COVID-19 Update- 3/12/20
Brothers and Sisters of Galilee,
Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched COVID-19 lurch across Asia, lumber into Europe, and finally leap across the oceans to the US. All along we’ve heard that it wasn’t a matter of if COVID-19 would arrive but a matter of when.
With the virus now within our state, we want to let you know how Galilee is responding.
With Faith- Don’t misunderstand this first point as a downplaying of a very real health threat that has already claimed the lives of many. Ultimately we, as believers, must respond with faith rather than fear; regardless of what happens, we must persevere in faith rather than panic. Why? Because irrespective of how much we believe ourselves to be in control, God alone is sovereign. In the words of Nebuchadnezzar,
34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Dan 4:34–35).
The God of the Bible is not only sovereign but He is good (Matt 10:29–31) and works things in life for His glory and our good (Rom 8:28). We can trust Him even when it makes no earthly sense of why things are happening (Gen 50:20) and for that we can trust Him.
With Wisdom- Having faith does NOT negate exercising wisdom. Though knowledge of COVID-19 is still developing and much is still unknown, what the CDC has reiterated, is that good hygiene practices and limiting contact are the best preventative measures. As a result, we ask you to
a. Stay home if you are sick in any way. We understand that online attendance can’t replace in person attendance, but if you need to miss, you can stream our service at galileebc.com and give your tithes and offerings at galileebc.com/give. Additionally, you can also stream on the Galilee Baptist Facebook page.
b. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and not touch your face, nose, or eyes.
c. Use hand sanitizers if hand washing isn’t readily available.
d. Cough/sneeze into your elbow.
e. Avoid close contact. This is going to be challenging since we are a friendly church who likes to shake hands and hug, but in an effort to love our neighbor and help contain the spread of this virus, we will need to switch over to elbow bumps and air high fives.
Furthermore, our custodial staff will be taking extra measures in addition to the routine disinfecting, to ensure we do our best to kill any viruses, including COVID-19, that may be on surfaces.
With Care- As the days unfold and we learn more about the virus, our friends and neighbors may grow increasingly anxious. Brothers and sisters, this is our opportunity to hold firm to the hope of Christ and care for those around us. Remember, we know the One who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, gave hearing to the deaf, raised the dead, and defeated death, hell and the grave Himself by rising from the grave. No matter how the circumstances unfold, we can give those around us the hope of Jesus.
At this time, we don’t believe we need to cancel any church activities but this is a rapidly changing situation and we ask you pray for us and give us grace as we work to make decisions including to responding to government (Rom 13:1–7) and medical recommendations. Pray for our government officials and first responders who are caring for those effected and making difficult decisions. And lastly, pray for one another for health and wisdom as we seek to honor Christ in all we do.
W. Andrew Williams
COVID-19 Update- 3/17/20
Brothers and Sisters of Galilee,
With a heavy heart, we’ve reached the point where it has become advisable for us to cease gathering in person and move everything to a virtual format. Here’s some important things to note.
Sermon Delivery- On Sunday we will be streaming only the sermon starting at 10:45am. You can watch the stream at galileebc.com, facebook.com/galileebc, or hopefully on our YouTube channel “Galilee Baptist Church Zachary, LA” (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuJ24Czddt5C-lRqaKKzx7g/featured); we are still working out the kinks with YouTube. If you prefer, we will also be making a DVD of the stream available to anyone who requests one; if you would like a DVD version, please call the church office at 225-654-5633 and someone will deliver one to you.
Music- For music, Pastor Noah has compiled two playlists of songs we sing and will recommend you take advantage of. You can listen on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3nes7XX9zi5Ro8cwtPi1IH?si=RP-qH2gDS0mdiGeICq2l6w or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgsbaBIaoVc&list=PLpPdbIJKaQgaNRgGo9zJQsil8Lm9MxE_F.
Perhaps you noticed we are only streaming our sermon and had questions about that. There are several reasons for this decision but there are two we want you to consider.
Singing at church on a normal Sunday is part of corporate worship; if we aren’t gathered, then any recorded leading ceases to be corporate in nature.
In our understanding, the CCLI License we purchase does not cover Live Streaming; that requires an additional license. Though we could upgrade our license to cover it, with the current state of affairs, we are striving to be wise with our finances and didn’t think doing so would be prudent.
Children- During this time, check out the free age specific videos, updated weekly, at https://vimeo.com/whatisorange. Additionally we will be posting these videos and other helpful resources on our Facebook page.
Bible Studies- Once we get the other items up and running, we will turn our attention to posting a weekly segment of different Bible studies so stay tuned for more information.
Giving- Please remember that giving is an act of worship. In addition to the ministries of Galilee Baptist Church, your giving helps support missionaries both here and around the world. You can give by visiting galileebc.com/give, downloading the GivePlus app and find Galilee Baptist Church (make sure it’s the one in Zachary, LA), or by sending your gift to 11050 Greenwell Springs-Port Hudson Rd, Zachary, LA 70791.
Lastly, these are unusual times we live in and confidently know God is still in control. If during these times you need anything, please do not hesitate to call the church office.
In Christ and on behalf of the leaders of GBC,
W. Andrew Williams