South Bend First Updates

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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:

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.

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.

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.

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

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