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COVID-19 UPDATE

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (Ps. 56:3). 

March 31, 2020

Beloved,

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Montgomery County Judge has ordered everyone to stay at their place of residence except for essential activities through April 12 and the President has extended the federal guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic until April 30.

Thankfully, we live in a country and a county that views the ministry of churches as essential and have allowed us to continue to provide worship services via livestream and individual counseling as long as social distancing protocols are followed.

So as we all settle in to the new normal, we want you to know that our church office will remain open for ministry during the following hours:

     Monday (Closed)
     Tuesday (9:00am-5:00pm)
     Wednesday (9:00am-5:00pm)
     Thursday (9:00am-5:00pm)
     Friday (9:00am-12:00pm)

As most of you know, last week our beloved Executive Assistant, Marilyn Judd, retired after seven faithful years of service at LBC. She will be tremendously missed but we are excited for what God has in store for this next chapter in her life and in the life of our church.

Since most of our church activities have been suspended until further notice, our two other Administrative Assistants, Michelle Taylor (Student Ministry) and Gwen Elliott (Children’s Ministry), have graciously agreed to temporarily share Marilyn’s duties to get us through this significant transition in our administrative staff which is being overshadowed by the global health crisis.

For the time being, they will be working remotely from home and answering all calls and receiving all emails to the church. Our pastors will be taking turns being at the church during the above office hours to be available for those of you who want to drop off your offering and for anyone in our church or community who may desire some personal counsel. 

Our heart to continue to faithfully minister to you during the coronavirus outbreak is best summed up by Martin Luther in a letter he wrote to a fellow pastor who had asked Luther whether it was proper for Christians, and particularly ministers, to flee the dangers of a deadly plague that hit Europe hard in the early 1500’s. He said:

“I will pray to God that He may be gracious and preserve us. Then I will fumigate to purify the air, give and take medicine, and avoid places and persons where I am not needed in order that I may not abuse myself and that through me others may not be infected and inflamed with the result that I become the cause of their death through my negligence. If God wishes to take me, He will be able to find me. At least I have done what He gave me to do and am responsible neither for my own death nor for the death of others. But if my neighbor needs me, I shall avoid neither person nor place but feel free to visit and help him….Behold, this is a true and God-fearing faith which is neither foolhardy nor rash and does not tempt God.”

This is a great reminder to all of us that “No temptation/trial has overtaken us but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted/tried beyond what we are able, but with the temptation/trial will provide the way of escape also, that we may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

May God continue to grant us grace to endure this strange season of “lockdown limbo” where we can’t be physically connected the way God wired humans to be, and more importantly, the way He designed Christ’s Church to be.

Sheltering In Christ,
 
Ken Ramey
Pastor-Teacher

March 24, 2020

A quick message from Pastor Ken Ramey about this week's latests events and how to remain a church body during these crucial times.

March 19, 2020

Beloved,

Yesterday morning the LBC Elders met to pray and discuss how we can best minister to the members of our church and community in the midst of the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic.

God was gracious to allow us to gather together publicly this past Sunday with some slight modifications to our service and we had originally planned to do the same thing this coming Sunday. However, based on the latest guidelines released this week by President Trump and Montgomery County officials; specifically to limit gatherings to 50 and even 10 individuals in order to minimize the spread of the virus, it seems prudent for us to alter our church's ministry strategy for the time being.

While the federal and local government is not mandating that we not gather in large groups, we still have a biblical obligation to honor their requests, especially since they are not being antagonistic toward us or persecuting us or trying to harm or hinder us in any way but are simply trying to protect the citizens of our country as God ordained that they should (cf. Rom. 13:1-7). If I was the president, and based on the information I was receiving from the top health experts and agencies in the world, I asked people to avoid meeting together to curb the spread of the coronavirus, I would want people to follow my lead and support my efforts since I am seeking to heed and apply the counsel I’ve been given by those who know way more about all this than me, and after all, we are striving to do everything we can to help our country stay healthy and safe during a time of national crisis (i.e. hunker down and let the storm pass and reduce the number of casualties). 

At the same time, the Bible commands us as Christians to meet together for the purpose of encouraging one another and stimulating one another to love and good deeds lest our hearts become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (cf. Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24-25). Obviously, the coronavirus, and all of its related affects including quarantining, social distancing, etc. present a unique challenge to the body of Christ which God intended to be a closely and continually connected public fellowship (cf. Acts 2:42-47) who at one time actually greeted each other with a holy kiss (cf. Rom. 16:16). That’s a whole lot different than an elbow bump, a foot tap, or a namaste.

Nevertheless, in light of this unprecedented situation that God has sovereignly orchestrated for His glory and our good, we need to get creative and innovative in how we as believers minister to one another and how we as shepherds care for your souls.

