How is your church adapting for COVID-19?

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 3:46 PM

We are a small church and plan to continue with our normal meeting schedule. I have encouraged our members to make decisions about attendance based on factual data. I have also encouraged them to hear what our Lord has to say about fear, anxiety, and emotional decisions.

That said, we have done some extra cleaning and disinfecting. The person who cleans our church (also a member) arrived early Sunday morning to wipe down all door knobs, keyboards, counter tops etc. I have also asked those in attendance not to steal our toilet paper. Surprise

If you happen to be in Gardendale, Alabama on Sunday morning, feel free to stop in. Our morning worship service starts at 10:30 AM CST.

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:08 PM

Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari:

Greetings from Finland Europe!

I have 3 baptism’s during the next three weeks 

I was taught that a baptism is the public announcement of a personal commitment.  So, imho, if it gets 'delayed' it is no big deal.  God already knows and He is the only one that counts.

Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari:

I have one burial service during the next week.

I agree with your bishop. Simple service graveside now and memorial service latter.  The deceased would be horrified if some of their friends needlessly joined them in a couple of weeks. [[that is if the ground is not too solid]]

Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari:

I have only one wedding during the next 4 weeks.

I have no answers for that one other than that you could marry them now in a very small private ceremony and have a BIG party latter with all the fixings. 

Best to you in your decision making.  [[and that goes to all the rest of you that have to make the hard decisions in these trying times]]

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:32 PM

David Ames:
I was taught that a baptism is the public announcement of a personal commitment. 

This would not be the view of the poster. To put the issue in the framework of the original poster, see https://evl.fi/en/our-faith/what-we-believe/sacraments/baptism#bc8ca35c. Mind you the Evangelical Finnish Lutheran Church is basically an unknown to me - Apostolic Finnish Lutheran Church - a piestist movement church - is what I know.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:32 PM

Wow you got your baptisms, burials and weddings planned ahead 😂 I guess people plan to die or they don‘t get buried right away when they do (like 3 days tops).

Not a theological discussion by the way, just mentioning what the Scriptures say, but Scriptures teach people were baptized immediately and didn’t have to wait or plan to get baptized later.  Read the book of Acts for Scriptural examples.  So it seems it wasn’t something that “it’s ok” to put off ‘til later it doesn’t matter what some are taught today.  Just saying...

Anyway, stay safe 👍😁👌

DAL

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:37 PM

DAL:
I guess people plan to die or they don‘t get buried right away


If you are responding to the Finnish Lutheran, he indicated that burial with a grave-side service would be continuing. If you are responding to someone else, my apologies for the mis-understanding.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:42 PM

Our own diocesan policies are:

https://www.scd.org/coronavirus/holy-mass

Of course, with the heavy snowfall, I couldn’t get there safely anyway (I have a prosthetic leg and the snow was too deep for me to walk without falling)

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 7:48 PM

Fred Chapman:
I have encouraged our members to make decisions about attendance based on factual data. I have also encouraged them to hear what our Lord has to say about fear, anxiety, and emotional decisions.

Have the new recommendations from the White House changed your decision about this?

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 7:50 PM

The Bahamas had just confirmed its first case on Sunday. All schools are closed (as far as I know) and all events using public spaces that the government owns are cancelled. Decision made last night.

Seventh-day Adventist have not taken a formal position as yet, instruction could come this week, but we have been emphasizing hand washing, social distancing and I have begun telling my colleagues to make use of streaming platforms in case churches have to be closed. My preference is Microsoft Team due to real time response.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 9:11 PM

We've had to cancel our Friday morning book group, which is made up of mostly seniors (about 15 people). I tried an experiment with one of them meeting together over Zoom this evening. It took 20 min or so to talk him through the setup, so we decided it would be too complicated to get all of these tech-phobic seniors up and running on Zoom, for what is really a non-essential meeting.

Still no call on this Sunday's service, but I suspect it will be cancelled and some version of it live-streamed. It will be hard because two major aspects of our service are singing together in 4-part harmony (which you can't do via live-stream) and our discussion time after the sermon (which you also can't do via live-stream). We have no worship band, just a pianist. We have no pastor, just lay people together putting each service on. Having a sermon, and a pianist playing hymns for us to sing along with alone at home, and a worship leader reading Scripture and prayers to us, would be so very limited compared to what we're used to in our services. And it would force those people to be in proximity with each other when everyone is really supposed to limit their social contact to a very small circle (in France it's 5 now; Trump said 10 for the US today) -- and that's total, not each time you get together with others. These are tough times.

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Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 12:24 AM

MJ. Smith:

David Ames:
I was taught that a baptism is the public announcement of a personal commitment. 

This would not be the view of the poster. To put the issue in the framework of the original poster, see https://evl.fi/en/our-faith/what-we-believe/sacraments/baptism#bc8ca35c. Mind you the Evangelical Finnish Lutheran Church is basically an unknown to me - Apostolic Finnish Lutheran Church - a piestist movement church - is what I know.

