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Covid-19 March 20, 2020 Update

Update From Paster Scott

I hope all of you are well today. I have been praying for you daily. I appreciate all the words of encouragement and your prayers for me, our staff, our church, and the community.

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is fluid and changes rapidly. FBC Rockport will adapt as needed and we will work to keep everyone informed.

It is important that we keep our faith focused on Christ, that we operate according to facts, not fear, and that we do all we can to protect ourselves, our families, and our community from illness by following all the guidelines.

Here is a brief summary of what I know, followed by what I think will happen, and ending with some requests that I have for all of you.

First, here is a brief summary of the status of FBC Rockport:
Per the Executive Order from Governor Abbott, we will cooperate with local and state authorities and cancel all activities now through April 3.

The church office will remain open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can always reach us by phone, text, email, etc.

We will broadcast a Live Stream of a worship service at 10 a.m. Sundays, and 6 p.m. Wednesdays. We plan to continue to do a daily video devotional on weekday afternoons.

Jeff has communicated frequently with Life Group leaders providing a variety of options for staying connected to one another: video conferencing, emails, phone calls, and small in-person groups. Be sure to let Jeff know what you guys are doing.

We expect you all to continue to care for one another and others in our community. If you know of needs with which we can help, please let us know.

Second, here is what I think:
The ACISD tentatively plans to open on April 14, the Tuesday after Easter Sunday. I have heard similar things from other organizations. It seems to be a common hope that it will be safe to gather again by mid-April. Of course, no one knows for certain.

It is POSSIBLE that we will be able to gather for worship on Easter Sunday, April 12. We will see how things play out. If it is safe to gather sooner, we will.

That means we could POSSIBLY start our weekly schedule on Monday, April 6, or April 13, depending on the situation. I suspect it will be better to wait until the 13th.

We will go forward with the Community-Wide Easter Sunrise Service, 7 a.m. April 12 at the Festival Grounds, unless the Navigation District asks us not to gather on that day.

The ministerial staff will meet and communicate regularly and will update the church on ministry opportunities and such.

I think our church is going to be inundated with requests for help. Some local helping organizations have already closed their offices for a couple of weeks, which means more people coming our way. I would love to be able to help some of those in Aransas County who are experiencing a financial crisis due to COVID-19. I will work on my ideas as to the best way to provide help and report back later.

Third, here is what I ask:
We must be the church without walls. Each of you must seek the Lord as to your part in the Body of Christ at this time. I urge you to be a part.

Of course, pray diligently for one another, our community, our country, and for all the people in the world. Pray for workers, drivers, business owners, first-responders, medical professionals, and government leaders. Pray that God would deliver us all from this pandemic.

Pray also that people will come to know the Lord at this time. Be aware of opportunities for you to share your faith.

Please continue to give financial support to the church. So much depends on this. I am counting on all of you.
• If the Federal Government provides financial relief for Americans in the coming days, you and your family may not need the financial assistance. I wonder if you would consider donating some or all of your share to the Designated Benevolence Fund of First Baptist Church. We will partner with local relief agencies and other churches to do what we can to help the people of Aransas County through this difficult time. Pray about it.

I like the stories of how many people are putting up Christmas lights as a sign of hope during these dark times. Would you consider putting lights out at your house from now until Easter? The birth of Jesus was a moment of hope and a sign that God keeps His promises. Our community needs to be reminded of that. We are looking forward to the time in which we will be able to gather again. We are looking forward to the resurrection, a new birth, and new life. So, the lights would be a reminder of our hope while we wait patiently for God to keep His promises to us and we experience a new beginning at Easter.

I love you and I am proud to be your pastor. We will update you as needed. Everything is going to be OK. The Lord is with us.