Corona virus (COVID-19) Updates

April 24, 2020

All in person meetings are still cancelled until further notice. But we are still meeting all throughout the week online, so please join us!

 

Bible studies throughout the week

Contact the church office for how to connect to other classes.

Sunday School     Adults – Eric Dissinger dissinger@reagan.com

Adults – Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Youth – Stacy Hirano stacy@waialaebaptist.com

Jeremy Uyeda rjruyeda@yahoo.com

Monday, 7 p.m. How to Study the Bible. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. Women in the Word. Stacy Hirano stacy@waialaebaptist.com

Wednesday, 6 p.m. Bible Study. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Friday, 11 a.m. Early Christian Doctrines discussion group. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

 

If you need help or know somebody in need, please contact the church office (808) 732-5561 or info@waialaebaptist.com


March 26, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Praise God that He is helping us be the church when we cannot be together. If you are missing out on this and want to be a part, let us know how we can help.

Here is what we are doing as a church.

  • Many are praying.
  • Many are contacting one another.
  • Some are letting us know when people are in need.
  • Others are helping get food and supplies to those who need it.
  • Some are reaching out to our homebound.
  • The preschool is preparing to reopen for children of healthcare workers, first responders, and other people in essential businesses.
  • The preschool is also preparing to deliver preschool education online.
  • Our fine arts teachers are teaching music lessons via video calls.
  • The Waterhouse Lecture Series Group is planning an online anti-human trafficking conference for May.
  • The church staff is working hard to do all of the regular church business in addition to all the added challenges of the corona virus crisis.
  • Teachers, deacons, and others are continuing to find ways to minister.
  • The worship and media team is working extra hard to help us all worship.
  • More and more of you are joining our Bible studies and fellowship times.

I am so proud of all of you. Do not give up. Keep being the church whatever it takes. If you know someone who wants to connect with us but doesn’t know how or doesn’t have the technology, let us know. We will see what we can do to help.

For those receiving these letters via the mail, I am including the discussion questions, and sermon notes for last week and this week’s sermon. For the rest of you, they will be online.

Keep being the church even when we cannot be together.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Matt

 

Join Us for Worship Sunday at 10 a.m. www.waialaebaptist.org

If you miss the service, you can watch it later via the Internet.

 

Bible studies throughout the week

Contact the church office for how to connect to other classes.

Sunday School     Adults – Eric Dissinger dissinger@reagan.com

Adults – Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Youth – Stacy Hirano stacy@waialaebaptist.com

Jeremy Uyeda rjruyeda@yahoo.com

Monday, 7 p.m. How to Study the Bible. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. Women in the Word. Stacy Hirano stacy@waialaebaptist.com

Wednesday, 6 p.m. Bible Study. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

Friday, 11 a.m. Early Christian Doctrines discussion group. Pastor Matt pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com

 

How to continue to support the church financially

  1. Give online at waialaebaptist.org
  2. Mail to the church.
  3. Text ”Give” to 808-793-4991. Follow the instructions.

Update your email address

If you have not given us your email address or if you prefer we send information to a different one, please send an email to info@waialaebaptist.com.


March 20, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We will NOT have in-person Sunday School or worship service at the church March 22 or 29. Please join us on the Internet by going to our website (www.waialaebaptist.org) and clicking on “Watch Now.” The online worship service will start at 10 a.m. Your Sunday School teachers should have contacted you regarding your class. 

We strongly advise you NOT to attend the regularly scheduled business meeting in person. Contact the church office for instructions on how to connect to the meeting via telephone, smart phone, computer or tablet.

Thank you for your patience and your flexibility in this very trying time for everyone. This letter is being sent via email and the postal service. If you know of someone who does not use email, please pass this reminder on to him or her just in case the mail is late.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Matt

 


March 18, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The corona virus (COVID 19) is presenting an unprecedented problem. As a result, we are canceling all in-person group meetings until at least March 31. We will live stream our worship services and create other opportunities for Bible study, ministry, and fellowship online, via telephone and email, and through the mail. This is a constantly changing situation. We will send out updates and information. If you hear something and want to make sure it is correct, contact the church office or call or text (808-366-0121) or email me (pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com).

