Announcements

Chuch Communication 18 March 2020

Washington Baptist Church

 

180 Gay Street

Post Office Box 209

Washington, VA 22747

540.675.3336

Church Communication

We’re In This Together: Driven by Faith, not by Fear

 

 

 

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. (James 1:1)

 

 

Who would have ever thought that those words written by the brother of Jesus around 55 A.D. would be so applicable in the year 2020? Although congregants of WBC are not twelve tribes (more like 30 family units) and are not scattered among the nations (more like, spread out across counties), we are still a group of believers that are experiencing physical separation due to an external circumstance. In our case, exercising caution in the face of the coronavirus (COVID #19) outbreak has prompted for us to suspend our meeting together for Sunday worship services until a yet-to-be-determined date. During this period of physical separation, let us consider the following:

I. Perspective and Perseverance

While things might feel hopeless, they aren’t. As people of faith, we know that God’s Providential work is always taking place. We don’t understand it or like it, but we are called to stay open to it. During our time apart, let us contemplate and concentrate on the power of Holy Scripture:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 6-9)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:2-5)

II. Prevention and Practices

We, like other churches, have temporarily suspended our regular Sunday morning worship services. As suggested by our national health authorities, we hope that you will take active measures to prevent exposure to the coronavirus by practicing:

  • Social Distancing: Stay home when possible and avoid large crowds when you must go out
  • Safe Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and hot water; use a hand sanitizer often; avoid touching your face, nose and eyes; avoid hugs and handshakes when greeting others; and use other guidance provided on numerous websites
  • Special Actions: Observe common sense practices such as drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, getting fresh air, taking supplemental vitamins (if medically approved), etc.

 

So as not to “back down” entirely in the face of crisis and in order to continue our witness to those in need, we again offer the following opportunity for any of you who wish to participate. (Please do not feel compelled to put yourselves at risk.):

  • Sundays, 11:00-12:00 noon, WBC Sanctuary is open for quiet personal prayer and meditation (participants make no bodily contact and spread out across the room)
  • Sundays, 11:15-11:45 a.m., scripture readings and guided prayers are offered in the Sanctuary (participants make no bodily contact and spread out across the room)

You might find the following suggestions to be helpful as we continue to spend our Sundays apart:

  • Rest: While taking a break from church attendance, enjoy “sleeping-in”. (Mark 4:38: Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow.)
  • Relax: Give your mind a break from the worry and weariness brought on by all of the “bad” news. (John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.)
  • Read: Delve into your Bible/devotional materials and use this time to learn more about our wonderful Lord and His promises of strength, peace and protection. (II Timothy 2:15: Study to show yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.)
  • Renew: Allow the Spirit of our Lord to refresh you with grace and goodness. (Ephesians 4:23-24: Be renewed in your minds; and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.)
  • Reach Out to Others. Isolate yourselves from physical contact, but not from communication with one another. Use your church directory to call each other - just to check in. No answer? Leave a message of encouragement. (I Corinthians 12:24-28: But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed you in the church…)
  • Really Pray: Pray fervently for each other. Pray for the victims (present and future) of the coronavirus. Pray for the medical personnel, first responders, police, and others who care for the ill. Pray for the leadership of our country, state and county. Pray for the elimination of the coronavirus. (James 5:16: …pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.)

 

While exercising caution, let us not forget to remain positive and optimistic. If you have any thoughts, prayers, readings, or poems you would like to share with your WBC family, please send them to us. We will include them in our CHURCH COMMUNICATION mailings which will be sent out weekly during this time of isolation. Meanwhile, we will continue to update you on any scheduling information as it becomes available.

One last thought. It was Dr. B. B. Warfield, Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, who declared:

The Bible is both provocative and practical.

 

So, just how practical was Jesus’ brother, James? See for yourself!

 

 

Wash Your Hands…

James 4:8

 




All Church Activities are Canceled for Sunday 22 March 2020

Sunday School and Church Service for tomorrow, March 22nd, are cancelled.  This decision was made by WBC’s Deacons and Church Council out of immediate concern for the well-being of our congregation.  Decisions regarding future Sundays will be made on a weekly basis.

In order to accommodate those of you who might wish to find solace within WBC’s Sanctuary, the doors will be open tomorrow from 11:00-Noon for personal prayer, quiet meditation, and scripture reading.  From 11:15-11:45, the pastor will be reading select Bible passages and offering guided prayers for members of our church family, our community, our nation and our world.  Please do not feel compelled to put yourselves at risk.  This is simply offered as an option for those wanting to attend.




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