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Update: Tuesday, May 19th

 

Dear CBC Family,
 
It was a joy to see so many of you in person last Sunday! We had a successful first run in the process of coming together once again as a church family. 
 
Our second Sunday with two services at 25% capacity will be this Sunday May 24th. The two services on that day will be held at 9am and 10:45am (both will be livestreamed). If you are scheduled to attend on the 24th you should have already received your assigned time slot via email. If you have not received it or need to be reminded, please contact Traci Farthing at samandtraci@gmail.com. If by chance you cannot attend during your assigned time, please let us know so that we can allow others to take your place.
 
On Sunday May 31st will be moving into Phase 2 of the process of regathering, Lord-willing. On this date we will be moving to 50% capacity at each service time of 9am and 10:45am (both will be livestreamed). You will receive your designated time to attend via email by Wednesday May 27th.  
 
If you have already RSVPed there is No need to do it again.  If you have previously RSVPed "no" but would like to attend on the 31st, please contact Traci Farthing at samandtraci@gmail.com.
 
As a reminder, the nursery and Community Kids will not be available on these two remaining Sundays in May. I have attached the document below that contains all of the details of our reopening including the phase 3 plan.  

Lastly, I’ll conclude with the reminder from my original email with our phased plan. The next month gives us an opportunity to put what we’ve learned about love from 1 Corinthians 13 into practice. On one side we have people who have been entirely unconcerned from day 1 and are ready to get back to normal immediately. On the other side we have people who have been extremely concerned and have taken every precaution and followed every guideline. And then of course there are people in between. Regardless of your point of view, I’m going to remind you of your biblical obligation to love each other even when you disagree. Romans 12:10 says “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Whether you think this is too fast or too slow, too much or too little, let’s love and respect each other’s different perspectives during this time. And remember that while you personally may not feel any need for social distance - others may. Let’s refrain from offering hugs, handshakes, and holy kisses for now. Can’t wait to see you Sunday!
 
Blessings,
Pastor Matt
 
 

******

Dear CBC Family,

At long last it appears that our area of Florida is carefully beginning the reopening process. That means that we, too, will begin the process of getting back to normal with our church gatherings! I know many of you are excited about that as I certainly am. I’ve attached a document to this email which outlines the plan from our pastors regarding how we intend to do that. Please understand that this is subject to change based on trends in our county and the surrounding areas. My seminary class was on leading a church through a global pandemic was extremely helpful, but still there is a lot of uncharted territory here :). But this is how we plan to implement our Governor’s Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. plan. All the details are in the attached document. But let me ask you to take two important steps.

First, you’ll notice that for the three Sundays in March, we will be having you RSVP regarding whether your are comfortable attending or not. We are doing this so that we can evenly distribute attendance. We need every single person to RSVP here right away so that we can accurately do this.

Second, the next month gives us an opportunity to put what we’ve learned about love from 1 Corinthians 13 into practice. On one side we have people who have been entirely unconcerned from day 1 and are ready to get back to normal immediately. On the other side we have people who have been extremely concerned and have taken every precaution and followed every guideline. And then of course there are people in between. Regardless of your point of view, I’m going to remind you of your biblical obligation to love each other even when you disagree. Romans 12:10 says “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Whether you think this is too fast or too slow, too much or too little, let’s love and respect each other’s different perspectives during this time. And remember that while you personally may not feel any need for social distance - others may. Let’s refrain from offering hugs, handshakes, and holy kisses for now.

I can’t wait for us to be together again!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

*****

 

Dear CBC Family,

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you are having a great week and that we are perhaps seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for staying at home! I have several pieces of information that I wanted to share with you.

First, for those of you who don’t know, site work has commenced! Earth moving equipment has been brought on site, and they are working right now on carving out the dry pond which will handle water drainage. I also mentioned on Sunday that very soon we will be sending out a ground breaking ceremony video that we recorded.  

Second, I’d like to welcome John Sweat to the elder team. We’ve been going through the process with him for several years now, and I mentioned in the last Mission Briefing video as well as through email that we’d be bringing him on at the beginning of May. We’ll publicly pray for him once we’re able to meet together again.

Third, speaking of meeting together again, the pastors will be letting you know what that looks like later this week. We’ve discussed this at length and have worked hard to put together a plan for doing so. Stay tuned!

