MARCH 18, 2020
Dear Grace Bible Church,
In response to the COVID-19 virus and the new guidelines of our government officials to not meet in groups larger than 10, and yet knowing we are called to congregate (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42), we have been in discussion and prayer asking God for wisdom. Your prayers have been needed as the elders have had to make difficult plans.
Like many of you, our first reaction was to do everything in our power to continue regular worship services. We have often in the past praised the Lord for our persecuted brethren, who chose to congregate in the face of great danger.
After careful prayer, we realize that we not only put ourselves at risk by congregating, but we would also put our brothers and sisters in danger with our own presence. Also, we would be going against our governing authority if we choose to congregate. Therefore, until further notice, we will be attempting to provide a solution for worship that allows us to follow the advice of the medical community & our governing authorities while still worshipping together.
We will be providing a prayer and preaching service on Sunday morning at 10:45am. There are a couple of ways for you to attend.
For those with internet access, we would ask you to visit the Grace Bible Church of San Marcos Facebook page on Sunday morning and join the “Worship Service” event.
When you join the Facebook “Worship Service” event on Sunday morning at 10:45 you will be greeted with some music as we wait for people to get connected. The Service will start with a prayer and share time. You will be asked to type into the comments section your praises and prayer requests and all visitors will be able to see. We will pray over those needs with you. After prayer time we will broadcast our regularly scheduled sermon. At this time we have no plans for praise music or hymns.
The recording will be available on Facebook for a limited time after the Service has ended. The sermon audio will be made available on the website. We ask for your patience with any technical difficulties.
For those without internet access, please notify Pastor Heideman to reserve a private room at the church for you and your family on Sunday morning to participate via TVs on campus while maintaining the recommended social distance.
All other GBC services have been canceled or will be reorganized using online tools.
Please pray that GBC’s leadership will be protected with good health so that we can accomplish these plans. This is a very important time to be in prayer.
In Christ’s love and protection….
Pastor Jim Davis
Pastor Steve Hager
Pastor Dennis Heideman
MARCH 13, 2020
Dear Grace Bible Church Family and Friends,
The information presented here is aimed at helping the Grace Bible Church family and surrounding community (1) understand the issues brought on society by the COVID-19 virus and (2) undertake actions that glorify God, promote the best interests of His people, and bless the community.
You can find a lot of information in the news about the SARS-COV-2 virus and COVID-19; some of it is helpful. Some “news” does not promote real understanding or help prepare the reader to act wisely. We encourage you to keep in mind that all news should be viewed through the lens of faith in God and His clearly stated directions for living effectively in His service (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Be wary of sites and personalities that would have you act without understanding, that justify questionable or clearly unethical behavior in light of the situation, or that present information that has not or cannot be verified. God would not have His people to operate out of fear but based on faith in Him (Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 62:8; 91:1-6). In general, avoid “information” sources that insinuate or allege they possess insights not available through other information outlets and that no one else can be trusted; in doing this they ask for your undivided attention while making themselves unaccountable.
What is Grace Bible Church Doing? Our morning worship service will be live-streamed on the GBC San Marcos Facebook page for the next few Sundays for those who are ill or who are not comfortable coming to church. The Lord Jesus is in control and we invite you to join us in seeking His direction and protection of our church family, community and country. Pray with us for God to stop the spread and suffering caused by this disease. Pray with us for God’s healing of those who are infected, for God’s peace for the victims and their families, and open doors for the good news of the gospel to reach those who are without Christ in the midst of this trial. After careful consideration of our children and teachers, we have decided to cancel children’s church until further notice.
Should I come to church? Gathering even in the face of difficulty has been a distinction and strength of the church since its inception (Acts 1:12-14). In fact, even when gathering was a punishable crime, the saints were clearly commanded to stay with the practice (Hebrews 10:25).
Please take the following precautions.
- Wash your hands frequently. Take a least 20 seconds washing them with soap.
- Avoid kissing or shaking hands.
- Wearing a mask mitigates the possibility of inhaling droplets that carry the virus. Wearing a mask should be done if your immune system is compromised and you must be in attendance.
- If you are ill or suspect you may have been exposed to the virus do not come to a gathering. Most importantly, if you or anyone in your family is not feeling well, or especially if you have a fever, please stay home..
Q: What about things like Communion and greeting one another?
A: We are evaluating how to serve communion safely. Shaking hands is not ordered by God and at this time should be avoided. We understand and want you to be healthy both spiritually and physically. Endeavor to be warm toward those visiting our fellowship while letting newcomers know that refraining from a handshake is out concern for everyone… not just yourself.
Q: What if I am a teacher and have a concern about attending?
A: Please notify GBC leadership if you are not able to attend so we can make other arrangements.