How We Are Navigating Forward
In light of current events in our world, country, state and local area, we believe it is prudent to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) and what our plans as a church are. Here are a few verses of Scripture we might consider.
- In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are told we have not been given the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and self-control
- In Matthew 10:28 Jesus said we ought not to fear what can kill the body, but God
- In Hebrews 10:25 we are told not to neglect meeting together
- In 2 Corinthians 5:7 we are told that we walk by faith, not by sight
- Philippians 2:3 we are told to value others more important than ourselves
Hey church family,
We are pleased to announce that we are beginning to implement the plan of meeting once again. Let me say clearly that we are encouraging those who are in the vulnerable category to seriously consider when the right time is for them to join us. We are practicing wisdom within the building and services by doing a few things. We are propping doors open, we are social distancing, and we are asking that anyone who has any illness stay home among some other things. We are not doing these things to "convince" anyone personally that the time is right for them to come, rather we are doing these things in the interest of keeping everyone safe and healthy within our congregation.
We are now meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm for prayer. Beginning May 17th we will be meeting on Sundays in two services in an attempt to keep the numbers of people in the building at one time lower. The service times will be 8:30 and 10:30 am. We are not planning for Sunday School or any children's church at the present time. If you have children we welcome them to join us for family worship. If you feel they may be a distraction please do not be concerned about that at all. We love children here at Norton Baptist Church and do not consider them a distraction in the least. We are planning to continue having online service at 10:30 am.
During these times, let us remember what Paul encouraged us to do as the body of Christ in Romans 12:9,10, "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."
In the Love of Jesus,
Some Questions That You May Have
I would expect, as time goes on, I may get some questions. As I do, I will seek to post them here. Feel free to send in more to me.
are we being disobedient to romans 13 if we meet?
In the governor's order there is an exemption for churches, so the short answer is that we would not be disobedient. Some have pointed to the idea that we are to submit to the leaders whom God has appointed, but remember, we are to submit to God rather than to men if there is conflict. At some point, a request for us not to meet could run up against Hebrews 10:25, and I would lead us to submit to God rather than men should that time come. Consider Paul who wrote Romans 13 who was brought to trial for causing a stir. He submitted to being arrested, submitted to being imprisoned, and submitted ultimately to his own execution, but in all of that he continued to submit to God rather than to men. Submission was not giving in to what they wanted, but accepting the consequences they placed on him for his obedience to God. Let us make sure we interpret these Scriptures properly.
Is it disobedience for me to wait and not attend until we get more of an all clear?
As long as you are choosing not to attend in faith that this is wisdom from God for you, then absolutely not. God is not more pleased or less pleased by our performance or church attendance, rather He is always pleased by our faith in Him and His Son. We would never look at shut-ins and think that they are being disobedient, would we? Rather we recognize that God places us in different stations of life at various times for His purposes. The church as a whole still must seek to meet for the purposes of encouragement and stirring up love and good works, but we all must live in grace with one another as we each walk the path God has in front of us that leads us there.
Are we still going to continue online services?
We are planning to continue Sunday services online at 10:30 on Facebook and the Live page on our website for the long haul. Our 7:00 pm Bible studies will be less consistent as we open up and we will seek to notify everyone of the schedule for those as we move along.
How is our church doing financially? how can we give?
First, by God's blessing, our church is doing well financially. Although none of us had any foresight of this happening, the leadership chose to set a reserve amount in our checking account a couple of months ago that is going to help us weather these coming weeks. God has also blessed us with no debt so we can manage circumstances like this more easily.
Second, we just setup online giving and it is available here. https://nortonbaptist.com/online-giving You can also choose to mail in your gift to us should you desire or bring it in when you are able to attend.
Third, we have chosen to pass on the CARES Act PPP loan. We were approved for the loan, but by the time we were approved it was becoming clear that God has provided for us well through these different days. Our leadership decided that we would rather see that money go to another small business or community that has greater need than we do.