PASTORAL UPDATE: 6/2/2020
Dear FBC Family and Friends,
As we continue regular regathering as a church we are attempting to reintroduce some ministry initiatives. Starting this Sunday (June 7th) all adult Sunday School classes are meeting at 9am in their regular rooms. No children’s Sunday School classes or nursery will be provided yet. While we are trying to maintain some measure of social distancing as best as we are able and provide a safe and healthy environment for gathering on Sunday, there is still some uncertainty as to how best do this with all children’s ministry activities. In addition to the adult Sunday School classes, other ministry activities are reconvening:
We are planning to have a Member’s Meeting June 21st.
The Finance Committee, Deacon Board, Church Council, and Youth Committee are planning their respective meetings.
We are planning potential outreach initiatives for late summer and early fall.
There have been some questions about hosting Vacation Bible School, God’s Girl Camp, and a Father & Son Night of Worship. From discussions with leaders of these initiatives, it is probably wise to postpone these events for now. There may be potential to have some modified version of these outreach and discipleship initiatives later in the summer but much of that depends on families and volunteers willing to participate in hosting children in a way that follows some reasonable social distancing measures, additional sanitation procedures, and wisdom in how to best invite the public to participate.
Above all, we encourage everyone to continue praying for us as your pastors, the Deacons, and other ministry leaders as we seek to work together to serve the gospel witness of FBC. Like many of you, we want to thank the Deacons specifically for their tireless example of faithfulness, godliness, love, and commitment to reaching out and serve needs during this pandemic experience. And again, thank you to everyone for continuing to submit to the rule of selfless love that Christ himself has shown us in the Gospel and motivates through us with the Holy Spirit.
By way of reminder we would encourage you to keep the following tips in mind as we continue reconvening:
Livestreaming the Sunday morning service and Wednesday night devotionals will continue.
Please stay home if you are sick.
Continue using the hand sanitizers at every main entrance.
There are a few masks available in the foyer at the main street entrance.
The offering plates and bulletins are located at the three sanctuary entrances.
Families with children are always welcome to attend the 9am Sunday School class in the sanctuary.
Praying and serving with you,
Pastors Paul and Josh
PASTORAL UPDATE: 4/28/2020
Greetings FBC Family and Friends!
As Governor Parson lifts the stay-at-home order in Missouri and people begin reconvening, we are planning to worship together on May 10th at 10:15am (Happy Mothers Day!!!).
Similar to the plan of local and state authorities, reconvening for worship will take a “phased” approach as we patiently mold the schedule back to normal. As you can imagine, there are several logistical details that need tweaking in order to love one another and our neighbors in providing a healthy and safe environment to worship the Lord corporately and encourage one another. Please note the following modifications to our normal Sunday morning routine during the month of May in an effort to limit any potential transmission of Covid-19 as well as avoiding any potential quarantines due to secondary contact.
There will be no nursery scheduled in May.
There will be no Children’s Sunday School classes in May.
Adult Sunday School classes will gather at the discretion of the teacher and consensus of the class.
Life Groups will gather at the discretion of the leaders and consensus of the group. If you need to gather in the Fellowship Hall, please schedule the space with Josh.
I will host a modified Sunday School class in the sanctuary for anyone, including children, every Sunday morning in May at 9:30am.
The worship services in May will be somewhat modified to better accommodate those who benefit from the nursery.
An usher will stand at the exits of the sanctuary to collect offerings at the end of the worship services. The offering plate will not be passed.
Everyone will pick up their own bulletins at the entrances.
There will be no Lord’s Supper in May.
There will be no Member’s Meeting in May.
There will be no Go Teams or Night of Worship in May.
Other helpful tips for gathering on Sunday morning.
Please make use of the “cry room” just outside the sanctuary by the elevator as you have need.
The worship service is broadcasted via the radio (102.5FM) throughout the whole campus. We will set up a radio in the cry room and Fellowship Hall if you need to make use of those spaces during the worship service. This also means you can listen to the worship service from your vehicle in the parking lot.
We will continue trying to livestream the worship service online for those who are unable to attend in person. Please keep in mind this looks simple enough, but in reality, requires significant technological assets that need modification every time we rearrange the devices for capturing good audio and video quality. In addition to these technologies being in high demand, the potential for troubleshooting a variety of problems prohibiting a quality broadcast is high.
