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Response to COVID-19 (March 13 Update)

Good afternoon, Faith Bible Church! As we have all been watching this COVID-19 situation very carefully, we wanted to communicate with you our church’s plans during this unprecedented and difficult season. This morning, the Spokane County Regional Health District announced recommendations to restrict public gatherings over the next 30 days.

We feel it is prudent to follow these recommendations for a number of reasons. First, because Romans 13 says that we are to submit to the governing authorities, because they have been placed there by God to minister to us for our good, which we feel they are doing in this circumstance. Also, we care about you! We want to do our part to protect our church family and our community by helping to limit the spread of this virus. To that end, we are instituting the following course of action:

Beginning tomorrow, all on campus activities are suspended for one week. This includes our Sunday morning gathering, all Wednesday activities, and also the upcoming men’s retreat that was scheduled for next weekend. Over the weekend and into early next week, the elders will be working on more detailed plans for the next few weeks. This is an evolving situation, and we will be communicating frequently as we monitor and adapt to new information.

We will broadcast a very scaled down worship service at 10:30am, which will include singing, prayer, and the preaching of God’s Word. View livestream here. A link to the live stream will be posted on our website and social media accounts, as well as sent out to the church body through e-mail and texting. We want to ensure that we do all we can to make sure you are able to access the feed and worship with us in real time, no matter where you are. The service will also be archived so that, if you are unable to worship with us live, you will be able to watch the service at your own convenience.

We are in communication with local health authorities with regard to recommendations for off campus gatherings. Ministry leaders will be following up soon with those in their ministry areas. Growth Group shepherds will hear from Nathan Thiry, and will then be able to communicate with their Growth Groups about those gatherings. Paul Funchess will follow up with families; I will be in contact with those in the worship ministry, etc. This is a time where we must all remain flexible and gracious to one another as we navigate the unknown!

While this is nothing any of us would have chosen or planned, there is actually a great opportunity here to put in practice what we preach so often. For instance, we’ve made Family Worship a priority for our church. We’re all about to get a lot of practice! I’ll be making resources available to help equip you to worship well with your families and other smaller gatherings in our homes!

This is also an opportunity to minister to those around us. Many people are fearful, which we pray will lead to gospel conversations about the God whose love casts out all fear. “Social distancing” may be a prudent safety measure, but social isolation is never healthy. Be sure during this time that you are reaching out to family, neighbors, and friends so that we can care for one another, and share the love of Christ. We want to be wise about protecting ourselves and our community, but we will not shy away from giving aid to those in need.

The Church is not the building; it is the people. And while our gatherings will look very different in this season, it does not change who we are, or who God is. Psalm 46 reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…. ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Make plans to join us as we worship together from many locations this Sunday morning, and stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions, or to let us know how we can best minister to your needs during this season. We love you, Church!