That being said, we have decided to temporarily modify our normal church activities in the following way:

  • Beginning this Sunday, March 22, rather than gathering at the church for our Worship Service, we want to invite you to gather in your homes with your family, friends and neighbors, and/or members of your Grow Group and participate in our Worship Service via livestream from 10:30am-12:00pm (https://www.lakesidebiblechurch.org/livestream). This Sunday I will be preaching a message on how to overcome anxiety and our music team will be leading us in songs that will remind us that our sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful Heavenly Father is still on His throne and He always protects and provides for His children.
  • All other Sunday morning and mid-week activities are canceled until further notice and all special events scheduled for the next 30 days will be postponed (i.e. Passover Seder, WOE Friday Night Fellowship, Youth Yard Sale, Baptism Service/Fellowship Lunch). We will keep you posted about our Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday services. 
  • In lieu of not meeting, in the weeks to come our Children’s Ministry will be emailing parents the Sunday morning Generations of Grace curriculum so you can teach your children the Sunday School lessons at home. Our Student Pastor, Kyle, will be providing biblical content for the students and their parents via social media to keep you focused on the Lord and involved with one another. Also our Music Minister, Chris, will be sending out a "Comfort Amid COVID-19" playlist that will help us rejoice and rest in God during these unsettling and unnerving times. And as always, our Associate Pastor, Kris, will be available to provide Christ-centered, biblical counseling for anyone who is struggling with fear and anxiety and needs to be reminded of the hope-filled truths in God’s Word.
  • We encourage you to stay connected with your Grow Group which will continue to meet at the discretion of your Grow Group leader. Be sure to communicate any needs you may have to your Grow Group Leader. If you are not in a Grow Group, there is no better time than now to get plugged in to one of these groups so you can care for others and be cared for yourself (https://www.lakesidebiblechurch.org/grow-groups).
  • Since we will not be gathering at the church for a while but the ongoing ministry of our church is dependent on the joyful, generous, sacrificial giving of God’s people, you can still worship God by giving online (https://lakesidebible.churchcenter.com/giving) or dropping your offering by the church office during the week or sending it in the mail (18940 Freeport Drive, Montgomery, TX 77356). We understand that many families, businesses, and churches will be impacted by the economic fallout of this global health crisis but we are confident that God will continue to faithfully provide for all our financial needs (cf. Phil. 4:19).
  • The church office will remain open during our normal business hours and our Pastoral Staff, Elders, and Deacons are all committed to serve you in any way we can.
We understand this will be a significant adjustment for all of us, but please know that while this was not an easy decision for our leadership team to make, we believe it is the most practical way to fulfill God’s command to fear Him, honor the king, and love our neighbors (cf. 1 Pet. 3:17) and the honorable thing to do, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men (cf. 2 Cor. 8:21).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the other LBC leaders.

We are grateful for all of you and consider it a joy and privilege to shepherd this church.

Remember, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear….” (Ps. 46:1-2).

Grace & Truth,

Ken Ramey
Pastor-Teacher

March 13, 2020

Beloved,

As I’m sure you are all aware, the news about COVID-19 has escalated exponentially this week leading to unprecedented cancellations of schools, organizations, and sporting events. In order to limit the spread of this pandemic, the local authorities in Montgomery County have declared a local disaster for the next 30 days and have urged that any event over 250 persons be canceled but have left that decision to the leaders and staff of private organizations. 

Based on our biblical responsibility to honor the governing authorities God has placed over us for our good (Rom. 13:1), the LBC Elders and Deacons have decided that it would be wise to modify our normal church activities for the next two Sundays as follows:

  • There will be NO Equipping Hour.
  • We will meet for our regularly scheduled Worship Service from 10:30am-12:00pm but encourage those who attend to divide up between the Activity Center and the Worship Center which will serve as an overflow space where you can watch the service via livestream. We will only provide Nursery/Toddler Care during the service. If you have children in Kindergarten or above, please plan to bring them with you to the service.
  • If you are unable to attend the service because you are considered high risk due to your age or your health, we encourage you to join us via livestream here: https://www.lakesidebiblechurch.org/livestream
  • All of our mid-week activities have already been canceled this coming week due to MISD Spring Break. We will keep you posted whether or not we decide to cancel mid-week activities in the coming weeks.
  • Grow Groups will continue as normal. These small group gatherings meet weekly or bi-weekly in homes throughout the Lake Conroe area and serve to create an environment where people who attend our church can build close, edifying relationships so they can care for one another. In light of the present limitations on large group gatherings, there is no better time to get plugged in to one of these groups. https://www.lakesidebiblechurch.org/grow-groups

Please know that these safety measures are not being taken out of fear, but trusting in our sovereign God who sits on His throne in heaven and rules over everything in the universe, including the coronavirus, and causes all things to work together for our good and His glory. 

Our prayer is that we as a church would respond in faith during this uncertain time when so many in our world are overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. May we be used by God to reach out to the lost in our community and share with them how they can have the peace and hope we have because of the gospel.

Please be praying for wisdom for our national and local government authorities, for strength and stamina for health care workers, and for unbelievers to realize the fragility and brevity of life and repent of their sin and commit their life to follow and obey Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope to see you this Sunday morning as we worship our unchanging God in an ever-changing world.

Grace & Truth,

Ken Ramey
Pastor-Teacher