Fourth, on June 7th, we will start a 10-week summer series in Proverbs called Wise Up. We’re going to study several themes in the book like work, temptation, speech, and the fear of the Lord. Not only are we going to study what God’s Word in Proverbs has to say about those topics, but we are also going to see how those things point us to Jesus. I’ll be preaching in this series, but you’ll also get to hear from Chuck Sowers and John Sweat as well. And we’ll also have a handful of people writing some blog posts on our website about topics from Proverbs - I’m really excited about getting several people involved! In addition to that, we want to make a devotional book available for families during this series. The book is called Wise Up (I shamelessly stole the title for our series!), and it has five, ten-minute devotionals per week for twelve total weeks. We're always looking for ways to get families in our church having devotional times together. This would be a great time to either take a break from whatever you are doing currently or start doing family worship for the first time. It would tie in what you are doing at home to the preaching on Sunday mornings. The books will be available later this month for just $5 each and I’ll have more details later about how you can get one. I’m praying that God would use this series to point us to Jesus in whom we find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

******

Update 4.15.20
Dear CBC Family,

Its a rainy Wednesday afternoon! For those of you with kids cooped up in the house, let me remind you that you can find all kinds of resources for them here. There are even some things for older kids and adults as well!

Second, I want to remind you of something from the Mission Briefing I released on video a couple weeks ago. As you all know, we have been evaluating John Sweat Jr. as an elder for several years now. The current elders believe he is ready to join the team, and we plan on installing him at the end of this month. Normally we would include that as part of one of our worship services, but things are different now! If you have any feedback or questions about John, feel free to reach out to any of the pastors. I’m also happy to announce that we have been working hard on a formal elder process here at CBC (formalizing what we’ve been doing informally to this point). I’m pleased to announce that this is almost complete, and we will share it with you in the next month or so.

Third, our series through 1 Corinthians called Come Together is drawing to an end. In fact, we’ll be done in two weeks at the end of April. I’d love to hear from you about what things stick out to you that you learned from the series. I may share some of those things in the final message. Simply reply to this email to share your main takeaways. For the month of May, we’ll be doing a series called “Stronger” in which we ask ourselves some questions about what we can learn from this unusual trial, and see how God intends to refine us so we can be perfect and complete lacking in nothing (James 1:4). And then we’ll spend the summer in Proverbs.

I miss all of you and am looking forward to being able to see each one of you again!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

*****

Dear CBC Family,

Today is Good Friday. As Christians, we remember that Jesus offered up his life for our sins at the cross on this day. The Bible nowhere commands us to observe Good Friday or even Easter for that matter, although every Sunday is the Lord’s Day and is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But the Bible does command us to remember the gospel as a matter of first importance which includes the twin truths of Christ’s death and resurrection. Normally we would have a Good Friday service to encourage our reflection on the crucifixion, but we will not be doing so today for obvious reasons. Instead of that, I’d like to encourage you to remember the cross today personally and with your family if you have family living with you. It can be helpful to allow time for sober reflection at the horror of the cross, and the horror of our sin. Perhaps you could read Luke 23:1-49 aloud. Ask yourself or your family the significance of Jesus’ statements in that passage. Ask questions that cause you to reflect on Jesus’ betrayal and innocence. Pray together as you reflect on the horror of the cross that you would remember the horror of sin. And then look forward in hope - Sunday’s coming!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

******* 

Dear CBC Family,

Good morning and happy Tuesday! Here are a few updates for this week:

  • I’ve heard feedback from many of you that live streaming the service on Sunday morning has been a great way for you to stay connected. But I also know that the quality of the live stream on Sunday mornings is not always reliable for some of you. That’s because we rely on three connections: our ability at the church building to upload to YouTube, YouTube’s ability to make the video stream available, and your internet connection at home. And we don’t really have control over any of those things! We are currently trying to figure out how we can minimize hiccups in the live stream, but for the most part, all streaming services are experiencing difficulties due to the high volume of streaming that has all of a sudden overwhelmed them. If we continue to have problems, we’ll look at pre-recording and releasing on Sunday morning. But if you had trouble with the service yesterday, both the full service or just the sermon have been recorded and you can watch them online without any of the problems you may have experienced during the live stream.
  • We’ll all be celebrating Easter at home this Sunday rather than together, and I know that many of us are disappointed by that. Not getting to see each other is taking its toll. But this Sunday, we would love it if you dressed up for Easter and sent us a picture of your family at home watching the live stream. After the service is over, we’ll have a post on social media and ask everyone to drop their family photo in the comments. Then you can go back to your pajamas the next week :). We’d love to see you or your family!
  • And speaking of Easter photos, Carly Jones and her husband Justin have been attending CBC for the past couple months. Carly is an amateur photographer and she is volunteering to take family pictures on Easter Sunday between 1-5 pm. You will be on your porch and she will be shooting from your yard at a safe distance. This is a generous offer, and if you’d like to take advantage of it, email Carly at jonescarlyrose@gmail.com to set up a time!
  • Finally, the last class for Community College for the Spring semester will be taking place on Zoom tonight at 7 pm. Even if you have not been a part of Community College this semester, we’d love for you to dip your toes in the water! You can attend the class virtually by clicking this link: 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/9320271236
Meeting ID: 932 027 1236

