Response to Covid 19

Our church’s response to COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, does not come from a place of fear, but out of a desire to prepare wisely and consider the health of our church family. As always, we trust in the Lord’s plan and presence, and we are praying for our community and the world during this virus.

Worship services will be held as usual this Sunday since we are small enough and we don’t meet the size thresh hold for not gathering as a group. 

If you would prefer to stay home and away from crowds, please know that you can worship at home through our live stream or recordings of past services.  Several of you have asked me about the ability to give online.  We have had several issues with our giving platform that we are working through and hopefully we will have that up and running again soon.  In the meantime, you can mail your offering to the church. Our address is Cornerstone Bible Church, 2297 Litsey Rd. Roanoke TX 76262.

If you feel sick, please follow the necessary precautions, which include the following:

stay at home
keep your distance from others (about 6 feet)
take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day to monitor for a fever
watch for a cough or trouble breathing

We will be sanitizing all of our hard surfaces at the church this week and sanitize as needed throughout the service.  We would ask that you use the main entrance only to the building on Sunday, and if the doors are not already open please allow the ushers to open them for you.

Please regularly check our website and social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) for updates. If you have any questions, please reach out to info@csbiblechurch.org or call 817-614-9014.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…”
Psalm 46:1–2a

Until God’s appointed time comes for any individual, nothing can touch that person. Our days are numbered by God alone. But because the sovereign God uses means, we should take all reasonable precautions, and we should do so while trusting in the Lord fully.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—10  no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. Psalm 91:9-10

What can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Absolutely nothing. Moreover, apart from His sovereign will nothing can even touch us. And at the same time, because we are trusting in His sovereign will, we should at the same time obey His sovereign will, and take all reasonable precautions.

The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. Proverbs 14:15

God is in absolute control and look well to your going.

Throughout history, many Christians have distinguished themselves as true saints during times of plague. We must remember that times of plague in the past were much more of a recurring and routine reality, and so we have faced all this before. This courage has included many ministers who refused to leave their people at times when many aristocrats were fleeing the city in question. This kind of behavior has been one of the things that caused the Christian faith to grow and expand and get established in the first place. That pattern has been followed and continued by courageous Chinese doctors in this instance, and if we are called to it, we should be prepared for it as well.

We should also keep this in perspective. Tens of thousands of people die every flu season from the ordinary flu, but we have already budgeted for that emotionally.

But this new virus is happening in a time when there has been a large breakdown of trust in all public institutions, and this includes institutions that are responsible for public health like the CDC. The coronavirus is stress-testing our systems.

Remember the boy who cried wolf. That fable has a lesson that cuts two ways. Cultural leaders need to stop trying to manipulate the public through fear — they need to knock off crying wolf when there is no wolf. And the public needs to recognize that boys who cry wolf when there is no wolf are not boys who make the appearance of wolves impossible.

So on the one hand, I have absolutely no reason to trust these people who have been lying to us all about climate change. Why should we trust them? They lie, and then they lie some more. At the same time, having read history before, I know that the Spanish flu killed upwards of 50 million people at the beginning of the twentieth century, and that such things can and do happen. They happen even if a liar agrees that they happen.

These are interesting times, but they are in God’s hand, as they have always been and will be.

But take another look at the picture of the virus. We live in a dangerous world, but even the dangers are beautiful. Even the dangers declare the glory of God.

Grace to you,

John

Update May 6th, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I know that some of you are anxious to start worshiping together again, and some of you would just as soon wait this out.  I understand both positions. Governor Abbott continues to release guidelines to reopen Texas. The current guidelines allow churches to take steps toward resuming normal business, while practicing social distancing (6-ft. separation) and other safeguards.

While we all look forward to being together again, the leadership is committed to proceeding with an abundance of caution. The new guidelines for churches to meet in person raise many logistical challenges for our church.

We will announce the resuming of Sunday morning worship on campus at least a week in advance so you can know the plan, understand the guidelines and make necessary preparations.

I anticipate that we will be meeting online through May 17th.  We will need time to finalize all the details and get things clean and organized. As this moves along, we are going to pay very special attention to the Governor's announcement on May 18. If the infection rates lower and if we are trending the right way, we will slowly be opening after that.

Here are a few of the things you can expect:

  • We will have a seating arrangement that will help us social distance by opening up every other row and having 2 empty chairs between each family.
  • During this first step, we will not have any children or student programming. Come with your whole family and worship with us. 
  • You will not have to touch a single door. Greeters and volunteers will be screened and wear gloves and masks. And they will graciously hold the door open for you and welcome you back to your church.
  • We will not be able to sing in our normal way, stay tuned for more about this later.
  • If you are part of the most vulnerable part of our population, please stay home and continue with the online experience.
  • All in all, this season will be focused on a wise, slow approach.

As things get to whatever will be our new "normal," we will phase in the rest of our plan when it is safe and wise to do so.

I had mentioned in one of the broadcasts about surveying what your thoughts and concerns are about reopening.  I have decided for now that I cannot do that in an orderly way that would allow me to respond to everyone.  That being said, don’t hesitate to ask me questions or let me know your concerns.

We are grateful for your continued prayers for our leadership and your diligent, faithful care for the members of our church family.