Ministry Update

A Message from Pastor Jay
 
March 13, 2020

Good Afternoon Great Bridge FWB Church, GBCA, and ECD Families, As we face the growing public health concern, now declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, it is possible many in our community will be affected by the flu or COVID-19 in upcoming days and weeks. At Great Bridge Free Will Baptist Church and our various ministries, we encourage a culture of prevention not paranoia. We want to encourage everyone in administration, our support staff and faculty, Church leadership, our Church congregation, and all Academy and ECD families, to take the right precautions, use common sense, and take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of those in our care.

Over the last several days, our ministry leaders have watched seminars, read articles, and followed the updates from the proper authorities concerning the COVID-19 virus, better known as the coronavirus. We continue to stay abreast of the updates to ensure we are doing everything possible to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our people and others as safe as possible. 
As you may already know, the Governor of Virginia has ordered all K-12 public schools to close beginning March 16th through March 30th. GBCA will follow this mandate as a precautionary measure concerning the COVID-19 virus. All Academy administration, support staff, and teachers will report for a teacher workday on March 30th. Unless instructed otherwise, school will reopen on Tuesday, March 31st. Our administration is in the process of helping our teachers develop at home lessons via virtual classrooms and other external study methods, in order to keep our students engaged with their academic pursuits while the school is closed. Each teacher will contact their individual classroom’s parents with detailed instructions as soon as possible. This effort will enable us to count these days as school days as well as keep our academic calendar intact. Please make sure your students follow the procedures provided them. Teachers will report for work on Monday morning, March 16th, at 8:30 a.m. for virtual classroom training and to clean and disinfect the building. If you would like to volunteer to help with the cleaning, please come out Monday morning and we will have a detailed list of what needs to be accomplished. This will be a great time to come and pick up your student’s books, etc. they will need to work at home. Later in the day Monday, all parents and students will be notified as to what is required academically during this two-week period.

In keeping with the Governor’s mandate, our ECD program, as of now, infants to K-3 only will remain open for all those who choose to attend. We will not offer before care, aftercare, or public-school aftercare.  Our ECD Director will follow up with an email soon with more details.

Our Church worship services will continue as planned with one minor adjustment. Sunday school will be canceled, and we will have one 10:30 a.m. worship service and our evening service with Todd Smith and the FWB Foundation will be changed from 5:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Worship Services will be live-streamed for those who may not be able to attend or who feel they should not attend so as not to compromise their health.
In all of this, we must never forget we serve the Sovereign God of the Universe. In the midst of the concern, fear, and yes, even panic among some, Psalm 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Paul also told Timothy that “We have not been given a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind.” While we must be cautious and do all we can to help protect ourselves and one another, worry does nothing but fuel the flames of anxiety and panic. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”

This is a difficult time for many as they deal with the realities of this pandemic. It is an essential time for us, as the Church, to share the Hope that is in us providing peace that passes all understanding. Our prayers are with each of you as you seek to be salt and light during this time in our community.
Additional Sources of Information and Help:

Below are links providing additional information relevant to your ministry.
 1. CDC Link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html
 2. National Association of Free Will Baptists: https://nafwb.org/coronavirus/
3. The Gospel Coalition: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-we-know-coronavirus/
4. Lifeway Resources: https://ministrygrid.com/coronavirus

PREVENTION INFOGRAPHIC PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE WILL BAPTISTS Download at: https://nafwb.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/iStock-1202231786-scaled.jpg

 
 
Pastor Jay
Lead Pastor