Hello church family,
steadfast love of the Lord never
ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” You and I experience the truth of this verse this very hour. Songs have
been sung of this passage by those who have gone before us: famous hymns
written in tumultuous times (see Lamentations 3:23). They—like us—experienced
challenging times. We all experience God’s mercies.
The church family at Immanuel is a vessel of those mercies.
Many are calling and writing as a means of encouraging others. Your elders are
making wise leadership decisions and shepherding the flock through various
forms of communication. Though the season has changed, there is no change to
the thirst and desire God’s people have for Him: you continue to receive His
mercies through technology and in new and varied ways. We receive God’s mercies
as we look forward to reuniting in His time.
The work of ministry in your church continues. In light of
Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home-Stay Healthy” order Monday, staff will work from
home until at least April 6. There is also a stoppage of all group gatherings at
church through April 11. The weekly worship service will continue to be
recorded and available at ibcbellingham.org: Video Bible Study, Facebook
resources, children’s lessons, and small group conferencing are now all active.
Thank you to our ministry leaders and technology pros for their creative
Your church family is here to serve you. If you have any needs or just need to talk, be sure to reach out. Your elders are available; Pastor Michael may be reached on his cell phone. The Coronavirus will come to an end. God’s mercies will not.
May the Lord be glorified, Pastor Michael
Video Bible Study worksheet for week #2.
Welcome back … or welcome for the first time! We’re moving into an in-depth study of First Peter, entering the body of the letter (1 Peter 1:3-5). For an overview of the book with helpful background, click here. To prepare for the Video Bible Study lesson posting Friday, click either link below (both share same content).
First Video Bible Study Video debuts Today!
Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ,
May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. I write
to you as one privileged to serve in pastoral ministry. The measures we take to
combat COVID-19 challenge me to serve in new and different ways. I imagine some
aspects of your life look different now as well. Though life is temporarily
changed, the unchangeableness of our Lord is well worth remembering. In Hebrews
13:8, the Bible says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and
forever.” He never changes! The next verse commands us: “Do not be carried away
by varied and strange teaching; for it is good for heart to be strengthened by
grace …” (Heb 13:9). Just as new ideas about our precious Scriptures appear, so
too will the varied news cycles fail to cease. In this time of testing, we will
be stormed by temptation, panic, and worry.
The battle against the Coronavirus is as much a battle for our minds as
it is our health. Remember Christ—your unchanging King. Keep your mind fixed
upon Him and use these times as opportunities to commune in deeper ways.
I aim to help you. Here are a few ways ministry to you is
advancing at Immanuel:
- Full worship services in video will be available on our website (ibcbellingham.org)
- A Video Bible Study through First Peter has begun. Download the worksheet on Tuesdays and dig deep (!); watch for the companion video lesson on Fridays on our website. (Worksheets and video links are on our website.)
- Our church Facebook page regularly carries links to spiritual resources for your mind and family. This week, we posted sermons, children’s music, and writings about COVID-19 from a Christian perspective.
- A remote conferencing tool for church Bible Studies, boards/committees, and all other ministry gatherings is now available to our ministry heads.
- Our church website is mission central for many resources and all updates.
Our gatherings remain halted through at least Saturday,
3/28. The elders and I will discuss next steps next week—in an overflow of love
and faithfulness to their calling, these men are in the process of contacting
each of you. Please share your needs with your shepherds, as they arise.
God is sovereign over the big stuff—and the small. Remember
Jesus Christ! And may you and your loved ones thrive in His grace in this
season, Pastor Michael
Video Bible Study Launches Today!
Missing your Bible Study? Join Pastor Michael in a video Bible Study through First Peter. On Tuesday, a worksheet will guide you through a passage. On Friday, a video will be available that teaches through the passage, incorporating the work you’ve done. This is a great way to grow while apart and make good use of your mind and time.
Let’s get started with Week #1! (both files have the same content)
May the peace of God be upon you in a restless time. God is faithful and He is our sure hope! I’m writing to give you a few updates from your local church …
- Closures at Immanuel are extended through
Saturday, 3/28. The elders are monitoring events and will continue to assess
the timing of an opening.
- Sunday Morning Worship Services will be
available online at ibcbellingham.org. Sunday, 3/15 is audio; we aim to add
video beginning 3/22. We are continuing our expository preaching series through
Matthew. Keep worshipping and please keep giving.
- The church website will be the central location
to find a variety of resources. The church Facebook page will also be active
and the church office is receiving phone calls.
- Your elders will be in-touch with all members
and regular attenders. Their heart is to pray, encourage, and meet needs. If you have specific physical needs, be sure
to tell them. Do not try to navigate hard times alone. They are working
with the deacons to serve you. I am personally very encouraged by the godliness
and leadership I’ve seen from our men this past week.
Now is our opportunity to do what Christ calls us to. People
are afraid, worried, and panicked. You have answers to each of these emotions.
The time is ripe for the hope of Christ and the gospel of good news. If you
encounter physical needs others have, please let us know those as well. At
Immanuel, we are keenly interested in taking advantage of these opportunities
May the Lord bless you and your family, Pastor Michael