A Message from Pastor Greg
Yesterday, Margaret and I returned from our trip south. This was a time for renewal gifted to us by you, through the Board of Deacons, and received with gratitude. We’re pleased to be home, pleased to have had an amazing break in a warmer climate, renewed in spirit, and returning to the most challenging days in the life of our church family with full confidence in God’s continued provision for his people.
BSBC has many strengths and one of them is spirit-led leaders who can make hard decisions through prayer and with God’s guidance. I want to thank Paul Milburn and the Board of Deacons for their discernment in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe the decision to halt our on-site ministries shows our church family to be responsible citizens and provides room to monitor developments and assess how and when we discern stability for reengagement in traditional ministry.
Until then, I want to assure you that your ministry staff are working on new approaches for us to “be the church” in these days. By Saturday, I’ll bring you a more fulsome report on each of the following:
- ‘THE STREET’ ONLNE which will provide you a weekly worship/preaching video;
- CARING CHURCH INITIATIVE which invites you to engage on a personal level with one or two of our most isolated church family members;
- PRAYING CHURCH INITIATIVE which invites you to commit to a day of the week to pray for individuals, our church family, our city and the needs of the nations in these days;
- ONLINE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY RESOURCES offered by our Sunday School and KidzTown curriculum provider — giving parents access to teaching videos and discussion materials;
- THE BANNER ONLINE where pastoral staff members will share their experiences in these days, how you can continue to be ‘salt and light’ for Christ, and more.
While away, I read Max Lucado’s new book, Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Name. Last Thursday, when the Deacons met to discern a response to the recommendations of New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer, I was reading Lucado’s reflection on the account of Peter jumping out of the boat and walking on the storm-tossed sea until he took his eyes off Jesus (Matthew 14). Lucado reflected that we do not normally have control over the storms that come into our lives but we have a choice about how we respond. He proclaimed, “Fear is optional,” as we focus on the Storm Walker who is always with us.
In this ‘storm’ let us remember that the response of fear is optional. This is a time to keep our eyes on Jesus by engaging in prayer, the celebration of God’s promises, reflections on the many ways he has been faithful to us in the past and encouraging one another to live with hope. Our usual approach to ministry is not currently viable, but this is still a time for ministry. I look forward to discerning with you how we impact Fredericton for Christ in new ways in these days.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants, it is [God] who keep its pillars steady. Psalm 75:3
Since our trip was out of the country, at noon on March 17 Margaret and I began 14 days of self-isolation, in compliance with government protocol. While I’ll not be able to minister to you in person during this time, please know that I am at your disposal by phone (459-6722) or email.
Yours in Ministry,