Update from Pastor Derek (March 21, 2020)

Given the announcement by Government and medical officials of the positive results of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Barbados has stepped up its COVID-19 response to Stage Two, as the public health crisis becomes a national security issue.

As a response to this development, the Government has advised to restrict gatherings to a maximum of 25 persons at any given time.

We have made the decision, that only essential persons would be attending the service within the building and to facilitate an effective livestream.

Please see the live stream by Pastor Derek by following the link below:

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Update from Pastor Derek (March 19, 2020)

Given the announcement by Government and medical officials of the positive results of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Barbados has stepped up its COVID-19 response to Stage One, as the public health crisis becomes a national security issue.

As a response to this development, a social distancing policy has been implemented and as a result, public gatherings are being restricted to 100 persons. As a church body, Harvest will demonstrate social responsibility and adhere to these restrictions. Nevertheless, this will not significantly affect our efforts of discipleship as we have always had a model that facilitates spiritual growth outside of the weekend services.

Be reminded that the church is called to be the “light of the world” and as such cannot be hidden. The gospel cannot be caged and worship will not stop.

Going forward, we will continue to live stream our services via our FaceBook page as well as to continue to disciple you through our small groups which will be using online platforms to continue to meet with the members.

For a full statement, please see our public announcement by Pastor Derek by following the link below:

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Pastor’s Update (March 15, 2020)

Dear Harvest Bible Chapel Family:

Every Sunday, I’m reminded again about what a great privilege we have to come and worship the Lord together. Our times of response to the Lord and to His Word are filled with such joy and expectation and we love hearing the stories of how our kids are being discipled each week.

God is taking us all through an incredible and unprecedented season—and He is with us as we go through it! As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) rapidly spreads across the world, it brings with it global panic and visible hysteria. As believers in God and followers of Jesus Christ, we must bear in mind that coronavirus is much more than a health issue it is an opportunity to live out the Royal Law of loving your neighbor as yourself.

As of the time of preparing this communique, the Government of Barbados has not made any recommendations as to the meeting of large gatherings including schools and churches. As we await such a statement, it is prudent that we put in place a contingency plan for the operations of Harvest Bible Chapel.

Permit me to remind you that this is not the first pandemic that the world has had to face, and it is neither the last nor worst. The Bible foretells of perilous times to come and we must be ready for those should the Lord tarries. Gospel ministry is not stopping—in fact, ministry is just beginning. Our church leadership team will be working to enable God to use our church family in special ways.

I wish to first share with you some of the regular precautions we take at Harvest:

Our sanctuary, annex and offices are commercially cleaned and disinfected on a weekly basis in preparation for our time together.

Our Kids’ resources (mats and toys) are regularly and systematically cleaned and sanitized.
Our communion is served in double cups to eliminate the public touching of the elements. Persons preparing the communion are required to wear disposable gloves so as not to compromise the elements.

In response to the likely outbreak of a contagious virus, we will be seeking to introduce hand sanitizing stations in both the sanctuary and the annex as we want to provide a clean, healthy and safe environment where you and your family can come and worship the Lord with other believers at Harvest Bible Chapel.

We also implore you to follow all precautions as prescribed by the government and medical officials.

The Way forward.
In the face of a global pandemic, we must first and foremost exercise faith in God however, we must also exercise Godly wisdom in how we do life. James challenges and assures us in chapter 1: 5 of his letter in this way: “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him”. Let’s move forward with Authentic Faith and Godly Wisdom.

As we seek to navigate these uncharted waters, we wish to present a two-pronged approach to how we will do ministry in the face of this global threat.

Personal Responsibility

Physical interactions (hugging and shaking hands) should be restricted for the time being.
You should avoid attending church activity including our high impact services and Harvest Kids if:
You have had flu-like symptoms in the past 7 days or have been in close contact with someone with these symptoms: fever, cough, vomiting or shortness of breath
You have traveled from an area in the past 7-14 days with confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus or if you suspect you may have been exposed to it in some way.

Ministry Projections
Let me share a few ways that you can prepare to live out our Mission in the next few weeks:

Sunday Worship: Barring the above, we will continue to meet for weekend services (until otherwise advised) each weekend. In addition, we will continue to host our weekly worship service together on Facebook Live. To view the service at 10 AM, just login to your Facebook account and go to our church’s page, www.facebook.com/HarvestBarbados. Jesus was never put off by interruptions—rather He used them to minister to people and advance the Kingdom.

Harvest Kids: As of March 22nd, we will suspend Harvest Kids for a period of three weeks and allow families to worship together. We will also have handouts from our Children’s Ministry that will allow you to continue to shepherd your kids during this season.

Prayer: Please continue to use our website to post prayer requests. Then take a few minutes each day to pray over the requests from other members in our church family.

Small Groups: We are encouraging our small groups to continue to meet (at your discretion) until such a time as advised by government or medical officials. This is a vital time to keep connected and minister to one another. Let’s continue to dig into our study of the weekly Pulpit Curriculum.

Clarion Call: If you attend Harvest on a weekly basis and is not sure toy in a small group, please consider joining one today. It’s important to note that the small group ministry is not just the ethos of Harvest but is it one of the best ways to do life together. Remember, we were not designed to do life alone.

Needs: We want to help care for you and your family—please let us know if you have specific needs. This is a time for us to care for one another in practical ways. If you have a need, please make contact with your small group leaders first who will direct you as to your next steps and how we can best serve you.

Outreach: I expect that we will have some unique opportunities to share the love of Jesus and witness for him in the coming days. Let’s be praying and “keeping up with the Spirit” looking for God-given opportunities to live out and give out the Gospel of Grace.

We will all find it tempting to be consumed by COVID-19 and immobilized by fear or uncertainty or the constant flow of information. Please note that though social media is a powerful tool that can be used to propagate the Good News, it is also a tool being used to create fear and panic. Be selective as to what you allow to feed you and continue to trust in the Lord with all you heart and resist the temptation to lean on your own understanding.

At another time of significant uncertainty, Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” In Christ we have peace that transcends events, viruses, and our anxieties. May the Spirit fill us with the peace of Christ as we rest in Him moment-by-moment.

You are Loved,

Pastor Derek