BHBC Statement on COVID-19 as of 3.20.2020

Friends,

Below is the most current statement from BHBC regarding cancellations and/or adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allow me to offer a personal word first:

  • You will notice that, due to having travelled to Missouri this past week, I have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Currently, I feel great and show no signs whatsoever of being ill.
  • Per number 5 of the BHBC Statement below, as best as you can, continue to “shepherd your flock” via email or phone calls.  And know that, although quarantined, I am here to shepherd you.  I love you so very much.
  • These are unprecedented times that can cause an anxious soul to be gripped with fear.  I am spending my “free time” calling many of our elderly members to check on them and just visit, simply reminding them they are not alone, asking if they need anything and praying with them.
  • The day my son died my wife, Michelle, looked me in the eyes and said, “Nick, this is the day we decide what we truly believe.”  It is always in dire times we decide what we believe.  The humble, 20th century pastor, A.W. Tozer, once said, “While the world seems to be spinning out of control, we have a God who has not surrendered his throne.” Jesus, on the night before he was crucified, put it this way: “I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take courage/heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • Like Simon Peter that stormy night on the sea of Galilee, it is awfully easy to lose focus of Jesus and turn our attention fully to the terrifying storm.  To help people remember what is true I will briefly teach on Facebook Live at 11:11 on Sunday mornings, as well as on Wed. evening (time to be announced.)

 

The current BHBC statement begins here:

The following met on Thursday, March 19th, to discuss a strategy for church operations:

D.L. Lowrie, David Barker (Chairman of Deacons), Meredith Harrison (Chairman of Finance), Dana Kluzek and Mike Lewis.  Clint Hutcheson (Chairman of Personnel) and Nick Watts were unable to attend.

NOTE:  Nick Watts has been asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks due to travelling to Missouri this past week.

The following decisions were made at the March 19th meeting:

  1. Effective immediately all meetings, ministries, and programming that meet on the main campus are cancelled until further notice.  This includes the budget town hall meeting and budget vote that were originally scheduled for March 22nd & 25th, respectively.
  2. A sermon will be recorded weekly and made available on the Bacon Heights website by Sunday morning.
  3. Meredith Harrison suggested we continue to operate under the same budget until we are able to assemble again for our Town Hall meeting and official vote for next year’s budget.  Meredith or a Finance Team member will draft a letter to be mailed by March 25th, encouraging members to make an end-of-fiscal year contribution.  This letter should also in the BHBC E-News, if possible.
  4. Search Team nominations will be put on hold.  Clint Hutcheson will consult with the Personnel Team and get back to Gail White regarding a new deadline.
  5. Sunday School classes are encouraged to maintain contact with their class members. Class Directories can be obtained easily via email by simply calling the church office.
  6. There will no new hiring at this time.  The positions vacated by Machenzee Flores will not be filled at this time.  Further, Tami Hines’ soon-to-be vacated position, will not be replaced.
  7. Until we receive further guidance from Federal, State and/or local government our office will remain open for normal business hours during the week.
  8. Staff is encouraged to continue on with normal duties and to minister to members and/or the community in any way we can.

The following people will be the primary sources of information:

Facebook/social media – Nick Watts

BHBC web site – Mike Lewis

E-news – Gail White

Phone – office staff

 

Lastly, laughter really is good medicine.

You may need to laugh a little.  I saw the following on social media.  It will bring a chuckle to your soul.  Enjoy…

Coronavirus Pandemic, day 16.

If anyone is still out there, I’m alive but struggling. Food is running low. Down to only 459 days worth. My hands are super sanitized and my rear end is super clean. Down to 1599 rounds of ammo (dropped 1 round down the heat vent while doing daily inventory).

Power still on, but for how long? Missing human interaction but I have my dogs.. for now.. (I’m soaking their food in BBQ sauce in an attempt to marinate them from the inside in case I have to eat them). I have also started to soak the cat food in BBQ sauce, I have 9 of them. Will eat them first……. I fear dark days ahead.

News is all bad. Neighbors have attempted to leap from windows to their death, (they all have single story homes so they are just badly bruised).

Blew through most Netflix series so may have to re-watch some again.. Basic Survival is a definite challenge. I vow to persevere to the end, I am a survivor!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.12.2020

NOTICE:  Due to the Spring Break, there will be no Navigator E-news published next week.

