Hello church family,
This is Pastor Kirk Bennett. On behalf of the leadership team here at Clatskanie Baptist Church I want to share our heartfelt concern for you and that we are praying for you during these challenging days. If you’re watching this video, you probably attend Church here - or are interested in attending.
In brief, CBC’s leadership has met to consider the specific mandates of governing authorities to reduce everyone’s exposure to the Coronvirus or COVID-19. After reviewing our options and resources and praying for the Lord’s guidance, it was decided that we will not hold any large meetings within the church facilities until further notice.
Since our government’s mandate has been presently defined as any group over 25 individuals, this includes nearly all programs and activities at CBC including Sunday morning worship.
As this will be our situation for the coming weeks, you’re probably wondering how we will respond to the needs of those who consider CBC their church home: How will we meet to worship? What about small groups? How will I give my tithe or financial gifts?
If you know CBC, myself, Matt, and any of our leadership, you can imagine that the decision we made was difficult - we have been, and will continue to be, a body of believers that values and promotes fellowship and ‘being able to ‘do life together!’ It is a vital part of how we are to grow and it is an act of obedience to God’s Word to come together and pray, worship, sing, learn and serve with one another.
Yet, we also know from God’s Word that we are to “count others more significant than ourselves…and…look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others.”
The challenge then, is to balance meeting together with the mandate to avoid spreading the virus to the vulnerable - what follows are three ways we plan to meet this challenge!
First - the leadership, staff, and key volunteers will be using every tool we have available to help provide for your spiritual growth while keeping you connected through this time.
In fact, you’re using the main one right now - your web browser and the internet!
We will be holding Sunday worship services online starting this Sunday. You can access the service along with lots of other resources, right here on our Church website.
You can read more details below - we just want you to know that are deeply committed to helping you remain firmly grounded in the faith through worship and God’s Word.
Second - each of our Elders will be practicing “care at a distance” by taking a portion of the congregation to contact on a weekly basis. This is to help you stay connected, give you opportunity to talk with Leadership and pass along a need that others in the church might be able to meet. Please note - if you are already part of a Life Group, then you are ready to go! Either way, if you are a member or consider yourself part of the CBC family, you can expect a call in the coming days to help you understand more about receiving ‘care at a distance.’
Third - we want to encourage you to take advantage of the resources available on our website for your spiritual self-care and then consider how you might serve someone else in the same way!
While we hope and pray that this time apart is brief, we have great expectations for the unique opportunities we have before us while going through this trial together -
enlarging our understanding of what “Church” is all about AND deepening our love for one another in Jesus Christ.
We have this hope because we are convinced of God’s sovereign, loving hand over all our situations.
In the meantime, please ‘bookmark’ this page for your web browser - CBC’s website - scroll down this main page to see more important details and return to the site as often as you can since content and updates will be added all the time.
We have great affection for you! We want to care for you in whatever ways are available and practical.
Please remember that you are deeply loved and that you can sincerely love others through Jesus Christ!
Here is some updated information concerning ministries and events moving forward.
Our Sunday worship services have been moved to "online viewing" via our church website.
What can you expect?
- This Sunday's worship service will be available to watch at ANYTIME on Sunday via our website. We would encourage you to spend a little time familarizing yourself with our website (www.clatskaniebaptist.com) between now and Sunday to get used to navigating all of its features.
- We plan to keep all necessary information and worship service videos on the "home" page of our website. This will elimate any confusion in trying to navigate our menu for information you will need most.
How will this impact you?
- Seek fellowship in new and creative ways. A large part of what we do as 'The Church' is Being the Church TOGETHER. Together, is something that we cannot do right now, but there are creative ways around that. Many of those ways involve technology (group chats, facebook messenger, facebook live, zoom meetings...etc.) while others might require an old fashion letter or phone call. No matter what method you find most convenient, we encourage you to reach out to one another in care, in love, and in Christ.
- Spiritual encouragement and growth will largely be placed on you as individuals, as parents, and as family units. CBC has been blessed to offer many programs and classes to encourage and grow your relationship in Jesus Christ. Now that many of those avenues have been momentarily taken away, it's vital that you step up to the plate and lead. Lead in your own personal walk, lead your family, and lead your small groups or friends that might need the encouragement. Let this be an opportunity to draw even closer to God - rather than drift away.
- Get intentional and make a plan on how best to utilize are online services and resources. If at all possible, create a space and time to watch the service and engage in conversation about it. If you're multi-tasking or distracted by other things going on in the house, most likely you won't be as attentive as you could be. If you treat the online service, as if you were in the sanctuary with everyone, then you will most likely get much more out of it.
How can you continue to be connected and participate during this new online format?
- Social media outlets. I'm not extremely versed in all the ways people can connect through social media but please use any safe and reasonable option to your advantage. As an example, I know of some friends that have connected via google groups to stay in touch and be able to communicate face to face (or at least screen to screen).
- Connect with you CBC familiy through our Facebook page as well as our website (www.clatskaniebaptist.com).
- Feel free to email either of the pastors with questions, concerns or technical help for navigating online. We would love to hear from you and know how best to encourage each of you.
- Out of an abundance of caution we’ve determined at this point we don’t need extra events to provide more opportunities where something potentially could spread. We will most likely reschedule for another Sunday when it is safe to do so. Thanks for understanding.
What about Life Groups?
- Please contact your Life Group leader for infomation about plans moving forward. They should be equipped to help answer your questions and lead your group during this time.
More information will be added as we get a clear picture of what this season of "social distancing" really entails.
Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation as we journey through this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. God is bigger than COVID-19 and we can place our trust Him no matter what. We love you all, you’re in our prayers, and we hope you'll join us in praying for those who are affected most by the spreading of this virus.
Your CBC leadership