Dear Family and Friends of Stonebridge Baptist Church,
I pray you are well! In case you have not watched the 'Ask Pastor Kevin' segment on our church's Facebook Page (and if you haven't, please do, and while you are there-like and follow us for regular content), and until you receive a letter from me through our deacons concerning relaunch, I wanted to give you some more news and insight on the upcoming weeks!
First, God has been so very good to us as a people during this time of testing and inconveniences and life changes during the Covid-19 shutdown. We have so very much to be thankful for! God has not only chosen, in His Sovereign Goodness and Pleasure, to use us for His glory, to advance the gospel across the city and nation and even the world through our church, He has provided for all of our needs, preserved us in remarkable ways and indeed, taught all of us so very much about those things that are and are not ultimately important. This has been, in many ways, a very holy time.
You have heard me speak and write of relaunch often the past few weeks. In all messages, the major points have been: 1) We want to do all things for His glory, 2) We want to do things according to His timeframe (not ours), 3) We want Him to show us what He desires for our church and 4)That we must do all things in love, striving together, praying together to preserve the unity of the church as we enter this next phase.
Because God has been so Good to us, and because we believe He has plans for our church to glorify Himself in the process, we never wanted to simply ‘reopen.’ To ‘reopen’ implies resuming ‘normal activities.' We want our new norm to be about those things that ultimately matter when it comes to Christ and His Kingdom. We are here to worship, to pray, to hear the Word proclaimed, to study the Word, to equip the saints, to make disciples here and abroad, and to serve and bless our communities.
With these things in mind, ‘relaunch,’ must be something special, a time to come together as a church family to rededicate ourselves collectively to the Lord, to one another, to His Kingdom purposes. It must be a time in which we are praying for revival and reformation, and that is a far cry from ‘reopening and resuming business as usual.’
The Lord laid something on my heart a few weeks ago. I shared it with a few, but I needed confirmation from Him. Approximately a week ago, confirmation came in an amazing way: a church member shared what the Lord had laid on her heart, feeling led to share it with me, and she had no idea it was the very thing I had been praying about and wrestling with. Further conversations and prayers and comments from others continued to affirm that this was to be our path to relaunch:
Sunday, June 7—Church-wide, outdoor, by the crosses, spread out, time of worship and preaching. Saturday and Sunday congregations coming together as one church (because we are one church), worshipping, praising God, for He is worthy, and recommitting ourselves collectively to Him. Yes, it may rain. If it does, we will simply push things back a week. This is an ‘all of us together,’ time.
The theme for that weekend is: REGATHER/REDEDICATE
Saturday/Sunday, June 13,14—Services in the sanctuary. There are many logistical issues we must practice during both services. The theme this weekend is: REORGANIZE/REHEARSE
Saturday/Sunday, June 20,21—Services in the sanctuary. The emphasis here: getting word out to the public and our people and this is the official ‘RELAUNCH.’
There are more details to get out. We will be following the health protocols and guidelines set out by our state convention, the governor’s office, the CDC, and the White House along with our insurance company. I encourage you to read the emails sent out to you from the deacons on the theological/biblical reasons why we are moving forward together as one, doing all we can to preserve the unity and bond of peace, honoring one another in love, for the glory of God.
There is more news ahead as well. We will address Bible studies, small groups, age group ministries, and other questions you may have. As you can imagine, there is a very long list of things to address. For now, we want our focus to be on praying for this time, and moving forward together, and I pray, preparing to praise God together with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength for He is worthy!
More information in the days ahead. Stay tuned!
For the King and His Kingdom!
Grace to You,