Hebrews 10:23-25 says; “23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
We understand this Scripture passage to be encouraging us to meet regularly as a church and we take this command seriously at First Baptist Church of Gallatin. We would never desire to stop the regular corporate meeting of believers here at our Church because we love to gather together in various settings to worship our great God because He alone deserves our worship!
However, due to the threat of COVID-19 and the continually changing safety advice of experts, the recommendation of our president, and the recommendation of the governor of Missouri, other local entities, and churches and pastors around the world, it has all of a sudden, this very week, progressively changing day to day even, become apparent to us that it would be unwise and unsafe for us to continue to meet in our in-person corporate worship services due to the potential of spreading this contagious coronavirus. Therefore, your pastors and deacons have decided that we are cancelling our upcoming corporate worship services for the time being while the CDC restrictions advise us to abstain from gathering for the safety of our Church and community.
However, as long as we are able, we plan on streaming our weekly Sunday morning worship service for you all to be able to watch live on Facebook during our normal service time on Sunday’s at 10:40 am. We will also continue to record the audio of the sermon as well and will post that to our website, Facebook page, and Faithlife sermon site as usual. We plan to continue to livestream our Sunday morning worship service as long as some of us are able to meet to help lead the smaller setting worship service in our church building to then be able to stream to the rest of our church to view online.
We realize that some of you might not have the capability to watch the stream of the service due to technology limitations at your home. Therefore, I would encourage you to reach out to each other during this unprecedented time, and care for one another by considering to invite smaller groups of people into your home to watch the stream of the service together and to be able to fellowship and pray and stay connected with each other as well. This suggestion is not limited to the Sunday morning livestream either because there are various creative and safe ways to gather together in smaller groups for the time being. And if you are unable to meet physically with others, I would suggest calling each other or staying connected in other similar ways as well.
Also, for the time being, our church offices and building will remain open and our staff will be continuing to work at our church building as usual throughout the week. This means if you would like to stop by to see us, we are here for you for whatever you might need. And as you know, my office is always open for counsel, prayer, and discussion and it will continue to be open as long as we are legally able to come into the office and work.
And since we will not be meeting in person, I would encourage you to continue to be faithful to your commitment to Gospel motivated giving that we have been discussing during our giving time in our services from 2 Corinthians 8-9. Please be reading these chapters and remembering the great privilege we have to worship God through our generous Gospel motivated giving for the support of our local church here in Gallatin.
As always, your faithful generosity as members or regular attenders of our church is needed for the continuation of Gospel ministry here at our Church since that is the way God has decided to provide for Gospel ministry in the local church. However, we need to be especially aware of the importance and command of God for us to give willingly (as you have decided), consistently (even during this unique season), and generously (amidst uncertainty), even during this time when we are unable to meet physically.
So if you would like to drop off your contribution to the offices you can do that when you are out and about shopping or running errands, you can also mail it to us, or if you are unable to do either of these things, you can reach out to our church office asking for a postmarked mailing envelope and we can mail one to you so you, or someone would even be willing to drop by your home to pick it up if that would be easiest for you.
In closing, I want to encourage all of you to trust God who is in control of all things including everything going on right now as it relates to the coronavirus. He knows exactly what is going on, and he knows exactly what we need. And He will care for his people. And He will care for his church. I encourage you all to trust God through this and seek to grow in your knowledge and love for God during this season as you pray, read Scripture, and continue to fellowship with each other through different creative ways. Spend time with your families in God’s word. Continue to seek to glorify God together as many of you will be spending a lot more time in the home together as a result of all that is going on.
And please know that we are praying for you. Please know that we love and care for and are concerned about you always and also during this very difficult time. We’re praying for your families. We’re praying for your jobs. We’re praying for your spiritual growth. And please know that we are here for you. And please feel free to reach out to us to let us know your needs. And we will be reaching out to you as well so please let us know how you are doing when we do. And please pray for our church, your pastors, deacons, and all of our members as we seek to glorify God together during this time.
Pastor Daniel Pelichowski