I want to express my deep appreciation for you during this very challenging time in the life of our Church, Nation and World. It is encouraging and heartening to see so many of you living out your faith during this crisis.
As a result of the Coronavirus, we as a church are experiencing issues that we would never have anticipated only a few short weeks ago. We have already made decisions that became outdated only the next day due to announcements from our Governor and President.
Today the governor announced an executive order to limit all gatherings to less than ten people until April 3rd. We were already planning on canceling this week’s services (March 22) to do all we can to protect our community and congregation. Due to the Governor’s announcement all services will also be cancelled through April 3. We will reevaluate the situation at that time, and hopefully will be able to celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter together as a group! Ultimately, the infections will start to go down, and we can start to pull out of this crisis.
I read a funny article this week. We have basically a nationwide quarantine, but the article informed readers of some good news. God has ignored the quarantine. He will continue to be everywhere! You can meet with God in your homes, with your families, and in prayer! This is so true, and important to remember in the days ahead! Heaven is Covid-19 free! God is still in control!
Here is another important reminder: The CHURCH is the PEOPLE! The Building is a BUILDING where the Church usually meets! For now, we’re just going to do things a bit differently. We are still the church, but we will not be meeting at the church! While God continues to be everywhere, we will not be! We are going to follow the recommendations to quarantine to do our part to help end this pandemic.
With this in mind, we are going to take the following course of action:
1. Effective immediately, we will be closing the church office. If you need immediate assistance, please call the help line at 254-893-HELP (4357) and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
2. All services and on site functions will be cancelled until April 3. Services for the weekend of April 5th will be announced later. (The cancellation includes Wednesday night services and all church activities)
3. We are going to do our best to provide a sermon each week. The sermon will be available on the church website (fbcdeleon.org) at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday morning. We will also send a link to the sermon out on our prayer list. It will be available for viewing all day Sunday so you can view it with your family on your phone, ipad, or computer whenever it is convenient to you. We will also post this sermon onto our church Facebook page. Please be sure to share, share, share! People will be thirsty for God during this time. Let’s use this as an opportunity to get His Word out!
4. We are researching some options to provide digital Sunday school videos and curriculum on our website. I would encourage the parents of the household to facilitate some kind of Sunday school time with your children each week! (why not every day that they are stuck home from school!)
5. Ryan is also working on a system to connect with the students and provide spiritual leadership and Bible discussion remotely through the days ahead.
6. We are going to continue doing our best to explore ways we as a church can be a blessing in ministry to our community during this time. We don’t just want to “hide out” but find safe and effective avenues to minister to others. Please be in prayer as opportunities for ministry arise.
7. Our church is financially stable, and thanks to faithful stewardship and gracious giving we are prepared for times like these. Tithes and offerings are also an important part of our weekly worship. We are working on providing an online giving option, but this may take a few weeks to set up. In the meantime, those that would like to give can simply mail your offering to the church office (PO Box 228, De Leon, TX 76444).
We are going to come THROUGH this! I believe that God will use this to further the message of the Gospel in De Leon and throughout the world. We as a church will also be learning and using some new tools to fulfill the ministry! I am praying for each of you, and I stand ready as your pastor if you need anything. We know God can take all of this and the “church can be the church” living out our faith before a world that needs to see hope.
2 Chronicles 7:14 -If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Tim. 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Dr. Daniel Harper
First Baptist Church De Leon