*** Update March 21, 2020, 6:40AM ***
CBF Friends and Family,
We (the Council) wanted to come to you quickly with important information concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the temporary measures we’re taking as a church family. We are choosing to remain calm, trust God, but also take the situation very seriously to help support the efforts of our state and community. As always, no matter what we face, we have a God who is bigger. We will continue to trust Him in the days ahead.
We believe that our government leadership is not presenting anything that is contrary to our beliefs by mandating that events, groups and organizations suspend any gatherings of 50 or more people. We also believe that our government is actively pursuing the best course of action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, after much prayer and in accordance with the biblical directive of honoring our governing authorities and out of concern for the health and safety of our local communities, CBF will be suspending our regular Sunday and weekday gatherings beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. This includes all ministries, studies and events operating under the CBF title and in the church building. This practice of social distancing is meant to limit the spread of the virus and other seasonal illnesses in accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Please know that this decision is not made out of fear but instead out of obedience to God’s Word and out of concern for all the people who call CBF home as well as the communities in which we live.
The good news is that CBF is not a building – the church is the people – it’s you and it’s me. And while we may not be gathering in our usual buildings this weekend, I would invite you to stay engaged by joining us for Adult Bible Study and the sermon at 9:00 and 10:15, respectively. We have two different ways for you to join us. 1). From your computer, smartphone or tablet, go to cbfaledo.org and click the green button marked, “Bible Study”, which will take you to our “join.me” page. For those of you who have used this, or similar apps our permanent meeting code is “CBF_Aledo”. This will allow the pastor to ask questions and hear your responses in real time. 2). Go to FaceBook and search for “Community Bible Fellowship Aledo.”
In this confusing time let us NOT:
- Underreact and dismiss this concern as “overblown.”
- Overreact and respond in fear or anxiety.
- Be critical of others who are responding differently than you.
Let me share a word of encouragement with you. These are unpredictable times and we all have questions and concerns, but as I have said many times to you, God’s in control, He’s got this! He is a God who is always filled with hope and who holds our future firmly in His hand. You will be tempted to have feelings of fear and worry, but instead, replace those thoughts with God’s message from His Word: “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Because we are not in control of anything, now is the perfect time to share about the One who is in control of all things! Be “salt and light” during this uncertain time and share faith and hope in Jesus as the opportunity arises.
This is a fast-changing situation and future weeks may be subject to change. We’ll continue to keep you informed as things unfold in the days ahead, but in the meantime, use common sense and lean into Jesus – He will not leave us alone.
In His grip,
Why did Community Bible Fellowship decide to cancel weekend services/activities for the foreseeable future?
As spiritual leaders, we are called to exercise a shepherding role over the flock of God. Shepherding involves protecting the congregation of CBF from anything that could be harmful, i.e. teachings, influences, relationships and even viruses. Little did I know when I entered pastoral ministry that protecting the flock would one day include responding to a pandemic. We have diligently reviewed the reputable advice about the seriousness of the virus. If the virus spreads rapidly (as expected), the pressure on healthcare facilities and hospitals to handle the patient load could potentially be catastrophic. One of the ways shown to reduce exposure to the virus is through “social distancing.” Coughs and sneezes project tiny particles in the air for a few feet. Six feet is considered a safe distance to avoid these droplets. Additionally, Friday (March 20, 2020), the State of Illinois has effectively given the “order” for everyone except essential persons to remain at home. We believe complying with this recommendation is not only in the best interests of the CBF community but also the wider community we wish to reach.
What does for the “foreseeable future” mean?
We have canceled weekend services beginning this weekend (March 22) and next weekend (March 29). How long the cancellation is in effect is indeterminate. The Council had an emergency meeting on Tuesday night (March 17), and it was decided to re-assess the situation in 2 weeks (March 31). We will continue to monitor the situation daily and will resume our regular weekend service schedule as soon as it is prudent to do so.
How can I access updates, the Adult Bible Study stream and the Sunday morning sermon stream at CBF?
To access CBF’s sermon this weekend, join us through our website (cbfaledo.org) or on Facebook (Community Bible Fellowship Aledo) at our regular service time or anytime throughout the week. Whether you watch in your family room or at your desk, with friends or a small home group, we hope you will join us as we bring church to you! Adult Bible Study will be a live stream event on join.me, there you will be able to interact with Pastor Paul through chat.
**** UPDATED March 21, 2020 ****
We have two different ways for you to join us. 1). From your computer, smartphone or tablet, go to cbfaledo.org and click the green button marked, “Bible Study”, which will take you to our “join.me” page. For those of you who have used this, or similar apps our permanent meeting code is “CBF_Aledo”. This will allow the pastor to ask questions and hear your responses in real time. 2). Go to FaceBook and search for “Community Bible Fellowship Aledo.”
What about weekday ministries at CBF?
All weekday activities have been cancelled and will be subject to the same review as Sunday services.
If I have an emergency need, can I still reach the Pastor or an elder?
Our offices will continue to be open during our regular office hours, and ministry staff will still be available to meet, counsel, pray and offer spiritual guidance during this season.
How will my tithes, offerings and financial contributions be handled during this period?
We are encouraging the congregation of CBF to continue to practice joyful and abundant generosity. Our heartfelt desire is that this situation will not create an unrecoverable financial situation for our church. It is therefore prudent that we continue giving in the same way. In order to accomplish this task, we have added online giving to our church website. When you visit www.cbfaledo.org, you will find a large blue button labeled with the word “Give” right at the top of the page. Here you can give via credit card or direct bank draft. You can set your giving to be recurring so that you don’t have to remember to do it. There is also an option for you to help cover the costs of fees associated with online giving. In this uncertain season, I want to encourage you to continue to excel in your grace of giving. Additionally, you can mail your tithes and offerings to: Community Bible Fellowship, 1109 SE 3rd Street, Aledo, IL 61231 or drop them off during regular business hours: Monday-Thursday, 9AM-4PM.
How can I continue to participate in CBF during this unusual season actively?
Our CBF Elders and Council are actively looking at ways to serve our community in new ways. We believe that this situation is going to transform the face of worship and service forever. One of the ways that you can help is to check on other members of our CBF Family; a phone call is all it takes. For those in our congregation who are considered “high-risk,” pleases allow us to serve you, whether it be through grocery shopping or running errands. A community group in Canada has effectively coined and founded a “caremongering” movement that is doing exactly this. We will keep you informed as this unfolds and develops. Most importantly, but never last, is that we as a body of believers continue to pray over this situation.