I cannot believe we are still talking COVID 19 and its massive effects across our nation, state, community and church. But it is certainly a reality that will probably be with us in some form for the next several months. First, I ask your continued prayers for those dealing with the illness itself. It is certainly “not just the flu” and those affected, along with their families, need our consistent prayer and support. Next, I ask that you pray for the health care providers at every level as they deal on the front lines with the illness. We have at least six (8) health care providers in our church and as we have talked with them we know they are working in difficult circumstances. Pray for their health, perseverance, and for their families’ safety as they work through this crisis. Last, but certainly not least I ask that you remember the many who are affected financially by either losing their job or having their hours cut back significantly. This includes the many who run businesses and are facing very difficult times. As believers, I urge you to spend time in prayer for these and other concerns brought on by this crisis.
The virus has had significant impact on our church operation. I want to review with you what is going on in church (and what is not going on), so that if you have missed anything you can catch up here.
-As a reminder, the church is not holding any in-person services, classes or meetings until further notice.
-Our church office is open normal hours, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday-Thursday. You may call the office (336-591-7493) and leave a message after hours if needed.
-You may contact Pastors AJ, Luke or myself by phone at the church office or by my cell at 336-978-5285.
-Our Sunday Morning worship service, Wednesday evening Bible study, and a daily devotional posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week is available on YouTube at FBC Walnut Cove. You may also access these services on Facebook and Twitter. If you are not connected to social media call the church office and we will get you CD or DVD copies of these services. Our goal is for everyone to have access to our on-going worship services and Bible studies.
-The Sunday worship service is made available for viewing by 10:00 AM each Sunday, the Wednesday Bible study is available by 7:00 PM on Wednesday, and the daily devotional is available by 6:00 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
-If you need to speak to one of the pastors, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule that.
-Our church has installed a lock box outside the church office door to provide a secure means of dropping off donations. We check this several times each day.
-At least one of our small groups is meeting by Zoom (a computer-based meeting program) and I am meeting with my Sunday School class on Zoom this Sunday morning. If you are a teacher and would like to get your class together with Zoom, contact one of us and we will get you started. It is easy enough for me to do it, so anyone with a computer and a desire to learn can do this.
-We are publishing a weekly supplement to the newsletter, “The Cove Light Weekly Beacon”, which is distributed by email on Friday at 9:00 AM. Make sure the church has your current email address so you can receive this update. Our monthly newsletter will be published on the last week of the month and will be sent by mail and email to our congregation.
-Along with your email address, please make sure we have current phone numbers, cell or home numbers, and addresses so you do not miss anything we publish.
-Pastor Luke has published a survey on Facebook to comment on the services we are providing. We love and welcome your input. If you cannot find that survey just call and let us know what you think.
Of course, we do not know the time-line for resuming normal church activities. The NC Governor’s stay at home order expires on May 8 and he said the state will define what can re-open by that date. We do not expect to resume any services before Sunday May 17 and will have to read the exact wording of the State’s guidance to know if we can even do it by then. I expect that when we return there will still be restrictions to keep social distancing and caps in the numbers of people assembled. We want to get back to services as soon as possible but not before public health authorities deem it safe. We will keep you informed but certainly let us know if you have questions.
I ask that you pray for the Wall and Ackley families as Mr. Gray Wall is in hospice care in Salisbury, NC. This health crisis makes a difficult time even more difficult for them. We have other families that need your prayer as well.
Again, please let us know if we can help you in any way during this time. I encourage you to use the time to gather your family for Bible study, daily praye, and some quiet time together. We look forward to seeing you soon. God bless you!
Rev. James A. Cohn