Friday Elder Update: March 20, 2020
As a result of the dangers associated with the Covid-19 Coronavirus,
all Grace Bible Church gatherings are canceled through March 30th.
This includes Sunday morning service, Equipping Hour, Next Generation Ministries, Student Ministries, smallgroups, 414, BUILD, Wellspring, theTrust, Defenders and Keepers of the Faith, Titus Study, and any other ministries involving groups of people being together.
This is being done in accordance with the recommendations from the CDC, from the governor’s office of the State of Arizona, and from the White House update Monday, March 16.
Grace Bible Church will be live-streaming a Sunday service at 9am. We invite you to join us digitally for worship in song, a Next Generation (children’s) Ministry lesson, a Gospel meditation, the reading of God’s Word, and a sermon.
Ministry leaders and smallgroup leaders may choose to host some form of digital gathering. Please reach out to your ministry leader or smallgroup leader to find out more about what these ministries may be doing (other than in-person) to facilitate fellowship, encouragement, teaching, and prayer.
Together as the Body of Christ:
This is a unique time for Grace Bible Church, although it is not unprecedented in church history. Faithful churches closed their doors during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918 that killed 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 in the United States. We have the opportunity during this crisis to demonstrate to a watching world what it looks like to trust our sovereign God, to long for our heavenly home, and to serve others, to be compassionate toward those who are suffering, to give real hope to those whose hopes are tied to things so easily upended by unpredictable circumstance.
We are not being asked to sin by our governing authorities (placed over us as servants of God; see Romans 13:1-7), and so we gladly submit to the recommendations given to us.
It is important for us, however, to continue to hear God’s Word preached, to be together in the ways that technology allows, and to practice those “one-another” commands in the New Testament that operate for our mutual encouragement and spiritual growth. Under Christ, equipped by local shepherds, each member of the local church does the work of ministry in the church (Ephesians 4:12), and it is the body (the church), with each person connected and interdependent, that causes the growth of the body (Ephesians 4:16).
Therefore, the elders would like to encourage you at this time to pursue personal spiritual growth and the spiritual edification of other believers at GBC. There is much we can do to this end, even while separated physically from one another.
If you are not currently connected to a smallgroup at GBC, we would like to recommend that you select one from this list and contact the smallgroup leader. This will give us as elders and smallgroup leaders the opportunity to communicate with smaller groups of people and to meet specific pressing needs. It will also be the way that we can facilitate opportunities for you to meet others’ needs. Simply call or email one of the smallgroups from the list below and let them know that you would like to be connected during this period of uncertainty.
It is, of course, impossible to predict the future. The situation regarding the coronavirus has been changing rapidly. It is therefore difficult to make long-range plans. For now, all gatherings are canceled through March 30th, and the elders are planning to send out a communication by Friday of each week (or more often as necessary) to keep you informed of church activities for the week following.
You can still give online or mail checks to
Grace Bible Church
7440 S. Priest Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
Instructions for online giving can be found here https://www.gbcaz.org/give/
Why is this such a big deal?
This virus is a particularly dangerous one because people who feel very “healthy” become the agents of rapid spread of the virus, which then puts immune-compromised people at real risk. Taking this risk seriously becomes an opportunity to love our neighbors and to “respect what is right in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17). So while you yourself might not feel threatened by this outbreak, a cavalier mindset toward its risks may very well put others in mortal danger.
Links to recent government recommendations:
A timely public testimony from one of our pastors:
A final encouragement:
No one knows the final outcome of this pandemic. However, for Christians, every circumstance is an opportunity for worship, trust, hope, and evangelism. We possess what the world does not know and what no virus can touch! These are great days to make known our great God and His glorious Gospel. I believe that our time of physical separation as a church has the potential to strengthen our bonds of love and unity, endearing us to each other in new ways. My own family is on quarantine, and we look forward to being with you all personally as soon as God allows. In the meantime, we will utilize the means that God provides to be “with” each other and to “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Please reach out to any of the elders if you have questions or concerns.
your servant for His glory,
on behalf of the elders of Grace Bible Church.
List of GBC smallgroups:
Smallgroup: Martin: email@example.com/480.703.8932
Cross Streets: 101 frwy/Ray
Smallgroup: Pagel: firstname.lastname@example.org/602.686.4031
Cross Streets: Greenfield/Warner
Smallgroup: Demarest: email@example.com/480.336.0537
Cross Streets: 10 frwy/Elliot Loop
Smallgroup: Miles: firstname.lastname@example.org/504.237.9641
Location: At The Church
Cross Streets: 10 frwy/Elliot
Smallgroup: Kellso: email@example.com/480.390.0571
Cross Streets: McQueen/Ocotillo
Smallgroup: James: firstname.lastname@example.org/480.338.5750
Location: Chandler (rotates)
Cross Streets: Rural/Chandler
Smallgroup: Angstead: email@example.com/602.628.5015
Cross Streets: Lindsey/Pecos; Elliot/Higley
Smallgroup: Kellso: firstname.lastname@example.org/480.620.2235
Cross Streets: Alma School/Queen Creek
Smallgroup: Kovach: email@example.com/480.363.1112
Cross Streets: Higley/Elliot
Smallgroup: Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org/480.699.4034
Location: Chandler (rotates)
Cross Streets: Alma School/Elliot
Smallgroup: Maxwell: email@example.com/480.510.5899
Cross Streets: Rotates, please call for details