by: Pastor Brooks
Dear Liberty Baptist Tabernacle Family,
Pennington County is now in the “substantial” classification level for COVID-19/Coronavirus community spread according to the South Dakota Department of Health website (https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx#map). Once a community reaches this classification level the CDC recommendation is to “cancel community and faith-based gatherings of any size”. Therefore, I’m promoting live stream only services. I am asking you to take the CDC recommendation seriously.
With that being said, I will not forbid any from “the assembling of ourselves together” – no one will be turned away. This is not with a defiant spirit, but this is a position I must take to be right with God as the under shepherd of this flock. To be clear, I do not feel our Constitutional rights are being infringed upon in Rapid City as they are in some pockets of our country – thank God! Should it come to the point where our rights are being threatened, then I will stand unapologetically for our God-given mandate and our Constitutional right to assemble. As our church has done for these past 40 years we will continue to do!
In an effort to honor God and government, effective this Sunday, our 8:30 Sunday morning service is canceled until further notice. (As a reminder, our choir, Sunday school hour, discipleship class, and bus ministry were already placed on hold when our county went to moderate community spread.)
We will live stream our Sunday morning service at 11:00 and our Sunday evening service at 6:00. Our Wednesday night prayer and Bible study service will be live streamed after the prayer portion of our service is over. This is typically around 7:45 p.m. but be flexible. I want to encourage you to maintain a regular church schedule through all of this. Please tune in to all of our services as you would if you were attending in person.
Colossians 2:5 “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”
We will have a “skeleton crew” on site to make the service possible. This will include those necessary to provide music, preaching, security, and technical support. If you are on the music schedule and feel led to show up then please coordinate that as necessary, but do not feel pressured to do so.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for being faithful in your giving throughout all of this thus far – keep honoring God financially. There are still missionaries to support, bills to pay, and ministry expenses to cover. As a reminder, you can give securely online through our website, by mail, or you can set up a time to drop off at the church office if necessary.
We must be prepared for the long haul, because so far it’s uncertain how counties are going to be downgraded in their classification level of community spread once they’ve been elevated. For example, Lawrence County had nine positive cases, but all nine have recovered, and yet they remain in the “substantial” level of community spread even with no new cases reported. Point is, we should expect to remain under these circumstances for a considerable amount of time.
This is regrettable, and I already long for the day when we are able to gather again “with one accord in one place” … Can you see the choir singing again? Can you see excited children coming in on the buses again? Can you see the day when we can all fellowship together again? What a day that will be!
Keep this year’s theme verse in mind:
Psalm 27:13 “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
By continuing in faith we will not faint. Let’s “Believe to See” the goodness of the LORD! God wants our attention through all of this. As a church family we need to set aside more time for prayer and fasting in order to seek God’s face and favor. We need to see an undeniable move of God – pray for revival!
Believing to See,