03.25.2020, 5:33 PM
Dear Brazos Church family,
I know it's been a pretty wild week of transition for us and our community; especially with both Harris & Fort Bend County judges issuing 'stay-at-home' orders to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus in our community. What this means is that aside from essential travel, such as going to the grocery store, gas station, hospital/clinic, work classified as 'essential', etc, we are to remain at home until 11:59 pm, April 3rd. (for details click on either HARRIS COUNTY or FORT BEND for your county.). There is uncertainty around us in our community; some are fearful of getting sick, some of losing their jobs, some have already gotten sick and fearful of losing their lives.
We are also frustrated because we are limited in the different things we are used to doing easily, such as traveling, taking our kids to school, (or even buying toilet paper.). It seems on the news and social media that information and misinformation change from minute to minute, as our nation's economy is continuing to be hit hard. With this global pandemic taking hold, where does this place the church when we can't see an end to this thing?
In the letter to the Hebrews in the Bible, the writer tells us, that "... faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Heb 11:1 NIV). in other words, regardless of what we physically see in front of us and around us, we know by faith what many in the world do not; we know that God saw what was coming and prepared his beautiful, mysterious Church to lead the world through this. We know by faith that "the gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ's church." We know our faith is "a shield that extinguishes the 'flaming attacks' of the evil one.' We know by faith that Jesus is here in our midst and His promises are true! We know by faith that the powerful Holy Spirit dwells in us as His temple and molds us in holy, mighty, righteous children of the King and empowers us as intersections of God's power on Earth in building up the church and shining in the world's darkness, testifying to the person and nature of the Everlasting God.
You are in the palm of His hand, as you have been from the day you chose to follows son, Jesus. Hold captive any thought immediately that leads you to worry, despair, doubt, fear, anger, or confusion. Declare in faith that those thoughts do not reign in you-Jesus does. Stay rooted in your faith in what you know to be true. You are a child of the Creator of the Universe and he loves you. Be a pillar of faith for your neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends who need your steadfastness to point them to the Truth. God has deposited Himself in you, through the Holy Spirit. You got this (God's words)
This Sunday at 10:00 am, we will again be streaming online on both Facebook Live & Instagram Live. Please join us as we look at 'how God is working in the church for God in the middle of this pandemic. The message inspired by several of your emails this week on end-times scriptures, why would God allow such a pandemic and more. We'll dig into these responses this Sunday. Have bread/crackers & juice/wine available if you have it so we can share in communion together.
We now have a church online platform that any group can use to meet online. Click here to contact Pastor Desiree to set up your group's timeslot to meet. Isolation doesn't mean 'isolated'. We're here for you. If you need any essentials, prayer, healing, or technical help getting online, simply reply to this email and we can walk you through it.
I love you all and it's amazing how you have embraced community in some amazing ways. God loves His church and is proud of you being faithful. Love one another. Take this quiet time to read your bible and pray. Check-in with each other with a call or text. If you haven't seen someone in a while, reach out to them during this time. God is calling you.
God's continued favor and power in your life. See you Sunday,
03.17.2020, 6:49 PM
Dear Brazos Family,
This coming Sunday, we planned on encouraging those most vulnerable to the coronavirus and those who were sick for any reason, to stay home and to join us online as we had done last Sunday. Yesterday, we spoke again with Fort Bend County Health & Human Services, as well as Cinemark’s Management Team, concerning the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. After receiving directives and guidelines from our government leaders calling for limits on large group gatherings, we have decided to suspend in-person worship services and continue to stream our services online for the next two weeks. We will re-evaluate moving forward on a week-to-week basis.
One important thing to remember: the vast majority people who contract the coronavirus will have little to no health risks or symptoms. Our bodies fight off the virus like all others. For those who do get sick, the vast majority will recover. Not having in-person worship the next few weeks is our church’s way to love our neighbors by minimizing the number who will get sick and prevent some of the worst outcomes of this illness.
Here’s the link for online worship. Join us Sunday at 10:00 am from your homes or workplaces. This weekend Pastor Desiree will be continuing our series on ‘Knowing Jesus’ and our worship team will be leading as well during our service. If you have bread and juice/wine available, please have it ready so that we can have communion together. If you need any of these elements, simply let us know and we will get them for you.
So what does this change in the Brazos Church’s purpose & mission over the next few weeks? Absolutely nothing. While our tools and methods for gathering, worship, teaching, and outreach will change, we will continue to be bridges to God, each other and our community; our ministry of reconciliation remains.
Regarding other ministries, such as small groups, men & women’s ministries, pastoral care, and outreach, we are evaluating the best options and those ministry leaders will provide guidelines based on the most up to date information we have. Unless you are in a high-risk group, we encourage you to make your own decision based on your own personal health situation. We will update you throughout the week. Remember to check your email, social media, and/or text messages for church updates. If you are not currently on our phone list, simply reply to this email with your cell information.
In the meantime, Jesus gave us this simple command: “love one another.” Reach out to those in your small groups and that serve with you. Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly that may be shut-in. If you have needs (physical, material, emotional), share them- that’s why we're here. None of us are alone, regardless of what the Enemy or fear tries to tell us.
“The church remains the Church whether gathered or scattered.” – Rachel Inselmann
May God's healing and peace abound,
Pastor James Menephee
03.14.2020, 12:00 PM
I want to take some time to address the current concern of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the response of the Brazos Church. We are monitoring the updates from the CDC and I have spoken directly with the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services. In light of the extreme precautions that are being taken on a global scale, we are keenly aware of the fears and anxieties surrounding the situation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to affirm you in your security in Him regardless of what is happening around us.
Please be assured that we will continue to disinfect and sanitize our gathering and children's areas. We are diligently working to create and keep a safe and clean environment to allow people to continue to join us as a church community.
This Sunday our service will CONTINUE AS NORMAL. As an extra precaution we are directing all members of our church that have high-risk complications from the virus (pregnant mothers, those already ill, those 60 and older, and those with immune deficiencies) would stay home and join us online at brazoschurch.online or on our facebook page.
We will continue to daily assess the and communicate any pertinent information as this continues to unfold. Please continue to check back here for any updates specific to the operation and functioning of the Brazos Church as it concerns the Coronavirus.
I know this is a trying time for the Church and our community, but I believe this is also an opportunity for us to rise and model the kingdom of God in how we trust, love, and bless others in the world that may not know Him. Love your neighbors and co-workers. Be there for them. Continue to pray for our sister churches affected by this virus, our government's response, and our leaders. This will pass and God is faithful. Thank you all for your faithfulness and continue to love and pray for one another and our leadership team. We will update you via email, text, and social media with any changes.
God's healing and protective hand in our community,
Pastor James Menephee