The council of elders of GBC has decided to wait until Sunday, May 31 to resume in-person worship services. These next two to four weeks will be very telling for the State of Oklahoma and our own local “Open Up and Recover Safely” plan. The elders will continue to monitor the situation and will strive to respond appropriately. When we do reopen, we will communicate the guidelines that we will follow to work to mitigate any potential viral danger for our congregation. Until we reopen for in-person meetings, we will continue to broadcast as we have been doing on Facebook, the GBC website, and YouTube.
Families, here's a great worship opportunity for you and your family. Simply download a copy of "Lenten Lights," gather the needed materials, and walk the road to the cross.
Please note: This begins this coming Saturday! Click below to get your copy and get ready to lead your family.
Would you like a ministry opportunity during these trying times? Send a message of encouragement to our local health care workers to lift their spirits. You can make your note to an individual, a department, or the workers in general. Let them know you appreciate their dedication and hard work. Send your emails to "encouragement@NHS-OK.org."
Proverbs 10:11a - "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life." (ESV)
1. Begin Sunday Morning Worship on Saturday evening.
Go to bed on time. Remind your kids how important Sunday worship is with your church family, and that even though we can’t meet together this week, tomorrow is still a special day to worship God and hear from His Word.
Plan ahead. GBC will begin a Facebook livestream at 10:30am sharp, with two songs to open, then the sermon (1 Samuel 14:24-52). So before that, start with a short time of prayer, and determine when you’ll begin that before the sermon.
For families with little kids: Bring quiet toys into the room for your littlest children, like blocks and crayons with paper. Download printables for your school-aged children (either to print or to edit in a photo editing app). There will be printables to accompany the gbcKIDS lesson as well as the sermon. Also take a peek at the gbcKIDS lesson on the GRACE Sunday Kids! Facebook page to see how long the video is, helping you plan when you want your kids to have their lesson – before the sermon like they normally would during the Sunday school hour at church, or at some other time you deem appropriate. Taking 5 minutes to look at these things on Saturday night will help your time go more smoothly on Sunday morning.
2. Wake Up with a Purpose.
Even though we’re not meeting together for corporate worship, it is still the Lord’s Day. This is a special day to worship God together, hear from His Word together, and encourage one another together. The only difference is that it will be just your family, not your “church” family.”
Use your time getting ready for the day to glorify God (1 Cor.10:31), and especially to prepare your hearts for worship.
Remove distractions. This might (or probably) means leaving your phone in another room. Be there to worship God, not pass the time on social media.
3. Worship God through Prayer.
Corporate Worship should also be a time of encouraging your church family (Col.3:16; 1 Cor.12:7). We’re in a great time of need. You may not be able to meet the needs of your church family in person or encourage them in person, but you can pray for your local church family and the universal Church.
4. Worship God through the Reading and Teaching of the Word.
Read the passage of Scripture together before you listen to the sermon livestream. There is usually a kid-friendly video of the sermon text that your family could also view before or after the livestream at gbctahlequah.org on the LINKS page, under RESOURCES. Then listen attentively with your family. Take notes if that helps. Have your children work on the printables you downloaded earlier. Follow along in your Bibles. Model how to actively listen to your children.
When the livestream is over, take a few minutes to talk about the sermon with your family. Ask your kids what stood out to them. Ask if they have any questions about what they heard.
Talk about a few simple ways you can practically apply the truths of the passage to your personal lives this week. Then pray for God to help you live out those truths, and encourage one another in them throughout the week.
In this video from JD Greear, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, we are reminded of comforting theological truths, and encouraged with practical ideas for us as members of local churches during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you are over 60 or are immune-compromised, we have folks that can run errands for you. Please contact Ryan or Shelly and we will gladly help get this lined up. (3/20/2020)
The elders met last evening to pray, discuss our situation, and make some decisions for our church family. In order to love our neighbor and honor those in authority over us, we have suspended all official face-to-face functions of Grace Baptist Church for the time being. We encourage all of our members to practice “social distancing,” as our governing authorities have advised. Along with this, we are suspending all facility usage for the time being (i.e. Penguin Project, homeschool basketball, youth soccer, men’s basketball, etc.)
In an effort to try to exert some level of normalcy and to help us set our minds on things above, during these uncertain times, we plan to continue our sermon series through 1 Samuel. Lord willing, we will be able to record an audio version and post it to our webpage as normal, but we are also seeing if we can get a video version going on Facebook live, aiming for a live transmission at 10:30am on Sunday mornings. The idea being that many of us could “gather together” at the same time via our computers or smart phones for the teaching of God’s Word. We will try to have this up and running by this Sunday (3/22/2020), but please be patient with us as we navigate these uncharted waters.
While Ryan is preparing to preach, Kyle will be working to disseminate other helpful information and resources to you. In order to make the information available to you, we will post everything in two places – on our Facebook page, “Grace Baptist Church, Tahlequah” and on our website – www.gbctahlequah.org.
Dr. Galdamez has advised us to strongly encourage our members who are over 60 to stay inside their homes, until at least April 6th. If you are needing supplies or groceries, please let us know and we will work to get them to you. He fears that many people are not comprehending the dangers facing us, this goes for young and old alike, and that it will take a death of someone that seemed healthy to get folks to grasp the threat.
As we look toward future plans, even into the summer (Easter breakfast, sports camp, family camp, Nebraska mission, etc.), it is too early to make any decisions and we will continue to update our church family as time passes.
As always, love and trust our gracious Lord with all your heart. The times may be uncertain for us, but they are never so for Him.
Please pray for wisdom for your Elders as we meet this evening for discussion, decision making, and prayer.