Century Meadows Baptist Church – Our COVID-19 Update Week 2…
In light of recent announcements from Alberta Health Services and the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to postpone all non-essential events at the CMBC building. We hope that you will all stay safe, stay home as much as possible, and use this time to grow in your faith and in your relationships with your family. If you are in need of anything, anything at all, please contact the main church office at 780 672-3230 or office@centurymeadows.ca. We thankfully have many staff and other members more than willing to get you the help you need whether that be groceries, supplies, prayer, encouragement, help with technology, financial assistance, or anything else at this time. The staff and leadership of CMBC are praying for you diligently.

Sunday Worship Services:
The leadership of CMBC has decided to postpone all Sunday worship gatherings for the foreseeable future. We are not putting an exact timeline on this but do imagine that this will be the reality for many weeks, possibly even several months. During this time, we will continue to record our worship services (sermons, announcements, music, and other means) and upload them to our “Century Meadows Baptist Church” YouTube channel. If you “subscribe” to this channel, you will be able to make comments and have healthy discussion engaging with the content of the sermons. If you are unfamiliar or unable to access YouTube, please contact the church office and we can have someone help you with this. Also, we can have people come to you and help you set up whatever technology is necessary for you to stay connected to CMBC. This week’s worship service will be “in-house” as Pastor Brett will be preaching on John 12:1-11. It will be a good idea to read John 11 in its entirety to familiarize yourself with the context. We are only 3 weeks from Easter! We will walk through a series titled “The Journey to the Cross” in which Pastor Brett will speak this week, our very own CMBC moderator Andre Sokolov will preach on Palm Sunday, and then Pastor Brett will conclude the series on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I was very encouraged by the 228 video views (400+ people?) of Dr. Terry Fossen’s sermon yesterday. Let’s keep learning and growing in God’s Word together.

General Guidelines:
For best practices, visit albertahealthservices.ca. Please avoid all non-essential gatherings. This is not a fear-based response but rather a wise initiative to protect the vulnerable in our midst from COVID-19. Please act responsibly with a healthy balance of faith (our great hope!) and wise social responsibility.

Weekly Giving Opportunities:
I pray that we will be a church that takes care of one another well during this time and also reaches out to friends and neighbors to offer support, practical needs, encouragement, and the gospel at this time. We can all “give” in this way.

Although we are not gathering on Sunday, we encourage you to consider still giving to CMBC and to other missions/ministries that you support. You can give in the following ways:
o Cheque mailed to: Century Meadows Baptist Church 3720-66St Camrose, AB, T4V3N4
o Cheque dropped off at the above address:
o E-transfer – donate@centurymeadows.ca. (Please use the security question: “What year was Century Meadows started?” Answer = 1901)
o Automated debit transactions: See attached form

Here is the specific status of upcoming church events:
• Sunday Services (Children’s Church, Nursery, Ignite, Sunday School) – POSTPONED
• CMBC Office Hours – WILL REMAIN OPEN 8:30 am-4:00 pm MONDAY-FRIDAY.
• Life groups – POSTPONED (Meeting online via “Zoom.”)
• Youth Ministry – POSTPONED (Weekly Youth sermons to be uploaded to CMBC YouTube channel. Live chats will be facilitated via “Zoom.”)
• Young Adults Ministry– POSTPONED (meeting weekly via “Zoom.”)
• Primetimers – POSTPONED
• Mom and Tots – POSTPONED
• Awana – POSTPONED (Homeschool Awana happening. Send your results to the Awana commander.)
• Prodigal Prayer Group Monday Evenings – POSTPONED
• Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting – POSTPONED (Everyone can pray at this time.)
• Ladies Bible Study (Fridays) – POSTPONED (Meeting via “Zoom” @ 10:00 am – this is a time change)
• Sr Ladies Bible Study (Mondays) – POSTPONED
• Men’s Breakfast March 28 – POSTPONED
• Men’s BBQ April 18 – POSTPONED
• Pastor Ed’s Farewell March 29 – POSTPONED
• Adult Mustard Seed Trip April 3-5 -POSTPONED

Ministry that is Still Happening at CMBC (using alternative methods):

• Join us on Social Media:
o CMBC Facebook Page – “CMBC”
o CMBC Facebook Group – “Century Meadows Ministry Connection”
o CMBC Instagram – “century.meadows”
o Youth Ministry Instagram – “cmbcthrive”
o Youth Ministry Facebook – “CMBC Thrive Youth”
o Young Adults Instagram – “cmbc_youngadults”
o Young Adults Facebook – “CMBC Young Adults” group

• Continued corporate worship together – through ministry of the Word (Sermon) via accessing weekly online sermons from CMBC Pastoral Staff, Deacons, or the Alberta Baptist Association. “Century Meadows Baptist Church” YouTube channel.

Helpful Resources:
• “Zoom.” This is an app that provides free video chats. It is incredibly simple to run and is working very well for several CMBC ministries that are already using it.
o Simply go to zoom.us and sign up for free today.
o Invite friends to a “meeting” (video conference call)
o Do ministry, Bible study, or just chat using your phone or computer.
RightNowMedia.org. Contact the church office if you are not already signed up.
Thebibleproject.com. Excellent resource for engaging your faith. Doctrinal/theological.
Christianitytoday.com. Current and valuable Christian articles and other content.
• ParentCue app. Ignite program can be continued from your home. I highly suggest this for all parents no matter what age your kids are.
Skyejethani.com (With God Daily app and devotional)
• CMBC YouTube channel + host of other CMBC social media outlets.

Pastoral Note:
Let’s continue to use this time as a chance to evaluate what is truly important to us. I will admit, the allure of technology, staying up to date with all things COVID-19, and the bombardment of Christian/church ideas on how to “do church better” during this particular season has caused me to lose focus on what is truly important. What is truly important during this time is being present with your family more than ever before, being attuned to God’s presence in a deeper way, and BEING the church that God is calling us to be in our community by loving those in need around us. We are a people of hope, faith, and love. Let’s use this opportunity to demonstrate our love for one another and for our neighbors and not get overly distracted or fearful by the tidal wave of opinions and suggestions in our digital world. We need to stay informed, of course, but not distracted and anxious.
I have been very encouraged by the numbers of CMBC folks willing to get creative and help others out this week in our community and church family. There are several groups of people making a huge effort to ensure that everyone’s needs at CMBC are met. God bless you all. During this season, our goal is not to all of a sudden become experts at all things social media or technology and compete with the multi-million-dollar budgets of megachurches and professionally paid speakers. Our goal in this season is the same as always; we will seek to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind…and love our neighbors as ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-39). I strongly believe that it is the role of the pastor to administer the Word, equip people for ministry, and to care for people relationally. I hope that the Lord leads me to do an excellent job of this during this season. My prayer for you is that you feel encouraged, hopeful, that you are continually learning and growing in your faith, and that we are a church that cares for each other and for our community. If we do these things well, we can use this unprecedented situation to strengthen our faith and all of our relationships. God bless you this week, and, please contact myself or the church office if you have any needs. We would love to help you.
-Pastor Brett