Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How are you all doing? No doubt you are all
aware of the coronavirus concern in our nation and world. It is scary and it does affect all of us in one way or another. Keep your faith in the Lord strong and keep walking with Him daily. The Lord is fully aware of what is going on and He is still on His throne ruling over His world. Keep up your hope in Him.
Our nation's leaders have been working hard to "slow the spread" of COVID-19, and as per the President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America (which was sent out yesterday) it was highly recommended that we all avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people for the next 15 days. I believe we all need to follow that recommendation very carefully. The spreading of this virus among people meeting together is what keeps it growing. To stop meeting together is an effective way of stopping it. Let’s do our part in this matter.
Does this recommendation affect our churches meeting together? Most definitely! FRBA will take the necessary steps to do our part. I understand that most if not all of our churches have met last Sunday in worship. With this new recommendation, it may affect your future Sunday worship time together. Each church will have to prayerfully make their own decision about this, and of course we will respect that.
Some suggestions for events and meetings (when necessary) at this time:
1.)  In greeting people, refrain from hand shaking and hugging, and whenever possible, wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer. Regardless of the number of people in your meeting, these suggestions are still very valid. You may also consider spacing out your seating plans so that people can maintain social distancing during your events.

2.)  Some churches are live streaming their worship time. Some are using YouTube, others are live on Facebook, some are using other methods for pre-recording and broadcasting their worship services. If you still plan to meet Sunday morning, you might consider one of these methods (if you are able) for those who choose not to attend.

However, if you do this, please be aware that copyright licenses for live streaming/broadcasting are not the same as those for in-house services. Please make sure you have the proper licenses for whatever you plan to do. (Click HERE to see CCLI options for copyright licenses and streaming add-ons.)

3.)  If you do plan to cancel your worship hour for now, these methods can be very helpful. They can allow the praise team and pastor to lead the service from church while still reaching out to their church families at home.
4.)  Pastors, if you plan to cancel your Sunday worship, be aware that not everyone has computer/live-stream access. You may want to choose a guided devotional/scripture reading and have a team from your church call your church members at home, share this devotional/scripture with each home, encourage them as a family to read, sing a hymn and pray together during the normal Sunday worship hour. This way they are all still worshipping together (at the same time), even though they are at home. It is a way of helping them to continue to feel connected to your church during this time. Let me know how this works for you or if you have other ideas to share.

5)  Keep in touch with each other, especially with the home bound. Call them, text them, ask how they are doing, ask if they need something from the store, ask how you can pray for them, etc. Being isolated is not fun, but for now, it is the thing to do. I have never heard of a virus being passed on through phone or internet communication.
FRBA family, be encouraged by the fact that God knows what is going on and He will take care of His children. Do pray for healing and protection. Follow the guidelines that are being laid out for us. Stay home for your protection, and for the protections of others who may be more susceptible than you.. Viruses spread from people to people. That is why isolation is the best way to "stop the spread". And most importantly, do not fear, as scripture tells us:  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10.
Use this difficult time to share with others the hope you have through Jesus Christ. Don’t panic but trust Him to provide for your needs. He will do that.  And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus Philippians 4:19.
This is also a great time to follow the advice of II Chronicles 7:13-14: When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Laurie Beth and I are in the office during the week and here to help however we can. We believe in prayer and if you have a prayer need, please share that with us. I believe God is going to bring something great out of all this:   And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28.

Your Fellow Servant,
Bro. Loren
Frio River Baptist Association | Phone: 830-334-2061 | Fax: 830-334-3025 | Email | Website