COMMUNICATION REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS

5/1/20

We are looking forward to celebrating together in worship May 3rd & tentatively May 10th!

We will be having two- one hour services – 9 am & 10:30 am (Leaving 30 minutes to sanitize between services.)

To help even out the attendance at each service, if you normally attend Sunday School, consider attending the

9 am service.


There will be no Sunday School, Children’s Church, or Nursery. We have chosen NOT to have communion until the guidelines are further relaxed.

 Precautions and Guidelines:     

  • Based on Governor Reynolds recommendation as of Wednesday, April 29th, if you are considered “vulnerable” or have “underlying health conditions” you are advised to watch church services from home and not attend public gatherings. (We will let you use your discretion).
  • As much as we would like to endorse ‘hugs’ or ‘handshakes’ we ask that you refrain from doing so that we can honor the Governors requests.     
  • If you have any colds, unconfirmed symptoms or may have been exposed to Covid-19 please refrain from attending.     
  • Every other row in the sanctuary will be roped off to maintain social distancing (recommended distance is 6 feet) Family units are welcome to sit together as you would at home. Social distancing will also be expected for any fellowship time in the gym or outside. (There will be no coffee or doughnuts served)      
  • We will use offering boxes at the back of the sanctuary.     
  • We will do everything possible to sanitize between services to protect your health.      
  • Please feel comfortable using masks to protect others or yourself. (We will also have masks available).       
  • We do not want to put any pressure on attendance, if you don’t feel comfortable attending, please enjoy the service live on Facebook at 10:30 am!


Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to wisely beginning our journey back to meeting together as a church. Thank you for your understanding in honoring the restrictions to make this worship time possible.



4/2/20

The governor of Iowa has extended the limiting of groups to 10 through April 30th.  Thus the church will follow that recommendation and all our meetings will be 10 or under and we will utilize our Facebook live for our services.


3/27/20

The Senior Pastor candidate weekend has been postponed from April 5th to April 19th.


3/17/20
Updated plans concerning how to function as a church in light of the new directives:

This morning, Governor Reynolds and the state of Iowa issued new directives.


https://www.desmoinesregister.com/…/latest-iowa…/5064551002/

https://governor.iowa.gov/…/gov-reynolds-issues-a-state-of-…

Your elders are committed to complying with all CDC and the State of Iowa Public Health, recommendations.

The restrictions of limiting groups to 10 is until March 31st at this point, but even after that the restriction limiting group size to 50 is still in effect until around May 10th.

In light of these new recommendations and directives:
• Sunday AM service for at least March 22 and 29 will take place at the normal time of 10:20 and will be broadcast via Facebook live. Do not come to church.
• The Elders are working on a model for Sunday morning small groups in April.
• BSM will be cancelled at least until March 31st. We will evaluate the situation before then and make plans on if or how to proceed after that.
• 105 is cancelled for the remainder of the season. 
• All CP groups are encouraged to still meet if under 10 people.  
• The Pilgrim’s Progress movie will not be shown on the 29th. If we are allowed to go back to groups of 50 after the 31st, we will plan to host a couple of matinée showings and a couple of evening showings to small groups in April.
• All other activities have been cancelled – i.e. The ladies painting class on Sunday, Senior lunch, etc…


A verse to memorize and meditate in these days
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear...” Psalm 46:1-2a



3/12/20There are two extremes that we can fall into when responding to something like this.  Paranoia, fear and anxiety; or ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist.  It’s unwise to do either one.  

 

The elders at Bethel would like to communicate to you for a couple of reasons:  First, to let you know that we are aware and are taking some common sense precautions to minimize the risk of meeting together.  

Second, to help bring a biblical world-view perspective.

 


COMMON SENSE PRECAUTIONS BETHEL IS IMPLEMENTING:


  • We are sanitizing every doorknob, handle, light switches and button that we possibly can that would be common points of contact.
  • We will have someone serve donuts and coffee between SS and church instead of self-serve.
  • The greeters will greet you, but not shake your hand. (However, for those who need a hug or a handshake, please see Pastor Tim.  I would love to shake your hand.)
  • We have numerous bottles of hand sanitizer placed around the church.
  • Instead of passing an offering plate, we will place offering plates by the exit doors of the sanctuary.
  •  Also, feel free to use the electronic method of giving if you prefer.
  • We have no plans to stop meeting together, nor do we think it’s best for all to stay home.  However, if you’re not feeling well, or if your health condition is such that you feel you may be more vulnerable, please stay home and watch via FaceBook live.


A BIBLICAL WORLD-VIEW PERSPECTIVE:

1.     “See that you are not troubled.” (Matthew 24:6)  

It’s been said that the single most repeated command in all of scripture is “Do not be afraid” or variations of that statement.


2.  PRAY:  Philippians 4:6-7  “Be anxious for nothing, [Don’t worry about anything] but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


3.    Times of crisis like this always give us the very best opportunity to shine our light. “. . . always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15).  

    

4.  This virus is one more sign, of the many signs, that the day of the Lord’s return is approaching.   Hebrews 10:25 says: “ 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”


5.    God is sovereign and in complete control. 

Psalm 29:10-11  "The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever. 11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace."


See also Psalm 46


6.    He is our good shepherd.  Psalm 23 “The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not lack . . .” 


HOW TO REACT


1.  Pray.  Pray for those affected and for those with undue fear and for opportunities to share the reason for our hope.


2.Reflect on Truth and not hysteria.  Scripture is our only totally reliable, totally objective source of truth.  Immerse yourself in God’s Word, rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. 

 


From last week’s message in 2 Timothy 1:13-14 “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and lovewhich are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”



 3.   Use this as an opportunity to reach out. More people will be looking for answers than ever before and you have access to the answers.  Be ready to give an answer of the hope that you have and minister to peoples needs.  Let them see a peace in you that they don’t see in the world.


4.    Use good health and hygiene practices:

       

  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Carry tissue with you to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and throw in trash


5.  Matthew 5:16  “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”


6.    Above all, look for the ways that God is at work in the midst of this crisis and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that will come as a result.  Let the world around you see the peace of God that is evident in you because of your faith in Him.