Dear Church Family,
As we enter the sixth month of our time physically apart, I am keenly aware of how many of us need connection. Though we have been blessed with technology to connect us in new ways, some cannot always access these tools well, or they simply miss the experience of church services in person. With new technology being installed, we hope to have the best of both worlds available very soon for our church family.
As you know, we had to postpone our re-gathering date to September 13, 2020 due to some back-ordered equipment. As of this letter, we are still on track to meet that date. When we re-gather in person, we will do so as safely as possible. More information will come out closer to that date, but for example, we will require that masks be worn (if you can’t wear one for health reasons, we ask that you continue to worship virtually with us), we will not pass plates for offering or communion, we will seat everyone 6ft apart, and we will be sanitizing as we go along. We even have touch-free hand sanitizing stations available at the doors! And, should you still not feel comfortable coming into the building, our new technology will allow you to attend worship live online at 11AM every Sunday morning. You are also welcome to attend our physically-distanced outdoor in-person service “The Open Church” at 9AM each Sunday.
If you choose to attend Sunday School in-person, we will offer physically-distanced seating in the Fellowship Hall (masks required) and a hybrid model so teachers and other class members at home will be on the big TV screen on Zoom. We want all of our church family to feel as if they are a part of our gatherings simultaneously, and these technologies help us to do just that. If for some reason we have to stop in-person worship at any time in the future, these technologies remain in place for us to call in or log on to watch or listen to worship and small group studies (Sunday School, Bible Study, Wednesday night, etc.).
If you haven’t seen our most recent news, I encourage you to take a look at our Latest News Page, with photos and information about our ongoing ministries – especially important is our post about The Open Church with photos of our gatherings of church and community members for worship and relationships. The church has most definitely remained open in so many ways, even as we gather virtually. Thank you for your continued support of God’s work through First Baptist Church.
Lastly, I know so many of you are facing unprecedented struggles – where a normal concern is expounded by the loneliness and isolation of this pandemic. Your church is here for you. Though this odd season has been exceptionally busy for clergy and keeps us from visiting in person for everyone’s safety, I want you to know that if you have a need, I am always here. Please give me a call at the church (632-6336) or on my cell phone (# is in the church directory). I am here to listen or to pray with you anytime. Also, feel free to reach out to your deacon, as I know their good care has been part of what has kept us spiritually and emotionally connected these last few months of physical distance.