|We here in the West Chowan Baptist Association are committed to the task of "producing much fruit" (John 15:8) by assisting our churches in the process of making "Christ Followers who will Follow Christ." Our vision of making "Christ Followers who will Follow Christ" is driven by the imperatives of Christ which are hung on the following three non-negotiable characteristics of a Christ Follower: 1) GIVE UP by Surrendering (Luke 9:23), Sacrificing (Luke 14:33) and Listening (John 10:27), 2) GIVE IN by Abiding in His word (John 8:31), Obeying His commands (Luke 5:27), and Walking in His Light (John 8:12), 3) GIVE OUT by Loving one another (John 13:35), becoming a Servant (John 12:26), and Sharing our faith (Matthew 4:19).|
As of Tuesday, May 26,
THE WCBA MRC WILL RESUME NORMAL OFFICE HOURS
MONDAY - THURSDAY, 8AM - 5PM
The office is open to a maximum of 10 people at once, practicing safe social distancing
per the governors order.
Wondering what to do?
Thinking of how to reopen once the restrictions are lifted?
Click below for resources detailing how your church can utilize the CARES Act:
Click for an article detailing how churches and pastors are eligible for relief in the stimulus package
A WORD FROM TERRY
May 12, 2020
THINGS TO CONSIDER REGARDING “RETURNING TO CHURCH”
The words we have all been waiting to hear have finally been spoken by our governor. Those words are “we can now begin to reopen.” With those words we can now seriously begin thinking through the process of returning to regular church gatherings. However, there are a lot of decisions and questions pastors as well as church leaders need to address BEFORE we can come back into the buildings. We cannot wait until the day of, there are decisions and protocols that must be both addressed and communicated to church members along with those new attendees we have managed to reach with our online activities.
Let us consider the following questions realizing there are many more that need to be asked:
- WIll there be singing?
- How will we take up the offering?
- Will we pass the offering plates like we normally do?
- When will we start back with Sunday School/Small Groups?
- How will we protect the people during baptisms and communion?
- Are our folks going to be accepting of wearing masks and checking temperatures as they come through the door every Sunday?
- Will we continue to livestream the services for those afraid to be in the buildings yet?
- What are some training needs of our leaders and teachers before they are accepted back as teachers or leaders?
- Should we not keep the changes we made with the deacons shepherding their portion of the flock?
- Finally, what sanitation protocols will we need to incorporate prior to and while we are returning to the buildings? Will these protocols be sufficient to make those coming back comfortable?
As you can see there are so many things that need addressing before we can actually return to our buildings and some sort of regular gathering.
“Experts” have stated that there are three basic expectations of the church here in North America after the pandemic:
- We should expect that some churches will not “come back.” Some have estimated that 400 + SBC churches in North Carolina alone will close their doors as a result of this pandemic (I am of the opinion there is more at play with these churches than just this pandemic which is leading to their closing. That must be addressed as well).
- We should expect that a good number of churches will rush to get back to “normal” by returning to the way they operated prior to the crisis. I believe this would be a big mistake.
- We should expect some to come back ready to do whatever it takes to THRIVE as His church and never be content with the “old normal” again.
Without fervent prayer, churches will not “THRIVE.” As we prepare to return, there should be clusters of pastors, church leaders, and members gathering to pray in small groups. Association-wide, we should be emphasizing prayer. To that end, there are two basic efforts I will be pushing over the next few weeks and the details will follow soon:
- I will look at beginning a “Iron Sharpening Iron” zoom gathering with our pastors. We will discuss reopening, new norms, and a whole list of things that will be helpful as we navigate the fluid nature of our times. Additionally, we will make this a time of reflection, fellowship, and certainly prayer.
- We will also “rekindle” our prayer emphasis within our association. In fact, I am looking at having 30 days of concentrated prayer among our churches and their members.
I would ask that you pray for me as I wait on Him to give wisdom as we move forward and the energy to serve our churches as needed. It has been and continues to be a great honor to serve the sweet folks of the West Chowan Baptist Association. I look forward to seeing the Lord at work and watching the many ways He will REVIVE HIS CHURCH!
A Word from Baptists on Mission: WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS?
The Coronavirus is a major concern in most every household across America. What can we do as Christians to love our neighbor and care for ourselves and others during these stressful days? 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.”
Below are some great suggestions to help prevent the spread of the virus, know how you and your church can help in your community and get support if you are isolated and need assistance. We pray that God will use this time of great uncertainty to glorify His name, and that He will use us to offer support to those around us.
Here are ideas of things that your church can do to minister to isolated people in your community //baptistsonmission.org/Coronavirus/Church-Response-Information/Ideas-of-Ways-You-Can-Help
In the attachments and video in the link below, we offer some great resources for your church of things you can do to help prevent the spread of the virus, find schools in your county that are serving food to children, handle food and sanitation correctly so that you protect your volunteers and the people that you are serving, and more. //baptistsonmission.org/Coronavirus/Church-Response-Information/Lots-of-Resources-for-Your-Church
Is Your Church Willing to Help? We are asking you to help us prepare should we need to develop a network of churches across the state to minister to those who are isolated by the coronavirus or whose source of food has been interrupted by the crisis (i.e. Children who usually receive free meals at schools, elderly who are isolated may need someone to drop off food or get a prescription filled and left at the door). If you have a church kitchen that could be used if needed, or if you are willing to help in other ways, please complete the form below. //baptistsonmission.org/Coronavirus/Church-Response-Information/Is-Your-Church-Willing-to-Help
In the link below, we offer some simple suggestions to help prevent the spread of the virus. //baptistsonmission.org/Coronavirus/Protect-Yourself-and-Others
Here are ways that we are trying to give support for those who are isolated or unable to leave their home. //baptistsonmission.org/Coronavirus/If-You-Are-Isolated
Esther 4:14 “And who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?”
