Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information from the SGBC Elder Team:  Click here for the latest update

SGBC Coronavirus Update

Update #4: Thursday April 2nd

Dear Church Family,

Initially, the elders chose to cancel all ministry gatherings until the end of March. Like many of you, we held those plans loosely knowing that we might need to make adjustments as the COVID-19 situation in our region continues to unfold.

Wednesday afternoon, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, which asks Florida citizens to limit their movements to essential activities for the next 30 days while also maintaining the restriction on public gatherings of more than 10 persons.

Therefore, in the interest of public safety and of honoring the direction of our state and local authorities as they carry out their Romans 13 responsibilities, we must maintain these restrictions on gathering for a while longer.

However, we must also remember that we have much to rejoice in. We’ve verified with local authorities that this new Executive Order will not hinder our pastors or small volunteer team from broadcasting Livestream services and teaching from the church.

We also rejoice that God has provided us the means to temporarily move most of our ministry gatherings over to Livestream and video conferencing technology. In fact, we are now adding both the men’s and women’s studies back into our ministry schedule. Check the calendar on the app or the website for more information.

Even more, we rejoice in the evident work of God in all of you. That work has been made manifest in numerous ways, but perhaps most of all in the way that so many of you have stepped forward to sacrificially love, serve, and encourage one another.

So by God’s grace, we will move forward on this course we have set, looking to the Lord to direct our steps. As we do, the elders ask you to consider these things:

  • If you do not currently have the church app, please consider downloading it on your phone and signing up for the messaging feature. The app makes it much easier for you to access both live and archived teaching, to receive ministry updates immediately, and for all of us to stay connected.

  • When you join a sermon or fellowship group via Livestream, please take a moment to check in on the messaging section of the app. It helps us to know who is attending. Just take a quick selfie of you and your family and post it, or at least just post a quick "hello" or "we're here!" to let us know you're watching. 

  • If you have difficulty accessing or using any of the technology or apps we’re using during this time (e.g. Livestream, Zoom, our church app), please let us know so that we can help. You can call the church at 941-475-1905 and leave a message. The voicemail is checked often and your call will be returned shortly. You can also email Colin Jordan or Kristen Jordan.

  • Also, if you’re having any difficulty with online giving or questions about sending checks in to the church office, you can call the church and leave a message, or email Kristen Jordan and we’ll get your questions answered quickly.

Finally, remember that while these are difficult times, they are also filled with opportunities to put Jesus Christ on display. Care for one another by communicating regularly with other members of the body, by using your gifts and labors to meet spiritual and physical needs, and by encouraging one another with the truth of God’s Word.

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:10-11

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair
On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

Update #3: Thursday March 26th

Dear Church Family,

While the COVID-19 outbreak has brought many of our normal activities to a halt for a season, it has not stopped the work of the Church. Ministry must always go forward, though it will look different for just a little while.

In the Lord’s timing, we will all worship together again, and that day will be a sweet time of celebration. In the meantime, we recognize that some might be tempted to fear that these temporary restrictions on gathering will hinder effective ministry or harm the Church in some way. 

The elders want to encourage you not to think this way. God is the One who brought about these events and He is the One who installed governments to protect the public good (Romans 13:1-7). We fear neither this virus nor any temporary limitations we must endure. Instead, we draw comfort from the truth that in spite of any and every obstacle, Christ will build His Church (Matthew 16:18).

We’ve seen this truth born out time and again over the past 2000 years as the greatest gospel witness and most fruitful Christian ministry often takes place in times of the greatest pressure and difficulty. Christians are weaned from their natural desire for comfort and ease and learn to press into kingdom priorities, and unbelievers are faced with the truth that all of the pleasures of this world really are passing.

So as we make these temporary alterations to our ministry schedule and practice for this short time, we want to encourage you to take every opportunity to hear truth, to serve one another, and to find ways to safely interact and fellowship with the body of Christ, even if that’s remotely through phone, video, text, and email.  

