Shaw Heights Baptist Church
Pastor Bob and Alison
Dear Church Family,
Due to the threat of the Covid-19 virus (coronavirus) and in conjunction with the request of both President Trump and Governor McMaster, the Deacons and I have decided that it is necessary for our church to suspend services until further notice. It is our plan and hope to meet on or before Easter Sunday April 12th. It is with great sadness that we have had to come to this decision.
There are several things of which I need to make you aware. First of all, we are working hard to make our worship services available on our website. As of this moment I am not exactly sure what that is going to look like. I hope we will be able to have a time of praise and worship, some special music, prayer, sermon and invitation to follow Christ. You will be able to access the worship service with these steps on your smart phone, computer or tablet.
Go to our website. shawheightsbaptist.com
At the top of our page click on the “Services Archives” button
Then click on the worship service.
I am asking that you do this at 11:00 am Sunday Mornings. I know it will not be like being there, but at least we can all know that we are worshiping together at the same time.
Secondly, I know that it is going to be a little more difficult to give your tithes and offerings, but please don’t forget to give. Our bills are going to continue to go on here. We are trying to make things as convenient for you as possible. By this weekend we are going to have installed in the office door a mail slot that has a lockbox attached to it so that if you choose to come by and give, you can do so at anytime. You can always mail your tithes and offerings. There are also some online giving options. If you bank with Safe Federal Credit Union, you can use their bill pay option on their website. All you have to do is have the church’s name, address and the amount you wish to give and they will mail a check for you.
If any of you are interested in us setting up an online giving account, please call us at the church and let Betty or me know. If there is enough interest we will set that account up and let it be known as to how you can give online.
The third area I need to discuss is that during this time, I will not be able to visit anyone who has to go to the hospital. This is not my decision. The hospitals will not allow Pastors to come in and pray. And for everyone’s safety I will visit only in case of emergency. This too is not entirely my choice. Because of my age, diabetes, weight and compromised immune system due to chemotherapy in the last five years, I am in the high risk category. Therefore, I would not want to bring the virus to you. Many wise and deeply spiritual men have advised me to stay away. However, let me assure you that if you need me I will be there for you.
Fourth, Betty and Sue have volunteered to cut back hours until the crisis is over. There will not be a bulletin to prepare or Wednesday night prayer sheet or cards. So, Betty will be in the office only on Tuesdays to write checks and take care of the financial issues for the week. Sue will come in on Monday or Tuesday and make sure everything is clean. I will be in the office Monday through Thursday from 9:00am until 4:00pm to answer phone calls until the crisis is over.
Unless we experience another cold snap with freezing temperatures all heating and a/c units will be turned off, along with the water heaters. So, if you need to use the building remember if you turn it on, turn it off when you leave, because no one is coming behind you to do it. During this time the little things that we can do to save money will help us tremendously.
All activities including Morning Worship, Evening Worship, Sunday School, Youth and Awana are suspended until it is deemed safe to resume all activities. Unfortunately, this includes the Awana Grand Prix and the fund raising breakfast for our youth and children. We are postponing these events, not canceling them at this time. It is our greatest desire and intention to have these events as soon as possible.
I am currently working on a way for our Awana groups to meet and work on their sections so that no one falls behind. It may come through a variety of venues like telephone calls, Skype or some sort of video conferencing.
I am also considering teaching one of the Adult Sunday School lessons and putting it on the website as well. That will probably begin Sunday March 29th.
Virginia Bunton is asking that everyone save small water bottles (6 oz.) for Bible School.
All announcements will be posted on our website and Facebook pages. We will also use the phone tree to keep you informed.
We have several people who have volunteered to help any of you that do not need to go out. These younger adults have volunteered to help get groceries, go to the pharmacy, etc. for those who need their help. Therefore, if you have a need please let them/us serve you.
Here are some things that we should do in order to be a witness in this time.
Pray. Pray for those who are sick. Pray for those who have lost loved ones. Pray for those who are searching for answers as to why this is happening. I do believe that this is a sign of things that are to come just prior to the rapture.
Witness. Use this opportunity to tell what you know about Jesus. People are truly searching for answers and we have the answer.
Look for ways to meet the needs of people in the name of Jesus.
Can you go to the store for someone who can’t?
Can you check on that elderly neighbor?
Can you show kindness to others?
I don’t think any of us have seen anything like this. It has put a physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual strain on the whole world.
But we have the answer and His name is Jesus. We have a tremendous opportunity to share Him with those around us.
I pray that none of you become sick with this virus. And that we all be able to meet together very soon.
-- Pastor Bob