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Covid-19 Updates from UBC

March 19, 2020
A Message from Pastor Jeremiah Smith
 

Greetings Church Family,

If you have a few minutes, take time to watch our latest weekly update on how UBC is responding to the needs of our community.  The video includes the following:

  • Verse of Encouragement – Stay focused on God’s Word and loving Him with all your heart.
  • Community Outreach – Hear about our recent phone calls to assess needs of our congregation, as well as an important update concerning a food distribution project with Morningside Apartments and Seminary Hills Park Elementary.  This new project should go into effect next week.

  • D-Group Updates – We are working on the formation of new groups so we can maintain consistent connectivity and prayer support while large gatherings are prohibited.  

  • Social Media Efforts – Get an update on our daily engagement through social media, including a fun endeavor to “ask Jerimiah” whatever you want.

  • Final Thought – Choose Joy!!!
More updates to come.  Looking forward to being with you all again Sunday morning for our new online services.  Continued prayers for all.
 
IN HIS GRACE,
Jerimiah Smith
 
 

 
March 13, 2020
 
Greetings Church Family,
 
As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, FWISD has followed suit with many school districts around the country and has decided to close their campuses for the next two weeks.  They are currently scheduled to resume classes on Monday, March 30th.  Consequently, we will follow their lead and close the church offices for the next two weeks as well.  
 
Our weekly Sunday morning services will have a new look and feel as we transition our time of worship to a live-stream option using our church’s Facebook page.  We will still worship together, but we will do so from home using the wonderful benefits of technology.  
 
You can search @ubcfortworth on Facebook to find our church’s page or click on the button below:
 
 
Be sure you are checking the page Sunday morning at 10:30 to join us for a time of worship.  Matt will still lead us in music, the children will hear from Mr. Kevin, and I’ll deliver a message as usual.  I’ll direct much of my message to elaborate on important updates as to how we will respond to the Coronovirus outbreak as a body of believers.  
 
So, please plan on joining us this Sunday at 10:30 a.m., but from the comforts of your own home.  If you are unable to join us by way of the live-stream option then please remember the sermon will be posted on our church’s website the following day according to our normal practice.  
 
These are unprecedented times but I’m sensing tremendous potential for the church to think outside the box and to discover new ways to love our neighbor.  Finally, I’d like to encourage you to continue to pray for all those impacted by the Coronovirus (Covid-19) and the healthcare professionals and elected officials who are actively trying to combat its spread.  It continues to be one of our greatest ways to respond in a time  of need.  Thanks for being such a wonderful church family.  We look forward to “seeing” you on Sunday.
 
IN HIS GRACE,
Jerimiah Smith

March 12, 2020

Greetings Church Family, 

 In the fourth chapter of Matthew, Jesus begins his ministry by leaving a remarkable impression upon the people.  Following his temptation in the wilderness and the calling of the first disciples, we are told, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” 

I think this serves as a pretty powerful reminder given the set of circumstances currently facing our world.  At this point, it is fair to say the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented.  When we encounter something new and unknown it is natural for it to cause concern and worry. 

As believers, it is important to remind ourselves that we can surrender such worry to a Savior who has proven to be greater than disease and sickness.  It’s remarkable how the Bible continues to be and will forever be relevant to all situations we encounter.  Before we identify the prudent steps we anticipate taking in response to the current set of circumstances, let us first remember the comfort that the news of Jesus brings to every heart and soul in every season of history.  Let it be our guide now as it has been before. 

With that said, the responses to the outbreak of COVID-19 seem to be changing by the day if not by the hour.  As a result, as a church family, we need to be diligent to remain informed in order to make appropriate decisions for our church.  That’s more than just being informed of what’s happening in the world.  It’s also important to be informed with each other in terms of how we will respond to this situation as a community of faith.  Here are some important reminders:  

  • Updates: We will communicate important updates by way of the website, email and our church’s Facebook page.  Please ensure you regularly check all of these avenues to stay informed of our plans.  As always you can call our office for information as well. 
  • Gatherings: We will move forward with our regular schedule for church services and midweek activities.  As is our standard protocol, we follow FWISD for any cancellations and closings.  We already know that TCU and Baylor are extending their spring breaks.  Given the trends in other areas, it is not unreasonable to anticipate FWISD may make a similar decision at some point.  If they do, we will follow their lead.  Until then, we will continue to meet as scheduled. 
  • Precautions: We will reiterate what we said last week.  Extra efforts are being taken to clean highly used areas with disinfectant wipes and we encourage regular washing of hands (or use of hand sanitizer).  We will also suggest limited contact when we gather on Sunday mornings.  We are even going to adjust some of the things we do in our standard service to be more mindful of this sort of contact by adjusting how we do greeting time and passing the offering plate.  It is our hope these steps help reassure each of you of our desire to safeguard your health to the best of our ability.
  • Alternative Plans: In the event we need to forego gathering together we have a plan in place already.  Our staff worked through these details two weeks ago just be to safe.  For example:  
  • Weekly Teaching:  We have the ability to live-stream our message through our Facebook group.  We will use absolutely every resource available to us to regularly open God’s word together.  So, you can still set aside 10:30 every Sunday morning to hear God’s word as a community, even if it’s remotely. 
  • Giving: We also highly encourage each of you to remember that your weekly tithes and offerings can be mailed to the church or given through our website here.  If you’ve never used it before, now might be a great time to get familiar with it.  Visit www.ubcfortworth.org/giving to continue your support remotely.   
  • Fellowship: One of the hardest things to maintain with potential closures will be the sense of community.  This is a reminder that one of our key convictions as a church is that families are valuedIt’s also worth remembering God has instructed the importance of restShould closures occur, use this disruption as an opportunity to rest and focus on family relationships.  That said, we will explore innovative ways to use our social media platforms to encourage one another and pray for each other on a regular basis.   

 I’ll be honest, it’s odd to be writing a letter like this.  We will continue to be diligent and smart, but let me also encourage each of you that we will also be courageous.  Praise God that we have a Savior and a Word of hope for any and every season. 

Let me accentuate another part of the verse that accompanies the one I shared earlier.  The passage continues, “News about him spread all over Syria … large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”  It is my prayer that, as unprecedented as this situation is, the manner in which we reflect our Savior will result in the news of Jesus being spread all over the world.  May we hope large crowds from all regions would choose to follow him.  This is and forever will be the call of the believer and the mighty responsibility of the Church.  May we embrace it with love, wisdom, hope and courage. 

 I’m grateful for each of you and look forward to seeing you soon. 

IN HIS GRACE, 

Jerimiah Smith 

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