GABC Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response and Precautions
As you are aware, the spread of COVID-19 is increasing throughout the United States.
Our goal is always to glorify God through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith should work itself out in love for our neighbor. Such love demands that we take precautions to protect our neighbors, particularly the most vulnerable.
According to the CDC, those most vulnerable to COVID-19 include older adults and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. There is an increased danger to the immunocompromised. Even if we are not in these categories, love for our neighbor demands that we take steps to protect them as we would ourselves.
What steps will GABC take?
Due to the coronavirus/COVID situation, until further notice, there will be no regular office hours. Our secretary will be in briefly for whatever is necessary (mail, phone messages, bill paying, etc.) and then work from home. If you need or an office item, please contact us by email, phone, or through the form on the website.
Pastoral Care / Small Groups
If you need pastoral care, please contact the office, a pastor directly, or the elders. Though small groups are not meeting, please keep your small group leader apprised of needs.
Thank you for continuing your financial support of the church. Our missions support, staff compensation, and operating expenses depend upon it.
You may give online (here) or mail your offering to the church office (612 24th St, Ames, IA 50010).
Our Children’s Ministries will meet virtually, through a Zoom call. (For a link, please see the email from Debbie Martens.)
- grow252 will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesdays.
- Foundations for Children will be at 10:00 am on Sundays.
Parents: Your children will be viewable as they participate in the calls. These video calls will be recorded and posted in a private area of the website for member families who cannot join the live event to view later. If you do not wish your children to be seen in the video, please cover or turn off your camera as you join the call.
On our blog, we will post an online service liturgy containing readings, prayer, songs, sermon, and benediction. You may use it with your family or a group conforming to government regulations. Suggested use:
- Responsive Readings — Designate someone to read the leader portions, and then everyone else may read the congregation portion. Be flexible, and do your best to include everyone.
- Sing — Songs will be embedded in the post to play if you are unable to provide music at home.
- Prayer — Ask someone to pray. A suggested prayer will be included for you to read if you wish to use it.
- Offering. You may give online (here) or mail your offering to the church office (612 24th St, Ames, IA 50010). Thank you for continuing your financial support of the church. Our missions support, staff compensation, and operating expenses depend upon it.
- Scripture Reading — Have someone read the text aloud or go around the group and have each person read a verse or a portion.
- Sermon. A pre-recorded sermon video will be available to watch and then discuss.
1) Pray for GABC.
- Ask God to protect our congregation from disease and illness.
- Ask God to grant peace to those in our body who are experiencing increased anxiety and fear.
- Ask for wisdom for the Elders as they shepherd the body and individuals.
- Ask God to use this time to increase our faith in him and our love for one another.
- Ask for the Gospel to spread, even as we seek to prevent the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19.
2) Be the church. The church is an assembly. But it is more than an assembly. We are a body of believers who have covenanted to live out the faith together. This global health crisis is an opportunity to do just that. Here are a few things we ask of each of you:
- Check-in with your Small Group Members. These Small Groups enable us to care for one another at such times efficiently. Take extra care to check-in with those who may find it especially difficult or dangerous to go out for day-to-day errands, such as:
- those at higher risk (older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions).
- those who have immunocompromised persons in the home.
- Offer to run errands, have a phone conversation, video chat, pray.
3) Share your needs. This cultural situation may result in unique needs for some, such as an increased financial need for those whose employers do not allow for paid sick leave. Should you experience genuine needs, please take advantage of the following:
- Communicate with your Small Group.
- Share practical needs with the GABCShare email group.
4) Trust God and Love Your Neighbor. Martin Luther wrote the following to Rev. Dr. John Hees in a letter on “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” (Works v. 43, p. 132). We find it to be sound advice:
I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.
5) Pray for those on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic (medical professionals, law enforcement, government officials, etc.).