COVID-19 Update from Pastor Steve Layton Saturday, March 14, 2020 | 4:00 pm
Know for certain that you are in my thoughts and prayers today!
In light of new information and conversations with church leadership, the following decisions have been made this afternoon regarding our gathering together.
1.That we cancel all services and public meetings at this time, including Sunday School, Worship and Finance Committee tomorrow. 2.That we tentatively plan for our next congregational gathering of worship to be on April 5, Palm Sunday. 3.That if possible, Chase and I will provide a Facebook Live broadcast at 10:30 am in the morning. This broadcast will originate from my office with a service of prayer and proclamation and may be watched anytime from our web or Facebook page.
As we know, the current situation is evolving with information, recommendations and outcomes changing quickly. Know that our church leadership is communicating regularly and paying close attention to the recommendations of health care professionals and local government.
During this difficult time, we are encouraging all of our members and friends to stay connected with our church family. You can access our services in the following ways...
Please reach out to our church leadership if you have questions or need assistance.
We are family and we are in this thing together. Even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God, who is working all things according to His will and that He is in absolute control.
Steve Layton Senior Pastor Riverchase Baptist Church, Hoover AL
COVID-19 Update Friday, March 13, 2020
By now, all of us are aware of the COVID-19 situation unfolding both nationally and globally. Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness. In times of fear and crisis, we need to be reminded that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
We wanted to share with you Riverchase Baptist’s plan for taking proactive steps in regard to our church family and gatherings in the days to come.
Currently, we plan to continue to gather for Sunday School, worship and mid-week Bible Study.
As we know, the current situation is ever-evolving with things changing quickly. We may need to make adjustments to our regular gatherings moving forward, but for now we plan to continue our regular schedule. We will be paying very close attention to the recommendations from our local authorities, especially the Alabama Department of Public Health. We are monitoring the news and staying up to date with our city, state, and federal guidelines.
On our church campus, we are continuing to utilize good cleaning and sanitizing practices to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. You will likely also notice additional measures around the church and in our church gatherings. These practices include:
• We are providing hand sanitizer throughout the facility. • We are providing individual use coffee creamers and sanitizing coffee pot handles. • We are using verbal greetings and elbow bumps instead of handshakes and hugs. • We are not passing the offering plates during services; however, we are providing offering stations and/or opportunities to give as people exit following services. (We are also reminding people that they can give online through our web site.) • We are encouraging our members and guests to wash their hands with soap and water frequently. • We are asking those that are sick to stay home to prevent exposure of our congregation and guests to illness.
We are encouraging all of our members and friends to stay connected to our church family during this time. Our services are broadcast on Facebook Live each Sunday at 10:30 am. You can access the service in the following ways...
Some of our members have asked what else can we do during this season of uncertainty.
1.First and foremost...PRAY for our leadership, church family and community.* 2.Stay Connected through our web page and social media outlets. 3.Check on each other regularly and let our church staff know of members and friends that are sick and/or in need prayer. 4.Support the ministry with your service. Volunteer to help sanitize key areas around the church or serve in groups or ministries where the leaders are sick. 5.Love each other and our neighbors well. **
Moving forward, we will continue to update you regarding RBC gatherings and activities through email, as well as these social media platforms:
We are family and we are in this thing together. We certainly don’t want you to be worried about COVID-19, just prudent. Remember that God has not called us to live in fear but in faith. Even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God, who is working all things according to His will and that He is in absolute control.
Steve Layton Senior Pastor Riverchase Baptist Church, Hoover AL _____
HOW CAN I PRAY *
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." As believers, we have the authority which Christ has given us to pray against the spread of any disease and to pray for healing for those who have the Coronavirus or any other sickness. o Begin your prayer time by praising God for His sovereignty. He still is and always will be in control of all things. Pray that we will trust Him to help us navigate this season of uncertainity. o Pray for wisdom for governmental leaders, the CDC, researchers, other medical personnel, leaders in churches, and other strategic places to respond wisely and appropriately. o Pray for cooperation and collaboration among medical agencies and personnel around the world to work together for the well-being and health of all people. o Pray for the protection of doctors, nurses, crisis response teams, emergency first responders, researchers and other medical professionals who risk their lives to protect ours. o Pray for comfort and healing for those stricken with this virus. Pray they will receive the quality health care they need to regain health and strength. Pray their healing and for the vaccine to cure and eradicate this virus. o Pray for the protection and safety of those considered “at-heightened-risk.” o Pray for peace, calmness, freedom from fear, anxiety, and panic among individuals and communities. o Pray we would be proactive in proclaiming the gospel and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Pray this event would be a catalyst for revival.
HOW CAN I LOVE MY CHURCH FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS WELL**
Take a moment and look around you. Who are those people in your life that may be thankful for a helping hand during this time? Offer to run errands for those who have high-risk health concerns or send a note of encouragement. The tendency is to go into a self-protective mode and isolate; however, we can show others that they are not alone. How the church loves well is important. Challenge yourself to encourage someone today. Sometimes, the most powerful thing we can do is reach out and let someone know we care.
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.