At the end of May, we will reevaluate these changes to the normal Sunday routine. Other smaller meetings (i.e. committee meetings, counseling sessions, and outreach strategies) are going to try meeting as needed in the Fellowship Hall.
Please continue respecting the personal space and choices of others when we gather together. If you are sick, please stay home. Some people may be wearing masks, others may not. We are all trying to show charity to one another in responding to an unprecedented problem. Like all of us, Josh and I are very much looking forward to gathering in person! It will be difficult not to hug everyone. Instead, we will be doing a lot of bowing. Again, we cannot communicate enough how thankful we are for your patience, grace, giving, prayers, and support toward us, the ministry, one another, and the Palmyra community during this very difficult situation. Our love for one another is another wonderful testimony of Christ’s power to conform us into His image of selfless love.
Please let us know of how we can continue serving you! If you have any questions about the above specifics, please do not hesitate to ask.
Paul and Josh
PASTORAL UPDATE: 4/7/2020
Dear FBC Family,
Please join us this week on Good Friday as a day to fast and pray as we seek the glory of the Lord and long for the appearing of our Lord Jesus in the midst of this worldwide pandemic. If you are unable to fast from food for any reason, please choose to deny yourself another good gift from God. In and of itself, fasting is not virtuous, fasting is simply an intentional humbling of self as a conscious reminder that in all things we are completely dependent on the Lord’s grace to sustain, provide, and care for our every need as we await His appearing. How you might participate in this effort is between you and the Lord.
At 6pm on Good Friday, Josh and I will host a livestream Good Friday Service on our website (www.fbcpalmyra.org) and the church’s Facebook page. After much conversation, testing, and prayer we decided not to attempt a church-wide Zoom conference call. However, if you desire to connect for prayer in smaller gatherings, we would encourage Sunday School classes and Life Groups to attempt using Zoom as a means of doing that.
A great way to serve one another during this time is with cloth masks. If anyone is making such masks for others to share please let us know! There may even be opportunities for us to ship cloth masks to other parts of the country that are in need. Here is the message from the YMCA in Hannibal regarding their Helping Hands Initiative:
“Please help us spread the word! We're putting our #helpinghands together! The YMCA of Hannibal is now an official drop off & collection site for much needed medical supplies. Below is the list of needs as requested by our local Health Care Providers.
Medical Supply Donations:
• Nitrile gloves
• Surgical masks, N95 masks, and homemade cloth masks
• Bleach, Clorox/Sani-wipes
• Rubbing alcohol or alcohol that is greater than 60%
• Glycerin or aloe gel
• Old blood pressure cuffs, old stethoscopes, extra thermometers
• Home pulse ox machines
A homemade mask pattern is linked below and can be used by all churches and groups to put your sewing skills to work.
Items can be dropped off at the front Y entrance between 9am – 3pm daily, Monday-Friday. PLEASE only drop off items on this list. For more information, contact Kara Viorel or Kayla Williams-Tiller at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or by calling 573.221.0586.
#staywithus #beCauseY #hereforyou”
While Josh and I are still holding regular office hours, we are trying to limit our face-to-face meetings by having more phone and video chat conversations. Please be in contact with us with anything you might need (Paul – 606.344.1234, Josh – 502.741.9056). We are all in this together.
Easter reminder—Join us this Sunday at 10:15am as we celebrate our risen Savior together! Email or Facebook a picture to Josh of how you’re celebrating Easter morning with the hashtag #HeIsRisen. Here is a passage of Scripture to meditate on this week as we prepare to celebrate our Risen King Jesus this Sunday:
Matthew 6:5-18 says, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
God be with you till we meet again,
Pastors Paul and Josh
PASTORAL UPDATE: 3/23/2020
We apologize for the glitch connection during the livestream on Sunday. There are several technical issues we need to overcome to have a clearer broadcast. Who knew sound checking a live piano in an auditorium using the internet as a monitor would be so challenging? Or that an Ethernet cable plugged directly into a router would be so important? Nevertheless, we are pressing on to provide biblical guidance during this challenging season of staying connected around the gospel.
