Greetings from First Baptist Church!
I know you’re probably getting overloaded with emails from everyone everywhere about what’s closed or different because of COVID-19 and the social distancing that is rightly being encouraged out there.
Your church family wants you to be connected, especially in times like these. For that reason, this email will be the first in what will probably be a steady stream of information that will be broadcast across several platforms.
First, we are altering the ways in which we meet and worship through the end of March. We will be live-streaming at least three times a week. There will be a Bible Study discussion on Wednesday night at 6pm. Sunday morning will have Brandon Weaver teaching a Sunday School lesson at 10am, followed by our worship service at 11am. For your safety and the health of all in our community, no one who hasn’t been asked by a minister to participate will be allowed in the building for these services. We love you and that’s why we’re being so cautious!
You can access the church’s stream on your smart phone, tablet, or computer by inputting www.fbcoakridge.org/live-streaming/ into your web browser.
Again, the three times are
Wednesday, 6pm – Bible Discussion
Sunday, 10am – Sunday School
Sunday, 11am – Worship
Until the end of March, all meetings and functions in the church buildings will be on hiatus. The one exception to this is the Agape Center. Agape serves those in our community who are most vulnerable in the best of times, but even more so in times like these. Precautions will be taken to ensure safe and healthy means of distribution while our stocks of groceries last.
While our church building may be largely closed, our staff is still here and still working. The ministerial staff are being incredibly creative right now in ways to reach you and help you in a tough time. Chris has been deep cleaning the church and will continue to do so. Lola is trying to keep us all sane around here. And of course, we have such wonderful lay leaders in this church who step up to challenges with the best of them.
In addition to providing online worship and Bible engagement, we’re working on setting up online giving because the work up here continues. We’re still committed to serving the church and our community. We’ll let you know about further developments in online giving when we know about them.
Health & Safety
According to the CDC and other good sources of reliable information, here are some best practices to minimize risk of spreading infection:
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, especially before eating.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, NOT your hands.
- Stay home and away from public places as much as you can. When you are around other people, keeping 6 feet of distance is the recommendation.
- If you are not feeling well, CALL your doctor first.
- Unless your family member is in great need, it’s best to not visit hospitals or nursing homes.
While we’re all trying to look out for one another’s physical health and safety, I want to encourage us all to not neglect our spiritual and emotional health. Social distance can easily become loneliness. But, you have a church family! While we can’t physically gather for the next few weeks, we can still stay in contact.
Your deacons will be checking in with you each week just to see how you’re doing. If you need something, tell your deacon and they can pass it on.
We also have the church directory, which is a great resource right now! Looking back, I count it as the Lord’s providence that all of that hard work was done over these past years to have that little book of faces and contact information. Call a church member and chat for a while. Email or text someone. Stay in contact because we still need that even if we have to keep physical distance.
Finally let me conclude by saying that Nena Moss is volunteering her time to update our website to provide as much information as possible to you. She has added a button on our main page to get the latest news about what we’re doing. You can check that at www.fbcoakridge.org/news/
On behalf of the FBC Staff: stay safe and stay connected.