*****RMBC’s Response to the Latest NY State Restrictions****

March 16, 2020 | by

The message below was about to be sent when the latest restrictions were made public by an agreement between the states of NY, NJ, and CT. 

Yesterday, you were asked to pray for wisdom for your Elders to make decisions regarding the ministry of RMBC in the light of the virus.  Those decisions have, in part, been made for us.  The agreement between the above-mentioned States includes a restriction upon all gatherings in excess of 50 people.  As a result, because we wish to submit to the governing authorities (Rom. 13), and because we want to love our neighbors (Matt. 22:37-40), RMBC will cease its Sunday morning corporate meetings until further notice. 

We will continue to broadcast past services on Comcast and Verizon.  Also, the teaching ministry of RMBC will continue either through live streaming or by uploading video and audio recordings to YouTube and Sermon Audio, as usual.  In order to plan and establish our plans for the future of these online ministries, we will be cancelling our ladies and men’s Bible study for this week.  Our plan is to resume these studies next week.  Prayer meeting, being even more crucial now, will meet, but, out of an abundance of caution, we will return to meeting in the sanctuary, and until further notice, we will forego our fellowship meal.

Obviously, things are, and will continue to be, in flux for some time.  We will be sure to make you aware of changes as they occur.

Let me remind everyone that while we will not be meeting together on Sunday morning, this does not mean that we cannot worship.  Every moment of our lives are to be offered up as worship to our God.  Every act, every thought, every word.  Likewise, let us continue to worship in those ways we would worship together if it were possible.  Avail yourself of sound teaching. Read the Word.  Pray. Sing. Yes…and give. Our bills, and our missionaries needs, will not disappear because of this virus.  Drop off your offerings to the office, if that is convenient, or do so by mail. 

We are entering a time of great change, but our Lord does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Be at peace. Our God reigns.

And now, please continue reading that which was originally going to be sent on its own. Nothing that has occurred this morning, impacts anything written below.

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As was stated during our gathering yesterday, we will be keeping in touch with the fellowship regarding the present situation as there are changes made to the ministry or information that we believe might be helpful. So, don’t neglect to periodically check your email, or mailbox.  We’ll also be adding information to our webpage.

This morning, there are two things we’d like to mention:

First, if you were not in attendance yesterday, please make a point of watching or listening to the message from Exodus 39:32-43 whenever they are uploaded to Sermon Audio or YouTube.  There are several applications made in that message regarding our response as a church and as individual Christians to the Coronavirus.

Second, in our desire to care for one another, we would like to establish something we will call the “Acts 6 Ministry”.  You will remember that in the sixth chapter of the book of Acts, the church had organized a means of providing for the widows there in the church at Jerusalem.  So, the Apostles appointed a group of men to ensure that this ministry was accomplished.  Likewise, we wish to ensure that those in our fellowship who are in high-risk categories, and who have decided to isolate themselves as much as possible, are cared for.

To that end, there are two groups of people we would like to hear from.

The first group are those who have any needs which we can assist with.  If you need food, medicine, or anything else, please contact the church office and we will do everything we can to make sure that you have what you need.  Likewise, if you are aware of one outside of our fellowship, who has no other means of assistance, we will seek to provide help, as we are able.  We do this in the name of Christ, while remembering that the priority of the church must be our brothers and sisters in the fellowship (Gal. 6:10).

The second group we would like to hear from are those who wish to be involved in meeting these needs, should they arise.  If you would be willing and able to meet these needs, please let us hear from you, as well.  It is our desire to turn in the church office into a kind of clearing house for the needs of our fellowship.  We will strive to match the need with one who can meet that need.

Like every other aspect of this current situation, we do not know what the future holds. Perhaps we will find that there is not need for such a system. But if there is, we want to be ready and able to care for the brethren.

Along these lines, you might be interested in this article by Moses Y. Lee, on The Gospel Coalition website, entitled, “What the Early Church Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus”.

May God bless you all, and may we all face this uncertain time as is fitting for Christian disciples.

Your Elders

Pastor Jim Harrison

David Fiore

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