Coronavirus Response for STBC
Coronavirus Response for STBC –
Update From Pastor Chris:
Good Afternoon STBC Family and Friends,
As you are well aware, the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) is drastically affecting and altering life throughout the world, this country, and here in Middle Tennessee. Based on what we know and what we do not know at this point about the spread of the virus, the elders and I see the need to make some immediate and hopefully temporary changes in how we operate as a church.
Proverbs 4:26 says, “Give careful thought to the paths of your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” I pray that you will bear with us as we try to make decisions that honor God and serve the best interest of Strong Tower Bible Church. While you are praying for us, be sure to pray for our governmental leaders and medical professionals during this difficult time. Also, please add the attached article from Christianity Today to your reading materials concerning how churches can best handle this pandemic.
For the next two Sunday’s (3/15 and 3/22), our Sunday worship services will take place in an empty sanctuary. This means we are asking everyone to please stay home for the next two weeks as a precaution to yourself and to others. The services will start at 10:30 am with worship provided by Jewyl and the worship team. Pastor Gerry will extend the welcome, give announcements, and pray for the offering. If you were planning to give your offering in church this Sunday, I encourage you to do so online. Finally, I will bring a word from Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” (see Matthew chapters 5 – 7) to encourage all of us during this unprecedented season.
We will broadcast the services via livestream on the church’s website, app, and on my Facebook page. Therefore, please prepare your family to watch the services on one of these formats. Just because the church is not gathered in one place, that does not mean we still cannot have church or be the church.
In addition, we will not have Wednesday Night Impact (which includes mealtime, Pastor’s Bible Study, Huddle Groups, AWANA, and Ignite) on March 18th and 25th. We will keep you abreast to future decisions via email and social media. You can always call the church office M-Th during office hours (615-791-7050) to speak with someone on staff or to leave a message. You can also email us at email@example.com. If during this time you have an urgent need for food, bill assistance, or medicine, please be sure to let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
I leave you with Joshua 3:4, which says, “Yet there shall be a space between you and it (i.e., the ark of the covenant), about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
STBC, none of us have ever passed “this way” before, but like Israel, we will keep our eyes on the LORD. He is the One who goes before us and He will lead us step-by-step and day-by-day. There is no panic in God, and there ought not be any panic in His children. May we all trust in the LORD, wash our hands, give elbow daps, cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze, stay home when we feel ill, and check on other people, especially the elderly. May we all remember to be kind, knowing that people are watching us and hopefully following our example as we follow Jesus!
Love and God Bless,
March 13, 2020
Coronavirus Disease 2019
Coronavirus: What is it?
Coronaviruses, a large family of viruses, cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe disease (MERS) and (SARS)
Common Symptoms of COVID – 19:
Fever, tiredness, dry cough (some will also have aches & pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea) – (mild – and gradual).
Most (~80%) recover from the disease without needing special attention. One out of every six (1 of 6) people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
Coronavirus Transmission Preventative Steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water (>20 seconds)
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available (> 60% alcohol)
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Arm/Fist bump greetings.
- Give each other space.
- Wipe down surfaces.
- Stay home if you are sick
Resources on Coronavirus:
- World Health Organization (www.who.int)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (www.cdc.gov)
- Tennessee Department of Health (www.tn.gov/health/news)
- TN Coronavirus Public Information Line (10am-10pm) 877-857-2945