March 18, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of West Baptist Church,
The emergence of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) places us in the midsts of a health crisis unlike anything most of us have faced in our lifetimes. While we seek to protect our loved ones and ourselves against infection, we empathize with those who are ill and grieve with those who have suffered loss. Our continued prayers are with those directly affected by the virus, those in the health care community who are tirelessly working to treat the sick, and those government and public health officials developing responsive measures.
In accordance with government guidance that the public should avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, the West Baptist Church Council has decided to cancel worship for the next two Sundays (March 22 and March 29) with the hope that we will be able to gather again on Palm Sunday (April 5). We will post updates about worship and other church events on the church website westbaptistchurch.org. For those of you who do not have access to a computer, we will contact you by phone.
We are currently in the season of Lent on the church calendar, a 40 day period of preparation and contemplation that precedes Easter. Our scripture passages during this season have highlighted important encounters with Jesus that take place in the gospel of John. The scripture reading for March 22 is John 9:1-41 and the reading for March 29 is John 11:1-45. I hope you will read and meditate upon those passages even though we will be unable to gather together for worship.
Pay attention to the ways in which some people come to faith as a result of their experience with Jesus and others fear what they have difficulty understanding. What transformation or encouragement might God be working within you this Lenten season? What do these scriptures help us understand about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus?
May we seek to support each other (from an appropriate distance) during this challenging time. Please feel free to call me on my my cell phone or email me <firstname.lastname@example.org> should you need a listening ear or some company.
Rev, Stephanie M. Wyatt, Ph.D.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7.