Messages & Updates
Hello Laveen Baptist Church.
Sunday went really well and I’d like to thank the ladies that took the time to produce all of those hand-made face masks. We had about 80 people again this week and we were able to successfully distance ourselves with the help of having every other row in the sanctuary taped off. But the best thing was that we got to share in the Lord’s Supper together! Thank-you to our deacons for making that happen. I even heard that some of you participated at home right along with us.
I just confirmed this morning that we do have the staff to man the three birth-preschool rooms in building ‘B’ for this Sunday. We are diligently going through each of those rooms and sanitizing and disinfecting so that our rooms are as safe as man can make them. So I’m really looking forward to seen those of you with children from birth to 4-years old this coming Sunday. At this point were still planning on a full open to include Sunday school on the 31st but we’re waiting on Governor Ducey’s announcement and plans later this week. We’ll let you know if there’s any changes or updates.
We still have a number of face masks available and they’ll be out front of the sanctuary along with the hand-sanitizing stand on Sunday. They are free and optional but also reusable.
Be sure and bring your baby-bottles back in this week to the church office. It doesn’t matter if you were able to fill it all the way up or just a little or not at all. We have to account for all 175 of them so that they can be used again in the future by other churches and organizations.
The final thing that I wanted to mention is our planned VBS next month. If we’re going to be able to do this we have to have volunteers. This is our church’s oldest legacy and one of the events that brought Laveen Baptist Church into existence over 75 years ago. Let’s not give in to fear and falter now. We already have over 30 children signed up and ready to go. While we know that we may not reach the numbers that we have in the past, God is orchestrating the exact children to be here that he wants to hear His word and story for their lives. Whether you plan on volunteering or not here’s what you can do right now. And I mean this minute as you’re reading this, stop and pray for our VBS director Michelle to have the peace and wisdom to know how to proceed. Then pray for the children that will be attending that will get to experience God’s word in a whole new way. Finally then, pray for workers as this is really needed and biblical. “Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." – Matt. 9:37-38” Let’s not let the ‘workers are few’ be true of Laveen Baptist Church.
Hola, Laveen Baptist Church.
Today is when Americans celebrate a rather obscure victory of the Mexican army over French forces in the battle of Puebla in 1862. With my affinity for Mexican cuisine, this is as good a reason as any to go out and support one of our local restaurants and take home some taco’s, enchilada’s and tostada’s.
On a more serious note, let me explain why we opened up the service last Sunday and what the plans are going forward. As many of you probably know, Governor Ducey announced a graduated opening plan for the state last week. We’ve seen small businesses begin to reopen this week and restaurants next week but he left the general restrictions in place until May 15th. Almost no mention though was made about churches. Then on Thursday, the attorney general, Mark Brnovich, put out a statement that particularly addressed, amongst other things, churches. It was his legal opinion that there was nothing in the order that prevented churches from gathering (using appropriate social distancing) and so on Friday, we decided to have a soft opening and put out the email that told you that we were opening our doors for the Sunday morning service while still continuing to live-stream. We had approximately 80 people show up and in a sanctuary designed for 400, everyone was easily spread out. We did not, nor would we, defy or disobey any state order. In fact, we have complied with every directive while still trying to meet the needs of our congregation.
So what is it going to look like moving forward you ask? We have consulted with two medical professionals (one of which has had and recovered from Covid-19) from our congregation and this is the plan that we’re going to go with (unless of course there are new developments). We will be open for attendance for Sunday services (morning and evening) and Wednesday prayer time. For the next few weeks at least, we will be blocking off every other pew. Please sit with your own household and if there are others in your row, make sure that there is some distance between your group and theirs. We will also have additional seating in building B in rooms 2 & 3 with a live stream from the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is cleaned and sanitized on Saturday. On Sunday, between services, a team will be coming in, and using sanitizing wipes, will wipe down all touched surfaces (i.e. door handles, faucet and commode handles and tops of pews). Additionally, several women in our congregation are making reusable masks and we will have them available for you as you enter. While they will not be mandatory, please consider availing yourself of them so that we can help to protect the more vulnerable in our midst.
