COVID-19 Update – May 10th, 2020

First Baptist Church
Special Announcement!
First Baptist Church Lancaster

PHASE ONE RE-OPENING ANNOUNCEMENT

May 10, 2020

Dear First Baptist Lancaster Church Family,

These past several weeks have been incredibly difficult for many of you and the impact on our church ministries has been significant. You have been so patient and flexible to adapt, while remaining faithful to each other, our community, and our Gospel mission.

As a church, we have been diligent in our pursuit of God’s calling to make disciples utilizing new and creative ways. We have learned much about ourselves and our priorities that will, most certainly, impact how ministry is accomplished in the future. However, there is still nothing like the body of Christ gathered in worship and fellowship.

Over these next few weeks…and possibly months…as we strive to be faithful to God, the Gospel, and His Word, we will also be diligent in loving others and providing as safe an environment as possible. We pray that people will make wise, healthy, God-honoring decisions as we move forward and will show grace toward others in their convictions.

Our plan is to begin public worship services on Sunday, May 17th. We understand that some will not be ready to engage in gatherings and some of the most physically vulnerable might need to continue to stay at home. Some will feel the need to wear masks and others will not. Whether you re-engage immediately or not, you are still a part of this church family and we will honor your decisions.

Please respect the decisions of others, as well as protect the health of others by not coming to church if you are ill. We will continue to invest in providing online worship opportunities with the greatest excellence for which we are equipped.

In order to provide an environment that promotes social distancing, we have reduced the seating capacity of our worship center and are adding worship opportunities. Our service schedule beginning Sunday, May 17th will be:

8:00 a.m. – Traditional Worship

9:15 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

As a part of our planning, we received guidance for Phase One church re-opening from various sources including SBC entities and The Center for Community Values (CCV), which has been working with the Governor’s office. We desire to honor our governing authorities (Romans 13), while pursing our biblical calling to gather (Hebrews 10).

Like most churches, First Baptist Church Lancaster has been voluntarily adhering to the community gathering guidelines, even though it was not mandated for churches. The desire communicated from the Governor’s office is that churches will follow the CCV’s re-opening guidelines to limit potential health risks.

In addition to offering additional worship opportunities to help us spread out for added social distancing, we are implementing the following guidelines to limit potential health risks in this phase of re-opening:

(1) On-campus LIFE Groups and children’s programs will not be held until further notice. We know this might be disappointing or inconvenient. But we believe this is the best path for now.

(2) Services will be shorter (45 min.) in order to limit clustering of people in transition.

(3) Seating in the Worship Center will be in small clusters for immediate household units. We can make some adjustments for personal needs, but please try your best to maintain social distancing and follow the instructions of the ushers who will help with locating seats for your family size or to address people with a more vulnerable health risks.

(4) Seats will be wiped down and sprayed with disinfectant between services.

(5) We will use one set of doors as an entrance and another as exit to limit clusters.

(6) Restrooms will have limited occupancy and will have a trained person on duty to regularly clean and disinfect them throughout the morning.

(7) There will be no coffee stations in the lobby.

(8) Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance and exits, as well as at other appropriate locations.

As we have been studying in our current series in Habakkuk, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense”, God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His eternal purposes. We believe that God is moving in our community like never before and people are open to the Gospel in ways that we have not seen in this generation. And we have been vividly reminded that the church is not primarily about a gathering on Sundays, but followers of Christ making disciples who embrace the Gospel, engage in community, and impact the world for Christ.

We are so excited to see you soon.

Pastor Art