 

CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT from BHBC

After meeting with Dana Kluzek & Mike Lewis this morning, we are issuing the following statement regarding the Coronovirus pandemic.  Our objective is to be proactive rather than reactive.  That said, we are approaching this crisis prayerfully and with an alert, yet balanced, mindset.  While we believe a degree of unnecessary panic has taken over the minds of many, make no mistake: we are not taking this crisis lightly and are watching daily for updated data.  As circumstances in our region progress we will certainly work diligently to “stay ahead of the game” where necessary precautions are concerned, keeping the health of our people our utmost concern.  Our official statement is as follows:

As you know the Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  Many organizations and events are either modifying their activities or cancelling altogether.  The leadership at BHBC acknowledges that Coronavirus is a legitimate concern for many in our community.

At this time, we have not modified any of our programming.  The staff is monitoring the situation and will keep the health of our most vulnerable members as our highest priority.  To that end we have been doing the following to keep our facility properly sanitized (in addition to the excellent work already being done by our facilities staff):

  • Purchased an electrostatic sprayer that can disinfect large parts of the facility quickly
  • Placed extra hand sanitizer throughout the facility
  • Encouraged “social distancing measures” as you deem appropriate (not shaking hands, hugging, etc.)

We will do all we can to maintain a clean facility and ask that you be responsible for personal protective measures (e.g., stay home when sick, frequent handwashing, cover your mouth with coughing/sneezing, etc.).

Click hereto watch a 3 minute video produced by NBC of a man who contracted the virus on a Cruise Ship.  It should bring some peace to your mind.

GOOD NEWS – A cure?  Additionally, click here and here to read recent articles citing scientists in Israel who hope to have discovered a cure.

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/15

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

The proposed BHBC budget for April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021 has been reviewed and approved by our Finance Team.

A “town hall” meeting to review and discuss the budget is scheduled for Sunday evening, 3/22, at 5pm.

We will vote (no discussion) on Wednesday evening, 3/25, in the Worship Center at 6:30pm.

 

Leadership Appreciation Banquet Sign-Up Begins

It’s time to begin signing up for our Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet scheduled for Sunday evening, April 26th, at 6pm.

All leadership and spouses are invited/encouraged to attend!

No cost to you.  It’s our way of saying “thank you” for pouring your lives into so many week in and week out.

Again, our guest speaker is Jim Hardwicke.  One of the most humble men I’ve ever met, I met Jim in 1978, when I was a sophomore in high school in Abilene, TX.  It was under his love and leadership that I committed my life to God’s call into vocational ministry.  The Lord  continues today to impact my life through Jim.  I am overjoyed to be able to have him pour his life into you, just as he did me.

Please reply to my email – nick@baconheights.com – to make your reservation.  AND, to let me know if you will need childcare (provided).

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. that we would faithfully and diligently seek God.  Jeremiah 29:13
  2. that we would have vibrant fellowship with God.  Philippians 4:4-5

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team continue…

Deadline for nominations is Sunday, March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

 

Being the dad of two daughters, there have been numerous visits over the years with them regarding a predatory personality known as “the sociopath.”  Because a sociopath exudes charm they are difficult to spot – at first.  But, in time, after they have methodically cast their spell over their victim, it becomes frighteningly clear who and what they are.

I recently read a solid article on the topic.  If interested, you can read it here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  It’s Okay to be Afraid

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.5.2020

THIS SUNDAY, March 8th

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

Primary Text:  Psalm 56

 

This past Sunday, Machenzee Flores, submitted her resignation.

Machenzee was hired in May, 2018, to lead the music in our 10:45 worship service.  She and her husband, Drew, met with me on Monday, 2/24, to apprise me of their conviction.  She will begin working at UMC in the urology dept. following her last day at BHBC.

Her final Sunday to lead is this coming Sunday, March 8th.

As I announced this past Sunday morning following her resignation, we will say good-bye as a church family to her and Drew between this Sunday’s two worship services, as well as following the 10:45 worship service.  You will be able to find them in the Commons.

Please consider bringing tokens of your appreciation such as thank-you notes and/or gift cards.  nw

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team continue…

Below is a link to the ballot all members have available to them through the deadline to nominate, March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

 

THE GOSPEL of JOHN

From this past Wed’s study in chapter 2…

In vss 13-22, we find John’s account of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple courtyard.  The temple represented the very presence of God, holy and almighty.

Paul made it clear in his first letter to the Corinthians that no longer is the temple of God a man-made structure or building.  For now, upon our profession of faith in Christ, we become living, breathing “temples of the Holy Spirit.”

Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God [corrupting it with false doctrine], God will destroy the destroyer; for the temple of God is holy (sacred), and that is what you are (Amplified)

The question is as serious today as it was that day in the temple courts:  is there anything in the temple (us) that shouldn’t be there?  If there is, it will draw God’s wrath no less than it did when Jesus drove out the “den of thieves.”

The early church father, Origen, states it well:

Is anything “mingling with your soul”, preventing you from being fully devoted to Christ?  If so, confess it, and give God permission to “clean house” so you can, again, be free.

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. that we would be repentant and dependent people.  (Jeremiah 15:19)
  2. that each person would discover his/her spiritual gift, passion and ministry.  (1 Corinthians 12:1)

 

REMINDER:

Should you need anything whatsoever (curriculum, resources, encouragement, etc.) simply let me know.  I am here to do whatever possible to ensure your success in shepherding your sheep.  People get lost in a crowd.  But they connect and grow in a community.  And that’s what your small group provides.  Thank you for pouring your life into so many.

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING MEAL for 3/11:  Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Salad (reserve by Mon. noon)

 

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

In the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey tells his future wife, Mary,

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.

Well, next Monday would be the best time to try. 🙂

From the USA Today article:

The first supermoon of the year is coming to a sky near you Monday. This month, the full moon is also known as the worm moon… Monday, our moon will be “only” about 222,081 miles miles from Earth, which is about 16,000 miles closer than average.

The moon’s orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle, meaning there are times the moon is closer to the earth than it is most of the time.  Read the full article here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

(Thanks to Gib Weaver for these)

 

SOUL FOOD:  His Mercies Are New Every Morning.  However….,

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

The Navigator: 2.27.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 3/1

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

Primary Text:  Exodus 25:31-40

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team begin this Sunday, 3/1.

Below is a link to the ballot all members will have available to them beginning this Sunday.  Final day to nominate will be March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

NOTE: For those who missed the Personnel Team’s announcement this past Sunday morning, click here to read the announcement in its entirety.

 

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. That we would adhere to sound doctrine.  (John 14:23)
  2. That we would be united in the love of God.  (John 17:23)

 

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet

Sunday evening, April 26th.  Guest Speaker:  Jim Hardwicke

Free.  Spouses are invited.  Sign-up will begin after Spring Break.

 

Meet Sy Garte.  Dr. Garte is a biochemist who has taught at New York University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University. He is the author of The Works of His Hands: A Scientist’s Journey from Atheism to Faith.

Christianity Today published a solid article by Garte a couple of weeks ago titled, “I Assumed Science Had All the Answers. Then I Started Asking Inconvenient Questions.”

Read the brief article here.

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING MEAL for 3/4:  Stew & Cornbread (reserve by Mon. noon)

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

“Some people ask the secret to my wife’s and my marriage.  We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week.  A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing.  She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.” – Henny Youngman

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Last Straw

Have you ever done something you believed was the “last straw” with God?  Have you ever felt like you’ve, finally – once and for all – ruined your life?

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Feb 26 Interim and Search Committee Announcement

 

The Navigator: 2.19.20 moi

THIS SUNDAY

Preacher:  Jerry Joplin

Primary Text:  Acts 4:32-35

 

UPDATE from our PERSONNEL TEAM

  1. BHBC former pastor, Jerry Joplin, has been invited to preach on the topic of ‘unity’ this Sunday morning, Feb. 23rd.
  2. Personnel will make an announcement in both services this Sunday regarding an Interim Pastor.
  3. Per Personnel’s announcement this past Sunday, all Bylaws will be strictly followed regarding the search for our next Lead Pastor.  As such, very soon a Pastoral Search Team will be formed (from a church-wide vote) to begin the process of said search.
  4. Please be lifting these items to the King!

 

CELEBRATING GOD’s FAITHFULNESS @ BHBC

“On arriving there (Antioch), they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done…”  Acts 14:27

As a staff (just as Paul commonly did after returning from his missionary journeys), we have been regularly pausing to celebrate all God is going, both, in our separate ministry areas as well as church-wide.  Here are a few examples of God’s faithfulness:

  1. The Spirit of the Lord has been both strong and sweet among our people.
  2. There has been, both, strong attendance and tremendous freedom in our worship services.
  3. Wed. evening teaching classes have been overflowing.
  4. Our Wed. evening newly formatted church meal has exploded in attendance.
  5. Eight people have joined in recent weeks!  I cannot tell you how rare this is when a church is in an interim period.  Almost always, people hold off from joining until they see who the church calls as their next pastor.
  6. Our ministry staff is operating in an extraordinary manner.  There is so much love, with frequent times of joining together in the office and praying together.
  7. And, rather than ‘sit in idle’ during this interim period, Dana Kluzek, Mike Lewis and I (fulfilling the duties of the Lead Pastor, as instructed by Personnel) are acting on conviction that Christ is blowing ‘fresh wind and fresh fire’ through our local Body.  This conviction precipitated the changing of the banners in our worship center based solely on God’s powerful promise to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

At the conclusion of last Wednesday evening’s study on the gospel of John we circled back around and finished the evening focusing on this proclamation made by John the Baptist when he saw Jesus coming to be baptized.

