The Wondering Eagle has written extensively about Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. In many ways on could say that this blog is dedicated to writing about the issues in John Bryson’s church. This past week John Bryson and Fellowship Memphis explained how they were responding to the COVID-19 virus. This blog is capturing and documenting those updates.
“What’s interesting about science is that we’re constantly discovering new things about the universe, about ourselves, about our bodies, about diseases, about the possibilities of the future. It’s amazing. Science is one of the coolest things about being a human being – without a doubt.“
then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:10-12 NIV
This blog has written heavily about John Bryson, Bryan Loritts and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. Fellowship Memphis has sent out some updates about the virus and how its impacting the congregation. On March 11, 2020 the following email was sent out to the congregation.
Our Coronavirus Preparations & Response.
Fellowship Memphis Family,
As I mentioned last Sunday, we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation. Our body is blessed to have numerous medical and health professionals who are advising our decisions and desire for us to be wise in protecting each other, our city and especially the most vulnerable among us when we corporately gather.
Here is what we are currently advised to do:
Reminders to us all…If you are sick or your kids are sick please stay home.
Our worship service is available on YouTube Live at 11 and, starting this Sunday, on Facebook Live as well.
Also, wash those hands well and often and cover those coughs! We will ask everyone to hold off on handshakes. Encouraging words and elbow bumps work well.
Until things get more clear, we will hold off on “meet and greets’ during the service along with communion AND the passing of the offering plates/buckets.
This would be a great time to move any in-person giving to one of our online giving options. https://fellowshipmemphis.org/give. The offering team will be at the doors at the end of service.
We are also preparing to not corporately gather. We currently have the capability to meet digitally online. We are not there yet and may not get there, but we may be advised in the weeks to come to not corporately gather.
It’s our desire to navigate this out of wisdom and not fear.
We will err on the side of caution wherever we can.
As advice to us changes, we will adapt and communicate that with you.
If you have not already, please download our FM app and turn notifications on. That, along with email, are our best ways to communicate with you quickly.
Dr. John Bryson
On behalf of our Elder and Staff teams
ON March 13, Fellowship Memphis updated its congregation on some additional changes as well.
Dear Fellowship Family,
I want to update you on the Coronavirus and our church response to best help keep you and your family safe as well as do whatever we can to love, serve and protect our church, neighbors and city….especially the most vulnerable.
We have recruited and empowered several medical professionals from our church, to monitor this situation more directly. This team has been in communication daily to assess the current public health news and policy updates issued by the CDC and other appropriate agencies, applying their recommendations to our current situation and giving us advice.
While God has not given us a spirit of fear, he has called us to love our neighbors and to contribute to the welfare of our city. Exercising caution is not merely wise, but is a tangible way of expressing love toward others.
Fellowship Memphis has made the following decisions:
1. Pausing Weekend Corporate Gatherings
For at least the next three weeks, Sundays March 15, 22 and 29th, we will not meet for worship gatherings at any of our four outpost locations. Instead, we will stream a worship service, which will be available on each of those Sundays at 11 a.m. CST on FacebookLive, YouTubeLive and on Instagram. We will be emailing and posting the links for each of those options on Sunday morning.
Canceling these services was a very complex decision for us including the reality that we have five landlords who are all making their own decisions on gathering restrictions, cleaning schedules, etc.
We will continue to assess the situation throughout the month, get creative on solutions that could safely work for us, and reassess beginning Monday March 30th.
2. Other Gatherings and Event Canceled
Any official Fellowship event or gathering scheduled between today and Sunday March 29th will not be meeting as scheduled. This includes Fellowship Young Adults, FSM, and all of our groups and classes.
3. Communication and Prayer
We are actively discussing the best ways to love both our people and city during this time. We recognize that this is a dynamic situation with constant new information and updates. If we have to communicate any last-minute decisions or changes, we will provide updates on social media, via email, and on our website.
While we do not know what will happen as this situation changes, we do know that we can, and must, pray. As we look to the days and weeks ahead, would you join us in prayer?
- Ask God, in his mercy, to stem the tide of this growing pandemic, not only in our communities, but in cities around the world.
- Pray that those who are called to address this crisis (particularly medical professionals and those in positions of authority) would be equipped to handle new cases with wisdom and compassion.
- Pray that local churches would lead the way in exhibiting a spirit of trust in God and love for others.
- Pray for our overseas missionaries, that they would act as God’s ambassadors, continuing to offer the hope of the gospel.
As believers, we are called to run toward tragedy and not away from it. Faithful Christians have done this throughout many generations. Let’s be faithful in this moment to be the hands and feet of Christ caring for the sick and pointing people to ultimate hope in him.
Our Elder and Staff teams are here for you. Feel free to reach out and let us know how we can pray for you or if you simply need someone to talk. Rest as well on God’s word and the truths in it. We will get through this together.
More updates to come soon.
Dr. John Bryson on behalf of our Elder and Staff teams