To start this update, we would like to share some good news. You might be thinking, what could be happening that is good during the COVID-19 pandemic? We have heard the phrase “reopen” used a lot recently. Just to make it clear, we the church, have never been closed.
We are excited to tell you how individuals, groups, classes, ministries and SV as a whole is not just limping along doing ministry. We are not just surviving. We are thriving!
COVID-19 has helped us, both as a church and as a staff, see needs in our church and community that maybe we didn’t know about before. It’s stretched us and made us be more attentive and creative in how we minister and reach out to our members and community.
SVkids – sv.church/svkids
- 140 Easter Scavenger Hunt bags given out, many to non-SV families.
- Connections made with children in other states that have been watching SV online content.
- Hardin County Kidmin group formed with area Children’s Ministers to reach kids of Hardin Co. together. Plans for Etown wide outreach event in July.
- Virtual VBS sign ups going really well, parents excited for a new option.
- Pen pal program with area kids growing every week.
- SVkids Sunday programming now being sent to parents at home so the kids can still be a part of Sm Groups.
- Helping families talk more about God together.
SVstudents – sv.church/students
- The biggest win has been the conversations that are taking place. Students who don’t normally open up are beginning to do so.
- We are averaging 75-80 students/leaders each week in virtual small groups.
- A local student pastor prayer group has started. We will meet each week and pray for one another and our local churches.
- We have seen the launch of a new discipleship group with some of our middle school girls.
- We have been able to counsel two students who made the decision to follow Jesus at DNOW and they are waiting to be baptized once we are back to normal.
- 11th-grade guys small group do a weekly lunch virtual hangout where the students are leading the lessons
- Adopt the class of 2020 has been a great success.
- SVcafe is cooking and providing meals for Senior Adults through Warm Blessings. An average of 55 a week.
- Started Senior Adult Phone Call List.
- Staff and members delivering meals for Senior Adults through the school system.
- SV members who are sharing meals with Senior Adults.
- Groceries being purchased and taken to some of our Shut-in members.
- Hymn Singing to Small Group members who are at home and in Assisted Living Centers.
Virtual Small Groups – sv.church/adults
Over 300 people are attending Virtual Small Groups on a weekly basis. Many are saying they are seeing:
- Better attendance than when we were meeting in person.
- Better discussions.
- People are on time and excited to join.
- People speaking and contributing during their time together who usually stay silent.
- Former members who have moved away are joining them from all over the country.
- New people are joining groups that have never been a part.
- People talk more freely and are more comfortable with one another, fellowship is getting better each week.
- Some who only come periodically, haven’t missed a meeting
- People are being encouraged, cared for, loved, accepted and challenged by God’s word.
- We have a member who is in the hospital and because of the Virtual Small Groups is able to join them each week.
- Leaders of the groups are changing their teaching method to more of a discussion and the participation has greatly increased. They say this will continue when they are able to meet together.
- Some of our women meet together for a Bible Study each Monday night. They are having 100% attendance.
- A soldier from Ft. Knox is attending a group. No one in the group has met him personally. They are excited to meet him when the quarantine is over.
- Small groups are serving together making masks, taking gifts to boys in a boys home, gifts to girls at Sunrise, food to shut-ins.
- A woman who had COVID-19 just had a baby weighing 2lbs at a Louisville hospital. She had attended one of our groups a couple of times. A co-worker told her about the Virtual Small Groups. This Small Group is now building a relationship with this young soldier. She gives them updates on her baby each week and they pray for her and her baby every time they meet.
SVserve – sv.church/serve
- Donations, both material and monetary to Helping Hand, Warm Blessings, Sunrise, and Mission Hope. We were able to connect Warm Blessings with a big donation of sanitizer.
- Meal to Etown Police Department.
- Mask donations: We’ve given out over 150 hand made, by SV women, masks to these groups: senior living facilities, a detention center, a child abuse support center, and a rehab facility, in addition to providing masks to our staff, and senior adult members who are in a high-risk category.
- Approximately 224 meals prepared by our kitchen staff for the elderly through Warm Blessings.