Correct. For more info, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_of_Finland

DAL:

I guess people plan to die or they don‘t get buried right away when they do (like 3 days tops).

DAL

We live - normally - in a very cold country, way up in the north. No need for quick funerals here, as in the south (or in the Holy Land). Just a cultural difference, I think...

Lynden Williams:

...we have been emphasizing… social distancing...

Our president of the Republic, mr. Sauli Niinistö, wisely said yesterday in a televized speech (my paraphrase of his thought): During these hard times we must not distance ourselves from each other socially or mentally, even though we need to do it physically…

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 5:13 AM

Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari:

MJ. Smith:

David Ames:
I was taught that a baptism is the public announcement of a personal commitment. 

This would not be the view of the poster. To put the issue in the framework of the original poster, see https://evl.fi/en/our-faith/what-we-believe/sacraments/baptism#bc8ca35c. Mind you the Evangelical Finnish Lutheran Church is basically an unknown to me - Apostolic Finnish Lutheran Church - a piestist movement church - is what I know.

Correct. For more info, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Lutheran_Church_of_Finland 

Sorry, I got somewhat blindsided by my protestant beliefs and was only thinking of the baptism of an adult that had gone through a 'training' series. [[my normal audience on this subject is a 6 or 9 year old that the pastor has denied baptism till "they grow up".]]

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 2:08 PM

David Ames:
Sorry, I got somewhat blindsided by my protestant beliefs and was only thinking of the baptism of an adult that had gone through a 'training' series. [[my normal audience on this subject is a 6 or 9 year old that the pastor has denied baptism till "they grow up".]]

Actually it wasn't the infant vs. adult difference that had caught my attention - rather it was the "public announcement of a personal commitment" which many Protestants would disagree with - think Lutherans, many Anglicans, Restoration Movement. . . as well as Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox ... A perfect example of why we need the Lexham Survey of Theology to be accurate and reasonably complete.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 4:30 PM

OK, to get this back to talking about Logos I tried searching for doctrine NEAR baptism expecting to find many chapter headings on the doctrine of baptism.  Whoops. Found none.  My library contains many Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant resources but I seem to have the wrong ones. How do I search for when different  "groups"  consider one "saved"?

"Baptism may be defined as the sacrament of regeneration, as the biblical images used to describe it all link it to new life in Christ. The effect of baptism is disputed, with perhaps the majority of historic and contemporary Christians seeing it as the instrument through which regeneration is conferred upon the baptized. A number of Protestants see the effect of baptism as ambiguous, conferring grace only in some instances, while others see it as purely symbolic of the regeneration that occurs by faith."   [from Lexham Survey of Theology]  

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Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 7:50 PM

I ran a basic search of "baptism NEAR regeneration" in just my systematic theology books  and came up with 485 results.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 17 2020 10:52 PM

David Ames:
How do I search for when different  "groups"  consider one "saved"?

I'd start with the table of contents of Armstrong, John H., and Paul E. Engle, eds. Understanding Four Views on Baptism. Zondervan Counterpoints Collection. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007. to get the probable vocabulary for the various views.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2020 4:59 AM

Our services are now cancelled because Ontario has declared a state of emergency.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2020 5:06 AM

MJ. Smith:

I'd start with the table of contents of Armstrong, John H., and Paul E. Engle, eds. Understanding Four Views on Baptism. Zondervan Counterpoints Collection. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007. to get the probable vocabulary for the various views.

Added to library.  thanks

Lonnie Spencer:

I ran a basic search of "baptism NEAR regeneration" in just my systematic theology books  and came up with 485 results.

Will give it a try - thanks

[edit] 5282 in Everything and 74 in my PBB collection [/edit]  [[And "Understanding Four" is downloading]]

[edit 2] first 4 hits gave 2 each to both sides - FUN! - and the "discussion" goes back to the very beginning [/edit 2]  

 

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2020 5:36 AM

We have now cancelled all services on campus.  Our pastor will now be live streaming each service, and he will be adding a daily video lesson teaching through Philippians.  Our student minister will also be live streaming his services.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2020 5:42 AM

Fred Chapman:
I have encouraged our members to make decisions about attendance based on factual data. I have also encouraged them to hear what our Lord has to say about fear, anxiety, and emotional decisions.

This is what I fear most concerning churches in the current situation.  In many places, if the church chooses to continue on-campus services, then people feel like they lack faith if they do not attend, disregarding factual data.  Churches also have a large concentration of older people, so this is a prime place where you would not want people gathering.  Setting up attendance as a matter of faith seems extremely dangerous.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 326
Chrisser | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2020 6:07 AM

livestreaming is a really good option. My Bible study group is done through online voice calls so we don't actually meet since we live in various states and a few countries. My thoughts are scrambled but I hope that Christians are able to make lemonade out of lemons if possible.

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