As God’s people, we confess that we trust and serve the Lord of all creation, who is good and wise and sovereign in all things. Scripture calls us to a life of faith not fear, but it also instructs us to walk in wisdom and to “understand the times.” These are interesting days, with unprecedented actions across the nation, in response to the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
After much prayer, deliberation, and discussion, we have decided to cancel all Sunday services this week, March 15, 2020. The staff and deacons weighed serious recommendations from healthcare professionals and suggestions from state authorities, especially as it relates to the care and concern for those most susceptible to this virus: our Senior Adults and many folks who have low immunity. The recommendation is for gatherings of 250 people or more, which identifies us as a church specifically. Containment and slowing the potential spread of this virus is the main concern for us all, not caving to media hype, government pressure, or fear.
As God’s people, we desire to meet together for worship, fellowship, and study because we love the Lord and we love each other! This desire is healthy and we are saddened when we cannot meet, especially for situations beyond our control. But thankfully, because of technology, we will be able to provide a service online through our livestream. At the regular service time, 9:00am, we will livestream a special message from the Pastor, some limited musical worship, and a sermon. You can watch that service here: fbcripley.com/livestream.
We would encourage you and your families to “attend virtually” the online service this Sunday at 9:00am. We would encourage you to be in a spirit of prayer for each other, for the sick, and for God to bring a solution to this pandemic. We would ask you to care for one another, check on those who are sick, and serve where you can. We would also encourage you to remain faithful in your tithes and offerings, even though we are not meeting as usual. Feel free to mail in your gifts or bring them into the office.
We will do our best to stay informed on this issue and make wise decisions accordingly. We have a plan in place if things progress for the worse. We love you all and pray for your spiritual and physical well-being. As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to call the church office, any of the staff, or any deacon.
Growing in Christ for the Glory of God,
FBC Staff and Deacons