Dear Members and Friends of First Baptist Church,
Please read through the following for our plans and any necessary explanations for the days ahead.
Services will be cancelled through Tuesday, April 7, the end date for our shelter-in-place order.
After thinking further through our services and using technology, I wanted to give a brief explanation for just having updates from our pastors on Sundays instead of broadcasting something that resembles something of our services.
While other churches are certainly free to do as they deem best, I would prefer not to give the idea that we can simply “do church” by providing something online and not personally engage each other in one another’s physical presence. We ourselves are the church, and the church physically assembles to worship.
My philosophy for using Facebook Live to broadcast our services has always been that it is primarily for those who are a part of our church but physically unable to be at a service. If people unrelated to our church choose to view the services, I suppose it gives them an idea to how we approach worship and may bless them to some degree, but I never want anyone to think that they’ve found an acceptable substitute for actually worshiping with a local church. I think anyone in our church who wants to be with everyone but can only watch a service instead would tell you that it’s simply not the same. I believe that Scripture would agree.
Also, the logistics of our church recording a video of 10 or fewer people while they are “social distancing” from one another adds a layer of complication to recording a video. Another consideration is that some of the folks in our church do not have the internet (and are not able to read even this), and for some who do, they use it in a very limited way.
My preference is to keep connected in a way that is accessible to everyone so that the church is as much “together” in how we get through this time. For now, that connection is by using the phone, and Pastor Hockema and I will give anything necessary in this update over the phone to others who cannot read it. Please call one another as you feel led as well. If others desire to coordinate video-conferencing with each other for group fellowship beyond this, we can praise the Lord for these extra blessings while we are physically away from each other.
FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEOS
With all of that in mind, for the next couple of Sundays (3/29 and 4/5), Pastor Hockema and I will speak some encouraging words through Facebook Live. We will save any updates or announcements for the end of the videos.
We will post links to these updates and videos on our church website’s homepage, Facebook, and Twitter.
Church Website: http://www.fbcrockford.org/
Our deacons, treasurer, and assistant treasurer will be able to collect, record, and deposit any checks in a timely manner. Please use the following address:
First Baptist Church
5304 Charles St
Rockford, IL 61108
So far as I know from contacting everyone last week, the church is doing well. We all look forward to being together again. Until then, Pastor Hockema and I will split the church into two lists, each of us calling half of the families in the church each week. We will rotate these lists between us from week to week.
Praying for you all,
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.