As I attempted to preach on Sunday from John 6:35-71, we are reminded afresh everyday that Jesus is our “bread of life” (Jn. 6:35). Nothing else satisfies the spiritual hunger and thirst of our hearts like Jesus. Receiving an eternal perspective in Christ by being assured of our resurrection helps replace fear and anxiety with a confidence that we can love God and others through any trial. That same confidence in Christ reminds us we can be forgiven of any sin. As Christ’s body on earth we have the privilege of making visible the invisible reality of God’s grace by continuing to trust Jesus with the everyday needs of life.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragements! We cannot express enough how much we need prayer at a time when we are unable to gather physically. I (Paul) have taken great comfort this morning from this passage in Proverbs 18:20-23:
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”
As I feast on these truths my heart is filled with the peace of knowing the Lord helps us make sense of life when all appears chaotic and uncertain. We are praying the Lord is providing us all with that same sense of peace.
Stay tuned. We will update you on developments regarding ministry activity. Please do not hesitate to call us if you need anything. Some of you have and we are grateful for the privilege of serving you.
Pastors Paul and Josh
COVID-19 UPDATE: 3/18/2020 10:03AM
Tonight we will host a livestream devotion on our website (www.fbcpalmyra.org) from 6:30 to 7pm CST. When accessing the webpage, click the “View Livestream” tab. We will read the “Sermon on the Mount” passage in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7, and pray together. Join us online!!!
Pastors Paul and Josh
COVID-19 UPDATE: 3/17/2020 10:30AM
Dear FBC Family,
As many of you know the recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prohibiting gatherings of 50 or more has caused us to consider and pray about our regular church activities. We are not alone. All churches are considering alternative measures of regular gatherings in order to be faithful to God’s call for us to continue being Christ’s body on earth to bring salt and light to a world in need of Christ. Josh and I have consulted with the Deacons and other ministry leaders to gain wisdom on how we might respond as a church to the governing authorities regarding the spread of COVID-19.
We are canceling all normal Sunday and Wednesday gatherings for the next two weeks (Mar. 16 – Mar. 29).
We will ATTEMPT a live stream online of the worship service for the next two Sunday mornings (Mar. 22, and Mar. 29) at 10:15am CST on our website: www.fbcpalmyra.org.
Sunday School classes and Life Groups are meeting at the discretion of the leaders. These potential meetings will not take place at the church, but at locations designated by the teacher or leader. Be expecting a phone call from your Sunday School teacher or Life Group leader. We want everyone to stay as connected as possible.
WMU Banquet on Mar. 24 is cancelled.
Building Maintenance Projects scheduled for Mar. 21 are cancelled.
FCA Banquet Mar. 25th is cancelled.
Night of Worship Mar. 29th is cancelled.
REGARDING FINANCIAL GIVING: Please continue your regular financial giving by either mailing in your gift or dropping it off in person at the church office.
News regarding the COVID-19 pandemic evolves daily. Thank you for your prayers and flexibility as Josh and I serve to maintain our unity around the gospel, our edification of God’s people, the mission to reach the unreached with the hope of Christ, and the ongoing care of God’s people.
If you need anything, please do not hesitate to visit with Josh, myself, Deacons, Sunday School teachers, and Life Group leaders. The church office will remain open Monday through Friday 9-5pm. Please call our cell phones if you need anything including grocery pick-up, rides, special visits, prayer, meals, or just want to talk and receive updates (Paul – 606.344.1234, Josh – 502.741.9056).
Finally, please pray:
Please pray for everyone’s health as we all seek to not spread any sickness to others while attempting to serve one another as a faith family at FBC.
Please pray for the health care workers, public health administrators, and other jobs affected by this pandemic.
Please pray for the ministries of FBC locally and abroad, that our ministries would flourish during this time to help see lives transformed by the gospel.
Please pray for our gospel witness to the community during this time as we have opportunity to serve and pray for our neighbors.
Please pray for the protection of the most vulnerable in our community and church that are most susceptible to contracting the virus.
All these updates are dependent on the Lord’s will and can change as we receive new information. We will provide ongoing updates to keep everyone informed.
Praying with you and for you,
Pastors Paul and Josh