COVID-19 Updates

Monday March 23, 2020


Dear SBFN Family,

I will try to keep these messages concise, simply going point by point without much commentary.  I do want to encourage you to continue to pray and to be in God’s Word.  Also, please be sure to call on one another and your neighbors to see how they are doing.  Most of you should have directories we distributed a few months ago.  Let’s continue to care for one another, even if we can’t be together.

Here are several things, in no particular order:

  1. Indiana has now instituted a travel ban for all non-essential travel effective Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.  You can go to to find out more information.
  2. Because of the shut down, I will be at the church building tomorrow from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. or so.  You can stop by between those hours if you need to retrieve anything.  After that, we are closing the church building; you will not have access to the church building, as we will NOT be able to travel there any more.  The shut down, according to Indiana Governor, will continue at least until April 6th.
  3. Good News Day Care, our church’s day care, has now closed effective today, as new health directives made it untenable to keep open.  This is very sad for us.  Please pray for the Director, Melissa Waterbury, the teachers now without work, and the parents needing to find child care.
  4. I have scheduled a meeting with the Finance Team for next Tuesday.  We wanted 2 weeks of data to help us as we make decisions.  We are doing our best to be good stewards and do what we can for those under our care.
  5. Inasmuch as you are able, please continue to honor God with your tithes and offerings and support SBFN as we try to weather this storm.  Your Church Board and Finance Team has been very prudent over the last many years, and we have a financial cushion to help us get through this.  We are also looking at many different areas to cut expenses to help make ends meet.  However, we still depend solely upon your faithful generosity to the Lord to meet our obligations–even as they adjust in the days to come.
  6. We will continue to update the website with Daily Devotionals, Sermons, and COVID-19 Updates.  Please direct everyone who may be interested to our website:
  7. Our Prayer Chain is still fully operational.  Please let us know if you have special prayer requests that need immediate prayer.
  8. We will try to continue to keep up with e-mail.  Please reach out to me or one of the pastors if you have questions.  You can also e-mail me directly if you have questions at  Please remember I am only one person when it comes to emails, phone calls, and texts.  I love you all, but I may not be able to return messages immediately.  There’s also the possibility that things can get lost in cyberspace.  Please don’t take it personally if I don’t get back to you.  Instead, just reach out again.  We’ll all get through this together.
  9. At the end of this e-mail will be security update from Chuck Lambert, a retired veteran of the Army and Law Enforcement as well as private security.  He is our current head of security at SBFN.  He will be updating us on security concerns as they relate to you.  They will not be exhaustive, but we felt it was important to help keep you and your loved ones aware of some of the ways those intent on perpetrating evil will try to take advantage of the innocent and needy.
  10. I will send out updates as needed.  I do not want to overwhelm you with updates.  Monday-Wednesday-Friday will be a likely pattern unless urgency necessitates something different.

Thank you so much for your love and patience.  I’m so happy and proud to be your pastor. 

No fear in Christ,
Pastor Andy


  1. Be aware of fraudulent calls.  They will use any means possible to get you to give up information.  If you do not recognize a number, it may be best to let it go to voicemail and then call back.  Do not call back messages left by machines.   Another fraud attempt may use the government stimulus payout ($1,000) to get information from you.  The government will not attempt to get your information this way.
  2. Be aware of fraudulent phishing emails and text messages.  Again, if you don’t know the person sending it, or are uncertain about the message, it’s best to ignore and delete it.  If it was from someone you know, reach out to them personally in another way to see if they actually did send the message.
  3. Be wary of people approaching your front door.  Some may impersonate utility personnel, they may even flash a badge.  They could also claim to be checking for gas leaks or to be checking your house for the Coronavirus.  According to Chuck Lambert, this is generally perpetrated against the elderly. 


Saturday March 21, 2020

Dear SBFN Family,

Just a quick update to remind you that our church will gather here on Sundays instead of at our building. Remember, we are the church wherever we are. You will find a sermon each week that you can listen to or watch.

You can also find a new daily devotional here written by one of our pastors that you can use to help you as you follow Jesus each day. Look for the Daily Devotional button at the top of the home page.

You can also participate in worship by tithing online from this website (it leads to a secure online giving platform called Subsplash) or mailing your tithe to the church office.

I look forward to worshiping with you all each Sunday as we continue to grow together by God’s Spirit even while we’re physically apart.

Following Jesus with you,
Pastor Andy


Wednesday March 18, 2020

Dear SBFN Family,

I pray that each of you are doing well during these disruptive times.  I pray most importantly that you’re learning to trust in God in a greater way than perhaps ever before. 

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that we will NOT be meeting for Sunday worship or any other discipleship activities at the building for at least the next two weeks.  This decision has come to us from our District Superintendent in consultation with global church leadership.  We have been told that this could last longer than two weeks, but we’re starting there.  I met with your newly elected church board last night to give a full update of where we are currently as a church, and the board and the pastoral staff are unanimous in their support for our plans moving forward.  Of course these can, and likely will, change as the circumstances in our nation are evolving hour by hour.  As such, we covet your prayers and your patience during these tumultuous days.

Let me strongly encourage you that now is the time for each of you to take an even greater role in your own and your family’s Christian spiritual growth.  These are not days to sit idly by as passive parishioners.  As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.  Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.”  (Ephesians 6:12-23)

To be brief, here are the plans we are working on to help us all continue to grow both individually and as a community of Christian followers of Jesus Christ:

1) We are trying to centralize everything you need through our website .  You should be able to find much of what you need related to SBFN there.  We will continue to use Facebook for those who have it.  Email will continue to be our primary means of mass communication.

