A Pastoral response to covid-19

3/17/20

Grace Bible Church Family,


As you're well aware, we are walking through uncharted territory as a nation, as individuals, as families, and as a church. We don't know what the next few weeks and months will bring, but we intend to do our very best to trust in and bring glory to God every step of the way. As we walk through these times and make important decisions, we are reminded of the power and sovereignty of God declared by Paul in Romans 11:33-36:


"Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom of God!

How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

'For who has known the mind of the Lord,

or who has been his counselor?'

'Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?'

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be glory forever. Amen."


What a big God we have! And perhaps even more significantly, what a good God we have! And so we trust and depend on Him to guide us as we navigate these complicated times.


There will be many things for us, as a church, to consider over the coming days. These will include programming decisions, financial considerations, and the provision of both general and specialized care for members of our church family. We are seeking to make these decisions with humble hearts, an eye towards the good of our church family and our community, and with a desire to appropriately submit to our governing authorities.


We will do our best to keep you all in the loop, and to communicate with you on a regular basis. As you know, this is a fluid situation, and things are rapidly changing from day to day. Please refer to our website and/or Facebook page for regular updates. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call me or the church office at your convenience.


For now, here are some things we (church staff & elders) have decided:

  • We will indefinitely cancel all regularly scheduled activities (including youth groups, AWANA, adult Bible studies, men's basketball, and worship services) as per NY State guidelines to distance from one another and limit gatherings to less than 50 people.
  • We will postpone all specially scheduled activities/events (family business meeting, youth events, Millennial Seminar, bridal showers, etc.) until further notice.
  • We (the staff) will work to think through and prepare an online presence that will serve the purpose of both communication to and edification for the body. For starters, we will continue to provide a time of musical worship as well as a message from God's Word that will be delivered to you in your homes on Sunday morning via our website and/or our  Facebook page. Keep an eye out for other online provisions as well.
  • Finally, Pastor Matt, Pastor Nate, and I are available to talk with you and/or provide care for your families in any way we can. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us.  


Financial Stewardship:

We don't yet know how long this health crisis will last or what level of financial hardship it will bring to each individual household and to the church family as a whole.  Considering the effect on individual families and the lack of our weekly worship gatherings, we are anticipating that giving may be significantly lower for the next several months.  Thankfully, the Lord has graciously blessed us with a reserve of funds for a situation such as this, so that we need not resort to drastic measures.  As members of our church family, please remember that we are still operating according to a dependence upon congregational giving from week to week.  We realize that for some of you, continuing to give on the same level during this time will not be feasible; but should you desire to, you may still give online at http://gbcnewfane.com/members/online-giving, or mail gifts to the church (P.O. Box 129, Newfane).  Lastly, we anticipate that there may be significant financial needs among the congregation during this time.  If you have or become aware of a specific need, please let us know.  


Please pray with me that God will empower us to leverage these unique circumstances for His glory and the growth of His Kingdom. This will take discernment, wisdom, and an ability to "think differently," but with God's help we believe much good will come of this.



Serving you because of Him,


Pastor Dave




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