Dear IBC Church Family,

It is with sincere sadness that we have decided to cancel services for this week. As stated in a previous email you should have received, we will continue to monitor the situation on a week-by-week basis, so that we can restore our weekly Lord’s Day fellowship together as soon as it is safe to do so. I’m hoping and praying that as these troubled times continue to pressure us away from one another, our common love for the Lord and his people will draw us closer together, holding all things in common (Acts 2:43-47).

In the meantime, the unstructured state of our world will continue to encourage us to neglect the things of God for entertainment and what we think are the more expedient needs of everyday life. For this reason, the Elders of IBC strongly encourage you to still do your upmost to set aside time to remember the Lord, to pray for Christ’s mercy over the sins of the week and his grace to endure the next, and to feast on his Word. I’ve listed some prayers and resources for this week’s reflection which you can use with your family or roommates. This is not a healthy substitute for the biblical command to assemble together (see Heb. 10:24-25), but our hope is that these resources will allow us to honor the Lord as best we can and be filled with his Spirit on the Lord’s Day, even in exile (see Rev. 1:10).

Here is a link to the church’s weekly Spotify playlist. Every week we will change out the songs with regular IBC worship music.

We are also highlighting a ‘Sermon of the Week’ for you to reflect on. For this week, we have a sermon by an older pastor named Francis Grimke. Here is a short biography of his life. And here is the sermon. It was given on the first Sunday back after a quarantine related to the deadly Spanish Flu in 1918. Please read it tomorrow.

Finally, I have attached a prayer from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions for your reflection:

Weaknesses

O Spirit of God, help my infirmities;

When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow, perplexed and knowing not what to do, slandered and persecuted, made to feel the weight of the cross – help me, I pray Thee.

If Thou seest in me any wrong thing encouraged, any evil desire cherished, any delight that is not Thy delight, any habit that grieves Thee, any nest of sin in my heart – then grant me the kiss of Thy forgiveness, and teach my feet to walk the way of Thy commandments.

Deliver me from carking care, and make me a happy, holy person;

Help me to walk the separated life with firm and brave step, and to wrestle successfully against weakness;

Teach me to laud, adore, and magnify Thee, with the music of heaven, and make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to Thee.

I do not crouch at Thy feet as a slave before a tyrant, but exult before Thee as a son with a father.

Give me power to live as Thy child in all my actions, and to exercise sonship by conquering self.

Preserve me from the intoxication that comes of prosperity;

Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from Thee.

Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom, not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.

I request only to see the face of Him I love, to be content with bread to eat, with raiment to put on, if I can be brought to Thy house in peace.

Praying for you through the week,

Pastor Theo