An open letter to the Gibsonia Baptist Church family and friends – March 20, 2020

We are experiencing a time of uncertainty like none of us have ever lived through. The threat of the non-discriminating, formidable and unseen foe known as the coronavirus is shaking the world. Governments and business around the world are being affected by this microscopic enemy. Even the local church is being challenged to deal with this force that, a few months ago, seemed like the plot of a science-fiction movie.

We, as believers in Christ, are strengthened with the truth that we find in a very familiar song that has be recited for thousands of years. The song is the 23rd Psalm. Within its verses we read that God will take care of us as a shepherd takes care of his sheep but there are times in our lives that cause us to doubt this loving hand of God. We are in the dark and all alone and fear grows stronger. That is why the phrase “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” is in this amazing song of God’s provision. When we are in the darkest times of our lives, God is there with us. The verse goes on to say “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me”. God’s rod and His staff are the truths and promises He has made and although we cannot see the outcome ourselves we can continue to trust His Word.

I want to assure you that although we cannot see beyond today and our ability to conduct “business as usual” is all but gone for an undetermined period of time our foundation is not shaken and our purpose as a church is not only clear but it is being refined. Our purpose is, and always has been to love God and love anyone that is around us. The church does that by trusting God and living by faith in a way that it is visible to all that know us and speak of God’s love and salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We, as a church, will continue to do that regardless of the effects of the virus.

A separate post will outline our strategy for ministry and worship for the unforeseeable future. Although we are not meeting publicly, please stay connected through phone calls, letters and through social media. Please remember to be Biblically correct, encouraging and loving in all of your contacts. Remember, God’s divine calling for every Christian is to love our neighbor as ourselves so, please, cautiously help and care for those around you in the love of Christ.

Your servant in Christ,

Mark Goheen, Pastor