COVID-19 Update – March 14
As Christians, we have no reason to panic but we have every reason to take proper precautions. As the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” God is sovereign. He is in control. There’s nothing that comes as a surprise to Him—even Coronavirus. I am praying that God will use this crisis and time of social unrest to show people just how much they need Him! We often live under the illusion that we are in control of our own lives. However, in moments like these, we clearly see how dependent we are upon Him.
At Temple, the health and safety of our members is a top priority. I wanted to share with you a few updates regarding our church’s considerations and responses to recent developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Yesterday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation and declared a national state of emergency. As many of you know, there was a potential case of COVID-19 with a parent of a student at Edison Elementary across from the church. There has yet to be a confirmation of this as of yet. Our leadership team is closely monitoring the situation and we will adhere to any recommendations made by the CDC and local health officials regarding public gatherings. This virus is highly dangerous for those who are over 65 and/or have a compromised immune system. Therefore, we want to encourage those people to follow President Trump and his team’s advice in “social distancing” and frequently washing your hands.
In light of all of this, we gathered on Friday as a staff and prayed about how best to respond to this situation as a church. We believe that the following course of action is the best way for us to honor God and love our neighbors. However, I would ask that you would be charitable with these decisions. We are in new territory and we are seeking to make the best decisions as things evolve. Please join us in asking God for wisdom in our decision making in the days ahead. After consulting with medical professionals, reviewing the CDC recommendations, and much prayer, we have decided to take the following steps to ensure the health and safety of our church family and to prevent the further spreading of this virus.
1. We are moving our services on Sunday (March 15) online only.
This means that we WILL NOT have the 8:15 or 10:45 Worship services or any other activities at Temple on Sunday. Instead, we will live stream a service at 10:45 AM with a short worship set and Pastor Brady’s message. You can view it at Facebook.com/tbcgainesville. In addition, we WILL NOT have small groups. If you have any problem with the livestream, please contact one of the church staff members who can help you.
2. We are cancelling all activities on Wednesday Night, March 18.
We will reassess future Wednesday night activities as the situation progresses.
3. We have created a team to respond to the needs of the body and our community.
If you have a need during this time such as needing someone to pickup groceries for you and leave them on your porch, financial assistance, or know of anyone in need, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have also been in contact with local community organizations to see if we can be of help to them. If you are willing to volunteer on this team, please email this address as well.
How You Can Help
1. Join in us in prayer.
These are difficult days. However, we trust in a God who is not overwhelmed, discouraged, or frustrated. So, let us not panic but pray. Here are a few prayer needs we have. Please pray for the following: the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, our President and his team of health officials, our members who are out of the country and face uncertainty, and those in nursing homes and long term care facilities.
2. Encourage a medical professional or first responder.
Will you take a moment to send a note or text message expressing your gratitude to a medical professional or first responder who is putting themselves at risk for our safety. They also are under a lot of stress and are seeking to love our community well.
3. Would you consider setting up online giving?
These types of situations can be difficult on a church financially. Therefore, if you feel led, we would love for you to give online to continue to support the ministry of our church. Set up Online Giving by clicking here
Let us be reminded that we are not cancelling “church”. We are cancelling in person services on March 15th. There’s a difference. No one can cancel the church. Not even the devil. Let us be reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Nothing can stop our Lord Jesus from building his church—not even Coronavirus. Let’s trust Him!
For His Glory,
Temple Baptist Church
Here are a few helpful links from the CDC.
How to Prevent the Spread of the Virus
What To Do If You are Sick
Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission
Guidelines for Community & Faith Based Organizations