Reopening the Church...Keep Reading
Psalm 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’” The joy and blessing of God's people gathering to worship God, glorify Christ, and fellowship with one another is seen throughout the Bible. We have not done this for 10 Sundays. We are seeking the Lord and His Word on how to navigate through this unprecedented time.
It’s important that you are aware of the symptoms of the Coronavirus as found on the Center of Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov/). Symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
Since there is no vaccine to prevent this virus, the best way to prevent illness is to mitigate your exposure to it. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. The CDC states that there is no proof that the virus is spread from thing to person.
CDC recommends washing your hands, avoiding close contact, covering mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, covering coughs and sneezes, and monitoring your health.
I do not want to minimize the seriousness of this virus. The severity of it is seen in the numbers of death and confirmed cases. What is often overlooked is the number of those who have recovered, including those identified in the at-risk category.
For a moment, I would like to take you back to the year 1918. The world and the US experienced the pandemic known as, The Spanish Flu. This influenza lasted 15 months. It infected 500 million people worldwide, about one-third of the world’s population. 50 million died, including 675,000 in the US. This pandemic resulted in the US Supreme Court giving government the authority to suspend religious services. In the midst of this catastrophic virus, the church missed a total of four Sundays.
Our church services have been suspended for 10 Sundays. We have decided that it is time for us to reopen Foothill Bible Church. Church services will be at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Both services will be Live Streamed on YouTube.
Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people gathering for worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship. Whether it was the Tabernacle or Temple. Whether the Old Testament, New Testament, Early Church, and Church History. The pattern of God’s people coming together in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day with the Lord’s people is our mission and mandate. Considering that many of the New Testament epistles were written to churches, which indicate that believers were assembling together. This is the sense from which the writer of Hebrews gave us this teaching. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). This is not an option for the church, it is a requirement.
We have followed the guidelines and orders not to assemble since March 15 out of submission to government and concern for the health and well-being of one another. Considering several significant circumstances, we believe that those directives are now imposing on the clear teaching of the Bible. When government arbitrarily decides that the Hard Rock Casino and Galleria Mall is now essential and can reopen in Phase Two, but the church is to remain closed. That is an imposition on the Bible. When the President states that churches are essential and that Governor’s are to allow churches to reopen immediately, we have the support of a higher authority.
Therefore, we are opening on May 31, 2020 with a modified service and schedule. There will be no Sunday School, Nursery Care, or Children’s Church at this time. The church service will be shortened, and seating will be spread out with lesser seats available. We will not distribute a printed bulletin or sermon notes (notes may be downloaded on Facebook). No drinks will be served, and the water fountains will not be available. We will not take an offering during the service. An offering box is located near counter outside the entrance to Worship Center. You may continue to give online or mail your gift (P.O. Box 236, Lincoln, CA. 95648).
We support those who decide not to attend in-person services at this time. You may continue to view the Live Stream on YouTube at 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.
You are strongly encouraged to take responsible and reasonable measures for your own safety and the safety of others.
- Be assured that the church will be cleaned and disinfected before the 9:00 a.m. service each week.
- Please remain at home if you or your children are not well with flu-like symptoms.
- Personal Protective Equipment is not required and will not be provided. You may or may not wear PPE as you decide.
- Please adhere to physical distancing standards before, during, and after the service.
Finally, continue to pray for your church leaders as we seek the Lord’s will and Word in these days.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR
This verse addresses something that everyone wants, especially in our day. How can I remove fear and replace fear with love? The teaching in this verse expresses confidence before and spiritual strength to press forward. The fear that John is referring to is not the fear of physical death but of spiritual death. This is what Jesus spoke about in Matthew 10:28. Jesus said, “But rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.” The only remedy to this fear is the Gospel. When you admit your sin before God, when you acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for sin, was buried, and rose again the third day, and then accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, God will save you. Fear is now dispelled and rendered powerless over the Christian. This truth is defined in this verse as, “perfect love.” Perfect love is God’s love. God is abiding in the Christian and the Christian is abiding in God’s love. God loves you and you love God. God’s love has reached you in the Gospel resulting in your forgiveness and salvation. And now, your love for God and for one another is reaching out (1 John 4:12,17).
BE CONNECTED TO ONE ANOTHER
We want to encourage you to remain connected to one another. We believe that it is vital that each person at Foothill Bible Church be intentional and deliberate in reaching out to each another during the Coronavirus crisis. Though we are not meeting together in a church service or ministry, it’s important that we serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). If you are in need of practical care, prayer, or spiritual encouragement, please reach out the church by email or phone.
FOLLOW COVID-19 GUIDELINES
The Fellowship of Elders and Deacons met last night. All church services and ministries on-campus and off-campus are suspended until further notice. We encourage you to follow the national, state, county, and city guidelines concerning COVID-19.
We will Live Stream the service this Sunday (March 22) at 10am.
PARTICIPATE IN OUR 50-DAY SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE BEGINNING THIS SUNDAY
Finally, in the light of not meeting together, it is critical that you spend time in God’s Word and prayer. As a help and to unify our church, I would like you to take a 50 Day Spiritual Journey together beginning this Sunday (March 22). You may download this free pdf. book entitled, “The Passion of Jesus Christ” at: https://cdn.desiringgod.org/pdf/books_pojc/bpojc_all.pdf
I will attach the pdf. on our Facebook page.
Every day, for 50 days, beginning March 22, please read one chapter a day. It would be beneficial to write down your thoughts in a journal about each reading. If you would like, you could post your comments on our Facebook page. You may also email them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) , and I will send out an email including your comments each week. As we approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, you will be uplifted by these readings. Before you begin chapter 1 on Sunday (March 22), read the introduction on pages 11 through 17 to get ready for our 50 Day Spiritual Adventure as a church.
In closing, Genesis 37-50 is the narrative about the patriarch Joseph. Joseph experienced the evil of betrayal, false accusation, and imprisonment. When he was reconciled with his brothers, Joseph said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Our circumstance is far different than Joseph’s, however, there is a truth for us as well. Though this virus seems to be evil, we know that God will use it for good.
1. IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING ONE ANOTHER - It remains important that we continue to love one another (1 John 4:7) and serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Love is expressed by praying for, caring for, being available for, and reaching out to one another. If you have needs, please reach out to me via email (email@example.com) or telephone (916-645-1399). There are people who are here to help with food, shopping, or other needs. Also, if you are willing to serve in this way, please let me know. Remember, that though we are not gathering together in one place, you are not restrained from connecting with others in the church. Fellowship with God and one another is vital for the Christian. You can do this through a phone call, email, or through letters and cards.
2. IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING GIVING – You may continue your giving to the church online. Go to our web site (www.foothillbiblelincoln.org). At the top of the page, you will see “ONLINE GIVING/FBC BLOG.” Follow the instruction regarding making your donation. Secure payments can be made by debit card, credit card, or Paypal account. You may also mail your check to Foothill Bible Church, P.O. Box 236, Lincoln, CA., 95648. If you would rather drop off your check, please call the church to assure that someone is here or arrange a time when someone will be here.
The LORD is Great and Good!