The more I reflect on reasons for thanksgiving during our, "lockdown," experience, the more grateful I become. As a rule, churches have been hit almost as hard as many business organizations. Because churches operate entirely on what others would call, "donations," some churches are left in limbo financially. This is especially true now, when some members are experiencing the loss of work hours, at least, and others may have lost jobs, entirely.

However, Immanuel has seen a consistent giving that continues. Even as we struggle and search for new and better ways to keep providing spiritual connection and uplift to our members, many others are now logging on and connecting with us, via We are especially excited that we now offer an on-line Sunday School Class at 9:45 each Sunday morning, before the 11:00 worship service!

For these new connections that go beyond our church family, we are grateful. During this time of stress and loss for many, IBC has been able to assist our community with food relief and some of our members have taken it upon themselves to provide some much needed assistance to others, usually doing it completely incognito. Others have made sure to connect via phone lines, because sometimes food and financial assistance aren't the concern. To that end, many of our Sunday School teachers and class members are making calls and sending cards, to make sure to remind those they are missing that they are not alone, even while they are physically separated!

These issues are being attended by many of our people, whose sole ambition is to make sure the love of Christ is extending beyond our church walls. Others are using this time to do much needed improvements within, for whenever our time of separation is concluded.

We have seen members applying much needed fresh paint to enhance our main sanctuary. One of our members has spent countless hours completely sanitizing our nursery, including the toys and other implements that will be ready and waiting whenever our littlest loved ones are able to return. New cameras are being installed, further enhancing our ability to provide on-line worship and teaching experiences to those who may be traveling, or shut-in, long after our state and national, "lock-down," is over.

Finally, let me share something that should bring encouragement to all of our members. The elevator that so many have been awaiting is now being installed in the Ministry Center! Furthermore, because our people have been so faithful to continue giving to this project, it is already paid in full! Now, you will have access to both floors of the Ministry Center, or, by way of the back ramp, you can access either the sanctuary or the upstairs (Youth Room) floor of the Main Building.

Despite our time apart, when you are able to reenter Immanuel Baptist Church, you are going to find the hallways swept, doors, entryways, and children's areas sanitized, the grass mowed and trimmed, entryways to both buildings enhanced, and our audio/visual equipment updated. While you've been gone, much has been going on, to make sure your church needs are met, whether on or off-site! See, God's Word is always true!

Even in the worst of times, "For we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, who are the called, according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28, NKJV)