Ashland Avenue Baptist Church’s Plans, Precautions, and Encouragement
We love y’all and can’t imagine facing this health crisis without an amazing family like y’all. We would encourage each of you to be in fervent prayer and have heart and mind saturated with the Scripture.
In light of our continued consultation with medical professionals, the new Center for Disease Control guidance, and the growing closures in our own community, all in-person gatherings at Ashland are now temporarily suspended, including Sunday morning corporate worship.
While we are temporarily suspending our gatherings and longing for the day when we can gather together again as a church family, please understand that our church isn’t canceled. On Sundays, we are (usually) the church gathered. Throughout the week, we are the church scattered. We are simply entering into a prolonged time of being the church scattered, but the church we will continue to be as we seek to grow together in Christ.
Scattered Sunday Worship – Sunday worship will continue to be a priority for all of us; however, we will transition to Scattered Worship wherever you are.
· Sunday Morning – We will provide online tools for you to access at 10 AM on Sunday mornings. Resources will include a teaching time for adults, a teaching time for children, songs for you to sing, prayer, and instruction for giving online. Resources will be available from our church website.
· Strength for the Scattered – Each weekday, our pastors will be providing a short devotional via email and social media with prayer prompts and action points for the day.
Bible Fellowship Groups – In these days of isolation, BFGs will be vital in order for our church to care for one another.
· Weekly Gatherings – While groups will not meet in-person, we ask each group to connect with each other at least once a week using free video conferencing technology such as Zoom. Use these meetings to pray for one another, to encourage one another, to teach, and to discuss the Sunday morning teaching or the Strength for the Scattered devotions for life application.
· Constant Communication – In addition to the weekly gathering, use text messaging, emails, phone calls, FaceTime, and other means of communication to encourage one another, particularly those who may live alone. It is not good for man to be alone, and we want to strive to ensure that every person in our church family stays connected as much as possible.
· Serve One Another – There is no doubt that needs are going to arise in our church family during these times, so we’re continuing to ask that our BFGs lead the way in serving those in our groups. Whether it be offering to go the grocery store for someone who is vulnerable or unable or helping a family with childcare when childcare facilities are being shut down, look for ways to serve the body through your BFG. Our Deacons will be leading the way but it will take all of us, and our BFG’s are vital.
Service & Mission – Gospel opportunities will continue to abound in our community as neighbors are laid off, unable to get out, and impacted by the virus.
· Love Your Neighbors – Check in on your neighbors. Ask them what needs they have, and then strive to meet them. Ask your neighbors if you can pray for them, then do so with them. If they are isolated, invite them into your home. Provide a meal if you can. Love your neighbors.
· Share the Gospel – The world is currently living in a state of fear and panic. As Christians, we have the world’s only hope in Christ. Look for opportunities to share with others why you are so hopeful in the midst of such uncertainty and difficulty.
· Share “But God Meant It for Good!” Stories – We want to be a good news people, and we want to share stories of what the Lord is teaching us and how he is working for good in the midst of the Coronavirus. We’re asking you to record a short video (1 min or less) about this work of God in your life and then share it on social media as a means of encouragement. Start the video by saying something like, “One of the ways the Lord is using the coronavirus for good is…” Then use the hashtag: #ButGodMeantItForGood
· Pray for the World – The Lord hears the cries of his people. Pray for leaders, for doctors and frontline responders, for the sick, and for one another that this virus would result in the glory of God and the good of humanity around the world.
· Consider the Benevolence Fund – We are opening up an online giving option for our Benevolence Fund should you choose to give in this way. Our fund is currently in a healthy position. If you have benevolence needs or know of someone, please contact Jon Canler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Roger Holland (859-421-8165).
Pastor David, Pastor Casey, Pastor Nate, Pastor Todd