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

 

 

 *****

 
Dear CBC Family,

It’s April 1st, and I suspect that none of us anticipated we would be a quarter of the way through 2020, quarantined in our homes! 2020 has not turned out like we expected, but this new decade did not take God by surprise. And when we think about his attributes, who God is, it gives us comfort and strength and trust. Tim Hinson shared some devotional thoughts along these lines with me and wrote them up so that I could share them with you. Here they are:

"As we all try to find our way through the Coronavirus and the impacts and effects of it, we as Christians face fears, worry, uncertainty and questions about our current situation and our future. Each of us must deal with these problems and we should look to biblical wisdom to overcome the despair and dread that sometimes come with it. But how do we do this?

As we experience stress and worry about the Coronavirus, the economy, our health or whatever other problem(s) may be that we all face every day, God has given us the ability to separate from those fears and stress by actively applying God's word. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This verse has been critical to my spiritual walk over the years and has so much meaning and power especially in a time like this. 

There are many other verses that God gives us to help us think biblically such as Philippians 4:9 which says, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” If you notice, both of these verses require action on our part with words like pray, be thankful, supplication (plead humbly), request and practice. And the verses promise personal peace, which is what we all need right now.

What else can we do to think biblically and not rely on our own ability to deal with every worry and stress? One thing that we can do is to list and meditate on the attributes of God because this is where you are reminded that He is always present with us, is all powerful, is all knowing, is merciful, etc, which is a great reinforcement that He is in control over everything including the Coronavirus. As we think about the implications of what these holy attributes really mean it will be an exciting reminder to think about the greatness and power that a perfect God has over our lives.
  
God has provided peace and hope in an uncertain time!"


I’m so thankful for this Scriptural meditation from Tim, and I hope that it will be an encouragement to you!  I want to make you aware of two items in closing. First, the pastors are reaching out to all of our members and as many regular attenders as we can to make sure that we are in touch with your needs and prayer requests. Over the course of the next week, you should receive contact of some kind from me, Pastor Chuck, or Pastor Joseph if you haven’t already. We want to make sure you are cared for! Second, I’ve been looking for a way for us to share updates and prayer requests with each other that was a little less public than Facebook. To that end, we’ve set up a message board that is just for our church family. To access it go to our website, www.cbcorangepark.com. Click on “Ministries” from the menu options at the top of the page and then select “Forum.” From that page, click on the link that says “Go To CBC Forum.” When you get there and click on an option, you’ll be asked to enter a password which is #growandgo. Share what’s on your heart, what your concerns are, and how people can pray. If you have a need or can meet a need, let us know. And let’s use this to keep each other in prayer.

Our mission is to develop worshipers of Jesus who are growing in the gospel and going with the gospel. The quarantine can’t prevent that! Let’s use April well!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

*********

Below is the Mission Briefing from Pastor Matt for March 2020.

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Dear CBC Family,

While we’re all quarantined, I wanted to give you a few ways to connect with the Bible and with each other:

First, there is an app called Dwell that has all kinds of Scripture readings that you can listen to. They have playlists of Scripture and Bible listening plans. It's a beautiful app, and they have made it free for churches for 60 days. You can download the app and create an account specifically connected to our church right here: https://dwellapp.io/signup/with/cQ7TXW

Second, the last two class lectures for Community College will be open to anyone in the church even if you have not registered. John Sweat will be teaching over Zoom, and if you’d like to join the virtual classroom this coming Tuesday at 7, you can follow the link here: https://zoom.us/j/275347327

Third, one of the biggest losses during the COVID-19 pandemic is loss of fellowship and community. As many of you know, community groups have continued to meet virtually using Zoom to provide an outlet for connection, albeit in an imperfect and limited way, while we are separated. For anyone who is not currently connected to a community group, Pastor Joseph is going to host a virtual group this Sunday at 6pm. You’ll have an opportunity to check in, share any needs you may have, talk a little bit about how your spiritual gifts can be used in our church, and pray for each other. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Joseph at jbrader@cbcorangepark.com

You can join the group via this link: https://zoom.us/j/598493988. You can find instructions to download and install Zoom below.

