Pastor John Tucker
Elders update on COVID-19
Dear Providence Baptist family,
With the threat of the COVID-19 virus, it is difficult to determine what is true, as sensationalistic media bombard us, and fear grips many around us. As the focus of many in our community are on COVID-19, our thoughts are on you and on our Lord. May our Lord enable us all to walk in faith and faithfulness through this trial. On the one hand we want to remember to keep our confidence and hope in the Lord. On the other, we want to do our due diligence and not take unnecessary risks. May we find in this an opportunity to grow in Christlikeness as we, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the direction of God’s Word, trust Him and love others. Pray and preach these truths to yourself and your loved ones:
COVID-19 provides an opportunity to trust God. God is sovereign, loving and wise. Romans 8:32 says “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” The Father crushed His Son for our sins (Isaiah 53:10). We do not need to doubt His love for us! He has decreed that He will work all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28) and will sanctify us through these things (Romans 8:29). Pray for protection for your loved ones and yourself, trusting that God’s will will be done. Pray also for our first responders and health care workers who will be extra-taxed and are putting themselves at risk.
COVID-19 provides an opportunity to look to God’s providence. God is sovereign over all things. As Spurgeon said, “I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens.” The same is true for the tiniest virus. You are as safe in God’s hands today as you were six months ago. Nothing can happen to you apart from God’s sovereign will.
COVID-19 provides an opportunity to love others. Galatians 6:2 says we are to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is the law of love, love to God and love to neighbour. Galatians 6:10 reminds us, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Who in our church family is particularly at risk? Who needs practical help? Who needs encouragement? Many people are scared. Many will be isolated and feel lonely. Some will likely need supplies. Give them a call. Offer your help. Pray and read Scripture with them. Gently remind them of Gospel promises. The unbelievers around us need all of the same things, but most of all they need the Gospel. Take a couple of gospel tracts home with the intention of handing them out.
COVID-19 provides an opportunity to seek wisdom from God. We are being bombarded with all kinds of information, some of it true, much of it sensationalistic. The Lord has given us governmental authorities who are charged with leading. They have medical experts weighing in on this. We are to submit to them insofar as we can (Romans 13:1-7). The Lord has given you pastors who are seeking wisdom from God. We love you and are praying for you. However, our ultimate reliance is on God (reflect again on points 1 & 2). We need wisdom. Seek wisdom from Him.
Here are our plans and requests for our church gatherings:
Sunday morning worship will continue while we can.
-if you or a family member are unwell, please stay home.
-if you are at risk due to lung illness or advanced age, please stay home.
-please avoid handshakes and hugs
-in the auditorium try to space yourself at least 2 metres from others as per CDC recommendations.
-please be very careful to wash hands often and thoroughly.
-we have hand sanitizer at both entrances to the auditorium.
-the building is carefully cleaned and we are adding another cleaner to focus on sanitizing door handles, railings, etc.
-greeters will not be at the door but bulletins are on the table.
We will continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Those who prepared it will have worn gloves. Servers will have used hand sanitizer.
We will not be providing a nursery until further notice.
We will not be having a fellowship meal until further notice.
Speak for the Unborn prayer will continue while we can.
Men’s and women’s Bible studies will continue. However, we will be meeting in the Fireside Room.
Family Bible study and Truth trackers are cancelled until further notice.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
The elders are praying for each of you personally. Please feel free to reach out to let us know of any particular prayer requests.
Yours in Christ’s service,