Pastor Patrick Jones
BTCC Coronavirus Statement
Dear BTCC family,
As you may know by now, Bureau Township Community Church is cancelling all of our services and activities for at least the next two weeks. In this letter I want to let you know a little about that decision.
To begin with, our BTCC leaders looked at the various government responses to this pandemic. The first instruction to catch our attention was the CDC recommendation to limit special gatherings to 50 people (as a side note, they exempted regular gatherings, like school and presumably church, they were concerned about people gathering and then scattering to various locations across the country). As you know, Gov. Pritzker also called for the closure of restaurants and bars in order to limit people gathering in public places. This was followed the next day by President Trump recommending no gatherings of people over 10 people. In our local government, Princeton began shutting down various government functions that were considered non-essential. So one part of our response is fueled by the desire to be good public citizens.
But at a deeper level, we took this measure so that we could love our neighbor. It has become clearer that many people who have this virus never show signs. Their symptoms are not obvious, but they are still transmitting the virus to others through public interaction. As we mentioned on Sunday, one of the best ways to love our neighbors at this time is simply to stay home. We want to give our healthcare systems the best chance to fight this virus and not overwhelm their infrastructure. The news has called this “flattening the curve,” meaning that we try to spread out the number of people who are sick at one time. The same amount of people may be sick, but if they are spread out over time there is less pressure and stress on our hospitals and clinics.
So what does that mean for us going forward? It means we have to become creative in how we think about church. We are already thinking about how to encourage community in this moment. Let me share a few of those ideas with you:
I have been working with Brent Jamison to update our webpage to meet some of our new needs. This includes adding an online donation option, adding a tab for daily videos, and adding a tab for video devotionals. Visit our website at: www.bureautownshipcommunitychurch.org
We will be rolling out a series of video devotionals. The plan is that every few days we have a 5-10 minute devotional to share with our whole church family. The video will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page.
I will also begin posting a regular blog on our website—this is just a fancy way of saying that I am going to write a few thoughts every few days to encourage and edify our church body.
I am also working on setting up an email list for our church. You will be able to subscribe and have these updates sent to your inbox when they are uploaded.
Over the course of the next few weeks you will also be receiving calls, texts, or messages from one of our deacons. They will be sharing an encouraging scripture, asking if you need any kind of help, and praying for you.
More is on the way! In discussion with our deacons we are also looking at possibly having a shared Bible reading plan and a prayer challenge. We are still working on these kinds of resources, I will keep you informed.
As you know this is new for all of us. The change has come swiftly, but I believe that God is going to use this moment to glorify his great name throughout our nation and all around the world. I am grateful to be here at this moment, serving our church and our community in this time of great upheaval. Keep trusting that God is in control and that he has already showered his great love upon us through Jesus Christ.
I’d like to close with Ephesians 1:3-10 as a reminder of all that Go has already done for those who are in Jesus Christ:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”
Pastor Patrick Jones