Online Church Info During COVID-19

During the Coronavirus lockdown, we will be hosting online church community meetings Sundays at 10:30am using Zoom. We will also post videos of our sermons online on youtube as well as audio versions on the podcast.

Links for Service on March 29, 10:30am:

CBC Sunday Service 3/29  

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/243224496

Order of Service (pdf)

This week's sermon video:

Exodus 34 Sermon (Doug Duncan)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s55GDKnsOjM&t=5s

Song of the Week:

 

"Behold our God" by Sovereign Grace Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqrli3Lkf58

Watch here for an answer, is COVID-19 God's Cruelty?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-uGKuxFzb4&feature=youtu.be

COVID-19 Update

 

Dear CBC community,

 

The elders have been closely following new information at the local, state, and national level regarding COVID-19. In light of how the situation is developing, we have made the following difficult decisions moving forward:

 

No Sunday Service 

We will not be gathering as a full congregation effective this Sunday morning. 

  • We will continue to monitor and make decisions about when we resume. For now we anticipate at least 2-4 weeks that we will find alternatives.

  • As we discuss more below, this is not a decision made out of fear or panic, but out of compassion and prudence.  We know many will disagree with our decision, but it is what the elders agree is best at this time.

  • Many in our community, inside and outside of our church, are at significant risk if they contract the coronavirus, and we want to do our part to minimize transmission within our community.

  • We will continue in our current sermon series. Sermons will be recorded and posted on the website/podcast: https://anchor.fm/cbcsermons

Meet in Small Groups 

We encourage everybody to meet in small groups of no more than 10 people. 

  • Meet to worship, pray, study the Bible, and discuss this week's sermon. 

  • Just because we do not meet in a large group does not mean we stop meeting as a congregation. Get together to worship God, to study his word, to pray, and to care for each other.

  • Continue to exercise wisdom and caution. Wash your hands. Do not expose others if you are sick. Protect yourself if you are vulnerable.

  • If you need help forming or finding a group, contact Pastor Douglas Duncan <douglas.s.duncan6@gmail.com> or Pastor Tyler Hallenbeck <Thallenbeck@cbcwilliamstown.org>.

  • Please let us know if you are willing to host a group in your home. If you need help deciding how to lead your group, feel free to reach out to an elder for help.

Continue to Bless Your Neighbors, Gather to Pray  

 

Now is the time to be salt and light to our community.  We are not withdrawing in fear. We are observing precautions to protect others by not gathering in large groups.

  • We have the love of Christ, which drives out all fear. Now is the time to be beacons of peace to those who are anxious and struggling. Share the peace of Christ with them and with each other.

  • Christians have always been countercultural in how we serve others.  We can continue to love and care for our neighbors even as we practice hospitality by ensuring we do not spread the virus.

  • We can practice responsible care for our neighbors in this situation and also expose the inner turmoil and anxiety around us.

  • Prayer is effective whether we are gathered in the same space or not. Join us in praying for our church and our community. We can always pray, now more than ever.

Moving Forward 

 

This is a very challenging time and a decision we do not take lightly.  But we firmly believe that it is for the common good and the good of our community. We trust that God will bless our faithfulness. Now is the time for us to join together in the ways that we can---in small groups, in prayer, in service to others---even if we'd rather life be business as usual.  The elders certainly wish life were business as usual, in life and at CBC! We are not stepping back.  We are responding with wisdom and faith. God will continue to work in, with, and through CBC, and we expect a great move of God in our region this year.

 

Please reach out with any questions.

 

Grace and Peace,

The CBC elders and pastors

 

Our Rationale for Not Holding Large Gatherings 

We know that many think it is unwise or an overreaction to cancel services. Whether it is an overreaction or not is for the Lord to judge, but it is not a decision made out of fear.  The elders hope that we can, as the early church, say that it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us (Acts 15:28), to decide this way.  

 

Our main concern is the common good and ensuring that no square inch of our community is unnecessarily exposed and harmed. While for many the virus is not a major threat, for far too many it is deadly.

 

The following facts informed our decision.

  • The number one way to minimize the damage for the broader population going forward is to slow the spread of the virus. See this article on "flattening the curve". This is especially important in our area, where our health care system does not have a large capacity.

  • COVID-19 is mild for 80% of the population, but extremely dangerous for the other 20%. Mortality rates for people in their 70s is about 8%, and for people above 80, it is 15%. The mortality rates are likely much higher for those with compromised health already (asthma, cancer, diabetes, respiratory issues). 

  • COVID-19 spreads easily. 20% of people with COVID-19 show no symptoms but can still transmit the virus. The virus has an incubation period of at least 5 days, which means people can have it and spread it for at least 5 days without even knowing it.

  • At this point, each person exposed to the virus transmits it to about 2.5 other people, which leads to fast exponential growth. Mitigating spread right now is key to containing the virus for those most vulnerable.

  • Epidemiologists recommend that groups not exceed 10 people. Beyond 10 people it is too difficult to ensure that people observe best practices (washing hands, not touching, staying away from people if they are sick, staying away from people who might be sick). The risks increase dramatically when groups are too large.

  • As a result of these facts, too many people in our community are severely at risk.

  • Even if people in our church are willing to gather, are willing to take the risk, increasing the exposure, or potential exposure, for 100 people has the possibility of infecting another 200 people immediately, and then another 400, and so on.

We could go on. There are many excellent resources available regarding the virus. The following Christianity Today articles are good:

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

The Elders of Community Bible Church

Sundays 10:30 am • (413) 458-5556 • 160 Bridges Rd Williamstown MA

© Community Bible Church of Williamstown