Grace Bible F
ellowship
Christ Came to Save Sinners

A Message to the GBF family

 

  

The elders of Grace Bible Fellowship have been seeking wisdom on how to respond to the ongoing COVID-19/Coronavirus health concerns that we hear about daily.  We have a variety of news sources and medical professionals to whom we have looked for advice. We are very grateful that the Lord has placed a doctor with more than forty years of experience right here in our congregation.

 

Our first response was to let those at risk know that we believe it is proper for them to take precautions, and avoiding crowds is a key measure. Those at risk include our elderly folk, particularly those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma, liver and kidney conditions. Anyone who has a compromised immune system should also consider themselves at risk.  

 

Because we don’t know what the exact impact of the virus will be in America, and we can only extrapolate from what we have seen elsewhere, we met with Dr. Condo on Wednesday evening, March 11th. He shared with us the knowledge and advice he has gained as a medical doctor seeking guidance in how to run his practice in the event that he and his staff would be treating a patient who tests positive for the virus.

 

After discussing possibilities of limiting our services to once weekly, continuing our schedule as is, and strongly urging all who are at risk and anyone who develops signs of sickness to follow CDC recommendations that they stay home, the elders believed that the most effective and appropriate answer was to cancel all congregational activity indefinitely and to start this immediately.  So, until further notice we will not be conducting services or scheduled events at Grace Bible Fellowship. This is for your benefit and for the benefit of others.

 

We realize that there will probably be mixed reactions to our decision. Please know that it was not reached lightly. We are united in bearing this responsibility before God and you, and we concluded that if it is important to protect the congregation, then it was also wise to begin promptly.  We are acting not in fear, but conservatively, which we believe you know is very much in character for your leaders.  Several months down the road we would rather have people think that we might have been too cautious instead of thinking that we were too cavalier.

 

Each week Pastor Basile, Brian Rosa, and Pastor White will assess where we are in our thinking. We look forward to contacting the church family at the right time to let you know that we have resumed our schedule of assembling.

 

In the interim the elders are committed to trying to offer spiritual opportunities in various creative ways to help you as an individual or family to maintain a close walk with our Lord.

 

Pastor White has planned 5 weeks of Sunday School viewing with appropriate internet links to allow you to watch the 5 video segments that he had planned to show on the material in Luke, chapters 19-24, about the final week of Jesus’ ministry before the cross, the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. More information will be available on the church website and through a blog page that Pastor White has used in the past.

 

Brian and Pastor White will work with Ray Kersting to get some of Pastor Basile’s classic sermons available for you to listen to via a special private website.

 

We shall print recommendations on how to have a worship time at home and make that as well as other spiritual helps available quickly.

 

Bible Institute is continuing through the use of recorded lectures and the technology we have available which enables us to forward the audio files to class members.

 

Vacation Bible School planning continues as it is our hope that issues will be resolved before the end of June.  It is easier to continue planning rather than to stop now and try and pick up the workload with little time to spare. However, if necessary, “Mystery Island” VBS 2020 could be postponed to VBS 2021.

 

Please heed the advice that we have been hearing on multiple fronts regarding personal hygiene, refraining from unnecessary physical conduct to avoid spreading germs, and staying home when you are unwell. This is a major inconvenience for us as a congregation right now. We don’t wish it to be an even greater problem for you and your loved ones.

 

The church office will continue to operate even if the hours we are present on the property are modified. So, if you call and no one answers the telephone, please leave a message for us.

 

Over the years people have asked what to do about their offerings during a time of extended absence. One method is to mail your offerings in a secure envelope (don’t send cash, for your protection and ours) to Grace Bible Fellowship, ATTN: Mr. Bill Nilan, 15 West 21 Street, Bayonne, NJ 07002.  This allows us to put the envelope aside for the treasurer without opening it, which is very important to us. We always try to maintain the private nature of your stewardship before God.

 

We believe that our God answers prayer and that He will be with us. This disruption to our normal routine should cause us to think, “I now have a special ministry of prayer in a way I didn’t before.”  As you pray, remember your brothers and sisters in Christ at Grace Bible Fellowship, and ask God to be merciful in saving lost souls here and abroad.