1. Create a Zoom account here. zoom.us/signup You will receive an email with a link to activate your account. Follow the link to complete account activation.

2. On the Zoom homepage, at the top right of the screen, select Resources / Download Zoom Client, and follow the steps to install Zoom on your computer. 

Follow the link below to join the meeting this Sunday. When you access the meeting, Zoom will give you the option to connect using your computer’s camera and microphone. Make sure you allow Zoom to access both the camera and microphone (all you will have to do is click “OK” on the screen); otherwise, we won’t be able to see or hear you during the discussion. 

Many of you have volunteered to help anyone in need. If you are IN need, please email us at help@cbcorangepark.com and we have any number of people who are willing to serve you! 

Lastly, we look forward to “seeing” you online this Sunday at 10:30!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt


 

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March 20, 2020

Dear CBC Family,

Here are a few notes before the weekend:

This Sunday we will be live streaming our worship service at our normal time of 10:30am. We will be streaming on YouTube at this link. The link will also be posted on our website and shared on social media. Most of us probably have a YouTube account, but you will not need to sign up for one to watch the live stream. This is, of course, no substitute for gathering as the church, but we are certainly grateful that we have these tools at our disposal to stay connected!

We will be recording the Mission Briefing and releasing it to you on the church website sometime next week. We will notify you when it is available.

Lastly, I’d like to know how this quarantine is impacting you and your family so that we can be praying for one another. For instance, the Scotts were all set to move to Utah for a new job in the next month and even sold their house. They will not be able to go for the foreseeable future because of a hiring freeze due to the virus. Fortunately Rob will keep his current job and they have temporary housing, but this a very difficult and unexpected change for them. We have several people who work in the school system who are trying to figure out how to stay connected to their students. We have several people who work in health care like Dr. Mueller, who told me that she has a virtual conference the next three days to equip her for dealing with the virus. I would love it if you responded to this email to let me know how you are being impacted so we can pray for each other better.

I long to be able to meet with all fo you in person on Sunday. But until that is possible again, let’s gather around the Word together and sing in our living rooms at the top of our lungs!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt

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March 17, 2020 

Dear CBC Family,

I wanted to write on behalf of the pastors here and give you an update on a few important items.

- After the President’s address yesterday afternoon and the cases in Clay county, we believe it would be best to cancel all church activities and events for the next 15 days.

- This Sunday we will be streaming our service at our normal time of 10:30a, and we’ve got some folks working on getting the equipment we need to do that. Pastor Joseph and his team will all be here playing, and I will resume our series in 1 Corinthians. Lord willing, we’ll have a link on our website and will be streaming live on YouTube to make it as easy as possible for you to just click a link and not need a login of any kind.

- We had a Mission Briefing scheduled for Sunday night. Instead of streaming that, we’re going to record it and make the video available for you to watch whenever is convenient for you. But there are some exciting updates from our Building Committee that I can’t wait to share with you!

- We are going to centralize all of our communication on our website here: https://www.cbcorangepark.com/blog. We’ll continue to send out links via email and social media, but everything will be centrally located at that location on our website, so please go there for information.

- If you have a need, we WANT to know what it is so we can help you. To that end, we have set up this email address: help@cbcorangepark.com (it should be functioning Wednesday, 3/18). People from our church have volunteered to pick up groceries for you and deliver them to your house or any other things that you might need. Others have offered to help with childcare if both parents are working. PLEASE communicate with us so that we can serve you! Don’t be afraid to do so. Let your needs be known so that we get the blessing of serving and bearing one another’s burdens. 

- This time may create financial needs for many, and it certainly does for the church as well. Many of you give online already, but for those of you who don’t, would you consider giving online here: https://cbcorangepark.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving? You can make a one-time gift or even better, set up recurring giving like I do. (If you want to set up recurring giving you need a login, and if you don’t have a login, email Debi to get that information: dbraun@cbcorangepark.com).

- We are brainstorming creative ways to gather virtually (as Community Groups for instance), and we will let you know if and when those ideas are possible.

- Westminster Bookstore has graciously provided what they are calling 15 Readings for Anxious Days. These are excerpts from books that they publish by authors such as Spurgeon, John Murray, and Paul David Tripp. We will post those readings on our blog each day for your Scriptural encouragement.

If you have any questions or needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m praying for all of you during these uncertain times. Our sovereign God is in control and uses all things for our good and his glory!

Blessings,
Pastor Matt