Infant and toddler child care will commence on Sunday, May 17th for the Sunday morning service. Then if everything goes the way that Governor Ducey seems to indicate that they are, the plan is to restart the Sunday school hour on May 31st.
The Lord has really preserved us during this time. This Sunday we will be remembering His great sacrifice for us by celebrating the Lord’s Supper. I can’t wait to see you all this week. If you have any additional question or concerns, please contact me.
Hello Laveen Baptist Church!
Well another week into our social distancing ministry methodology and we continue to learn and adapt. As you’ve all noticed, our triple digit temperatures have arrived so we’re cautiously hopeful that we’ll be able to return to some semblance of normalcy soon.
This Saturday – May 2nd – is our final Produce on Wheels. If it’s anything like last month with several other sites not operating, the turn-out is going to be huge. Therefore we need you to come out and love on your neighbor by getting out of bed and being here at 5:30 AM (Hey, at least it’s still cool and comfortable at that time!) to pre-load boxes. We are setting up a no-contact drive-thru set up so that we can hopefully move people through the line much quicker than last month. This is yet another of those ‘learning opportunities’ that our God gives us. But he also gives us the wisdom and power to get it done.
The baby-bottle campaign is going but so far the amount of bottles that have been picked up is very disappointing. They are in a bin set up outside the office so that you don’t even have to get out of your car. Please consider your own children and/or grandchildren and perhaps pick-up a bottle for each of them. Now is the time to reach out and help new life and young mothers in the name of the one who gave us life and children.
As you may have heard, Vacation Bible School has been pushed back to June 22-26 this year. This gives us a little extra time to get ready once the restrictions are lifted (hopefully soon) but we have to get moving in that direction now. We absolutely have to have 55 volunteers to make it happen. Every year young lives come to Jesus through this ministry. Just because it’s different and perhaps a little more difficult, now is not the time to pull back. Now is the time to move forward and watch as God’s power is revealed in so many unexpected ways. Trust is always evidenced in action.
While we don’t know when we’ll fully reopen or just what that’ll look like, be assured that we will be ready to move as soon as we can. I know how much I miss seeing and interacting with you all but I’m comforted by the words from Psalm 23 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Hello Laveen Baptist Church!
If you’re like me, you’re beginning to get just a little bit tired of this quarantine thing. But we have to see all of the things that God is showing us. Many of us have now learned just how much we don’t need some things and how well we can do with some things that we previously didn’t think much about.
On the church front, we’re making plans to be ready to reopen the moment that the governor begins to roll back the restrictions. We hope that will be really soon and that first Sunday that we’re back together we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper to remind us what the actual future holds.
I have an update on VBS, it will now be held on June 22-26. This is to give some additional time to get all of the logistics accomplished once the restrictions are lifted. Please put that date on your calendar because we’re going to need “all hands on deck” to get this accomplished.
We are continuing to get items in for the youth rummage sale. We still don’t have a date for that but it will happen just as soon as we can. What is still happening is Produce on Wheels on May 2nd. At this point it is going to be another ‘drive-thru’ event so we need volunteers to help box up and distribute the food as quickly as possible.
Kid’s camp is cancelled but there are some alternative ideas being looked at. Stay tuned to these newsletters and I’ll let you know just what that turns out to be.
Finally, we have a huge ministry opportunity that everyone can be involved with. Our annual baby-bottle campaign to help out the New Life Pregnancy Center for South Phoenix will kick off next Monday, the 27th. We will have a table with the bottles set up outside the office so all you have to do is drive by and pick up a bottle or two or three. Fill them up with your spare change and cash and then bring them back by Monday May 11th. You will be doing exactly what is commanded of us to do in helping out those who need it. In this case young mothers and soon to be. No here’s the bad news. I only could get 175 bottles so do not wait. Come by as soon as possible and get your bottles.
The final thing that I want to point out is that all of the adult Sunday School classes are now on-line. If you weren’t a regular attender of an adult class, this is a great way to check out each of the teachers/topics and see if this is something you want to get involved with.
Stay safe and trust in the God of all truth. He knows the beginning from the end and all of His plans will come to pass.
Hello Laveen Baptist Church!
