Week 9 Update – May 7

Happy Mothers’ Day (week)!

Give mom a call. Order her a gift to be delivered. Postpone that time together, but make sure you make it happen when we are loosed.

This will be the 9th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property May 10th (Mothers’ Day!) or May 17th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website. DVD’s of the Sunday School lesson and the worship service are available in the office during the week.

This Sunday, Duane Hayes will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.

At 11:00, we will begin our worship service.

Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.

Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.

You can contact us in these ways:

  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.

Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.

  • Sunday School – (Youtube and Livestream) 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – (Youtube and Livestream) 11:00 a.m.
  • New Members Orientation (Zoom) – 3:00 Sunday afternoon
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday evenings
  • Mid-week Bible study and staff chat – (Facebook Live) 6:00 Wednesday nights. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Moment of Prayer – 5:00 every Saturday night. Just stop where you are and pray as a family.
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.

Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:

  • You can give online through the website – smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you

The Governor has begun talking about the curve being flattened and a Phase One beginning soon. Let’s just keep praying.

                      Love you all deeply and miss you all terribly!

                                Pastor John

 



Week 8 Update – April 30

How are you doing? I enjoyed a little online rant by one of our members who was absolutely “done” with apps and video conferencing. I won’t disclose her name but I sure shared her frustration.
 
Other states are beginning to open their stores, restaurants, and churches. Virginia is not. We can learn a lot from those churches that are opening and right now that is exactly what our leadership team is doing. There is much to consider. At this time, it does not look like the virus concerns will evaporate all at once. It appears that, when we DO get to meet together again, we will be carefully phasing in our activities. One pastor friend of mine in Atlanta said that they began meeting two weeks ago and their congregation was very agreeable to the strict new COVID rules they were asking everyone to follow (one door for entry, one door for exit, pews roped off to insure safe social distancing, wipes provided in the bathroom with a request that everything touched was wiped down after—including the doorknob, no handshakes or hugs, etc.). As I said, there are a lot of precautions to consider before we begin again and we are doing that now. Suffice it to say, that unless COVID-19 is immediately removed from the earth, changes (in the short-term) are facing us. We will meet them and we will continue to move forward as a church together.
 
This will be the 8th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property May 3rd, May 10th (Mothers’ Day!), or May 17th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website.
 
This Sunday, Jeshua Branch will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.
 
At 10:50, we will begin our worship time by witnessing the baptism of Tristen Steiner.
 
Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.
 
Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.
 
You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday Evenings
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Moment of Prayer – 5:00 every Saturday night. Just stop where you are and pray as a family.
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you
Barring a resurgence of infection, we may be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. Please continue to pray for the healing of our world and that God is given glory through Jesus Christ.
 
Love you all deeply and miss you all terribly!
Pastor John


Week 7 Update – April 23

This will be the 7th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property April 26th, May 3rd, or May 10th (Mothers’ Day!). Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website.
 
This Sunday, Jeremiah St. Clair will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.
 
At 10:50, we will begin our worship time by witnessing the baptisms of Jodie Booth and Arlen Woodbury.
 
Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.
 
Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.
 
You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday Evenings
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you
 
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Philippians 1:3
 
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John


Week 6 Update – April 16

This will be the 6th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. Isn’t that amazing?! One of our members, Jim Kittle, sent me a quote that said: “I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we’d go from Standard Time to Twilight Zone.”
 
Like all of you, I am listening to and following the news and press conferences by our government leaders. They are saying that there are indicators that we may be at the peak of the virus spread. To me, that means that things may begin to get better from this point forward. We pray that is the case.

We will continue to make official decisions regarding physical church gatherings every week (usually on Thursday). We hesitate to cancel more than two weeks in advance because we never know what the Lord may do. We pray He stops COVID-19 immediately and dramatically.

Remember though. Noah and his family stayed in the boat after they landed on Mt. Ararat for 220 more days. They were in the ark for 371 total days. It only rained 40 days and 40 nights. You can only imagine how soft the ground must have been after they landed. The earth wasn’t ready yet to support them. Governor Northam closed the schools on March 12th and issued the stay-at-home order on March 30th. That means that we have been in our arks now for 38 days at the most (March 12 – April 19). Let’s be patient and prayerful.

The church will not physically meet on the property April 19th, or 26th, or May 3rd. We will however, continue to meet online for Sunday School and worship. Those links are available on the church website. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the broadcasts should come to the church building.

Richard Dorman will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson, this week, at 9:45.

