Hey everyone, it is Friday, March 13th.
I sent out a message earlier today to the family and friends of JUBC on FaceBook and our website at jubc.ca. This evening I have an updated statement for you all. Some of it will sound familiar, some of it is new: The situation before us is unfolding with new developments by the our, sometimes by the minute. The Leadership Team at JUBC has been heavily monitoring the situation over the past few days, including the statement by the Chief Medical Officer of NB, issued March 12. This statement requests that people limit the time and times that they gather in groups, and that they employ safety measures when they do gather. This “social distancing” is intended to help reduce the spread of the Corona-Virus, and the associated COVID-19 symptoms.
We met again this evening and expressed together a desire to communicate God’s love, truth, and peace into this situation.
Earlier today we announced the following:
1. Cancelled for March 15- Connecting Groups for all ages @9:30am. While this does not represent a large gathering in one room, it does, at very least, limit the amount of time people might be gathered together on Sunday morning.
2. Cancelled for March 15- Our Dominican Republic mission celebration that we planned to
hold at 6:30pm. This is an event that can be re-scheduled for a better time, thus respecting our desire to support “social distancing”.
Now we can confirm the above statements and add the following:
3. LiveStream-ONLY Service on March 15@ 10:30am. We are making the strange announcement that our building is NOT open for worshipers this Sunday morning. HOWEVER, there will be a small team of pastors, worship leaders, and tech people in the building Live-Streaming a service for our congregation and all of our friends to watch from your homes.
I hesitate to say we are cancelling the service. Rather, we are “cancelling” the gathering for this week, but the service is still available in real time on LiveStream. During that service we will talk more about our response as a church to this situation, about where to go for information, about trusting God in these days, and about our unique opportunity in these times to tell the world that God loves them! We are also NOT cancelling the fact that WE are still the church. So continue to care for one another, let them know about this announcement so they don’t head out on Sunday morning, invite them to join you to watch the service, pray for them, write a note of encouragement, etc. In other words, continue to BE the church! 4. Ministries Cancellation until further notice. The NB Government has just announced this evening the suspension of classes for all NB schools for 2 weeks. In keeping with our policy of suspending ministries when school is suspended, we are also saying that all ministries that happen within our building will be suspended until further notice, effectively immediately. Please note that our Leadership Team will continue to talk together and monitor the situation so that we will announce changes and updates to this plan as needed. In these times, resist the trend of many towards panic and fear. Instead, look to our God who is our hope and strength and protection (Isaiah 40:31). Please also follow strictly what health-care professionals have always told us: observe good health practices! Wash your hands often and thoroughly; avoid touching your face, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and stay home if you are not feeling well. As well, limit your social interaction if you have traveled internationally and arrived back in Canada after March 8. And join us in thanking our government leaders and health care professionals who are working hard to protect us all, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Stay tuned to where you have accessed this announcement in the days ahead for more news.
Pastor Todd and the Leadership Team of Jacksonville Baptist.