Dear GBC Church Family,
I do hope that this letter finds you well, safe, and blessed of the Lord. These days are difficult days for sure. It is difficult to understand all of the details of the pandemic that is seemingly sweeping our world. It is difficult to understand the reason behind the mass hysteria associated with this pandemic. It is difficult to refrain from following suit. And it is difficult to find a balance in it all.
On the one hand, you want to resist the restrictions in the guidelines issued by our local, state, and federal governments. On the other hand, you want to remain healthy and you would never wish to assist in the spreading of the virus, especially to those that are in the highest risk category.
Regardless of politics, I have great respect for those that are having to make some very hard decisions, decisions that have and will affect the lives and the livelihood of many Americans. I cannot imagine the weight of responsibility on such a massive scale, but having said that, I do feel the weight of responsibility in the decisions that will affect our church family.
I do greatly appreciate each one of you in your patience and support in these difficult decisions. I have been monitoring the situation and given the fact that at the time of this letter there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yellowstone County, we will make some adjustments in our services for the next several weeks.
Please know that these changes are not made out of panic, fear, or conformity to societal pressures but rather with the greatest consideration for the health and safety of the most vulnerable of our Church family.
We will have online services ONLY for the next two weeks and then reevaluate after that. We will live stream a Sunday morning service at 11:00 am and a Sunday evening service at 6:00 pm. We will also stream our Wednesday evening service at 7:00 pm.
There will be a couple of ways you can join the services:
1.) Tune into our Facebook live feed during these times
2.) If you do not have Facebook you can watch via the ZOOM Video Conference APP
3.) If you do not have a way to watch by internet you can listen via landline telephone also through the ZOOM conferencing system.
**Instructions for connecting to our online services will be given in a separate post.**
A couple of tips when viewing the services online:
- Gather all the family together and have a seat as you would in a regular Church service.
- Turn everything off and silence phones as there will be greater opportunity for distractions during this time.
- Open your Bible and follow along as you would in Church.
- Pray that God would use this time to speak to your heart.
- Afterward, take the opportunity to have a discussion with each other about the message and how it applies to us on an individual basis.
- Spend some time in prayer as a family as a good way to conclude the service.
Also regarding a way to be faithful with our tithes and offerings in these next few weeks, we will have a couple of options:
1.) You could mail a check to: Grace Baptist Church, 3616 Broadwater Ave., Billings, MT 59102
2.) OR we are introducing a way to give electronically via an app called Tithe.ly.
**Instructions for the Tithe.ly app will be given in a separate post.**
Please remember that there are missionaries and ministries, including and starting with our local church, that depends upon our faithfulness.
Please know that we love each of you and we long for the day for all of this to be over, one way or another! Until then, if you have a need (physical need/supplies, or spiritual need) please text or call me at 406-600-9732 or you can email me at email@example.com. As supplies are somewhat scarce, I think we can pull our resources to help each other out as we are in this thing together!
Continue to pray for our church, for each other, for our community, and for our country. Each person in a position of leadership desperately needs your prayers. Keep looking to Jesus, He is THE answer! There is opportunity even in a time of trials and testing, look for the opportunity to increase our faith, to proclaim the wonderful Gospel of our Saviour, to be a blessing to someone else, and to see Christ more clearly in 2020!!!
II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
With the love of Christ,
Pastor John McKinney