March 13, 2020
Faith Family:
By now you have probably received the latest update in a rapidly changing environment. The Governor has declared no public gatherings above 250 people for the next several weeks. We have met as a pastoral staff and decided on the following for this weekend only:
  • Sunday School for this week has been cancelled.
  • The Sunday evening service has been cancelled and the communion service portion rescheduled for later.
  • The Sunday morning service will be Livestreamed (more on that in a minute).
  • The ladies Pray Conference has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for 2021.
The reason we decided to cancel these meetings for just this weekend was based on the growing concerns over the spread of the virus, and the challenges of insuring fewer than 250 people with such short notice.
However, as I mentioned earlier, while the Sunday morning service for full attendance has been cancelled, we will be hosting a service on Livestream for our church family to watch and worship along with us. It will include some special music, Scripture reading, an offertory, and the message. Yesterday, I changed the text from I John 5 to Philippians 4 and have entitled the message, “Noise: Hearing God in a Chaotic World.” I do hope you will tune in to watch. You can find the Livestream link here:
Moving forward, we have agreed as a staff that the status quo is changing so rapidly that to make definitive plans at this point for next Wednesday or Sunday is simply not possible. Since the ban is only on gatherings over 250, our Sunday evening and Wednesday evening crowds typically fall just under that threshold, and I believe there are some options we can do for the Sunday morning service, but we will “cross that bridge” after getting through this weekend, Lord willing!
In the meantime, I want you to know that FBC is still open to serve you and your families! I am so grateful for our pastors and staff who are not only willing but excited to serve you during these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to contact us, please be in prayer, please look for ways to encourage and help others especially among believers, and PLEASE continue to look UP to a God who is good, loving and in control.
Pastor Kook
P.S. For those who would like to make sure your tithes and offerings still reach the church, you can mail to our address, or give online through the following link on our website. Please keep in mind that there are lower fees for the church if you use checking or savings rather than credit and debit cards:
March 13, 2020
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
Isaiah 26:3-4
Dear Faith Family,
The reasons for writing to you this morning are obvious! The national response to the current health situation is unprecedented for most if not all of us. I want to take a moment to share with you what the leadership of FBC is planning for our church body in the immediate future, while realizing that the situation could possibly change necessitating an alteration of these plans.
As of Friday, March 13, we are planning on holding our regularly scheduled services moving forward. Since this is a fluid situation, as new information becomes available, we will consider all options that will best contribute to the overall safety of our church family. Here are a few suggestions and details to help inform and prepare yourself and your family as we navigate through these unique times:
1. First, please do not panic or allow your mind to worry, but rather trust that the Lord is indeed in control!

a. The Bible tells us to be still and know that God is still God. (Psalm 46:10) “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)
b. We have a responsibility to use the rational mind given to us by the Creator and take the
information available to us to make good, sound decisions that contribute to the safety and health of ourselves, our families, and our church.
c. But we should not give ourselves over to the frenzied and often irrational fear that can often be found in these situations, because as Christians we know that absolutely nothing occurs that has not passed through the sovereign and omnipotent hand of God first!
2. Second, take the time to accurately inform yourself of the realities of the virus and the recommended steps to help contain its spread. Some of those recommendations are as follows:
a. Wash your hands and use sanitizer frequently. Then wash them again! And always wash your hands before eating.
b. Cover your coughing, sneezing, etc.
c. Limit physical contact such as handshakes and hugs with those outside your immediate family.
d. Stay home if you or a family member display obvious signs of sickness such as fever, coughing, etc.
9. Make wise and measured adjustments to your daily life that will contribute to good health but
don’t stop living life!

3. Third, here are some specific steps we are taking regarding our services to insure a safe and comfortable environment in which to worship:
a. Bulletins will be printed and placed on a table in the center of the foyer on Sunday morning to limit the number of people touching them. In addition, this week’s bulletin will be emailed to every member in Breeze on Sunday morning so that you can view it from your phone or tablet if you prefer.
b. Our greeters will be asked to do what they do best: greet you with a warm smile that is genuinely happy to see you! They will be asked to refrain from handshakes and hugs. Of course, feel free to greet one another as you please as long as it is mutually agreed upon!
c. Anyone with symptoms of sickness is strongly encouraged to remain home for your sake and the sake of others.
d. To protect all of our families as a whole, anyone with visible symptoms of illness at church may be graciously asked to dismiss yourself from the public gathering.
e. Because we are concerned with the overall health of all of our young families, any child
displaying obvious symptoms of sickness will not be permitted in the nurseries or children’s classes.
f. The elderly with existing health concerns appear to be the most vulnerable at this time. Please consider staying home for your sake, and know that we are here to help any way we can.
g. Our services will continue to be livestreamed for your benefit should you be unable to attend.
h. We will continue to collect an offering each week, though we may consider a centralized
location for you to drop your offering in rather than passing the plate. In addition, you can
continue to give online through our website or the Breeze app.
i. Communion is scheduled for this Sunday evening as well as for the Good Friday service. We are making plans on how to eliminate the common touching of the elements, but also understand if you choose to forego this part of the service.
Please understand that we are very much concerned with your overall well-being, both spiritually and physically. While I still hope to see many of you in our services, I also understand if you need to stay home. Regardless, the pastors of FBC are here to serve you and are willing to help any way we can. I’m not in the habit of quoting Jewish rabbis but came across something this morning that spoke to me about the practical implications of the changes being made in light of the virus.
Let me encourage you to look for ways, both common and unique, to fulfill the “one another” commands of the New Testament that highlight our responsibility to one another as a church family. Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky recently said,
Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we
avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we
physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be
of help to that other, should the need arise
Let’s embrace the opportunity before us to live out the realities of the greatest commandments to love God and love others!
Blessings to you,
Pastor Kook