March 20th, 2020
March 18th, 2020
Dear UBC family,
Our board has come to the difficult decision to move our Sunday worship service completely online this week. Our board will meet on March 24th to discuss how long this move will be necessary. Recently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the local health department recommended no gatherings of more than 50 people. Additional guidelines recommend no groups of more than 10. Because the situation is changing rapidly, we are monitoring the guidelines daily and will adjust as needed. As you are probably aware, the main concern with the coronavirus is that people can be carriers and pass it on to others even if they are not currently feeling any symptoms. That makes large gatherings risky, especially for those who are older or who have other medical conditions.
We treasure our in-person gatherings on Sunday mornings, so we don’t come to this decision lightly. While we know nothing can fully replace corporate gatherings for worship, prayer, and God’s Word, we are putting plans in place to meet the shepherding needs of this body and continue to reach out to our community.
How can you access the service this week?
- If you use Facebook, go to our UBC Facebook page (University Bible Church - Pocatello) on Sunday morning. We will use Facebook to livestream a worship service this Sunday morning at 11:00 am.
- We also plan to pre-record and post a worship service on our website (universitybible.org) in case there are any problems with the livestream.
- The sermon audio will be available by the middle of next week on our website and podcast as usual.
- If you lack the equipment or ability to watch through one of those methods, we hope to provide alternatives for teaching and worship very soon, including the in-person delivery of audio CD’s or video DVD’s.
If you would like someone to help you access the online teaching, reach out to Brad Thompson at 208-251-0499 via phone or text message or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also putting in place a robust plan to shepherd our body individually by spreading out care among our board members, utilizing Facebook and other forms of technology, and setting up gatherings of under ten people if it is considered safe.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our board or staff members with any questions or concerns.
Grace and peace in Christ,
Dan Reinhold on behalf of the UBC board
March 14th, 2020
Dear UBC family,
Our elders, deacons, pastoral staff, and several medical practitioners from our church met for several hours this morning. We sketched out a plan to help us proactively protect the health of our church body as much as possible while still caring for spiritual needs.
We are taking the following measures for this Sunday, March 15th:
- Sunday school and Adult Bible Fellowships at 9:45 am are canceled
- Worship services at 8:30 and 11:00 am will be held, although we are taking steps to minimize contact and reduce service times
- Nursery will not be offered, although children are very welcome in the service and a cry room with audio is available
- Junior Church will be held at the 11:00 am service for kids age 4-2nd grade, although it will start at the same time as the worship service rather than after the first three songs
- We will livestream the 11:00 am service on our UBC Facebook page
- At risk populations and those experiencing any symptoms are encouraged to stay home and watch online if they are able
- Drinking fountains and coffee bar will not be available, but people are welcome to bring their own water or coffee from home
- We have taken extra steps to disinfect the facility before the service
We will continue to monitor communication from the CDC as well as local and state agencies as we consider future actions. Please regularly check our Facebook page and website (universitybible.org) for the latest information.
Acts 17:26 tells us that God appoints the times in which we live and the boundaries of our habitation. This situation has some unique challenges but some incredible opportunities. May we move forward with faith and wisdom, setting our hearts on God our refuge and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Pastor Dan along with our UBC board
March 11th, 2020
Dear UBC family,
Our board of elders and deacons is closely monitoring the information on the coronavirus. Because we take the care of this body seriously we desire to act in wisdom and faith. Wisdom requires us to listen to counsel (Prov. 12:15). Faith requires us not to panic, as if life is suddenly outside of God’s sovereign control. While recognizing the appropriate place of “social distancing” to slow the progress of an outbreak, we also know the importance of gathering to worship.
At the present time, we simply want to encourage people to continue standard practices of thorough hand-washing, coughing into their elbows, and remaining home if they are experiencing any symptoms. In addition, be sensitive to those who may wish to hold off on shaking hands or hugging on Sunday mornings. Don’t be offended if they offer a “fist bump!” Those who are older, have compromised immune systems, or live with people with compromised immune systems may particularly want to hold off on physical contact or stay home.
Let’s use the opportunity before us to draw near to God, show love for one another, and reach out with the gospel to people around us who may be experiencing fear and uncertainty.
Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"