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New Hope Baptist Church
As we have said from the start of the Coronavirus outbreak in the
United States, we want our response to this pandemic to be in humility and love humility that heeds the counsel of those who know more about these things than we do and love for our community by
doing our part to slow the spread. It was humility and love that compelled us to close our services to in-person attendance starting on March 22nd.
While some could look at the precautions we have taken as an example
of fear, we do not view these precautions as an act of fear but an act of love. We care deeply about the physical health, jobs, and businesses of people in our community. The best way to love others
during this season, was to refrain from gathering in an effort to protect those around us and help our community move past the threat that this virus poses. We closed our services, not as an act of
self-preservation, but as an act of self-sacrifice for the health and well-being of others.
Last Friday, Governor Holcomb introduced a new plan for the gradual
re-opening of the state of Indiana. As a part of this plan were new guidelines for places of worship as they look to open again for in-person attendance. After reviewing the guidelines, praying for
wisdom, and discussing our options, our leadership team came to a unanimous decision for how to proceed. We have set the target date of May 24th for our first in-person
Now, I know we all want to have a big reunion service and return to
church as we knew it back in February, but this will be a gradual process, and in those first weeks and months of in-person services, we will have to make adjustments to what we would normally do.
Things will be different, awkward, and inconvenient at times.
Through this whole process we’ve used words and phrases like
“return,” “reopen,” “back to normal” “again,” but I don’t think God wants to be looking back but instead be looking forward. The past is comfortable, familiar, and safe. But the truth is we can never
return to the past. All we can do is follow God where he is leading us today. So, as we start up in-person services, let us not compare it to what we did in the past. Let us be flexible and adaptable
to what church must be now.
We have received a list of guidelines from the state of Indiana, and
we fully intend on following them. These will be communicated as we get closer to May 24th. We also know that there will be those who are not able/comfortable with attending services at first—and
that is okay. Those who are over 65 or who have underlying health concerns are strongly encouraged to remain at home and watch the livestream.
It will be a while before we are truly “all together,” but May 24th
will be a start in that direction. For the next two weeks of “livestream only” services, I encourage you to invite someone to your house to watch the service together now that “stay-at-home” has been
lifted. Thank-you for continuing to be the “church” even though we have not been at “church.”
Pastor Jonathan and the Deacons of New
New Hope Baptist Church
8918 Aboite Center Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
Ph: 260-434-1111/ contact form
Join us on Sunday Worship Service at 10:00am EST !!!
Leading people to find hope in an active and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.