For those who do not use electronic communication, please contact church members who do and ask them to keep you updated. I will be sending letters regularly, but that means you will receive information later. Whenever possible, we will try to call you, but we might not be able to do that.

One of the most important things to know is that there is so much that is not known about this virus. From leaders to doctors to average citizens, there is uncertainty regarding how long this crisis will last, how pervasive it will be, and what effects it will have on people’s lives and society in general. Despite the uncertainty, here is what we do know.

 

  • God is in control. The virus is not a surprise to Him.
  • As the church, we must stay true to His purpose for us – to fulfill the Great Commission and obey the Great Commandment.
  • We will continue to focus on being a healthy church that worships, prays, disciples, fellowships, evangelizes, and helps each other in the church and the community.
  • We MUST find new ways to be a healthy church for at least the next few weeks.
  • We NEED to extend grace to those around us. This is uncharted territory for everyone. Everyone will get some things right and some things wrong.

 

We want to act in faith and not fear, to be wise and not foolish. We must not abandon reason, but we also must not abandon our calling to be the hands and feet of Christ. God has prepared us for such a time as this.

On the following pages, there will be more information about how we plan to move forward as a church. Please read it and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

 

In Him and for His glory,

Pastor Matt


Business meeting scheduled for March 22, 2020, 11:30 p.m., will be held. We need to meet so that we can take action to better respond to the corona virus crisis. We will limit the meeting primarily to motions and discussions. You will have the option of attending physically in the choir room or via teleconference. If you want to attend via teleconference, the instructions are below. It would be good to do this at about 11:25 a.m.

Contact the church office for instructions on how to use your telephone, smart phone, computer, or tablet to connect with the meeting.

At least 25 church members must attend via teleconference or physically for us to have quorum.

 

Motions for consideration

From the emergency church council and deacons meeting held March 17, 2020

To authorize a group led by the pastor to continue to ensure the ongoing operation of the church and its ministries during the corona virus crisis. The group will consist of Pastor Matt Sanders, Duane Tsuruda (chair of the stewardship and finance committee), Eric Dissinger (nominee to be the next deacon chair), Stacy Hirano (church administrator), and Sam Browning (preschool director). The main purpose is to streamline the church’s decision-making process during and in response to the corona virus crisis.

Other motions affirmed by the church council.

To accept membership for Moacyr and Anne Mayrinck by transfer of letter

To approve Natalie Castillo as a teacher for a new Sunday School class

To approve job descriptions for next generation associate pastor and pastoral assistant


CHURCH ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS CRISIS

ALL in-person group meetings are canceled until March 31. A group has been defined as more than 10, and we are using that as a general rule. Medical professionals are advising that if the meeting is not absolutely necessary to postpone it. A small group will prep food for the Next Step Homeless March 22.

Sunday worship will be live streamed and recorded. We are not gathering at the church.

Simple instructions:

  1. After 9:30 a.m. Sunday, go to the church’s website – waialaebaptist.org.
  2. Click on the button that says “Watch Now”. Until 10 a.m., your screen should say the service will begin at 10. When the service starts at 10, you should see the video.

If you need help connecting, call or email the church office for assistance. Please see the insert for other ways to view the service live.

If you miss the live service, you can watch the recording later by going to www.youtube.com and searching for “Waialae Baptist Church.” If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you will be notified every week when the service is about to go live.

Sunday school and other Bible studies

Depending on your teacher and the tech savviness of your class, we will be providing Bible study opportunities via the Internet, recordings, telephone conference calls, or the mail. Your teachers will be contacting you. You are welcome to “attend” other Bible study classes offered by the church. Contact the church office and we will keep you up to date on how to do so.

