Our Church's Response to COVID-19
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Dear First Baptist Family,
I know that all of you have been closely watching the developing crisis over COVID-19. We are already experiencing unprecedented alterations and interruptions to our daily lives with potentially even more changes to come. I know there is a real temptation to panic and to give in to fear, but we know that God desires for us to meet this challenge with a spirit of power, of love, and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
On Tuesday evening, I met with our staff, church council, and other key leaders to prayerfully discuss what our church response would be to this situation and how we could continue to minister to our local community while the crisis is ongoing. Based on that conversation, we have come to some difficult decisions.
All church services and events will be suspended through Sunday, April 5.
Based upon CDC and local/federal government recommendations to refrain from gatherings of 10 or more people, we feel it is in the best interest of our church family and the Farmington community to not hold our regular services until it has been deemed safe to do so.
Again, this means that effective immediately, all previously scheduled church activities including Sunday and Wednesday worship services, all Bible study groups, the daily walking track, fundraising events such as our OCC cookie bake sale, and ministry group events like our scheduled men’s breakfast or LIFE Plus gatherings, WILL NOT take place during this time period. Our hope is that we will be able to come back together by Easter Sunday, April 12 but we will keep you informed as things continue to develop.
We will use new methods to worship together and stay connected.
Starting this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. we will be livestreaming our worship services on Facebook. We encourage you to stay home and join us online for a time of worship and preaching. If you haven’t already done so, please connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/FarmingtonFBC. You can also tune into KREI (AM 800) at 11 a.m. on Sundays to hear the same message I will be sharing through our online livestream.
Also, starting on Monday, March 23, I will be hosting a daily online devotional called “10 at 10” with Pastor Greg. Every day, Monday through Friday, I’ll be live on Facebook for 10 minutes at 10 a.m. in order to pray with you, provide important information on this changing situation, and to give you an uplifting message from God’s Word. I hope you will join me.
While I am very thankful for how technology will make it easier for us to communicate and stay connected during this difficult time, I am fully aware that some of you may not have access to these features or have never previously used such things in order to worship remotely. I am working with my staff to find additional ways to get our message out and to keep all of you informed and up to date. In the meantime, if you would like assistance in getting connected with us online, please contact our church offices.
In view of a call Sunday for Kevin Willis has been moved to Sunday, May 3.
As excited as we all are to welcome a new worship pastor, we are going to postpone this weekend’s events so that we can have the majority of our church present when we do present Kevin for a vote. I have spoken several times with Kevin (his current church is implementing the same procedures we are) and he fully understands the need to postpone. Please continue to pray for him and his family.
We’re still here to serve you and our community!
The church office will remain open, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., so we can continue to monitor the situation as well as conduct the daily business of the church. If you need any information, need to speak with a pastor, require any assistance at all, please call us at 573-756-4654.
We know these days might be challenging for many people whether struggling with factors due to isolation or loss of income. We are working with the school system and other local agencies to make sure the needs of our community are being met. We will be providing other updates from time to time of how you can help in these efforts.
Don’t forget to give.
Lastly, I want to remind you of the importance of your ongoing tithes and offerings. Just because we aren’t meeting face to face for a time, doesn’t mean we aren’t still focusing on ministry and in need of your support. You can give your tithes in one of three ways. You can either bring it by the church during regular office hours (however, please don’t get out if you are not feeling well or have been exposed to someone else who is sick) or you can mail your tithe to our church. You can also give online by going to https://farmingtonfbc.org/giving/.
I want to conclude by reminding you of something I said in this past Sunday’s sermon. As a people of faith, knowing that we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and given the security of our salvation and the promise of our eternal home, WE WILL NOT BE AFRAID of whatever comes against us. Remember the words of our Savior when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)
While facing this situation, we will not be afraid, but we will be responsible. We will not meet face to face, but we will still be the church. We will not do things as they have been done before, but we will find new ways to reach out with the Good News message of Jesus Christ and have a kingdom impact.