(update on 3/18/20)
Wow, what a difference a week makes! Things in our nation have been changing daily. We are trying to formulate a plan that is best for our congregation going forward. To be honest, we don’t know what that looks like. Our thoughts and plans are adapting as we go. Our goal is to continue to minister to the needs of our congregation in the most effective ways possible. This message is to let you know where we are currently.
During the Sunday School hour last week I mentioned three responses to the COVID-19 crisis: practically, prayerfully, and peacefully. Without expanding on that again, this simple formula still forms the parameters from which we are working. I want to act in wisdom and do what God wants us to do moving forward.
At least through the month of March (and as needed and required), we are not going to have services at the church. We are not canceling church. The church is comprised of people, not buildings. You are the church. Your light continues wherever you may be.
Currently we will be having a message live-streamed at the church Facebook page on Sunday’s at 11:00 a.m. The link to the service will also be available on our main church web page. We would encourage you all to tune in. Throughout the week we will continue to have thoughts presented through all avenues of social media — Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. We encourage you to engage as many as possible. We are working on a plan for all of our different age groups to be ministered to during this time. There are some exciting things in the works! I believe this could be a great time of spiritual growth for your family.
We have a great concern for our members whose health might hinder them from leaving their home or apartment. There are several who have already volunteered to assist. They could find a way to get whatever you need (groceries, medical supplies, medicine) and deliver it to your house. They would love to serve you! Please don’t hesitate to call the church and we will coordinate the details.
History has shown that when the building is closed giving often drops. I believe you all understand the importance of supporting the ministries of our church, and especially all of our mission projects who are also hurting from the effects of Coronavirus worldwide. We want to provide you with several options for continued giving. Online giving is the easiest resource. If you are uncomfortable with that, or unable to avail that option, please let us assist you in other ways. An offering can be mailed or dropped by the church during office hours. We can come by to pick up and offering or come to your house to provide envelopes. Our desire is to minister to you in whatever way possible.
Prayer is something we can all do. Here is a link to sign up for round the clock praying. James 5:16 says, Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We saw the positive effects of this last year during our revival. Now, is the time for our nation to turn to God in prayer. We invite you to join us in praying for our country, our community and our church (2 Chronicles 7:14).
So, we are going to do the best we can with what we have. I also believe this could provide a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to be salt and light to the world around us. People all around us need hope and encouragement. Let’s bring it to them! Our God is faithful and will see us through. Let’s trust in Him! As Pastor, I want you to know that I love you all.
(Update on 3/15/20)
UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES @ Overland Park Baptist:
Today, the 15th = all adults will meet in sanctuary for morning prayer at 9:45am while children have the usual Bible classes; morning service will go forward as normal at 10:45am, and will be live-streamed right here on Facebook for those not able to attend; the evening service, with missionary Bob Winters, will also go forward as normal at 6:00pm and will also be live-streamed.
Next week, the 16th-21st = all other church activities during the week will be cancelled, including Wednesday evening adult, teen, and kids programs.
Sunday, the 22nd = there will only be one worship service at 10:45am, which will be live-streamed for those not able to attend.
Monday, the 23rd = church leadership will be monitoring the current COVID-19 situation and will make a decision at that time about our schedule of activities going forward.
(original response on 3/14/20)
To all Overland Park Baptist Members and Guests,
We want to let you know the guidelines and precautions that we are implementing at the church during the concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the coronavirus. Currently, we have no known cases of COVID-19 at our church. Scripturally, we do not want to live with a spirit of fear, but we do want to make decisions with a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). For now our church doors will be open and we intend to meet for Sunday worship and fellowship. However, we will continue to monitor the situation going forward.
Please be assured that we are taking extra precautions to promote a safe and secure environment. This includes increased sterilization of surfaces, as well as asking ushers and greeters to forego handshaking and simply smile and wave. Also, we are asking that you please refrain from entering the facility if any of the following applies to you:
- You have returned from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Iran, or mainland Europe in the last 14 days.
- You reside with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person has not been medically cleared.
- You have been exposed to someone with a known case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- You have been told by the government that you must self-quarantine for 14 days and that time has not passed.
- If you are currently running a fever, or have within the last 24 hours.
By entering this facility you are confirming that you are not prohibited from entering our facility on the basis of any of the above.
For those unable to attend, our morning worship service will be live streamed from our church facebook page.
Please continue to pray for our church, our city, and our country during this time!
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,