- We were able to get the book of John (The Life Book) into the hands of 200 Hardin County residents with the help of Helping Hand of Hope and Warm Blessings.
- 4 Days a week several SV staff and members of SV, team up with Hardin County Schools to deliver meals to the elderly in Hardin County. They have had the opportunity to pray with a few as well.
- SVstaff delivered 49 goodie bags to the families of Mission Hope kids for Easter. (Goodies were donated from us and McDonald’s.)
- Easter care packages delivered to the girls at Sunrise Girl’s Home.
- Implemented “Adopt a Senior Adult” to be sure they are well during COVID.
- Clarity Banquet – We were able to host and broadcast the Annual Clarity Banquet. The number of people who have viewed the banquet far surpasses any other banquet in attendance.
SVprayer – sv.church/prayer
- We have moved our men’s and women’s prayer groups to virtual prayer meetings. If you’re interested in joining contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for men and email@example.com for women.
- We now have two FB groups devoted to prayer: a men’s group and a women’s group.
- Our new Prayer webpage is up. On this page you can leave a prayer request and also pray for those asking for prayer. Anyone…Everyone can be a part of this ministry without leaving your home. You can check on who is asking for prayer at any time of the day and pray for them immediately. Then you can click on a button letting the person know someone has prayed for them. It’s that easy. You really need to check sv.church/prayer out.
Giving – sv.church/give In April our offerings to the General Budget were amazing. We came in only -$4,296.21 short of meeting the April budget. Thank you for the way you gave to the Lord. Because of your generosity and faithfulness to support the ministries of SV we were able to:
- Send a sizable check to the Kentucky Baptist Convention for the Cooperative Program. This money goes to provide ministries like:
- KBC Disaster relief
- College ministries on the campuses of Kentucky
- Church Planting through the North American Mission Board. One of which is Storyline Church in St. Louis, our partner in our Near Missions effort.
- Funds to support Jason Davis, one of our International Missions Board missionaries located in Italy.
- We were also able to send a significant amount of money to Jason & Kelly Hart who are missionaries in Guatemala. This country has been devastated by COVID-19.
- We are also sending money to Nicaragua to support the 3 churches we partner with along with money to help our interpreters and their families since they are out of work due to COVID-19.
- We were able to continue to financially support local ministries like: Clarity Solutions, Mission Hope 4 Kids, Sunrise Children Services, Warm Blessings and Helping Hand of Hope.
We could not be doing what we are doing online with our Worship Services, Virtual Small Groups, even this SVupdate without your generosity and faithfulness. Your giving has kept SV strong. Let’s continue to give and even give more because God has GREAT things in store for us when all this is over.
Lastly, let’s talk about when we “Re-Gather.” Notice we didn’t say “Re-Open.” We, the church, haven’t been closed. Look at how SV has been ministering to one another and to our community. God is at work!
We’ve seen more people watching our Online Services than EVER BEFORE. Between Facebook, YouTube, and SVlive our Worship Services have been viewed 44,232 times. 44 THOUSAND TIMES! From all over the US and the World.
We are excited about what God is doing as we plan to “Re-Gather.” Last week we announced that we have a target date to re-gather on May 31st. Let us clarify. We are still waiting for more instructions and information from Governor Beshear regarding how we can re-gather. Our initial planning shows us our maximum capacity in the Worship Center is only 335 people due to social distancing regulations. This is very disappointing to us. As we are sure it is to you as well. We are continuing to make plans to re-gather. When we have all the information we need, we will let you know of a firm date. May 31st is our target. But, this date can and very well may change. Other churches may open before us. That’s ok. Their circumstances: size, capacity, parking, entrances, volunteer needs, etc may allow them to open before us.
Please hear us, we want to re-gather just as soon as we can. But, we will not re-gather until we can do so in accordance with what our local, state and federal authorities are providing to us. We also want to make sure when we re-gather it is in the best and safest manner possible. We miss you! We can’t wait to see you! But, don’t let that stop you from using this time to grow in Christ, minister to others and serve our community.
Now is not a time to sit. It’s time to BE THE CHURCH. Let’s not waste our quarantine!
Your Staff and Church Council