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COVID-19 Update: July 22, 2020


C.B.C. Family:


 I wanted to take a minute to connect with you and provide an update with where we are at concerning how the COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is impacting our community and church family. Last night, our leadership team met to discuss the current data surrounding Coronavirus in our community, including the number of new cases in the community, the issue of “community spread” in the community, and the levels of hospitalizations in the community. We also reviewed the recommendations made by the AZ Department of Health and the CDC, and how the data and recommendations should impact the decisions that we make as a church when it comes to when and how we reopen our campus.


 As we have talked about throughout this COVID-19 season, as church we strive to make faith-based decision that are driven by facts and not fear. In response to those ongoing conversations, and out of our commitment and responsibility to those in our community that have compromised immune systems, the leadership team unanimously made the decision that City Bible Church will keep the campus closed until October. As a result, all campus activities will continue to be suspended, including Sunday worship gatherings, AWANA, Fusion, along with the community groups and outside agencies that meet on campus. The church office will receive phone calls and respond to emails only.


 Based on the conversations and survey results that we have received up to this point, we recognize that there will be some who will disagree with this decision, believing that the church campus should reopen before then, even now. We also recognize that there will be others who will disagree with this decision, believing that the church campus should remain closed even longer. And we recognize that there will be others who will agree with this decision. And based on conversations and surveys we have received up to this point, we recognize that the percentages of people who fall into one of these three categories are very similar.

 

As a church, one of our cultural values has always been to be open and transparent in our conversations and in our decisions. We have always strived to overcommunicate and receive input from those who attend C.B.C. as we make decisions, or in response to decisions. With that in mind, as a church we will be hosting a special Zoom Meeting on August 2 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the decision and answer any questions that you may have regarding this decision. You will receive an email with a link to the Zoom Meeting during the week leading up to the meeting through Elexio Community, our church app. If you do not have the church app, I would encourage you to download the church app (instructions on how to do so are located on the church social media pages, or you can email the church to receive the instructions). If you have opted out of receiving emails from the church app., I would encourage you to make the necessary changes to begin to receive emails.


In preparation for our time together on August 2nd, you can email questions and concerns regarding the decision to keep the campus closed to the church. This will enable us to answer as many questions or concerns as possible in the time that we will have together. We will also strive to create some time for any unanswered questions to be asked as part of the meeting.


However, just because our campus is closed, that does not mean that the mission has not been advancing. The mission of making disciples who make disciples is not dependent upon a building or an event. Instead, it is dependent upon us living Spirit-filled, gospel-centered lives that are representing Jesus well and inviting others to follow Him. God’s church doesn’t even have a mission; God’s mission has a church. And that mission has been happening throughout this season.


I see evidence of this reality in conversations with community group leaders who continue to meet with their groups online. I see evidence of this reality in the church raising the resources to scholarship over 50 children to participate in the Boys and Girls Summer Program through the Boys and Girls Club Scholarship Drive. I see evidence of this reality in the church raising the resources to provide individual school supply packages to 200 children, along with the opportunity to provide internet access to qualifying children, as part of the Adopt-A-School program.  I am reminded of this reality in conversations with many people who have commented on how they appreciate how well the worship team has been leading them online.


 This season I am thankful for technology that enables us to make the shift from “come and see” to “watch and talk” when it comes to investing and inviting those around us who do not know Jesus to explore faith.  We will continue to keep our Sunday corporate gatherings online at 8:30am on Sunday’s on our Facebook, Twitter, and the church website. Sermon Notes and Community Group Guides will be available on the website:  

http://www.citybiblechurchbhc.com/servicessermons. In addition, on August 30th, we will have our “Community Group Sunday and community group fair online, which will launch Community Groups for the year, which will begin online. We will continue to leverage technology to help people stay connected and grow in their faith through online community groups.


Tomorrow, a video will be released announcing the exciting things that are in store for children and families through Kids Konnection online this fall to help keep families connected and engaged in their relationship with Jesus and one another. Fusion will continue to meet online on Sunday evenings to create an environment where Jr. and Sr. High students can come to know God, own their faith, and make their faith known.


In addition, the Emergency Assistance Window will be open to love and serve our local community. “Help for the Home-Bound”, a ministry designed to deliver food and other household necessities from local Wal Mart’s and Target to members in the community who are home-bound due to the COVID-19 Virus is also available to love and serve the at-risk in our community. Staff will still be working, so, if you have a question or need something, please email or call the office.


As a church we will continue to evaluate the conditions in our community and will continue to provide updates on the church’s plans moving forward. Please pay attention to emails, social media, and our website to stay up to date. As we move closer to reopening our campus, we will be reengaging our ministry teams. For our campus to reopen in a way that meets C.D.C Guidelines and insurance guidelines, along with the cultural values that we have to faithfully and lovingly proclaim the life-changing message of Jesus by creating irresistible and engaging environments with excellence will require us to joyfully team up to invest in others. If you have not been a part of a ministry team in the past, this is a great opportunity to be a part of what God is going to do in and through C.B.C. by joining a ministry team.


 If interested in joining a ministry team, please fill out a digital connection card  http://www.citybiblechurchbhc.com/connect-with-us and request to be a part of a ministry team. In the weeks leading up to reopening our campus, ministry teams will be meeting online, and eventually on campus, for training and preparation to relaunch their ministries in a way that meets the C.D.C. and insurance guidelines and our cultural values as a church.


I continue to be encouraged by how so many of you have seized the opportunities that God has provided you in the midst of this adversity to bring the light and love of the kingdom of heaven into your areas of influence. The impact of the selfless sharing of your time, talent, and treasure is having an eternal impact in the lives of our community and I look forward to hearing how God is going to use you in the upcoming weeks!


 

Pastor Dave