You’ll be hearing regularly from leadership, so please be on the lookout for updates and information from us on the app, the website, and via email. Also, each member of our pastoral staff will record a brief video to encourage the body. These will be released on the website and we will notify you through the church app and email when they are posted.

We’re also creating a page on our website that will function as a communications hub for our schedule, updates, and instructions on using features like Zoom and Livestream. Here is a link to that page.

Ministry Schedule

  • Sundays at 10:45am: The main worship service will be broadcast via Livestream. This will include announcements, music, and Pastor Marc’s sermon.

  • Sunday Children’s Ministry Opportunity: Starting Sunday, April 5th, our Sunday school teachers will be recording a 15-20-minute video lesson from the Generations of Grace curriculum; one lesson for children ages 3-5, and one for children in 1st through 6th grade. We will also be emailing out the lesson materials to the families each week. To sign up to have the lesson emailed to you, please fill out this form.

  • Mondays at 12pm: Starting March 30, Pastor Marc will be holding prayer meetings via Zoom every Monday and Friday at 12pm.
  • Wednesdays at 11am: Pastor Steve’s “Sojourners Fellowship Group” will be broadcast via Zoom starting April 1.

  • Wednesdays at 6:30pm: Pastor Nick’s Youth Group will be broadcast via Zoom starting April 1.

  • Wednesdays Kids 4 Truth Reminder: Don't forget to have your children email a video of them reciting their weekly verses to their leader.  If you need leader's phone number, please email us here.

  • Thursdays at 630pm: Pastor Eric’s “GraceLife Fellowship Group” will be broadcast via LIVESTREAM starting April 2.

  • Fridays at 12pm: Pastor Marc will be holding his twice weekly prayer meeting via Zoom.

The website and the phone app calendar will be kept up to date with links to join any of the events listed above.

Evening service will be put on hold for at least the next few weeks, and we will temporarily pause our Men’s Study and Women’s Study for now. Pastor Eric will also be reaching out to the College & Career group to let them know how the group will meet during this time, and we will let you know soon about Pastor Eric’s plans for the Wednesday night study.

Our Priorities During This Season

The priority of the elders is what it has always been, and that is to feed, shepherd, and equip the people of God. In such an unusual time where normal close contact isn’t possible, pursuing that priority means we’re going to have to be all the more intentional, and that we will need to communicate with the body clearly and often.

For the members and regular attenders of Saving Grace, the priority also remains unchanged. Together, we must seek every means of grace God grants us to be sanctified, and to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Again, in a time where it is difficult to gather, this means that none of us can afford to be passive. We need to actively look for ways to serve one another and meet one another’s spiritual and physical needs, and to make fellowship and discipleship a regular priority, even if meeting in person isn’t possible. We must also continue to faithfully support the ministry through our offerings and our prayers.

Finally, the leadership of husbands and fathers during this time is paramount. You’re called upon by God’s grace to lovingly provide, guard, and instruct your families in wisdom and righteousness. Perhaps most of all at this time you are called to be an example to them and your brothers of faithful trust in the Lord. Paul said it simply in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, and these are fitting words on which to close:

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair
On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

 

Update #2: Wednesday, March 18

Dear Church Family:

The elders are continuing to closely monitor the situation with COVID-19 Coronavirus and are keeping up to date on the latest recommendations from our local, state, and national authorities.

At our meeting last night, we discussed the importance of maintaining the ministry and body life of the church, and also our responsibility to respect the intent of our governing authorities to protect the health of the public.

Ministry Gatherings

Since authorities believe the best way to slow the spread of this virus is to limit gatherings to only 10 people for at least the next few weeks, we have made the following changes to our ministry schedule:

  • From today, March 18th through the end of March, all ministry gatherings are canceled.

  • For Sunday morning services on March 22nd and March 29th, the 9:00am service is canceled. We will still have the 10:45am service, including music and preaching, though it will not be in-person. It will be through Livestream only. Instructions on how to access Livestream are included below or through this link.