How to help others

The deacons have been tasked with developing teams to do the following:

  1. Communicate with everyone in our church community on an ongoing basis
  2. Identify needs that people have and find ways to meet the needs. This might include running errands for elderly people or helping younger families with childcare.
  3. Continue to monitor the needs in our church and community, which could include physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial needs

Ways that you can help now

  1. Check your email regularly for messages from the church
  2. “Adopt” church members who rely on telephone and the postal service by keeping them up to date with messages communicated via email, Facebook, texts, etc.
  3. Volunteer to be on one of the teams that the deacons are setting up. You can contact me or your deacon. If you don’t have a deacon, we can assign one to you and your family.
  4. Volunteer to be part of a church phone tree so that we can get information out quickly to those who do not use electronic communication
  5. Learn how to use email and other electronic means of communication
  6. Call others in the church regularly just to say hello, see how they are doing, or pray with them
  7. Let us know about people who need help. We can’t help everyone, but we can help some.

How to Give

Here are different ways that you can give your tithes and offerings to the church:

  1. Visit www.waialaebaptist.org and click on the button “Give Now.” Follow the instructions on the screen.
  2. You can mail your gift to the church office.
  3. Hand deliver. You can also come to the church office and put your gift in the mail slot.

Thank you for your continued gifts to the church during this time.

Church office will remain open

We have taken measures to disinfect the office and will try to have at least one staff member in the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most of the staff is encouraged to work from home. If you need counseling or prayer, please contact Pastor Matt (808-366-0121, pastormatt@waialaebaptist.com).


The main question: How can we be all that God intends us to be in the face of the challenge of the corona virus? The crisis will be over sooner or later, and we need to know that we have done all we could to be the body of Christ during the crisis and be set up to continue to do so after the crisis.

Important facts about the corona virus

  • It is an “invisible” virus – communicable even during the 14-day incubation period when people are unlikely to show symptoms. Most people with the virus (70-90%) will have mild symptoms.
  • Most likely transmission is ingestion of droplets from coughs or sneezes of a person with the virus.
  • Corona virus can live on metal, glass, and plastic surfaces for days, in the air for a few hours, and on cardboard for a day.
  • Temperatures above 86 degrees will kill the virus.
  • Disinfectants will kill the virus.
  • There are about 2,200 hospital beds on Oahu. A combination of people who have the virus and those who think they have it could overwhelm Hawaii’s health care system.
  • The crisis could last months and not weeks.
  • The longer the crisis goes the harder it will be to keep it from spreading to vulnerable people.
  • People are already losing income and that could spike even if the corona virus does not spread significantly in Hawaii.
  • No one knows for sure how long the crisis will last, how pervasive the virus will be, and what effects the corona virus will have on people’s lives and society as a whole.
  • Recommendations and mandates could continue to change as more is learned about the virus.

 

That described the problem. Here is our hope – God is still on His throne. He has not abandoned us. He has commissioned us to be His people, to show His love, to be the hands and feet of Christ at this time. That will look like different things for different people. For most of us it means to stay safe and reach out to others through technology. For a few of us, it might mean taking risk.

In ancient Rome, early Christians risked their lives to care for victims of epidemics when the rest of society abandoned them. Other Romans noticed.

Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Notre Dame, notes that an “epidemic that seemed like the end of the world actually promoted the spread of Christianity.” By their actions in the face of possible death, Christians showed their neighbors that “Christianity is worth dying for.” -Christian Post article by Eric Metaxas

In 1527 Christian leader Martin Luther wrote in a letter what he believed was the duty of every “strong” Christian in the face of the Black Plague. He said he would take every precaution that the medical experts said to take – except he would not leave the sick if there was no one else to care for them.

“… no one should dare leave his neighbor unless there are others who will take care of the sick in their stead and nurse them. In such cases we must respect the word of Christ, ‘I was sick and you did not visit me … .

Our situation is not nearly so dire as the bubonic plague that killed millions, but our faith should be the same. Let us be wise. Let us be cautious. Let us not be foolish. Let us be faithful. All for the glory of God.