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

SGBC Coronavirus Update

Leadership Update August 19, 2020

We want to thank all of you for your prayers as we’ve navigated through this challenging time in ministry. As we move toward normal patterns of ministry life, we ask that you exercise the same good judgment that you would in a bad flu season.

Family members who are sick or who have been exposed to COVID should stay at home, and we also ask that you show consideration for others by refraining from typical expressions of affection and fellowship such as handshakes and hugs. If due to a health condition or other reasons you would prefer to wear a face mask, please feel free to do so.

While we will shortly be eliminating the need to sign up for services, we will still be doing thorough disinfection and making hand sanitizers available throughout the building for those who would like to use it. We will also continue to clean rooms thoroughly after each use. 

Next Phase of Re-Opening

Elimination of Service Sign-Ups

Starting Sunday, August 30th, we will eliminate service sign-ups. For those that would like social distance seating, we will reserve a small section at the 9:00 am service.  Please arrive by 8:50 so we are able to get you seated in that section. 

Sunday Morning Children’s Ministry

On Sunday, September 13th, we will re-open our Sunday morning Children’s Ministry. If you plan on your child attending, please register your child so that we are able to prepare rosters and plan accordingly.

Our Sunday Morning Children’s Ministries are as follows:

9:00 AM - Nursery (ages 0-2), Sunday School (ages 3-12)

10:45 AM - Nursery (ages 0-2), Children’s Church (ages 3-5)

You can register your children here.

Wednesday Evening Programs

Kids4Truth will also begin on Wednesday, September 16th at 6:45 pm.  This program is open to children ages 4-11.  Because we need to order books, bags, patches, and t-shirts, we need all kids to be registered by September 1.  You can register your child here. If you miss the deadline for registration, please contact us at info@sgbc.me . 


Youth Fellowship Group
will also resume on Wednesday, September 16th in the Parsonage at the same time Kids4Truth meets.  Pastor Nick will be starting a new study - “Biblical Apologetics: Making a Defense of Our Faith”

 

Update #8: Thursday, July 16

As COVID-19 cases have surged again in Florida and in Sarasota County over the last several weeks, we want to take a moment to clarify our response to the surge, and also the rationale behind our response.

Since re-opening, our strategy has been “Distancing, Disinfection, and Discipline”, meaning that we have structured Sunday morning ministry seating so that there is at least 6 feet of distance between families, disinfection of surfaces between ministry gatherings, and the exercise of personal discipline by refraining from hugs and handshakes, and by parents keeping children with them at all times.

While there have been a few individuals in the body who informed leadership that they have contracted COVID-19, as of this moment we are not aware of any who contracted it from a ministry gathering. Also, each of them has immediately and properly quarantined themselves.

The primary goals of church leadership are to guard the physical health of the church and also to preserve our ability to gather for the Sunday morning worship services and the adult fellowship groups. We are doing this for two reasons: 1) To protect those in the body who, due to health and or age, are at much higher risk from COVID-19. 2) To guard against an outbreak in our body, which may cause the elders to return to only digital/online services for a few weeks in order to halt any potential further spread of COVID-19 in our body.

We appreciate all that you have done to honor and follow the direction we’ve given as leaders.  We are also thankful for the wisdom and trust you have demonstrated in the Lord. Those of you who are in vulnerable categories have either worn masks or have participated in services from home. And many of you who are at normal levels of risk have taken sensible precautions while maintaining the priority of fellowship.

As we meet and minister in these difficult times, the leadership encourages you to continue to demonstrate love for others by helping us to protect the vulnerable and to protect against outbreak in the following ways:

  • Working hard to honor the 6-foot distancing recommendation as you fellowship
  • Refraining from handshakes and hugs
  • Keeping your children with you at all times
  • Not coming to church services if you feel ill, and until you are better
  • Not coming to church services for 14 days if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Informing the leadership and those whom you have come into contact with if you test positive for COVID-19, and of course not returning to church services until you are no longer positive for COVID-19.

A few additional things that are important for you to know:

  • If due to physical condition or issues of conscience with regard to yourself or others you believe that it would be a good idea for you to wear a mask or face covering, we encourage you to do so.

  • If you reserve a spot for the Sunday morning worship service but discover later that you are unable to attend, please notify the office so that we can let another family have that spot.

  • We have many opportunities available right now for you to serve the body. You can view these on the website by clicking here.

Certainly, none of us imagined in January that we would be going through these events this year, and even now none of us really knows when these things will end. However, we do know that all of it is according to the design of our sovereign Lord, and that He has purposes in it that are for the benefit of our souls as we joyfully and confidently submit to His providential will.

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair

On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

Update #7: Monday, June 29

With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state, SGBC leadership has decided to resume social distance seating at both services. To ensure this, we are resuming sign ups for both services that will be emailed to everyone on Monday mornings.  To be added to the email sign up for services, please email your name here and we will be happy to add you.

 

Update #6: Saturday June 20th

Dear Church Family:

From the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have worked to understand the nature of the health threat, and to carry out our biblical responsibilities to shepherd the flock, protect the vulnerable, and respect the intentions of civil authorities as they sought to carry out their own responsibility to protect the public.

