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“April Letter from the Shepherds”

April 5, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As our society continues to grapple with the difficult realities of the Coronavirus and the resulting lifestyle, we pray and solicit your prayers for all in our South Bumby spiritual family. We want you to know that the three of us are carefully monitoring related news and updates, and are communicating with one another almost daily to discuss the physical and spiritual well-being of everyone.

Much has happened since our last letter a couple of weeks ago. And so, we want to share with you some of our current thoughts and important updates.

First, special thanks to Josh Duke, Mike Minear, Tony Thigpen and others who have been working tirelessly to support and refine the technologies required to live stream our worship services and Bible studies through Facebook, Zoom and other platforms. They are continuing to research and improve the processes that make these tools even more beneficial for our worship and studies. Special thanks also to Ken for his ongoing sermons, online Bible classes in Matthew, and daily devotional studies from the book of James. And above all, thanks to everyone who is participating in these services and studies.

Even though we are not gathering together physically in our building for worship and Bible classes, we believe we all need to strengthen and encourage ourselves and one another through online and streaming worship and studies using the wonders of technology. Please don’t let our inability to meet at our building be an excuse to call “time out” on your faith. Even though we can’t physically meet in one place, we CAN still assemble and share our faith together. Indeed, Brother Doy Moyer noted in a recent Facebook post that, “The only one who can cancel worship in your life is YOU.”

Given the still-growing distress of the Coronavirus, our government and civil authorities have asked all citizens to continue being isolated for a time to help stem the threat of this disease. We as individuals and a spiritual body of believers, as well as citizens in society and our local community, have responsibility to do our part to protect one another and our neighbors. Accordingly, we have prayerfully made the sad, but appropriate, decision to not host worship services and Bible classes at our building through the month of April. We will continue to monitor recommendations and directives from civil authorities and update as appropriate.

But we still have ways to be together! Here is a summary of current services, studies and ways for us to stay connected:

  • Worship – live stream every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
  • Bible Classes – studies in Matthew Sundays at 6:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
  • Studies and Bible Exercises for children– online videos by Dedra Chapman and Vikki Kline for small children accessible on demand
  • Devotions from book of James – daily online videos by Ken accessible on demand
  • Weekly Bulletin – Marian and Tony continue to prepare and post the weekly bulletin to our Bumby web site.

In addition, and partially in response to member suggestions, other activities and resources are being planned to keep us connected and strong in our faith. Be sure to check and monitor daily our web site (Bumby.org), Facebook Member News, and your email for information and links to the above and new resources.

A couple of final thoughts:

Please check on one another, especially our homebound members who may not be able to participate in our online services and studies, and those who have ongoing health and other challenges. Many of our homebound and elderly members really appreciate phone calls at this time. Also, let us know if you or anyone you know has health or other physical or emotional needs.

Secondly, please remember your weekly contributions. Even though we’re not assembling at the building on Sundays, we have continuing financial obligations to the evangelists we support, utilities and other bills to pay, and member benevolence needs. Contributions are down in recent weeks, so please consider your personal giving. You can mail them to our South Bumby P.O. box or use the new, electronic tool that John Willman set up for us to use during this time.

As always, we remain open to and welcome any thoughts or recommendations you might have to strengthen our South Bumby family.

These are trying and unprecedented times. But let us hold fast to the faith, knowing that this difficult time WILL pass. In the meantime, let’s stay committed to practicing and sharing our faith. And, of course, pray! Pray for our nation, and state and local communities. Pray for our civil leaders and authorities. Pray for our congregation and us as your shepherds. And pray without ceasing for one another.

May God bless you!

Jim, Ralph and Walcott