GBC Monday Update: 6-15-20
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Grace Bible Church,
Thank you for modeling obedience to this passage so well. It continues to be such a joy to be together and such an encouragement to see the love shown for each other. We see in the passage above the importance for the body of Christ to be unified with the same mindset, same love, same spirit, same purpose. And a primary means God uses to bring about this unity is an intentional consideration of each other as more important than yourself. Let us press on in this Christ like humility and preference towards each other.
There are not many updates for this week. However, with Philippians 2 in view, the elders invite you to the Elder Instruction and Q&A this Friday from 7:-8:30pm. If it is possible for you to join us, we encourage you to do so. Also, if you have questions, please email the elders at firstname.lastname@example.org by tomorrow. You can see the detailed invitation below.
Friday Elder Instruction and Q&A
The elders will be taking some time to shepherd the body of GBC toward a biblical response to the various issues surrounding recent events (i.e. George Floyd’s death, the black lives matter movement, systemic injustice, law enforcement etc.).
The elders invite you to join us Friday evening, June 19th, from 7:00-8:30pm, in the worship center at GBC. We will be hosting a time of instruction and Q&A for our GBC family. We ask that you submit your questions to the elders at email@example.com by Tuesday, June 16th.
Children are welcome to attend, but there will not be childcare on campus.
We will not be live-streaming our gathering, but will seek to make a recording available to those within the body who are unable to attend.
If you plan on attending, we ask that you continue to adhere to the social distancing practices we are implementing on Sunday mornings. These include responsible interactions, keeping doorways and hallways clear, and mask usage where possible.
We are continuing to work out some kinks in our streaming. The most stable stream will be found at the homepage GBCAZ.org. If the stream stops, go to the homepage and try refreshing the stream after a couple of minutes.
We also have an Apple TV app (Thanks to Tommy Minahan’s efforts and creativity) that makes it easy to load the LiveStream on an Apple TV.
You can find the app here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gbclive/id1517180685
It is likely we will need to utilize our overflow options in the coming weeks. We will stream the service into numerous overflow options on campus that will be available with socially distanced seating. The lobby area by the coffee table will have chairs set up. Also, the classroom by the warehouse and restrooms will be available. And the large classroom on the NGM side of the church that was previously being used for first and second grade will be available. If you need help locating any of these overflow areas please ask any of the ushers, greeters, or Elders.
Continuing Temporary Adjustments:
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued the following recommendations for places of worship:
“Encourage use of a cloth face covering at all gatherings and when in the building. Coverings should not be placed on children less than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.”
CLICK HERE to read about mask usage
The elders, reflecting these recommendations, want to strongly recommend that you bring a cloth mask, giving special consideration to wearing a mask at entry and exit points, common areas, and during times of congregational singing. These would be the situations where masks provide a significant level of protection with little effort. Significant mask usage increases the ability of some in our body to participate in our corporate gatherings who would not otherwise be able to participate. Mask usage (especially during singing and entry/exit) is one of the most important interventions to provide an actual decrease in risk. Our greeters, ushers, and communion servers will be wearing masks.
Regarding mask usage and other precautionary measures, it is important that we all recognize the need for patience and understanding with each other. Wearing a mask is a good way for healthy people to actually love others. And there are some people who cannot, and who should not, wear masks. We want to encourage you to extend love to one another, lest mask-wearing or non-mask-wearing become an occasion for judgmentalism, suspicion, and lack of love. All of us have the opportunity to grow in our expressions of selfless concern for others, believing the best about others’ motives, and walking in patient understanding.
We would like to encourage you to limit your restroom usage while on campus. Plan ahead. These will be shorter services. Please just plan to NOT enter a restroom that has a lot of people in it.
If you are vulnerable, or may have been exposed, stay home.
If you are vulnerable, we encourage you to stay home and live-stream for now. Please refer to the CDC’s guidance regarding risk factors.
Also, if you have been exposed to COVID19 within the last two weeks, please stay home.
The virus can spread without symptoms; however, if you do have symptoms it is especially important to livestream for now. Symptoms that should keep you home include:
-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
-Fever or chills
-New loss of taste or smell
If you are in regular contact with people who are vulnerable, please do not regather with us until it is appropriate for you to do so. We will continue to livestream our services, and we will seek alternative methods for meeting shepherding needs for those who cannot join us in person.
Out of sight, out of mind?
Those in our body who cannot join us in person just yet may experience acute feelings of being left out. It behooves all of us to thoughtfully care for one another and to be mindful of those in our body who cannot be present with us on a Sunday morning. Please consider the people in your smallgroups, in your ministries, and who normally sit near you on a Sunday — how can you be an encouragement to them? And if you are staying home and feeling left out, please reach out. We do not want anyone to feel neglected.
This is NOT the new normal.
We recognize that these procedures and precautions inhibit much of the body life that we love at GBC, and we are eager to get back to fuller expressions of that body as soon as is reasonable to do so. Short sermons and social avoidance are just not the way of things at GBC. We love mutual encouragement, loud singing, coffee, and Costco sheet-cake. We look forward to moving back toward those things we love about our church.
We want you to be assured that if you do not yet feel comfortable regathering with us on Sunday mornings, we understand. We want you to feel at ease in the decisions that best suit your family, your health, and your situation.