FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH RESPONSE TO COVID-19
All Church Gatherings and Activities Cancelled throughout March
By M. Scott Hagaman, Pastor
Monday, March 16, 2020
We are all stunned and worried by the rapid movement of the Coronavirus as well as the extreme preventative measures enacted by governments around the globe. Truly, this is a time when every member of society must do what’s best for the entire society. To be a good neighbor means not gathering in groups and keeping appropriate distance to prevent the spread of the virus. First Baptist Church is committed to doing our part. Therefore, our deacons met on Sunday, March 15 and decided that all in-person church gatherings are suspended throughout the month of March, including Sunday school, worship, Wednesday night supper, and small groups, sanctuary choir, and meetings of all age group ministries (children, youth, Saints Alive, etc.). The Diaconate will meet again on Sunday, March 29 to reassess the situation.
During these weeks, we will continue to be a church to one another, supporting and caring for each other’s needs and giving glory to God. Our staff along with a team of volunteers will provide Sunday worship services online. Currently, we are using Facebook only to broadcast our services. However, we hope to make worship available online through some other service as well. Also, the Church Office will continue to be open and our staff available. If you or someone you know needs something during this crisis, please contact the church office or one of the ministers. We need to be especially supportive of those most vulnerable to the Coronavirus, the elderly and those with chronic health issues. If anyone needs something picked up (food, supplies, medicine, etc.) but should not be out in public, please call the church office, the ministers, or your deacon. We will arrange for someone to make that trip for you. Or, if you prefer to place orders online and need technical assistance to do so, we can mobilize a tech-savvy person to help you.
As we seek to be a church to one another and to be good neighbors during this crisis, what can you do?
Here are some suggestions:
· Practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Stay out of crowds. Make phone calls rather than visits. Send emails rather than sending cards. In general, avoid contact with others. When you are in contact with others, wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and do not touch your face.
· For those younger and healthier, sign up to be a volunteer to help those who cannot get out in public.
The Church Office is compiling a list of those available to help.
· Call and check on your fellow church members and neighbors who may need assistance, especially the elderly and chronically ill.
· Continue to make tithes and offerings to First Baptist Church. Contributions may be made by mail or over the internet, using our church website: https://fbcmarion.org/online-giving/. If you need assistance, please contact Susan Webber in the Church Office.
· PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! For those who have contracted the virus: for healthcare professionals, for government officials, for our families, neighbors, church, and country and, indeed, for the whole world. Continue to ask God to bring healing and wholeness to all people!
As I stated in Sunday’s online sermon, yes, we need things like hand sanitizer, medicine, and toilet paper. More than that, we need a cure for this fierce virus. But even more than that, we need a cure for what ails us deep down in our hearts and souls.
This is the Good News: the cure is already given in Jesus Christ: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Especially in such a time as this, as a people beloved by God in Christ, we should be about His love in tangible ways. Providing hope. Providing support. Providing a greater vision for tomorrow. Providing God’s love in Christ, who will see us through such dark days to the New Day coming.