We realize that the COVID-19 crisis is not over, and that this virus is likely to be with us for some time to come. At the same time, we also must balance these concerns with the needs of the ministry.

Given these things, we have decided to take another measured step toward our normal operations. Starting Sunday JuNE 28th, you will not need to sign-up for the 10:45am worship service. You may sit where you choose, but since public health officials are still encouraging social distancing, we do ask that you to continue to bear this in mind as you interact with one another.

For those who belong to vulnerable populations, or who want to be assured of social distancing in the worship service, we encourage you to attend the 9am worship service where you will still need to sign up for assigned seating.

Please note that we still will not have nursery or children’s ministry throughout the month of July. Tentatively, we are hoping to restart these ministries in early August, though this will depend upon several factors. Of course, this means that we will continue to ask parents to keep their children with them at all times on Sunday mornings.

To see the current Sunday Ministries schedule, please click here.

As always, we are thankful for you and for your prayers for the elder team. Your love for one another is evident in your conduct and your service and is a testimony ultimately to your love for Jesus Christ.

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair

On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

Update June 11, 2020

Beginning on Sunday, June 21, the Youth Fellowship Group will resume meeting on Sunday Morning at 9 am in rooms 7-8.

Update June 3, 2020

Beginning on Sunday, June 14, the 9am GraceLife Fellowship Group (adult Sunday School) and the 10:45am Sojourner's Fellowship Group (adult sunday school) will begin meeting again on their regular Sunday morning times.

In order to allow for social distancing, you must sign up for the 9am GraceLife Fellowship Group just like the main service. It will be included in the sign up that will be emailed to everyone next Monday, June 8. 

Youth will continue to meet via ZOOM on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm. 

Children's Sunday classes and nursery will still not be offered at this time.

Limited Seating Service May 24 - Registration Required

Registration is necessary to allow enough space for social distancing.  There will be one family per pew and every other row of pews will remain empty.  Parties of 1 or 2 may be seated at opposite ends of the long pew.  In between each service, we will be disinfecting the Sanctuary and bathrooms according to CDC guidelines.

Leadership has decided beginning May 24 to move the morning services back to our regular service times of 9:00 am and 10:45 am. We are sending the sign up via email to those that are currently members or regular attenders of Saving Grace Bible Church each Monday.  

For those those who are unable to join us in person, we offer Livestream and YouTube for the service and have other opportunities during the week to connect with the body online or in person.  Please see the phone app calendar or the website calendar.  

For visitors that would like to attend, the link will be shared on the calendar each Thursday as long as seating is still available.  We will remove the link when we reach maximum capacity (with social distancing).

Important Information Regarding Services

  • We ask that everyone arrives at least 10 minutes early for service so that our greeters have plenty of time to get everyone seated before the service starts.
  • Following the 9 am service, we ask that everyone exits the sanctuary by 10:20 am, allowing the cleaning volunteers time to disinfect and clean before the next service.
  • For those attending the 10:45 am service, the doors will not open to the sanctuary for seating until 10:30 am.

How can I be added to the sign up email list if I am a regular attender?

If you are a member/regular attender, the sign up will be sent by email Monday of each week.  If you are not currently on the email list, you will need to email us at info@sgbc.me with your name and email and we will be happy to add you.

How can I be added to the sign up email list if I am a regular attender?

If you are a member/regular attender, the sign up will be sent by email Monday of each week.  If you are not currently on the email list, you will need to email us at info@sgbc.me with your name and email and we will be happy to add you.

 

Update #5: Wednesday May 6th

Dear Church Family:

Seven weeks ago, the elders made the decision to move all ministries to remote video technology to protect the church from the dangers of a public health crisis with many unknowns.

Since that time, we have followed regional and local data on COVID-19, considered state recommendations for limiting its spread, and tried to learn all that we could about the relative risks to vulnerable populations so that we could mitigate those risks when we resumed gathering for church services.

We understand that this public health crisis is not yet over. However, after reviewing the current COVID-19 data in our region and speaking with a physician about our risk mitigation plans, we decided it was prudent to begin resuming limited-capacity services starting Sunday May 17th.

While we would like to begin services sooner, the logistical challenges of holding limited-capacity services with no childcare requires some planning to do well. In the next several days we will be sending out details explaining how these limited-capacity services will work, and which weekly ministry and fellowship groups will begin meeting in person in addition to through remote video. As we roll out these and future plans, we ask that you bring any questions and concerns to leadership.

In the meantime, the elders would like to express our profound gratitude to God for His sanctifying and sustaining grace as we have walked through these unprecedented difficulties, and for the power of His Spirit which has been on display among the body of Saving Grace Bible Church. You have worked hard to find ways to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, and you have encouraged the leaders with your kind expressions of trust and appreciation.

We recognize that some of you are in the category of populations vulnerable to COVID-19 and have chosen to wait awhile longer before returning to in-person services. Please rest assured that we understand and respect your choice, and that until we are all together again, we will continue to offer remote video options for all of our regular ministry meetings.

“O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.” — Psalm 131

In Christ,

Colin Jordan, Chair

On Behalf of the Elders of Saving Grace Bible Church

 

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 

 

Worship Service Times