This is a rapidly evolving national emergency, so it is possible that we may need to make adjustments to our ministry schedule and practices beyond the month of March. The elders are committed to keeping you well-informed with clear and timely updates, and we will do so via email, the church app, and the website. 

Giving

Remember that the ministry of the church still goes on even though many other activities of daily life are temporarily put on hold, and that ministry is supported by the regular giving of God’s people.

You can give your regular offering conveniently through the SGBC website or our church app, or you can send it in via regular mail or drop it off in-person at the church. To give via the website, just go to the church website and click on the giving tab

To give via the phone app, click on “giving” on the bottom of the screen. If you haven’t already done so, you will be required to create a secure account. If you’ve never given electronically before and you have questions, please call the office and we will help you get set up. If you choose to drop your offering at the church, please call ahead to make sure someone is in the office. 

Some additional things you should know:

  • The pastors and staff will still be keeping their regular office hours, and the pastors are still available for counseling appointments.

  • To access Livestream, go to the church website and click on the rotator picture titled "Livestream March 22 & 29th". On the church app, click on the "Livestream 10:45am" button on the homescreen. You'll also find the order of worship and song lyrics for the service there. 

  • If you are uncertain about how to access Livestream, call the church office at 941-474-1905. We’ll be happy to walk you through it.

Finally, remember that anxiety can manifest in many ways. Some may be fearful for their health or for their loved ones. Others may worry about the effects on the economy, the stock market, their business, or their job. Some of you may be experiencing those fears, and even if you aren’t, you certainly know others who are.


God has given us a wonderful opportunity in this uncertain and historic season to demonstrate the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to trust the Lord and pursue Him wholeheartedly. Be bold in your witness of the truth, sacrificial in your love for the church, and take every opportunity He gives to magnify His name in both word and deed. 

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”

Isaiah 26:3-4

In Christ,

 

Colin Jordan, Chair

On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

 

 

Update #1: Friday, March 13

Dear Church Family:

Given the widespread concerns about the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the elders of Saving Grace Bible Church believe it is appropriate to let you know what we are doing now to safeguard the physical health of the church.

We have stationed hand sanitizer bottles at both entrances to the building— in the foyer and near the bathrooms in the children’s wing. Also, children’s ministry volunteers are disinfecting table-tops, door handles, and nursery toys after every class. Finally, all surfaces that people touch (door handles, etc.) are disinfected after every use of the building.

Currently, there are no planned changes to our ministry schedule. All classes, studies, and services are continuing as normal. If circumstances should warrant any changes to our ministry schedule, you will be updated via email, the church app, and the website.

For your part, we just ask that you exercise the same natural and loving care for others that you would during an active flu season. All indications are that COVID-19 is not a serious illness for the young and healthy. However, the elderly and those with serious chronic health conditions are at a somewhat higher risk. To protect the vulnerable, if you are feeling sick or running a fever, please stay home. Of course, all of us should be washing our hands regularly.

If at some point you believe it is wise for you to stay home, you can watch the 10:45am Sunday worship service on Livestream. You can find the Livestream link on the church app and on our website. Your regular giving can also be done remotely through the app or website as well.

Most importantly, bear in mind that God uses these events to refine us and reveal sinful fears we may have. It is prudent to take reasonable measures to minimize real risks, resting in the knowledge that our life is ultimately in the Lord’s hands (Proverbs 21:31). But if you find yourself struggling with worry and fear, please reach out to someone in leadership or to another mature believer who will encourage you from God’s Word. It should be our joy to strengthen and minister to one another in this way.

Finally, remember that times of uncertainty are fertile ground for Christian ministry. You have regular interaction with unbelievers at work, in your neighborhood, or even in your own home who need to hear about the hope of the gospel.

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair
On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

My Post copy 32

9:00 am & 10:45 am 

 

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