Cancellation of Services - March 17, 2020

Yesterday, the White House made another announcement regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). Together with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our government is now recommending that any gatherings with 10 or more people be canceled if they serve certain population groups. The call is to ask everyone to use "15 days to slow the spread."

The church leadership have spent hours praying, considering, and deliberating over what to do. We have come to a decision: We will respect and adhere by the government recommendation. We are canceling all of our physical gatherings until March 31st. This includes Oasis, AWANA, PRSM, Sunday School, Sunday Worship, and any special events (i.e. men's or women's ministry). If we get anymore updates from CDC, we will let you know promptly.

We are doing this out of love for the vulnerable and respect for the authorities (Romans 13:5), not fear of the situation. Our priority is not church programming but rather you, our family in Christ. We decided it is better to err on the side of caution.

We promise that we will keep monitoring the situation and update everyone as this pandemic progresses. There is no reason to panic. We have a loving God who hears our cry. Remember Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

If you have any questions about what COVID-19 is, any special needs that you need help with, or any prayer requests, please do not hesitate to contact us. Simply reply to this email. We have a special care team in place who will be more than happy to talk to you, work with you, and pray for you.

Because of Christ,
Pastor Chuck, the Pastoral Staff, and Elders

First Response about COVID-19 - March 14, 2020

As many of you are aware, the world is facing the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic. Yesterday, President Trump declared the situation a "national emergency."

We at Hope Community Bible Church are aware of the many concerns that people have and the uncertainty about how to respond to this new health threat. So after much prayer and thought we felt it was important to give everyone in our congregation an update about how we will be proceeding in the days ahead.

Accounting for the size and makeup of our congregation, we decided to keep meeting and not cancel any of our public gatherings. We want to assure everyone that we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure people’s safety. Here are seven measures that we will be enacting.

  1. A clean environment: We are already taking extra measures to wipe down and disinfect our church before every gathering (e.g. bathrooms, tables, doors, pews, etc.).

  2. Clean hands: We will be providing hand sanitizers in all the common areas.

  3. Reduce touching of common items: We will also be changing the way that we take our offering. We will not be passing the offering plates but we will be collecting money in the back of the church as people come and go. We will also do our communion service so as not to add any risk of transmission.

  4. Social distancing: We ask that you refrain from interpersonal contact (e.g. hugging, handshakes) when greeting one another. We want to do this especially for those that may be vulnerable, especially our elderly or those with a compromised health condition. Next, we would encourage people who are still uncomfortable to practice a little social distancing. We have a large sanctuary and we want people to feel safe while they are attending.

  5. Watching for symptoms: We also ask that for those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to please refrain from attending our services until your symptoms are gone. We want to show love by minimizing the risk to those who are most vulnerable from contracting this virus.

  6. Online services [Optional]: We will now be broadcasting our services live on YouTube and Facebook. The YouTube broadcast is currently more stable than Facebook but we are working to improve the telecast quality of both.

  7. Vigilance and prayer: The leadership team is constantly on the lookout for new updates on COVID-19 so we can respond appropriately. We are also in prayer for all of you.

These are all prudent measures to calm people’s fears and protect everyone. In the end we as believers must fix our eyes on God who is in control. We are called to live by faith and not be controlled by fear. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

We are in the hands of a loving God and we will trust Him. If circumstances change we will alert you to any changes or contingency plans. But for now let us take precautions but let us not give up meeting together.

Because of Christ,
Pastor Chuck, the Pastoral Staff, and Elders

© 2020 First Baptist Church of Park Ridge

1266 North Northwest Highway

Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
Tel: 847.692.6101