We asked local pastors how their church is handling the coronavirus and their own approach.

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Editor’s note: We asked local pastors how their church is handling the coronavirus and their own approach. Meet Joe Grider, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Niceville.

What is your church doing to accommodate for social distancing?

First Presbyterian Church in Niceville is holding Sunday morning worship service via Facebook Live and Youtube. We have closed the office and our staff is working from home. We have encouraged small groups to continue to meet during the week via social networking and Zoom meetings.

What do you think people can do to maintain their faith during this time of uncertainty?

We are encouraging our members and others to continue to participate in the weekly worship service as well as with our small groups via social networking. The key is to stay connected to each other and build community. We encourage family Bible reading and devotions and see this as an opportunity for family members to grow closer to each other and Christ as now they have more time to spend together.

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What are you personally doing right now to strengthen your own faith?

Everything is business as usual. Even though we aren’t able to meet physically, I still do the things that contribute to spiritual growth and strengthening faith such as Bible reading, prayer, reading good books, watching theological videos and connecting with fellow members through calls, texts, emails, video conferences and social networking. I also find blogs posts put out by The Gospel Coalition (thegospelcoalition.org) to be helpful.

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Is there a Bible verse or passage you recommend at this time?

I have two: Psalm 27:1—The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? And: Isaiah 40:28-31—Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.