Grace Bible

Church

Making More & Better Disciples

3/17/20
Grace Family,

We, as elders, have met over the past several days on conference calls with David Groleau, our IPM candidate. We are very excited about the godly wisdom and leadership he could bring to us, and have been praying about how best to present Dave’s candidating process with the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to COVID-19, we would have been able to set up meetings and other familiar venues with the whole church so everyone could get to know Dave and his wife Brenda. In our bylaws, we have had good reason to set up voting at congregational meetings for members who have just heard from our candidate, where you would have had the ability to ask questions, and be better informed to vote. In the midst of COVID-19, we are unable to schedule churchwide meetings while adhering to government guidelines now presently stipulating that groups of no more than 50 gather, and possibly soon to be limited to 25, or maybe even less in the coming days. What we are proposing are our best efforts to present Dave Groleau to you for your prayerful input and discernment as God leads in this process.

In an effort for each of you to get to know Dave with the restrictions before us, we are extending Dave & Brenda Groleau’s visit to nine days instead of the formerly intended two days. The Groleau’s will be here March 21-29.

Dave will preach two consecutive Sundays, March 22 and March 29. This Sunday, Dave will preach at 9:30am with the service streamed live on YouTube. There will also be a live Q&A with Dave at 11 am. In the announcement time this coming Sunday, Dave will present a 10-minute Power Point overview of what he would do as our interim pastor. Dave will also preach the following Sunday, March 29, at 9:30am streamed live on YouTube with absentee voting afterwards sent to our church office email at  [email protected] You MUST include your full name for verification purposes. This is NOT the new norm. We will go back to in-person voting in the future. You will have the ability to ask questions live on YouTube, but you may also send questions to our church office anytime this week as well.

An additional benefit of having Dave and Brenda here for an extended period of time is that this allows us to set up a series of many smaller meetings throughout the week that abide by government guidelines. This also allows more opportunities for each of you to get to know him. This Saturday, the elders, staff, and ministry leaders and wives will have several smaller meetings yet to be scheduled with Dave. In the following week, we will be scheduling many smaller meetings so the whole church can participate. The elders will communication that schedule in the coming days.

This plan honors our government authorities while still allowing us to move forward. The effects of this virus are expected to worsen before it gets better. We would love to have a full-time interim pastor in our pulpit and available for counseling and leadership. We believe this will be helpful in our time of transition.
If you would like to hear sermons from Dave, you may access the Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake Il website.  From the home page, scroll to the bottom. Click on SERMON ARCHIVES under the RESOURCES column. Select the “Living in Limbo, Growing in Grace” series. There you can select any of Dave’s sermons.

Thank you for your kind attention to this information. On behalf of the elders, we are excited about what Dave and Brenda could offer to our church in this transition. If Dave’s vote is affirmative, the Groleau’s would try to move here very soon and could be in the pulpit by Easter, Lord-willing.
As we continue this interim period without a senior pastor, I am still claiming Romans 8:28 in this process: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” God is still in control of all that is happening for His glory.

Sincerely,
The Elders of Grace Bible Church
3/14/20
Grace Family,

Yesterday, we sent out an email about COVID-19 and our desire to still gather Sunday morning for worship services as normal. However, due to additional communication between the Governor’s office and state health officials with church leaders, we are not going to meet tomorrow morning for Sunday morning services. Instead, we will have a 9:30 am livestream on YouTube. The service will be saved so you can watch later if needed. Please click here to view. If this link does not work for you, go to www.youtube.com and type “Grace Bible Church Canal Winchester” in the search engine. This will take you to our church Youtube page where the livestream will begin at 9:30 am.

In addition, we are re-evaluating Dave Groleau’s visit next week. While we are excited about his visit, we want to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our church. We will provide more information as this week unfolds.

Some additional notices: Life Group meetings will be at the discretion of the individual leaders. Tuesday morning Patchwork is canceled for Tuesday, March 17. As already announced, Sunday and Wednesday evening Grace Student Ministries is also canceled.

During this national pandemic, we need to remember that God is still in control. We need to respond in faith and trust instead of in fear. We need to trust in the sovereignty and providence of God as we pray for wisdom in how we should order our lives. The message tomorrow will address how we as believers should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic from Mark 4:35-41.

Sincerely,
The Elders of Grace Bible Church
3/13/20
Grace Family,

As the circumstances of COVID-19 continue to unfold, we wanted to give you an update on Grace Bible’s response. We understand that there are concerns as this situation changes on a daily basis. Please know that the safety and well-being of our congregation is a high priority.

Bill Brobst, head of our SAFE team, recently retired from the Columbus Fire Department as captain in charge of the city’s Hazardous Material Response Team and has worked with city health departments regarding terrorism and mass casualty events. He has been in communication with city health officials and has made the below recommendations that we as Elders fully support. Although religious organizations are currently exempt from the Governor’s orders, we feel the following are guidelines that support the government’s attempt to limit the spread of this virus.
  1. If you are any member of your family feel ill or have any signs or symptoms of a cold or flu, 
  2. including but not limited to a cough, fever, upper respiratory infection, and/or sinus congestion, please do not attend church services until totally cleared of these symptoms.
  3. If you have any reason to believe that you have been exposed to someone that may have a virus, or have recently traveled outside the U.S., please do not attend church until you know for sure that you have no signs or symptoms. Contact a doctor or local health department for more details and concerns about self-quarantining.
  4. If you are age 65 or older and not enjoying particularly good health, please do not attend church services. This is in your best interest as this virus is particularly dangerous to the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
  5. Communion has been suspended for March.
  6. If you are the leader of an activity or ministry that has or is planning to have an event to be attended by more than 100 people, please contact an Elder for a determination on whether the event should be cancelled.
  7. Instead of passing the offering plates, we’re asking that you place your offering and Communication Cards in the donation box just inside the auditorium doors. You may also give online by clicking here.
For those who need to worship from home, please click here to view our live stream link. Contact the church if you need any assistance.
For now, Dave Groleau is still scheduled to visit March 21-22, but the elders and SAFE team are continuing to daily monitor this situation and will keep you updated on any changes that need to be made. Please be in prayer about this situation.
In the meantime, here are some basic “health” tips to keep in mind:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home if you show signs of being sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Practice healthy habits:
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Be physically active.
    • Manage your stress.
    • Drink plenty of fluids.
    • Eat nutritious food.
We are trusting the Lord who is sovereign and good. We want to be cautious but not fearful. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.
 
Until we have further information, we will continue our Sunday morning worship services as usual.

Sincerely,
The Elders of Grace Bible Church