2) The pastoral staff is working on starting a daily devotional/blog that you can engage with on your own, with a loved one, or as a family.  Starting sometime tomorrow, there will be a button at the top of the page which you can click on to participate in the devotional/blog.

3) I, pastor Andy, will be engaging with you through a weekly Sunday morning message.  This will be available under the “Sermons” button at the top of the sbfnaz webpage beginning Sunday.

4) Pastor Brenda and Pastor Christina are putting plans in to place to continue helping children, teens, and their families grow spiritually and remain connected.

5) We want to encourage you to take time to really explore the online discipleship/video resource called Right Now Media that SBFN provides to every person at SBFN who wants it.  If you’re not already using Right Now Media, now is a great time to explore it.  You can join SBFN’s Right Now Media page at this link: SBFN Right Now Media Invitation

6) As friends and families, we rely on each other for support.  Please continue to honor God and remember your SBFN family with your tithes and offerings, as you are able and as God leads.  We want to continue to support all of the staff and pastors as well as stay current on our bills. 

7) Our Good News Day Care is in the very capable hands of Melissa Waterbury.  According to federal, state, and local guidelines, it continues to remain open.  We are especially pleased knowing that we are ministering to 6 medical and 2 law enforcement families as they work tirelessly to assist others in need.  Melissa is following all guidelines in regards to if and when we must close.

8) SBFN staff and pastors will continue to report to work as usual.  The office will continue to be open from 8:30 – 12:30 M-F.  You can reach us at or 574-272-6466.  If there is not answer, please leave a message.

That’s all I can think of for now.

As I told the church board last night, rather than being afraid or sullen, I am actually excitedly anticipating all that God is going to do in the next few months.  Our God is a God of miracles, of bringing life out of death, light out of darkness, beauty out of ashes.  Therefore, let us confidently look to Him and live boldly in the name of Jesus during these perilous times. 

Following Jesus with you,
Pastor Andy

Monday March 16, 2020

Dear SBFN Family,

The Apostle Paul encourages us in Ephesians, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (6:18)  First and foremost, my encouragement to all of us is that we continue to lift up our country, our world, and the Church in prayer during this time of great uncertainty and disruption.

1) As you know, information concerning the Coronavirus outbreak is changing from day to day, even hour to hour.  We are doing our best to stay up to date on the latest information.  My goal is to remain open and meeting for worship as long as possible.  We will of course do this with the utmost attention to safe practices, such as those we had already implemented during worship yesterday. 

2) I will be meeting with our church board tomorrow evening (Tuesday).  During this time we will discuss where we go from here based on the most current recommendations.  We cherish your prayers and your patience as we do our best to minister during these demanding times. 

3) As we announced yesterday during our worship service, if you or a loved one is elderly or has a compromised immune system that makes it difficult or impossible for you to get out and get groceries and medicine, and you do not have family members close by who can help, please let the church know at 574-272-6466.  We will work to get volunteers to pick up items that you need and deliver them to your home.  Additionally, if you would like to help out by serving in this way, please leave your name and number.

Please watch for updates via e-mail and Facebook, and please pass along this information to those who may not have access to these updates. 

Above all, remember to pray: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and accomplishes much.” (James 5:16)

Following Jesus with you,

Pastor Andy

Sunday March 15, 2020

I wanted to let you know that now and for the foreseeable future you will be able to join us as we engage the Bible through the morning’s sermon by going to our website, and clicking “Sermons Online” found at the top of the page (on your mobile it might be slightly different).  Please pass along this information to those who may not be on this e-mail list as well as family and friends who may be seeking encouragement from God’s Word.

Whether we are together in person or online, we are united in Christ and together by His Holy Spirit.  Let us pray together for our world and continue to allow this event to drive us closer to the Lord and His Word.

Following Jesus with you,
Pastor Andy

Coronavirus Precautions at SBFN

Dear SBFN Family, we want you to know we’re doing our best to provide a safe, clean environment for everyone to worship and be disciples without fear. At the same time, this is uncharted territory, so please exercise your own precautions as we cannot possibly conceive or prepare for every circumstance.

SBFN Worship Gatherings
Our custodian is regularly sanitizing all regularly touched surfaces. 

We are asking the following from you:

1) If you are sick, please stay home until you are well.

2) If you are elderly or have a health condition, please consider staying home until this passes.

3) Please wash hands immediately upon entering building.  Especially help your children to wash their hands thoroughly.

4) Please no hand shaking or hugging.

5) Use tissues located through sanctuary for coughing or sneezing.

6) Please look for updates through our Facebook page or email.

SBFN Online
1) Also, we want you to know that we are making plans to put the sermons online for those who can’t attend on Sunday or in case we are required to close.  We can’t include the music for copyright reasons. We will send out instructions once we have that up and running. We will likely discontinue this after the crisis passes.

2) We would also like to encourage you to consider setting up an Online Giving account to worship through tithes and offerings in case you can’t be here or if we have to close for a few Sundays. Just like you, our mortgage, utilities, and other bills will still have to be paid.  You can do that from our website ( or by scanning the QR code on the back of any recent bulletin.

Thank you!

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

Following Jesus with you,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pastor Andy