RABC Response to COVID-19 Concerns Update 3/18/20

All RABC in-person gatherings are suspended until further notice.  

Why are we now suspending our in-person gatherings? Because after prayerful consideration we believe it is the only way that we at RABC can be faithful to exalt Jesus, love our neighbor, fulfill our obligations to our governing authorities, and care for the welfare of our members. We will continue to have Facebook Live events during all our regular gathering times.

In fuller terms: Things in our world have changed dramatically even from our last gathering this past Sunday and especially since our last COVID-19 Response last week: The CDC released new guidelines calling for gatherings of 50 are more to be cancelled and the White House advised people to avoid gatherings of 10 or more. Events of all types are being canceled or postponed with a view toward limiting the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants and bars are being limited to curbside, drive-thru, & delivery options. Childcare facilities are having to close. Governmental agencies are shutting down many in-person offices and services. Derby and all the accompanying events have been pushed forward to September. The reality is that we as churches can no longer justify not complying to our governing authorities’ guidelines and request to limit in-person gatherings. We cannot care for ourselves or our neighbors well while we gather in the face of everyone else not gathering in an attempt to limit the spread of this global pandemic. In other words, the only way that we as a church can be a good Samaritan right now to everyone in our community is to suspend our in-person gatherings until further notice is given and we can gather safely again.

The times and circumstances we are facing right now are indeed uncertain and challenging. Perhaps some of the most uncertain and challenging times we have faced as a nation at least since 9/11 and perhaps since the Great Depression. Yet we as Christians are still certain about the main things: Jesus is Alive, Jesus Saves, and Jesus is Coming Again to gather His children home one day! May we be found faithful regardless of the circumstances we are facing to live and proclaim those certain truths to others even as we have to do so in perhaps in very different ways than we have before. Let me challenge, encourage, and point the way forward for us through this time.

  • The upcoming Spring Revival services scheduled to begin this Sunday have been postponed and will most likely be rescheduled for some time in the Fall. Pray for Evangelist Dale Rose as his ministry and small shoe business employ around 50 people and are being greatly impacted by the current pandemic as are most small businesses. We will update as soon as plans are nailed down perhaps later in the summer.
  • Let me remind us that despite not being able to gather in-person for a period of time, that we as RABC still remain the local church of the Lord Jesus and we must continue being the church of the Lord Jesus as we go about our daily lives! We will continue to gather in the ways that God has so graciously blessed us with during our day. We’ll meet over the phone, through email, snail mail, and text messages, Facebook, and other social media. And we can still meet safely in more limited in-person encounters as we still respect the personal space and social distance of others.
  • Our regular gatherings will continue via Facebook Live. We will have some type of encouraging worshipful event on Facebook Live at our regular gathering times. All one has to do to partake is follow us on our Facebook page and you’ll be able to partake both during and after the event going live. Facebook does require use of the internet via a computer, smartphone, or other device. If you’re not sure how to navigate the online world of Facebook feel free to reach out to Pastor Samuel, his wife, Martha, and Pastor Michael. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your child or grandchild how to get access to these services. Trust me, they’ll know. We have already seen people partake in our services online that have never darkened our doors before.
  • Even if you can’t partake in these services online, continue to use our regular gathering times as the time you will personally spend in prayer for our members, in worshipping God, in being in his Word, and in making prayerful contact with other members and neighbors in the ways that we are still able. Remember we have set these times aside to serve God and others and as we do so we’ll be united together in our efforts before God via the Holy Spirit.
  • Let me encourage us all to regularly check in on our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ via some means like a phone call, text message, or card during these days. We should also be checking in on our neighbors especially those most vulnerable and most isolated. It may mean just leaving a note on the door to ask, how can we help?
  • I encourage each one to make myself and Pastor Michael aware of any needs that either our members and/or your neighbors have that you think we may be able to assist and serve them with in some way. We can’t serve if we aren’t aware.
  • Let me encourage you to still send your tithe in via postal mail, dropping it by the office or the Pastor’s home. The church will still have bills and salaries to pay during these days ahead. We will also be adding a means to give online and will update you with those details as soon as they are available. Online giving will especially allow those who benefit from the ministry of RABC online to give to support that ministry.
  • Please be prayerful for church leadership and be understanding that much of what we are facing now is different from the norm and comes with challenges and much uncertainty. Things have changed quickly and will continue to be very fluid from day-to-day. We commit to communicating any changes as quickly as we possibly can.
  • We understand that not everyone may agree with this decision. Understand it has been made prayerfully and is not necessarily the decision we have wanted to make but one we believe we must make. Please be prayerful and supportive as we seek to walk through these days together. Any questions or concerns can be directed to myself, Pastor Samuel.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Samuel Vance

 

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