in the FBCCS facilities are cancelled through and including, Sunday, April 26. We will gladly update you and change this if the miracle happens. We will also update you before this date if we decide it is best to extend the closure. I remind you that there will sometimes be 2nd-mile servants, staff and elders working appropriately in the building. Please don’t put them “between a rock and a hard place” by asking them to let you in to meet there.
The good news is that, as we expected, you FBC folks know how and do indeed worship and minister to each other and the world God loves without being “bossed” by any human authority or limited to any “normal” church structures (including facilities). Thank you for demonstrating that these last weeks and last Sunday. The reports of so many of you proactively helping others in the name of Jesus and so many small groups gathering wisely to worship really didn’t surprise us.
Our little “pirate church” is somewhat odd. This means our response to the fear spread by this virus won’t be exactly the same as other churches. We firmly believe in, and want to support when possible, the wise operation of the informal caring and worship that you guys initiated. Please be wise and think about how your serving and gathering impacts others and the testimony of Jesus to the world he loves. We believe you will!
We also realize that even in a small group like ours, some folks can “fall between the cracks” in times like we are experiencing. As elders, we are thinking about and, by God’s power, working at this part of the picture. Some of the things happening are:
- Multiple forms of communication to as many as possible including connected folks who don’t attend on Sundays or have not attended for a time (emails, phone calls to specific groups, snail mail, social media connections, promoting word of mouth communication, etc.
- We made lists of “older” & “not as healthy” FBC folks and are finding ways to make sure they are not left disconnected. If you get “called” as an “older-folk” and don’t feel like one, smile over the phone and tell Margaret you love her! We will certainly help non-FBC folks as well when we can do that in Jesus’ name
- Yes, at least for a time, the www.fbccs.org website will become active again. (If you wonder why we would have to say that, let’s talk later.)
- The FBCCS office, primarily through email will aim to be a “hub” that will “over-communicate” and over CC: folks who are serving others both formally and informally so that we truly watch for anyone that might be unintentionally “falling through the cracks.” Please let us know what you are up to in ministering so we don’t duplicate. That office email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone is (719) 593-2433.
- Our 2nd-Mile Servants are going to be employed wisely to help serve needs of the body that have nothing to do with the facilities they usually keep so ready for us. Thank you 2nd-Milers!
Lord willing, the fbccs.org website will very soon be updated to a simple site where you may find help to stay connected with one another as you are connected by the Spirit—if you want that help. I (Raleigh) had wanted to use “Corona” beer as a new website theme and “limon” slices as the “buttons” but collective elder-wisdom correctly said, “It’s way “too soon!” My point was not to make us laugh, but to remind us not to be afraid. We will get this important point across in other ways.
If it goes as planned, you will soon find growing selections on the site for helps with worship no matter the very small size of your worship group and even without your own “worship team.” You will find up- to-date sermons and lessons as well as a link to the FBC sermon archive. You will find a button that will allow us to stay on mission by taking requests for help and giving a place to sign-up to be a servant. Another button, will be focus on our ministry with kids. Another, will let you request prayer or ask to be added to the prayer team that keeps requests private. And, finally you will see a button helping you know ways to continue to support the broad FBCCS mission financially.
Meanwhile, please feel free to contact the FBCCS office by email or phone if you have needs, know of someone in danger of slipping through the cracks, or would like someone to pray.
As the days pass, pray for one another and serve one another (and the world God loves) in Jesus name. May God be glorified! May THE NAME be lifted up in all the earth!
Everlasting LIFE…by God’s grace alone, through simple faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone
In the “koinonia” of Christ,
Raleigh (for the elders)