“…who takes away the sin of the world.”  This is it.  This is the gospel.  Jesus clearly articulated his reason for coming in Luke’s gospel when he said,

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Below is a powerful quote by the late author and poet, T.S. Eliot.  Everything begins and ends with the Cross of Christ.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Do Prophets Still Exist?  (The kind that can predict the future?)

A recent national news article caught my attention as it centered around a southern California pastor claiming to be able to prophecy future events.  Do these types of prophets still exist?  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 2.7.2020

THIS SUNDAY, Feb. 9th

Preacher: Nick

Primary Text:  Acts 17:16-34

 

NEW FORMAT for WED. EVENING MEALS

Beginning Wed., 2/12, meals will be prepared at the church and cost only $5.

Deadline for reservations hasn’t changed.  Please make those reservations by noon on the preceding Monday, along with payment.

Menu will be posted in Sunday’s worship guide.

 

WHEN THE MORMONS COMING KNOCKING

First and foremost, remember they are people who need the love of the biblical Christ as much as we do.  Always be kind and respectful even in disagreement.

Read the helpful article here.

 

prayer

This week, please pray specifically that BHBC members:

  1. would examine ourselves in light of God’s Word (Psalm 119:105)
  2. would be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25)

 

FRIENDLY REMINDER:

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet – Sunday evening, April 26th.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Is Christianity Anti-Science?  (Not at all)

Read the blog here.

 

THIS WEEK’S BHBC CHURCH-WIDE E-NEWS:  click here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 1.30.20

THIS SUNDAY, 2/2

Preacher:  Nick

Primary Text:  1 John 1:1-2The Greatest Story Rarely Told, Part 2 of 2

Tell your class to remember their “assignment” and memorize “The Roman Road”:  Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8 and 10:9. 🙂

 

My friends,

Our local Body of Christ known at Bacon Heights continues to “catch fire.”  This past Sunday four people joined our fellowship.  Our Wednesday evening classes continue to grow in attendance.  And there is a growing “sweet, sweet spirit in this place.”

I cannot help but believe it is a result of our return to fervent prayer.  (Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”)

Keep praying.

“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given.”  (Daniel 9:23)

ALSO,…

In visiting with not only our staff, but with numerous BHBC members as well, it appears it is the right time to begin transitioning from the “SUMMIT” concept.  This ideal/strategy has not been emphasized in years and, as a result, very few have any idea what it means, making it confusing.

Feel free to call your Sunday morning class “Sunday School” or “Small Group Bible Study” again.

Further, if you were not in my class this past Wed. evening, you will notice when you arrive on Sunday the SUMMIT banners have been removed in the Worship Center.  (The room looks twice as large now – sort of like when you take down your Christmas decorations. 🙂 )  Please know the removal of the banners is not a slight on past leadership.  We simply are convicted that “fresh wind and fresh fire” are blowing through BHBC.

 

DISCOVERY OF NEHEMIAH’S WALL

I found this article quite fascinating. Enjoy the article here.

 

OUR PLAN vs. GOD’S PLAN

This is so true.  A picture really does say a thousand words.

 

prayer

This week, please pray specifically that BHBC members:

  1. would know Christ and make him known. (Philippians 3:10)
  2. would be empowered for service.  (1 Peter 4:10)

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“By defeating the forces of evil, Jesus’ actions show the arrival of the delivering rule of God with a power that transforms the landscape of life at a profound level… [Jesus] acted with unusual force & authority…”

[Because of the Gospel], “the finger of God is at work. Demons flee. The grip is lifted. Satan’s house is plundered, his kingdom is being dismantled. At the center of it all stands Jesus Christ.”

Dr. Darrell Bock, “Who Is Jesus? Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

“I’ve found that if you stick part of one pant leg into your sock – people expect a lot less of you.”

 

GRACE NOTES:  A Word to Fellow Pastors (and all other believers)

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick