(Updated March 18, 2020 4:30pm)
Announcement about Services
We have decided to cancel all corporate services at Colonial Baptist Church and activities of more than 10 people until further notice. We continue to monitor the situation regularly by staying aware of recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the President’s office, and the Governor of Virginia.
Important Updates and Information
Our church staff has been laboring together for the best ways to minister to our church family at this time. The church continues even though we cannot gather together weekly. We want to encourage you to minister to one another through email, texts, and other creative ways during this time. With that in mind, we want to make you aware of a few things:
Sunday Sermon, Devotion, and Worship Materials
We are producing materials to help you worship at your home this coming Sunday. Pastor Brent will record a sermon on Hebrews 8:7–13 and create a devotional to be used for small group discussion from that text. Last week the sermon was viewed 462 times, including views in 15 states and 4 countries.
This week our musicians are recording a video of worship much for you to sing along with. These resources should be available for you by Saturday afternoon.
We are working on other resources to be of an encouragement to you at this time as well. For instance, we are recording audio podcasts of the pastoral staff talking through the Essentials of a Grace church. More information about these weekly podcasts will be coming in future correspondence. We will also produce weekly video updates of Pastor Brent interviewing Colonial members about what God is currently doing in their lives.
This time out of the normal routine might reveal some counseling needs to you at this time. If that is the case for you or your family, we encourage you to reach out to another brother or sister in your ABS group for encouragement, prayer, and perspective. You might also desire to make the church staff aware of challenges that you are facing. If so, we have produced a special form to report your counseling needs. The form will be kept confidential and will be initially seen by the pastors and John Foldberg, our director of counseling, so that we can assist you. You can also call John Foldberg at the church office during normal business hours.
While we encourage members to help and care for each other, Pastor James Varner is overseeing our ministry to the sick and elderly and those with practical needs. If you are aware of needs in our church family, you can report those to us through this form or call Pastor James at the church office during normal business hours. We have also created a financial hardships form that will allow you to request help from the pastoral staff and deacon fellowship.
We have prepared a special update about how you can give to CBC during this time. Click here for more information.
(Updated March 12, 2020 6:00pm)
After discussion with our church staff (James Varner, John Foldberg, Ben Kilcup, Thomas Swope, Ben Armstrong, John Nelson, Shannon Litchfield), Bob Burton (the chairman of our deacon fellowship), and VBTS administration about government health department suggestions for dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we developed the following plan for our church. This plan will guide our interactions for the next week on campus at CBC.
All CBC services and activities scheduled for this Sunday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 18 are canceled. All activities on-campus between March 13–18 for groups of 20 or more are canceled. In addition, we are postponing the Church Essentials Conference that was originally scheduled for March 27–29.
Our rationale for these decisions is twofold. We want to demonstrate care for one another, including the most vulnerable among us—the sick and elderly. We also desire to demonstrate wisdom. Canceling the corporate services this coming week reduces the likelihood of one person affecting many at larger gatherings. Postponing the Church Essentials Conference will allow more of our membership to participate in its teaching and fellowship. We do not make these decisions out of fear. Rather, we trust the sovereign God who “sits enthroned as King forever” (Psa 29:10). “His kingdom is an everlasting dominion” (Psa 145:13). With such an omnipotent God, we have nothing now to fear.
Although our corporate services are canceled for this Sunday and Wednesday, we still desire to minister to you this week. So, we encourage you to worship this Sunday at home, individually, with your family, or another family (note: please do not risk meeting with others if you feel symptoms of sickness). To assist you in worshiping at home this week, I will prepare a written devotional for you from Hebrews 8 and will record my sermon. The sermon will be recorded in audio and video formats and made available to you on our website and our church Vimeo page. Our church staff will also maintain regular office hours from Monday through Friday, so we will be available if you call or stop by during the week with any needs that you may have.
Although we should demonstrate caution in our response to this virus, let me encourage you to think of ways that you can pursue new opportunities to reach neighbors, friends, and family with the gospel of Christ. God can use our profound confidence in Him and the gospel to impact others at this time. I am reminded of Psalm 34:4–5. It says, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” In this passage, the psalmist echoes Moses’ encounter with God. The writer’s point is that it is obvious when one trusts in the Creator God. This sort of person is radiant and will never be ashamed. May God give you grace to demonstrate clearly to others that you trust in the true and living God!
I will be in touch with you regularly during this time to encourage you and to give you up-to-date information about our church through email, video, and our church website and social media platforms. I anticipate sending another message early next week with more information.
If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch with me or the following members of our leadership team through email:
Pastor Brent – firstname.lastname@example.org
John Foldberg – email@example.com
James Varner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Burton – email@example.com