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Weekly Update - March 27

Here are a few items to consider related to SWBC ministry this week: 

SUNDAY 

As a reminder, this coming Sunday, March 29, 2020, the facility will remain closed, but we will to post a recording of the morning sermon by 9:00 am and we plan to continue our regular study of the book of Hebrews (6:13-20).  

As a reminder, we have sermon study material you can download and use through the week that will take you through an inductive study of the passage in preparation for the message on Sunday.  

In addition, we will continue to post suggestions for Scripture reading, songs, and prayers you can make use of in your home with your family or for personal prayer and meditation. 

We encourage our Growth Groups to utilize online means (we sent instructions on using Zoom to all leaders) to meet with members to discuss the application of the message, pray, and follow up with each other on a weekly basis. 

WEEKLY MINISTRY 

Due to the Shelter-in-place order by Jackson County, the office has been closed and the staff are all working from home until the order is lifted. We are still answering the main line (it is forwarded to us) and staff will be responding to email, phone messages, making calls and sending notes to members. You can still reach any of the staff throughout the day. 

Sam Walker is communicating with our families in how to maintain progress with AWANA, as well as how to develop ongoing family discipleship and worship times. This is an excellent time to capitalize on these helpful opportunities. 

Our Mid-Week Ministry of GSM and the Adult Study are cancelled this week. However, beginning next Wednesday evening, we will begin a Mid-Week Bible study, where Dalton Vansell will be teaching through the book of 2 Timothy. He has been teaching this book to the students on Wednesday evenings for the past few weeks, and we will begin to make video of this teaching available to all our church body (beginning April 1, 2020). We will provide information on how interested adults can be involved in virtual discussion of the content as well as pray for one another. 

GSM student leaders will also be communicating with small group leaders in how to use video conferencing to discuss the message and follow up with students’ small groups. 

Beginning next Friday (April 3), for as long as we are unable to meet as a congregation, we will publish a Bible Q&A video and blog. We encourage members to send Bible questions to Pastor Bret (bret@swbcls.org) and we will begin putting together a short video responding to questions we receive. This is just another way to help us all think on God’s word through the week. 

So, starting next week, look for a ministry update on Monday, a Tuesday email of online resources that we think would spiritually assist you, the Mid-Week Bible Study in 2 Timothy on Wednesday, and a Friday Bible Q&A video.  

ONGOING DISCIPLESHIP  

Discipleship is a constant emphasis in our church. During these days where we are not allowed to get together in large or small group settings, we still want to see existing discipling relationships flourish and perhaps new ones begin. 

Our elders and staff will be contacting members throughout the week, seeking how to pray and serve any unique needs during this time. If you know of a specific need from one of our members, please don’t hesitate to let us know (elders@swbcls.org or staff@swbcls.org), or fill out the online form we have created and we will follow up quickly with it. 

We are also reaching out to area churches to learn of ways we can pray for them and their members and will be communicating these to you through our Suggestions for Sunday posts each week. 

We encourage you to make use of our Summit Woods Spotify playlist. It includes all of the songs we sing throughout the year congregationally. Play it during the day while you work, during some down time, in a quiet time, or listen while you are on a walk in the neighborhood. 

This week, Dawson made available a document that gives step-by-step instruction on how to use the online video conferencing tool, Zoom. We have found it to be the easiest and cheapest (free) way to conduct one on one or group video chats. Elders will be using it to conduct membership interviews; Ironmen and Titus 2 groups should look into it to keep up with one another; Student ministry is using it for their small groups to meet each week; Growth Groups could use it for weekly meetings as well. 

In short, while we are sheltering-in-place, we don’t have to remain completely disconnected from each other. We can still read the word together, follow up on reading we are doing, responses to the sermons, ways to pray, and even pray for one another in ongoing ways.  

If we can be of assistance to you in working out the technical bugs, feel free to let us know (staff@swbcls.org).  

ENCOURAGEMENT 

Let me encourage you during these abnormal times, to normalize as much of your life and schedule as you can. Our family is finding it helpful to have a regular schedule that tries to maintain much of our normal routines. We still begin each day at breakfast with one another where we read the upcoming sermon passage together, talk through it, sing a hymn and pray. We have now added reading a psalm and praying through it just before we go to bed each evening, wanting God’s word more than the nightly news to be on our minds. Whatever works best for you in your context, we pray that you are not only using your time well for God’s glory and others’ good, we pray you can establish some normal to your abnormal days. Cultivate gratitude (Ephesians 5:20) during days filled with somber news. Deepen your prayer life for each other and your fellowship with the Lord. These days can actually be ones of spiritual progress rather than discouraging regress. We love you and are walking through this with you. And just so you know, I still really miss seeing you each week.