At 11:00, we will have a guest preacher from the IMB that you will not want to miss. Let’s be in prayer now as Dr. Gordon Fort prepares to come and bring us a timely missions challenge.

Please pay attention to our Facebook Pages and click the link to our weekly bulletin on this website for announcements.

Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.

You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you

We are closer to the end of this worldwide upheaval than we’ve ever been before. Stay close to Jesus.
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John



Week 5 Update – April 9

The church will not physically meet on the property April 12th, 19th, or 26th. We will however, continue to meet online for Sunday School and worship. Those links are available on the church website. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the broadcasts should come to the church building.

We anticipate a wonderful time of worship for Easter and every effort has been taken to make it as special as possible. Our prayer is that we will successfully encourage many guests to join us online.

Shawn Lemon will be teaching the Sunday School lesson at 9:45.

On April 19th, we will have a guest preacher from the IMB that you will not want to miss. Let’s be in prayer now as Dr. Gordon Fort prepares to come and bring us a timely missions challenge.

Please pay attention to our Facebook Pages and click the link to our weekly bulletin on this website for announcements.

While we continue to obey the regulations that have been communicated to us from the President and Governor, we do not plan to extend the cancellation of our physical services beyond 2 weeks at a time. We continue to pray that God will make an abrupt end of this virus and that we can all get back together much sooner than expected. Please come back to this official notice, here in the website, as it will be updated weekly.

Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.

You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you

I know that much of the above information is the same as last week. We just want to keep it available for anyone checking in with us for the first time.

Stay well! Call if you need us.
Pastor John



Pastor John – April 2

Regular church services and Sunday School classes are online only again for April 5th and April 12th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the broadcasts should come to the church building.
 
Between Sunday School and Worship there will be two baptisms at 10:50. This is being done at the request of those wishing to be baptized. Every effort will be taken to observe safe social distancing. Although baptism in water does not impart saving grace, it is an essential first step of obedience to our Lord.
 
We will also be observing the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, April 5 th . Please ready your hearts and prepare the bread and cup elements for every believer in your home. This too we will share together online.
 
Please pay attention to our Facebook Pages and click the link to our weekly bulletin on this website for announcements.
 
While we continue to obey the regulations that have been communicated to us from the President and Governor, we do not plan to extend the cancellation of our physical services beyond 2 weeks at a time. We continue to pray that God will make an abrupt end of this virus and that we can all get back together much sooner than expected. Please come back to this official notice, here in the website, as it will be updated weekly.
 
Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups are beginning to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.
 
You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you
This sequestration will soon come to an end. God has allowed this to happen to us that we might grow closer to Him. Please use the time well.
 
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John


Pastor John – March 25

Regular church services and Sunday School classes are online only again for March 29th and April 5th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the broadcasts should come to the church building.
 
Thank you for returning again to this page for updated information regarding the church’s plans. I thought I might take this opportunity to make a few things as clear as possible by answering the question, “What is our plan at this time?”
 
Communication Plan – We are using these sources to get information out to our church family and those who are interested in joining us:
  • Both our private and public Facebook pages (SMBC Connections & Smith Memorial Baptist Church) – if you are a part of the SMBC family and have not joined SMBC Connections, please email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org and I will invite you.The Church Website (www.smithmemorial.org)
  • Our church phone tree – to be added send an email to office@smithmemorial.org and put “phone tree” in the heading please.
  • Our church text message tree – to be added sent a text to the number 81010 and in the message line write “@smbcnews”
Response Plan – Anyone who needs the church’s assistance can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis: (757) 565-0476
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org.
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen.
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188.
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you.
  • FYI, Greg Dowell (EADSM) has written about the offerings in the bulletin the last 2 weeks. You can access the online bulletin in this website. Here is something I copied from his note this week: “…We also want you to know that online giving has increased by as much as 136% in the last week! I know that will be encouraging to so many of you that are praying for God’s church to remain focused on the mission through this time of isolation. God is so good!” Thank you church for remembering our covenant together.
Future Plans:
  • Sunday School teachers are contacting their classes to assess the interest in smaller, online (skype-type) interactive classes – Those whose classes desire to do this are receiving training in how to set these groups up online.
  • Deacons are contacting those under their care regularly to make sure our church family is ok – If you are not in a SS class, please let me know so we can get you on a list and make sure you are being cared for.
  • Easter… Pastor Joey would like to have as many families as possible send in short videos for Easter (please see our Facebook pages for more information). We are doing our best to plan a meaningful service in this unforgettable time. This is another great opportunity to invite someone who wouldn’t go to church to watch and listen.
  • Ministry – These are desperate times for some and we are ready to respond as needs become apparent. Pray that our eyes are open to the needs. I know there are many of you who are willing to do whatever is needed. I am too.
  • Encouragement – We are praying about and learning about ways we can further encourage our church family during this time.
  • Celebration – Some in our church family are planning the big event celebration for when we can all be together again for worship, fellowship, and ministry. If you are interested in being on that planning team, contact me at the above email.
Those are all the plans we can make at this time. We will continue to consider and try ways to keep us all connected and growing in the Lord. This virus is opening opportunities for us to minister in the name of our Lord Jesus. Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have!
 
