Greetings, Gospel Light Family!
I want to begin this update by sharing some incredible passages of Scripture from God’s Word.
- 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
- 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
- 1 Peter 3:14-15, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”
- Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
On Monday morning, the Gospel Light staff met at my home to discuss the coronavirus (COVID-19) and what the next few Sundays might look like here at Gospel Light. With the unanimous support of our elders and staff, we want to give you the following update for our Gospel Light gatherings:
With the desire to love our neighbors as ourselves as well as have an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community in the middle of this global pandemic that is affecting the city of Hot Springs, on Sunday, March 22 and March 29, all GLBC worship gatherings are going to be moved online. We will continue to make decisions on a week to week basis after that. So please plan to worship online this Sunday at gospellight.org, or join us on our Facebook page. The worship service will be posted at 10 a.m. I encourage you to gather with your family and enjoy the service together, and invite others to join as well. Each week, we will sing together, pray together, and hear what God’s Word says about freedom from fear, peace over anxiety, joy in the middle of sickness, and the resurrection life that conquers death. In addition to that, we will also be sharing important information about opportunities that we have as a church to make God’s love known in our city. I can assure you that you will not want to miss out on these Sunday gatherings online.
In addition, all Gospel Light buildings are closed until further notice as well. The only exceptions to this are staff and volunteers whose work at times necessitates being at the building. All other groups and small groups which normally meet on Sundays and during the week, are encouraged to explore alternate means of staying closely connected with each other. We encourage you to contact your ministry leader or small group leader for more information.
Let’s remember that although we are in the midst of a global pandemic, as a church, we desire to spread God’s love across our city during this time in an abundant way. One of the ways we are showing God’s love is by not gathering together in person; but at the same time, we don’t want to isolate people who are in need all around us. As a church and as individual Christians, we want to care for others in any way that we can according to all the health and safety guidelines and recommendations that are being made by government leaders and health professionals. Gospel Light will also be coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help by delivering cleaning and food products to our church members, neighbors, and others in our community that may be in need. If you are interested in being a part of this great opportunity to show God’s love to others, we will have an interest form for you to fill out later this week. We are also encouraging our church members to reach out individually to people in your neighborhood who might need help during this time.
Remember that there are physical ways that you can respond to the coronavirus as well. Let me list some for you:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze.
Disinfect objects and surfaces regularly.
In addition to this, let me remind you to trust Jesus and share Jesus with others. Remember these ways that you can spiritually respond to the coronavirus:
Trust in God that He is sovereign over all things and the One on whom we can always depend on.
Pray for healing for the sick, strength for the doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
Even though we are unable to gather, stay closely connected to the church family. If you are able to gather with smaller groups when it’s appropriate, do that; and please participate in our worship gatherings online.
Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the middle of these very difficult days. Use this link to give online: https://gospellight.churchcenter.com/giving. Please be faithful.
Finally let me remind you in these days that we have nothing to fear. Not even death itself, for Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
I love you very much, and I will continue to communicate throughout this week about additional information that will keep you closely connected to our church family. I’m looking forward to worshiping with you online Sunday.
I love you,