March 16, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Inslee has determined that all gatherings of 50 people or more, including church gatherings, are banned. Further, all gatherings of 10-50 people are banned if they cannot comply with the need to maintain the six foot spacing and other requirements determined by the Center for Disease Control. That effectively means no gatherings for the church.
The Board of Elders has met to discuss the situation. The biblical principles governing our response is Romans 13:1-2 ~
13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
With this in mind, here’s what’s we see coming down the pike for us:
1. All Sunday church services are suspended for two weeks. After that time the Elders will review the situation and let you know what’s happening. Here’s what we will do in place of our Sunday Morning services:
a. We will have the sermon recorded and posted on our website, bccharstine.org, for people to listen to. We are investigating whether we can video tape the message rather than simply providing an audio recording. We should know about that on Wednesday. Either way the sermon will be available Sunday Morning.
b. The pastor provides a short review of the sermon each week under the “Pastor Says” heading on the website.
c. Pastor John will be on our church’s Facebook page Sunday mornings from 9:30 – 11:00 for live discussions on whatever topics comes up. Please come join me or it will be a very boring time for me on Sundays!
2. All church sponsored Youth/Thrive activities are suspended for two weeks, again, the Elders will review the situation at that time.
3. The prayer meeting on Wednesday evening will continue. If we have a spike in attendance we will simply divide into smaller groups and spread throughout the church.
4. Since the Life Groups meet in private homes, we leave it to each group to decide what they want to do. Check with your group leader.
5. The quilters on Mondays are a small enough group that they should not be impacted.
Other issues to be aware of:
6. Giving: the church’s operating expenses continue whether we hold services or not. The various missions and ministries we support also continue whether we have services or not. Tithes, offerings, and gifts, can be made to the church through our website, bccharstine.org, or they can be mailed to Bridge Community Church, 500 E North Island Drive, Shelton WA, 98584, or Pastor John will be at the office most of the time to receive offerings for the church. Call ahead and make sure he’ll be there if you want to drop your offerings off at the church.
7. We currently do not know what will happen with the Good Friday service, the Sunrise Service, our Resurrection Sunday breakfast, or the two worship services on Resurrection Sunday. We will have to play it as it comes, and we will keep you posted.
8. Note: The workday scheduled for Saturday, 3/21 from 10:00 to 12:00 is still taking place. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. This will be a chance to do some deep cleaning around the church and church grounds.
Church Support available:
1. If you are uncomfortable going into town and need help getting prescriptions or groceries, contact the church at 360-426-6352 and we’ll make arrangements to get what you need picked up.
2. Pastor John is still available for visitation. If you would like a visit please let him know, and we can talk about how best to do this.
3. Our prayer network is keyed up and ready, contact Carol McGraw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. If you have specific needs, please call Pastor John and we’ll see what we can work out, the number at the church office is 360-426-6352.
This is uncharted waters for all of us. We will keep you posted as things develop. We’ll be communicating through Facebook, our website, and email. The number one thing to remember, none of this is a surprise to our God. He remains in control. There is no reason to panic, there is no reason to try to go it alone. If you are receiving this, you have a church family that can help.