Chicago West Elder response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Chicago West Bible Church Family,

 

In light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, our elders have been praying and discussing what is the best way forward for Chicago West Bible Church’s Sunday worship service. We believe the Lord has given us clarity and consensus for a specific adjustment. We would like to encourage our church body to follow best preventative practices, determine to have a biblical perspective, and to pray boldly!

This Sunday, essential staff and essential volunteers ONLY will come together for our worship service at Michele Clark High School. There will be no Children’s Ministry provided, and therefore no childcare available. We will prepare and then hold our worship service as usual, and ask that everyone else join us online live, at our Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/chiwestbiblechurch/

(Please note: this message relates solely to Sunday service. Other Ministry updates, such as Community Groups and Men’s and Women’s events, will be provided as soon as we reach clarity on those matters.)

 

Best Preventative Practices- Our desire to exercise best preventative practices has been a major factor in our decision. In that regard, the gathering of many people together in one space is to be avoided if at all possible. This has been determined as one of the highest incubators for the spread of this virus.

 

We want to be wise in all we do for the love and care for each other.  We also don’t want to allow fear to lead the way and operate in anxiousness (Philippians 4:6). We are basing this following decision on love for one another and our neighbors (Philippians 2:4)!

Through our Facebook Live service, everyone will be able to join us in musical worship, vital church information, and a timely message from Pastor Jon. We know that a virtual gathering isn’t ideal in a normal situation, but we know that this is not the case currently. We also believe that the Lord will use this method for good and the furthering of His purposes that we can’t even fully comprehend at this point. We can already sense some opportunities that this will provide for us. We are grateful that we have this option!

 

This is what we would like to highlight right now for our Sunday service, March 15th @ Michele Clark HS:

  • Pray for our service and all those that will come together for it and for discernment for what the Lord would have for us in days and weeks to come.
  • Prepare to get ready to join us online. Please make sure you can access our Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/chiwestbiblechurch/. When the service is ready to go live you will be notified. Contact Sam right away if you have questions about how to access this or to get it set up by computer or phone at sforshtay@chiwestbiblechurch.org
  • Plan the best situation for you and your family to participate in our service together! We take opportunities in our service to celebrate all those who are online with us!
  • Please consider who you can encourage in our church body during this season and who to invite to join us online for our service!

 

For final clarity, our decision for this Sunday is to have our usual worship service but to offer it to everyone online. We will be making decisions weekly going forward as we seek the Lord for His guidance and provision, and we will continue communicating updates to our church body! If you have any questions or need more clarity, please respond directly to this email.

 

Biblical Perspective- One of the great challenges of pastoring is teaching people not to be fearful, but to walk in faith. In our omni-connected world, incessant but incomplete news reports about mysterious events—like an unexplained, rapidly spreading illness—are fertile fields for fear to take root and grow. It's in the face of such information cycles that God's people need faith. Steady consumption of God's word reassures us of His faithfulness while combatting worry and fear.

Wisdom dictates both an awareness of what is happening around us and a biblically informed response. As we meditate on God's word and cast all our cares on Him, He will sustain us.

We also want to encourage all of us to keep our focus on our mission to make disciples. In this time of uncertainty and feeling of vulnerability many are open to hear what they usually aren’t willing to consider. The Lord often uses the circumstances of life to draw people to Himself. We can truly live out being “ambassadors for Christ” as stated in 1 Cor 5:20. Be aware of how the Spirit would lead you to reach out to others in word and deed while full of His grace and truth!

 

Bold Prayers- Let’s take this opportunity to seek the Lord to move during this time.

  • researchers to identify a vaccine
  • healing for the sick
  • protection for those not infected
  • discernment for personal and church best practices
  • wisdom for our governmental and institutional officials
  • concern and practical care for others
  • open doors to share our faith and represent Christ
  • lost would come to know Christ
  • provision for our community to grow as the body of Christ
  • to keep a Biblical perspective that brings peace over fear

Every Sunday, we are reminded again about what a great privilege we have to come and worship the Lord together. During such a time as this, it shows us not to take for granted the blessing of gathering as the body of Christ!

The elders of Chicago West Bible Church

 

 

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