To stay updated on Baptist on Mission's hurricane relief efforts, visit their website below:
For frequent updates, visit BoM's Facebook page.
This has most definitely not been a down time for Baptists on Mission! Thank you for your prayers and unwavering support. We are here to support you and to help you mobilize your churches to serve
others. This is an unprecedented time and we are learning more every day.
Rebuild Centers have continued to operate using day-only volunteers. Dozens of homes were completed or brought close to completion so that the next few weeks will see many families return home after 21 months away! Thank you for your faithful prayers, volunteering, and support. Beginning now we are slowly increasing the number of volunteers who can stay overnight or who can work as day-only volunteers. Please encourage your churches, as they feel led, to plan to serve through one of our rebuild centers. They can register at: https://baptistsonmission.org/Mission-Projects/By-Mission-Type/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane-Florence
Our Rebuild Center staff would love to share at your churches. They want to celebrate what God has done and share how churches can be involved in the weeks and months ahead. Soon families who were displaced will hit the two year anniversary of Hurricane Florence. All of the recent challenges have made it an even more discouraging time for Hurricane Florence survivors. If you will encourage your churches to let me know, I will schedule some of our staff or rebuild staff to encourage and celebrate what God is doing with your churches.
We have received a generous grant from USDA - Farmers to Families Food Box Program that allows us to purchase fresh fruit and vegetable boxes, milk, cooked meat, and cheese to be distributed across the state. The application period was brief, one week from when we found out about the opportunity,so we had to scramble to identify suppliers and plan a distribution strategy. On May 8 we learned we were awarded the grant and on May 15 we began distributing boxes. By the week of June 8 we will be fully engaged and each week will distribute 8000 fresh fruit and vegetable boxes (15-17 pounds each), 2000 boxes of cooked meat (4 pounds each), 2000 gallons of milk, and at least 1000 boxes of cheese (2 pounds each). You may be receiving these boxes through your association, but even if you are not, please know that the relationships you have developed through the years we have answered the call during times of disaster are why we received this grant. This will continue at least through June with the possibility of it being extended 2 months at a time through the end of the year. Please pray that God allows us to continue offering this tremendous blessing through our churches and associations.
Truett Baptist Conference Center and Camp in Hayesville, NC is getting new roofs for two buildings. We began last week and made significant progress before rain forced us to stop. Next week we are planning to finish the roof on the office building and another building at the camp. The roof is pretty large but is able to be navigated safely when volunteers exercise caution. Our plans, weather permitting, are to work June 8 - 12 to finish the project. Please let me or Gary Holland know if you or people you know can help. (Gary Holland 828-371-2301). We are staying at the camp and have plenty of space to maintain social distance!
In His service,
Hurricane Florence Relief: Get Involved!
Urgent Need in the Bladen Association!
The WCBA Disaster Relief team is coordinating an effort to assist the Bladen Association with Florence recovery. Bladen Baptist Association is in desperate need of mission teams to help in the rebuilding of homes across their association. Only a few teams from West Chowan have visited to help since the storm last September.
Please consider putting a team together to help meet these urgent needs!
If you can partner, please contact David Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-532-5977.
Click HERE for info on 2020 National Mission Trip Opportunities.
(3/19/20): This could be a season during which we can shine the light of Christ in a more obvious way than at any time in recent history. As God leads, perhaps your churches can make Operation Inasmuch type projects a priority for the next few months. Of course, avoid projects that would create large groups or force close contact for extended periods. However, there could be many things we can do to serve our communities: yardwork, delivering food or meals and leaving them on the porch, making phone calls to residents of care facilities, and more. We trust and support the decisions your churches make, but we do encourage them to follow God's direction in how they can serve. https://baptistsonmission.org/Mission-Projects/North-Carolina/Operation-Inasmuch
Visit NC Baptist Aging Ministry's website for more details on upcoming events.-------------------------------------------------
Durable Medical Equipment
Available in Thomasville!
Do you, your church or your agency know of someone in need of a powered or regular wheelchair? Or perhaps a lift chair, or other form of durable medical equipment such as canes, walkers, or portable shower chairs?
North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry receives donations of used equipment and we want to get this important equipment into the hands of people who need it!
These items are available to clients 65+ free of charge, and are available for pick up in Thomasville, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. Individuals picking up the equipment are responsible for loading and transport. Please contact the NCBAM Call Center at 877.506.2226 to arrange a time for pickup.
Items may need cleaning, repair, or adjustments. Recipients are required to sign a waiver and release form accepting the equipment "as is."
Call NCBAM at 877.506.2226. We'd love to meet your need for durable medical equipment.
Click the logo to see more upcoming opportunities for missions and training from the NC Baptist State Convention.
Summer 2020 Schedule (click on the date to register)
"Living Out Biblical Essentials Everyday"
July 18, 2020: Annual Pastor and Family Cookout (catering by Mrs. Betty Drake); a great time for our pastors and their families to come together for a great time of fellowship. Cut off date for registration is July 15.
|Join us each Monday morning at 9:00 at the MRC for our weekly time of prayer!|
Catch up on the latest news through the West Chowan Newsletter. WCBA publishes the newsletter each month. It can be viewed here or you can subscribe to our email list and have it delivered directly to your email.