Dear Church Family,
Throughout these uncertain times, God’s Word reminds us of God’s promises:
• “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
• “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
• “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
In some way or another all of our lives have been altered over the last 6 months and continue to be as we await the impact of the Coronavirus this coming Fall/Winter. These passages along with many others can help us apply our faith to the questions we all share concerning the current pandemic.
The deacon board would like to express our gratitude to each of you for following the guidelines set in June in order to resume in-person worship. We know it has been difficult to make these adjustments, but they have been necessary. Our worship has been vibrant and you have responded faithfully to God’s Word!
Recently, the deacon board has asked, “What should we do about in-person worship in the Fall?” There has been great concern (not panic!) from the deacon board about whether this virus will spread in the Fall. There are at least two ways we could respond to this concern. We could wait to see if the number of cases and/or outbreaks spread in our community or we could take precautionary step(s) to mitigate the possible spread of the virus within our congregation.
None of us are health experts, nor do we have a crystal ball, but there are two upcoming events that could impact the spread of the virus dramatically: Labor Day Weekend and students returning to school. While our faith may not be shaken, we still have a responsibility to care for the health and well-being of our congregation.
With this being said, the deacon board has decided that it would be in the best interest of our congregation to postpone in-person worship beginning August 30th through September 27th. This period of time will allow us to evaluate how our community will respond to Labor Day Weekend as well as students returning back to school. This is a precautionary step! So, if the virus should spread in our community we can ensure that we have done everything possible as a church to prevent the spread within our congregation. It is not an easy decision, but it is one that provides us the opportunity to gain further insight as we continue to navigate this unchartered territory. The last thing that any of us wants is for someone within our congregation to contract the virus.
While this precautionary step may keep us from worshipping in-person, it does not keep us from connecting to God and one another. We will continue to provide weekly sermons through our website and Facebook page. Recently, we have been challenged to draw near to God through a daily devotional time using the resource Our Daily Bread. There are hard copies of this resource at the church. An electronic copy can be found on our Facebook page as well as Our Daily Bread website www.odb.org or Our Daily Bread app. We would also encourage you to pick up a church directory and call others to stay connected and encourage one another.
One other way to remain connected and serve during this period of time is to tithe. Your tithes especially during this pandemic have helped to sustain the ministry of the church. While God is blessing the church through this time, we believe our faithfulness now will also result in God’s blessings in the future. Thank-you for your faithful giving! You may send your tithes to the church P.O. Box 502, Belpre, OH 45714.
If you should have a need, please contact the church office at 740-423-8743. Although the office is closed, the voicemail is checked multiple times each day.
During these challenging times, remember that God is providing us an opportunity to bear witness to His presence as we trust in His promises!
MMBC Deacon Board