Well we’re starting to get things figured out around here as we adapt to this new way of doing things. Before I go any further though with news and updates, I’d just like to really thank all of our volunteer tech team that has really had to carry a huge load as they have had to learn new equipment and software on very short notice to make all of this happen. Please pray for them as they work diligently to make everything happen. When you get a minute, please e-mail (email@example.com) Joel a note of encouragement for him to share with his team. They are truly the “essential workers” for our church.
On the good news front, Pastor Jerry is going to begin preaching on Sunday nights again starting this week so get on-line and check in beginning at 5 PM. And talking about check-in’s, it’s so good to see people checking in from all over Laveen and all over the country. God’s word is going out like never before. Wednesday evening will still be a corporate prayer time where you can log in and pray together with others.
There is lots of news concerning children and youth. AWANA is continuing in a distance contact format. Your children can still say their verses in a number of formats although facetime is very limited. For more information look at the AWANA Facebook group or contact Miss Tina at the office. Our youth are meeting through Zoom and if you’re the parent of a youth member and haven’t heard about J.T.s April Fool’s joke be sure and ask them. It was great.
At this time, both VBS and kids camp (kindergarten through graduating 6th grade) are still happening as scheduled. The deadline for registering for kid’s camp is May 3rd! The camp dates are June 14th-19th.
Sunday school resources for all ages are now available on our website. Just look for the blue button that reads: SUNDAY SCHOOL DO-IT-YOURSELF (ALL AGES). As off this week all of the adult classes will now be on-line so this is a great way for you to attend one even if you’ve never been to one before. There’s lots of great stuff going on there so please check it out.
Last, but certainly not least, we are going to be doing our annual baby-bottle campaign to support the New Life Pregnancy Center (South Phoenix). Bottles will be available for drive-by pick-up beginning on Monday, April 27th so start digging through the couch cushions and raiding the piggy bank because there are a lot of young mothers and soon-to-be mothers that are really struggling right now and need us to show love in a very real and practical way.
Stay safe but stay busy. God’s got a lot of work for us to do for His glory and our good.
Hello Laveen Baptist Church!
Well, we’re beginning to find our rhythm here during this unprecedented time in world history. We successfully got through our first Sunday doing the exclusive on-line thing. We did learn a lot and I believe you’ll have a much better viewing experience this week as we celebrate Easter. For those of you who checked it on-line during the service thank-you, that was really encouraging. If you noticed, you were gathered together and worshipping with people not only here in Laveen, but around the country including a number of our former members who now live in other places.
A number of people have asked about what is going to happen with the adult and youth Sunday school classes. Jeff Lakes is meeting live on-line at 7:30pm on Sunday evenings. Jimmy Creekmur and Harry Sexton are recording their classes and they should be available as early as Thursday of each week beginning this week. Kevin Phillips will also be recording his class and it will be available starting next week. The youth (Jr high and high school) are meeting live on-line at 1:30 pm on Sundays.
The Shepherding A Child’s Heart event has been postponed to September 18th -19th. If you already bought your ticket you can either just let it stay and it will be changed to the new date or you can contact the office and we’ll refund your ticket.
I want to give a huge thank-you to all of those of have continued to bring your tithes and offerings through the on-line giving. I know that the economic issue that this crisis has caused has affected many of you and we’re grateful that God’s people continue to give and give. If you haven’t figured how to do this yet, there are two ways. Go to the church website and simply click on the yellow button that reads: Give online or set up an automatic gift here. The other way, is to download the new app which we’ve told you about before. If you need help getting the app, contact the office and we’ll walk you through it. It’s fast and easy and we’ll be using it a lot more in the coming months and years for all kinds of things here at the church.
One last thing. We’re going to be doing the Baby Bottle Campaign again this year to support the New Life Pregnancy Center (South Phoenix). This year is probably going to be more critical than it ever has been. We’ll kick it off on Sunday the 26th and have them all turned back in on Sunday May 10th (Mother’s day – see the connection?). We will have the bottles set out so that you can drive by and pick up as many as you and your family can fill. I’ll give you the dates/times for the pick-up and drop-off next week.
