13 Mar Cancellations and Worship Update
Dear Winter Park Family,
As the coronavirus continues to spread and state and national leaders advise communities like ours regarding how best to respond, we want to keep you informed of the steps we are taking to help slow and contain the virus.
After much discussion, prayer, and discernment between the WPBC Church Council, Deacons, and Staff, the decision has been made to cancel all in-person gatherings for the next two weeks. This includes Worship and Sunday School, Lunch and Learn, Wednesday night activities, and space usage by outside groups. As much as we want to be together as a family of faith, it is clear that the best way to show our love for each other and our community is to respond in this way.
While we are apart, our Sunday morning service will be live-streamed on our website and facebook page at 10:30am. Please know that we will also be considering other ways that we can creatively “be together” during this time of physical separation, so pay close attention to your email, the WPBC app, and our Facebook page for updates on opportunities for safe, healthy community.
A couple of things you can do:
Pray. Pray for our church. Pray for our community. Pray for the sick. Pray for the healthy, whose lives are upended because of this crisis. Pray for the vulnerable, the ones to whom Jesus might be quickest to run in a time like this. Pray for the frightened. Pray for the nation. Pray for the world. Pray.
During this season of uncertainty and change, know that the WPBC staff is here to serve and minister to you. If you have any questions, concerns, or fears that you need to talk through, please do not hesitate to call the church office or email one of our pastors.
Please take all precautions to keep yourself healthy. Be mindful of how to avoid spreading the virus by following the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outlined here.
For those who choose to give their tithes and offerings via the website or app, we thank you for continuing to do so. If you do not currently give in this way, but are interested in doing so, especially during this unique time, you can learn more about it here. For those accustomed to giving in person on Sundays, you are welcome to drop any offerings off at the church office, or mail them to 4700 Wrightsville Ave, Wilmington NC, 28403.
Please know that we are taking this virus seriously, and as a church we are committed to doing our part to keep Winter Parkers and our broader community healthy. As the World Health Organization noted Wednesday, this is a global pandemic, and as such, it deserves our attention.
However, there is something we will be tempted to give to COVID-19 that it does not deserve—our fear. This disease does not deserve our fear, because, as Paul instructs Timothy, in Christ we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7). Remember that when you watch the news, and scroll through Facebook, and receive the constant barrage of “urgent updates” on your phone. Fear and anxiety are part of the pattern of our world, but as Christians we are not to conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but instead we submit our minds to God and let them be transformed by His Spirit (Rom.12:2).
Thus, be alert, but not anxious. React, but don’t overreact. Demonstrate concern, but let it be blanketed in the peace that grows in you as a fruit of the Spirit, because in this world we will have troubles, but in those troubles we can take heart, for our Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Peace be with you,
The Church Council, Deacons, and Staff of Winter Park Baptist Church