Message from Pastor Mark
God loves the body of Christ and this local church is His Body. Our purpose from the Lord for the remainder of 2020: Restore the Body Principle in the Local Church 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many (1 Corinthians 12:12–14).
There are Considerations – As we have worked to develop a re–start plan for our church services, three guiding principles have emerged and given shape to our response:
- Make the environment safe … Deep clean and sanitize all surfaces and shared spaces using chemicals that have minimal impact on people, furnishings and the environment. Minimize and reduce touch points. Set protocols to clean before and after use of all surfaces and devices.
- Take care of our people … There is a lot about this health crisis that is out of our control. In response, we are looking for remedies to bring order to the chaos – utilizing set protocols to maintain a 6’ distance, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, and supporting people who are wearing their personal PPE.
- Be flexible and adaptable … We cannot stress enough the need to be flexible and adaptable. We know recommendations for creating safe and healthy environments will continue to change and evolve as we receive additional guidance from experts on how best to safeguard against COVID–19.
There will be Challenges – After we have gathered for Sunday morning services for a few weeks there will be modifications made for sure. At this time, before our first service even happens, people foresee challenges to our success. For example: What will be the timing for next steps? How important are the “other gatherings” and how should they start back up? God has given us strong leadership and wisdom–filled counsel from trusted sources who are in decision making roles in our surrounding community. Your shepherd leans on the word and prayer for discernment and discretion to lead God’s church each step of the way. Please continue praying for everyone in our church family as we refresh our closeness and oneness in fellowship.
Plan for Worship & Online Services Services:
- First Sunday is May 31, 2020 – service times in auditorium 9 & 10:30 AM.
- We are removing 100 chairs from the auditorium to ensure proper distancing.
- There will be no coffee served in the Coffee House.
- We will make provision for in person offering in the lobby.
- Welcome Team will write names of attendees and provide direction for entering the auditorium.
- No Sunday Groups in the Café.
- No Investors or BYM in the Fellowship Hall.
- No FaithPlace for Travelers or for Friends. To clarify there will be no childcare.
- Our 10:30 AM worship service will be on Facebook Live & posted on YouTube upon completion as a recording.
- Zoom meetings continue for Investors, Youth, Men’s, Women’s and Missions Prayer.
Recommendations for Our Family:
- While you are on the property and in the building please be disciplined with your social interaction. No hugs/handshakes please. Be circumspect, considerate, and respectful of our brothers and sisters.
- Social distancing applies in the entry ways, hallways, auditorium, and restrooms.
- Masks are optional. We will not hand out masks. Feel free to wear one.
- Ushers will be responsible to station at each entrance/exit to the building. They will facilitate operation of the doors open for people entering/exiting.
- Lead usher will be stationed at the offering table and place the offering in the secure area at the end of each service.
- Those arriving to the building should enter through the Administrative Office (south) entrance. Exit will be through the double doors of the Coffee House.
- Services will only be one hour long to allow for extra time between services for people to leave the building.
- Pastor will dismiss people in proper manner as to ensure proper distancing.
- Those arriving for the 10:30 AM service should not enter the building before 10:15 AM
- South hallway restrooms operate per usual. Lobby restrooms will be monitored by an usher. He/she will be stationed outside the doors to ensure one person at a time and wipe down of entry/exit door surface.
- For those who are sick or have symptoms please stay home.
- And finally, if there is still a sense of discomfort being together in our church building please make every effort to stay close and connected through our online presence. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your church family as well!
Living Out the “Body Principle”:
- The decision for you as a believer, church goer or member of First Bible Baptist Church to attend in person worship services at any time starting Sunday, May 31 is yours alone. You are free in the liberty of Christ to stay at home, come to the church building, wait for weeks longer or simply attend a 9 am or 10:30 am service on any given Sunday starting May 31. Your pastor asks that all of us honor, respect and support everyone’s decision. It is your personal free will choice and we will be unified in our high regard of everyone making their decision.
- First Bible Baptist church is many members and not just one member. And we are one together! As the scripture says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” With the Bible mandate in mind, your pastor asks that we all support the leadership and shepherding decisions with unity in the Spirit as we are instructed in Ephesians 4. We will be successful restoring the body principle in the local church through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God. And we will do it together as we embrace the deep love in Christ we have for one another!
Looking forward to seeing everyone,
Pastor Mark – 1 Corinthians 12:12–14