Let me close this week’s update with one of my favorite verses on hope. So much so that I put it on my daughter’s headstone. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you"--this is the LORD's declaration--"plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Remember brothers and sisters you have both right now: a future and a hope that is guaranteed by God.
Hello Laveen Baptist Church!
Well we’ve made it through the first week of our adjusted schedule and way of doing things and we’re still learning and adapting. Please check the church website regularly as we’ll be putting updated information there as soon as we can. Additionally, Lifeway has provided free bible study resources. When you click on the link you will be taken to their page: https://www.lifeway.com/coronavirus
For this coming Sunday (3-29-2020) we will be again having a worship service on the west lawn but we’re going to be adjusting the look and layout a bit. Things to consider: even though it’s projected to only be in the mid 60’s as far as temperature is concerned, a lot of us learned how intense the sun can be so please dress accordingly. Even Pastor Jerry is going to be in very casual attire. Sun screen, hats, and other personal sun protection is highly encouraged.
This week we’re going to change the layout to put the sun mostly at our back and to utilize what shade we have. The chairs will be set up in groups of 8 in sort of a semi-circle setup 6’-10’ apart running along the playground area (facing north). Please sit in family groups – i.e. people who live under the same roof and arrive in the same car. Also, endeavor to arrive on time as we’ll be livestreaming again this week. If you or anyone in your household has any type of underlying medical issue or compromised immune system then please consider availing yourself of the livestream broadcast on the church website.
While many things like the rummage sale have had to be postponed, we are still having the blood drive on April 2nd. This is beyond important as many blood drives have cancelled and the blood supply is now at a dangerously low level. Now is the time to step-up and fulfill the ‘loving your neighbor’ commandment in a very practical way.
Let’s continue to follow our Lord and be a loving witness to our community as we enter into the Easter season. Stay flexible and watch and be amazed as God’s gracious hand takes care of us as we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4).
Dear friends and family of Laveen Baptist Church,
As you are all well aware, the information regarding the Corona virus continues to be updated on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. In deciding on our response to this issue we are guided by God’s Word that tells us both to not forsake the gathering of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25) and that as Christians we are to be in subjection to the governing authorities that God has placed over us (Rom. 13:1). Also, 2 Tim.1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” So we are relying on that last phrase as we’ve prayerfully considered how as a church we are going to conduct ourselves in the upcoming days and weeks.
Effective as of today, March 17, 2020, Awana is not going to meet. Dinner will be served this week in to-go boxes. Please come by and get dinner tomorrow night as the food, which will not keep, is already in our kitchen. There will be no dinner next week (3-25-20). There will be a time of prayer at 6pm for our community and country.
Sunday mornings: Sunday school is suspended for the rest of the month (March 22nd and 29th). Sunday morning service will still be held at the normal time (10:05 am) but we will enjoy the beautiful weather we have right now and we’ll be meeting outside on the west lawn (where we have Harvest Fest). Child care will be available in building B for birth to 4-years and those rooms will have two adults and a maximum of 8 children each to comply with the 10 person guideline.
Sunday evenings will remain at the normal time of 5pm but they will also be a time of group prayer. We will break into groups of ten led by a deacon to humbly bow before God to bring Him our praise and petitions.
All other ministries that meet on campus that have attendance that exceeds 10 people are asked to evaluate how you will proceed keeping in mind that the world is watching. We want to make sure that God’s name is honored in our planning. Please inform that office as to what changes, cancellations or postponements you decide to do.
Please continue to hold our church staff in daily prayer as we work through these difficult issues. But know this, our God is in control and His perfect plan for His praise and our good is in the process of being accomplished.
A final reminder, if you or anyone in your household is having any issues regarding your health, please stay home until they are resolved. If you need assistance due to those kind of issues, please let us know and we will minister to you directly.
Laveen Baptist Church
Schedule for April 30 - May 3, 2020
Wed, April 29, 2020
Prayer with Pastor - Live Stream Only – 6pm
Thurs, April 30, 2020
Men’s Bible Study via Zoom – 6:15pm
Fri, May 1, 2020
AA Meeting – 6:30pm
Sun, May 3, 2020
Morning Service - Live Stream Only – 10:05am
Evening Service - Live Stream Only – 5pm