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 www.sbfnaz.org . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,