March 18, 2020
To the Congregation of the First Baptist Church of Amsterdam
All of us understand that at times difficult decisions sometimes must be made. After much prayer, much research, and discussion among all the church leaders, we will be suspending all public gatherings as of March 18th. There will be no Mondays for Men; no @ Rise youth; no Prayer Meeting and Bible Study and no Sunday School or Sunday Worship here at the church.
None of us lives in a vacuum and most are aware of the conflicting information about COVID 19. We are not making any statement as to that, except that we are following the most stringent of the guidelines as of the moment we made the decision. We believe that in the case of our congregation, extreme caution is in order. The majority of our congregation falls into the “at risk” category in one way or the other; if not the members themselves, there are family members at risk.
Taking this action does not reflect a lack of faith or situation in which fear reigns. We fully understand that we dwell in the “shelter of the Most High” and “abide in the shadow of the Almighty;” we truly say “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Ps. 91:1-2) We do not live in fear because God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of “power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim. 1:7)
That said, within the concept of self-control we must apply knowledge. Knowledge of current situations dictates that we take this action to safeguard our people.
While we are unable to gather for worship, we will be making video messages available from the pastor. This will not include music due to some legalities of broadcasting. Please do not understand this to be a substitute for corporate worship. Nothing can compare to the joining of hearts and voices on a Sunday morning, hearing the deep bass of the organ, the rich chords of the guitar, greeting and joining in fellowship before and after the service. In this time of separation from our church family, let our hearts grow hungry for the sweet fellowship of those we hold dear.
Pastor Bill and the deacons will remain available to any and all with needs during this time. Please contact Pastor at 518-332-2704 (phone or text) or email at him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any needs or concerns.
We will be posting frequent updates on both our website and our Facebook page to keep everyone up to date.
By His grace;