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

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