March 18, 2020 (updated April 15, 2020)
Dear CBC family,
Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials. These certainly qualify as trying times! It certainly feels like the COVID-19 virus has turned the world upside down! In these times, we want to encourage you to find joy in the fact that the testing of your faith produces endurance (the very same character trait we’ve been encouraged to in our study of Hebrews together). Whatever the circumstances in the coming days, we know the good and sovereign God. We trust that He is working all things for our good and His glory by helping us grow in Him and by .giving us many opportunities to minister to each other and to the world around us in this trial.
In these days of cancellations and “social distancing,” we wanted to communicate some of the temporary changes we’re implementing here at CBC in honoring our governing authorities and in loving our neighbors. First, and most significant, starting this Sunday, March 22nd, we will be moving to online only for our Sunday worship service. The building will not be open to attend in person, but you can watch and participate along with the rest of the body in the service from home when we webcast the service at 10:45 am. By accessing the webcast on Facebook or on our YouTube channel. Please hear our heart! WE ARE NOT CANCELLING CHURCH! While it’s certainly not the ideal way to gather, and we wouldn’t recommend “digital assembly” over the long haul, we are still coming together to worship our Lord and to stimulate one another to love and good deeds in this gathering. Along those lines, we also believe that the physical gathering of believers is important, so, as wisdom and opportunity provide, we encourage you to gather in small groups around the online services, maybe share a meal together, and enjoy fellowship in person as well. (Maybe even get to know someone new!) We will continue this arrangement until further notice, but please note that it is a high priority for us to bring our body back together physically as soon as we can. Until then, please make it an appointment to join us at 10:45 Sunday mornings to worship together, even while we’re physically apart!
As for our other ministries, here’s what we’ve decided so far. In the immediate future, AWANA and other Wednesday night ministries, along with Preschool Open Gym are cancelled until further notice in accordance with our school cancellation policy. You can watch for further updates as they are available. We’ll keep an eye on events further in the future for now. Community groups, Bible studies, and other ministries we’re going to encourage to follow the guidelines that the CDC is establishing and encourage meeting digitally for the time being. Leaders, please be in touch with your groups and work to come up with the best solutions for your group to wisely maintain fellowship.
We want you to know that we are always available to you should you need guidance, help, or just a listening ear, especially during trying times like this. We’ll intensify our efforts to continue to reach out to the church body in the coming days, but if you have specific needs, please feel free to contact any one of the pastors and elders via our personal phone numbers, email, or regular mail. We will also periodically be checking the church mail and voicemail. We want to know how we can serve you!
Finally, here are a few things that you can do to continue to serve and grow in all of this. Pray. Pray for our church body, its leaders, and believers locally and worldwide that we will all be healthy and wise physically and spiritually, growing in faith, and a light to the lost. Pray for our government leaders, public health and medical professionals to have wisdom, skill, and strength. Pray for our nation that the Lord would use this to spark revival. Read. Read God’s Word. It is the source of stability, instruction, and nourishment for our souls. Serve. The whole world is saying “keep your head down.” We need to keep our heads up and eyes peeled for opportunities to reach out to one another and to the lost. This will provide unique opportunities in a number of ways. Take advantage! Give. These times will bring financial strain to a lot of people, and we have opportunity to be generous. The church also needs to continue to meet financial obligations. You can continue to give by bringing/mailing a check to 902 1st Ave E, Kalispell, MT 59901 or by giving online at https://www.centralbiblechurch.com/online-giving. Care and Share is our benevolence ministry, and if you’d like part of your gift to go to that ministry, please note that on the check.
We are striving to obediently walk through all of these times and decisions by faith, and trust that our kind, loving, omniscient, omnipotent God is using each circumstance of our lives to draw us nearer to Him. We want to help you do the same. We’ll also strive to keep you informed of any changes as the circumstances also change, so please be diligent to check email and the web site often. We love you very much!
A passage in Hebrews seems fitting for this time. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:19-25
In love for you and in service of Christ,
The CBC Elders