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John


Pastor John – March 19

Church plans will be updated here regularly. Please check this page often.
 
We will not meet again, in the church building, on March 22nd nor March 29th . By this time next week, we will tell you about the plans for the Sundays to come.
 
ONLY essential worship team and Sunday School team members should come to the church building on Sundays. These would be the select teachers, musicians, technicians, deacons, and those absolutely necessary to broadcast our services and Sunday School by Livestream for the benefit of our church family and guests. There will be NO CHILDCARE, YOUTH, OR SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDIES physically meeting on these Sundays.
 
Again, I plead with you to participate in the Bible study and worship services as best you can, each Sunday, by watching them on Livestream. Sunday School will be broadcast at 9:45 and worship will be broadcast at 11:00. We are doing everything we can to make these easily accessible on the SMBC website: www.smithmemorial.org.
 
There will also be a link on the website for our members to give their tithes and offerings on-line. If you cannot or choose not to give online, we have deacons who are willing come to your house to pick it up if you wish. You can also mail it to the church (Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188). Tithes and offerings are a commitment that church members make because they have covenanted together with a common heart. If you are not a part of the SMBC family, we do not ask you to give financially toward our ministries. We just want to serve you and your family.
 
We tried a Facebook Live chat and Bible study last Wednesday night with the church ministry staff. It went well and we plan to do another one next Wednesday evening at 6:00. You can join on the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
 
For the time being, all regular gatherings and programs of the church have been cancelled or postponed. There is at least one Bible Study (the Ladies Sunday night Bible study) meeting on Facebook Live. If would like to know more about that study, contact the church office for more information.
 
This is a time of testing for us and we will hold firmly to our faith in Jesus Christ. This time will also test our commitment to one another. I have never believed in our church more than I do right now. We are in this together and we are here for each other. You please contact me (john.jicka@smithmemorial.org) or your deacon if you need ANYTHING.
 
Pastor John


Pastor John – March 13

For the next two Sundays (March 15th and 22nd), worship services and activities at SMBC are going to be greatly curtailed. I take no pleasure in this, but we are in a battle against an unseen enemy (another unseen enemy!)—The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have been asked to do our part in the war against this virus. We need to not give it any more bodies in which to live or to which it can spread. That means we need to not gather as a congregation.
 
On these next two Sundays we are asking ONLY essential worship team members to come to the church building. These would be the musicians, technicians, select first impressions members, select deacons, and those absolutely necessary to broadcast our services by Livestream for the benefit of our church family and guests. There will be NO CHILDCARE, YOUTH, OR SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDIES on these Sundays.
 
I plead with you now to participate in the Bible study and worship services as best you can by watching them on Livestream. Sunday School will be broadcast at 9:45 and worship will be broadcast at 11:00. We will do everything we can to make this easily accessible on the SMBC website: www.smithmemorial.org. There will also be a link there for our members to give their tithes and offerings on-line. If you are not a part of the SMBC family, we do not ask you to give financially toward our ministries. Just let us minister to you and your family.
 
I know there are many of us who are not technologically adept. Some of you have a hard time turning on your computer. There are people in the church who are ready and willing to come to your home and help you get your computer ready to join the livestream. Just email me (jtjicka@gmail.com) or call your deacon and we will get you the help you need.
 
All other church programs and events (Sportsman Banquet, CC, BSF, AWANA, Student Ministries, American Heritage Girls, Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies, etc.) have either been canceled or postponed until Sunday, March 29th. At that time, we will re-evaluate the COVID-19 situation.
 
See you all on Livestream. I’ll miss you terribly until we can all be together again.
 
Heavenly Father, please speed that day and the end of this virus. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
 
Pastor John