Current Update: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Dear FCBC Church Family,
We are living in unprecedented times. We, the elders and pastors, wanted to update you on things as we understand them.
First, as you might have already heard, Washington State Governor Inslee provided a new statement yesterday which included new state mandated requirements to be put into effect today that included the following that relates to us holding church service:
“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.”
You can see Governor Inslee’s entire update here:
Governor Inslee said these new requirements are in effect through March 31st. It does appear that the requirements will be in effect at least until it is known that the Corona Virus infection rate is not increasing so we will need to watch for further announcements. We had previously said that Fellowship Groups cold continue to meet but this is now prohibited unless certain stipulations are met, one of which is 6 feet of space between people and each person who would come must be screened for symptoms and fevers. In light of these requirements we ask that all gatherings regardless of size be postponed.
Pastor Mark is working on a sermon to encourage us in these difficult times, and Pastor Steve is putting together a worship service to enable us to worship in our homes with our families, as he provided last week. We will send you all a link to a new page on our website that will have the order of service, music, scripture reading and sermon video all in one place. The link will also be posted on the FCBC Facebook page.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we also would like to remind you that we are still depending on your financial support. Even though some bills will be lower, such as utility bills, due to not using our facility, most costs, including our Pastor’s salary and medical costs will still need to be paid. Even though we are not allowed to meet face to face, we ask you to consider keeping up your normal level of support. You can mail your offering to the church office or drop it in the mail slot on the office door. Most banks will also send checks for you that you can generate electronically through your bank account.
Church address: FCBC
3648 W F Street
Bremerton, WA 98312
We elders and pastors are available by email and or telephone if you have any questions or needs. Please join us in praying for one another and for our communities and country as we weather the storm. We can rejoice and “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
In His Holy Name,
Chairman – FCBC Elder Board
Archived Update: Saturday, March 14, 2020
Dear FCBC Family,
What a week it’s been! As you all no doubt have been doing, we as church leaders have been trying to keep up with the very fluid situation that our world, country, and communities are dealing with. We hope that throughout this process we together remain steadfast in trusting our Sovereign God and that we find the peace, wisdom, and confidence that comes from Him. “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul .” -Psalm 143:8
We are fully supportive of our state leadership in this matter and we believe that it is right and good for the people of God to cooperate and be good examples of 1 Timothy 2:1-4. As church leaders, we have decided to take proactive steps in helping our community to slow the continuing spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19). All of the recommendations for a responsible community response, include the encouragement to avoid large gatherings. While we are not obligated to do so, in gatherings of less than 250, the love of Christ compels us to do the right thing to help protect the health and safety of our FCBC family, as well as our greater community at large. We are called to love our neighbors, and this is a chance to do just that. In partnership and cooperation with school district closures and regional employers making sacrificial changes, we have agreed to do the following:
The church will be closed both Sunday March 15th and March 22nd. All campus activities and bible studies, counseling, and discipleship will be suspended for the next two weeks. The elders will assess whether campus activities will resume for the week of March 29th.
AWANA and Student Ministries will be canceled till April 24, in keeping in line with statewide school closures.
We will leave it to the discretion of our Fellowship Group Leaders and individuals to decide if they want to meet. We believe that with the proper precautions and common sense and courtesy, many small groups may feel comfortable gathering.
The office will be closed, and staff will be working from home during this time. The church staff can be contacted via church email, or phone; administrators will be checking voicemail daily. As usual, your pastors will be available for pastoral care, if needed.
Looking Ahead, here are 5 things the elders want all of us to be faithful to keep doing:
1. Be thankful to God for His sovereign goodness and be faithful in your daily devotions. 1 Chronicles 16:4.
2. Pray for our earthly leaders that they would be wise and strong. Pray for our healthcare workers that they would stay healthy and compassionate to care for the many who are sick and scared. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
3. Please continue to be faithful and generous in your tithes and offerings. Our financial obligations to our missionaries and ministries remain the same (2 Corinthians 9:11-12). FYI…Pastor Mark will be working from the church most days.
4. Pray for opportunities to share the hope and peace that you have knowing that your soul is forever saved and that you know beyond any doubt that this life isn’t all there is (1 Peter 3:15).
5. DON’T SKIP CHURCH. For the next two Sundays we want to encourage you to go on our website and look for a couple of sermons you may have had to recently miss and watch them together with your family for the 15th. Pastor Mark will be preaching a new sermon that will be recorded and posted online, “The Coronavirus and the Providence of God” for the 22nd.
We will continue to monitor the local progress in containing the virus and continue regular communication with you regarding any changes to our response. This is not a call to isolation. Please make every effort to stay in touch with each other, caring for and praying for one another. This is not out of fear or panic. By God’s sovereign grace He has allowed us to live, work, and worship, in an area of the United States’ where the most serious outbreak of this virus has occurred. While we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus, don’t miss this unprecedented opportunity to love our neighbors and to serve our city in any way God should provide, including the sharing of the gospel. Use these weeks ahead by praying and looking for open doors and open hearts to share the hope that we have in Christ.
Caring for one another: If you are elderly or have other health-compromising circumstances, and you need help or supplies or additional care, please do contact the church office, your Fellowship Group leader, or one of our Pastor/Elders. We'll do our best to provide the care you need, and for all of us -- if you have a neighbor or friend who might need additional help, take the initiative to check in on those around you! Office e-mail: email@example.com / Office phone: 360-377-4511
Watch for updates through e-mail or:
This situation is a unique opportunity to show our trust in the Lord, a love for others, and graciousness in how we respond to panic-stricken and overwhelmed people around us. Even as we exercise caution, we do so with hope and trust and joy in the Lord!
He is our peace in times like this: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Trusting in Him,
The Elders (Psalm 91:1)