Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone!
We pray you and yours are doing well and have celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord! In light of recent events, I'm providing an important update to our activities below.
Governor Lee & our Tennessee Baptist Mission Board requests:
Early this week, Governor Jim Lee issued a new statement and requests related to assemblies & COVID 19. The situation is a bit different now than in previous months. Rising state numbers for active COVID cases has combined with fewer hospital resources such as staff, equipment, and rooms. Our friends at the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB) have followed up with similar requests to all Baptist pastors across the state.
In light of the requests and recommendations by the Governor and TBMB, many churches are making adjustments this week. Some have suspended all live, on-campus activities for several weeks. Others are making changes, but continue to provide live services. Some are not taking any steps. This process of making decisions is made congregation-by-congregation, which reflects the autonomy and freedom of each local church body, as it rightly should be.
Pine Grove Baptist Church & our response:
We've been very blessed at Pine Grove Baptist Church. We have members who tested positive for COVID in previous months, but thankfully we have not experienced outbreaks like many other organizations. We are grateful for this blessing, and we praise God for His hand of protection. Many other wonderful congregations that also love the Lord have had a terrible time with the virus, and we should all pray for their recovery. We continue to use our safety protocols, and appreciate everyone's cooperation.
After reviewing the statements from Governor Lee and our Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and communicating with our church Safety Team and our Deacons/Ministers team, here is our plan through January 17, 2021:
Sunday morning live worship at 11:00 a.m. = no changes, we proceed as planned.
Wednesday Bible live Study at 7:00 p.m. = no changes, we proceed as planned.
Sunday night live service at 6:00 p.m. = suspended Dec. 27, Jan. 3, 10 & 17 (online message will be available).
Should unforeseen emergency circumstances arise, this will be adjusted.
In addition, we ask you to please stay home to take advantage of our online broadcasts if your Christmas celebrations brought you in lengthy close contact with people you do not know, and/or if you have received word people at the same celebration have become ill since your celebration. In roughly 90% of cases, a person shows symptoms on day 4 or 5 after exposure if they have contracted the illness, but one may be symptom-free until then. Please "err on the side of caution" this Sunday.
Online broadcasts are available on the church Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PineGroveBCTN
And on our church website at https://www.pinegrovebctn.org/services
In both cases, the broadcast loads at the same time as the service is held, so our morning broadcast is Sunday at 11:00 a.m., for example.
As always, tithes, offerings, and other gifts can be sent to the church at the mailing address on our "contact" page.
Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you have questions. As always, your leadership teams and I request your prayers as we face these decisions. May the people of Pine Grove continue to use God-given wisdom and strength as we move forward. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all the honor, praise, and glory as we end this year and begin anew in 2021!
Pastor David Skorupa