It’s been quite a week. Whether you worshipped in your own home or with your small group, Sunday’s gathering was an amazing opportunity to be reminded of the power of God’s love, even in uncertain times. If you haven’t watched it yet, make sure you do.
To watch this Sunday’s message, click here.
We’re continuing to pray for wisdom on how best to prepare and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our area, and wanted to communicate our actions and plans with you directly.
- We must remain flexible in our response to COVID-19.
- God is in control.
- We’ve formed a response team to monitor the situation.
- Worship services are online-only through the month of March. All regular meetings and events on-site at Bethany have been cancelled. The office remains opens for individual appointments and counseling.
- Individual small groups may choose to gather in homes at the discretion of the leader and group, but please be wise and carefully consider CDC guidelines.
- Actively watch and pray for opportunities to show Christ-like care during this season; stay tuned.
WHAT WE FACE
A DYNAMIC AND CHANGING SEASON
The arrival of COVID-19 and the emerging responses across all levels of society have brought us into a dynamic season of both unique challenges and unique opportunities. The Coronavirus has been classified as a global pandemic and has resulted in the declaration of a national emergency. National and state recommendations and regulations continue to shift on a daily basis. As the situation remains fluid, it is important for us to remain flexible and intentional during this time (Phil 2:1-11; Jas 4:13-16). Let’s seek God’s grace to experience and express the fruit of his Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
WHAT WE KNOW
GOD IS IN CONTROL
God is not surprised about this (Is 46:9-10). He is still God and he is still good (Rom 8:28). The promises of his word remain true. This season serves as a great reminder of those promises that we so easily take for granted (Ps 91). The gospel news about Jesus still matters of first importance (1 Cor 15:3-4). The priority and path of following him through discipleship and helping others to do the same remains unchanged (Mt 28:18-20); as does our call into a biblical community of love that flows upward, outward, and onward (Col 3:14-17). God’s call for his church through his word continues as usual: lift high Jesus’ name, build up his body, and reach out to the lost.
WHAT WE’VE DONE
FORMED A RESPONSE TEAM
We’ve organized a COVID-19 response team including individuals with a variety of backgrounds (medical, professional, pastoral, security) and training. We’ve formed an initial assessment and have made some initial decisions in an attempt to honor elected officials (Tit 3:1), protect the most vulnerable among us (Prov 31:8-9; Mt 7:12; 1 Jn 3:17-18), and help slow the curve of this pandemic (Prov 14:21; Mk 12:31).
WHAT WE’RE DOING
All worship services in the month of March will be online only. Our response team continues to monitor the CDC guidelines as well as recommendations and requests from national and local authorities, so we do not take this decision lightly.
In addition, all other meetings and gatherings on-site at Bethany have been cancelled. This includes Sunday School and ABC’s, Bible Studies, Wednesday evening activities, onsite sports, and MOMents. This also includes CRU’s weekly Intersection gathering. Details about your specific gathering may be communicated to your groups by those ministry leaders. If you have a question about what should be communicated to your group, you may call the office (309-692-1755).
The office will remain open for individual appointments and counseling, but please exercise wisdom and if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus (see below), we ask that you please stay home.
Individual small groups may choose to gather in homes at the discretion of the leader and group, but please be wise and carefully consider CDC guidelines.
We will provide a digital resource by Sunday morning for our church family to access and aid in worshiping in individual homes.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
FOLLOW JESUS TOGETHER
This is a wonderful time for Christians to shine as lights and show what gospel hope looks like (Col 4:2-6; 1 Pet 3:15). If you choose to meet with one another, please use caution and carefully consider CDC guidelines. Regardless of our physical location, let us not stop following Jesus together. Let’s exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and be very careful about our speech in public and in private (Phil 2:14-16).
Take the opportunity to consider creative ways to show love to other church members and neighbors around you who may be experiencing need during this season. Use the membership directory on myBethany as you consider sharing encouragement with one another.
Our leaders remain committed to loving and shepherding our church family through this season. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there are ways that we can pray for and care for you. Prayer requests can be shared through our online prayer request submission page.
Let us pray together for those impacted and for leaders seeking to help guide us through this season (1 Tim 2:1-5).
WHERE YOU CAN GO TO LEARN MORE
View Bethany’s previous COVID-19 response and continue to check your email and social media for updates on how we can be responding as a church.
We are praying for God to use this for his glory and our good. Following Jesus is worth it and we’re in this together.
– Bethany Leadership