First Baptist Church
March 14, 2020
Dear First Baptist De Leon Church Family,
We are in the midst of a tremendous trial both, as a nation, as well as the world as we seek answers for the Coronavirus. First I want to speak to you spiritually as your pastor. I’m reminded of a wonderful Scripture in Psalms 46:1-3 that states, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging”. The verse goes on to say in verse 7, “The LORD of angel armies is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” With all my heart, I believe we continue to serve a good God who has already been to “tomorrow” and knows “the rest of the story”. While we continue to have great faith in God, we also must use our God-given wisdom during these times to protect ourselves and to continue to be a light to the world we are called to reach with the love of Christ.
Some may be wondering what we plan to do as a church, so we would like to outline the following, realizing of course that the situation continues to be fluid and things could change. These recommendations come directly from Lifeway Christian Resources.
Church Schedule Announcements
Our plan is to meet this Sunday as well as the following Sundays for Sunday School (9:30) and regular services (10:40) as usual.(note procedural changes below)
We have canceled Sunday evening services for tomorrow (March 15) and Wednesday evening services (March 18). We will reevaluate these services for future dates.
Three minor changes will take place during our services. We will not be having a fellowship time during our service. (avoid shaking hands) We will not be passing the offering plate. (Ushers will have the offering plates at the doors when you exit the sanctuary) We will not end the service by joining hands while singing the Family of God. (avoid hand contact)
Other Actions we are Taking
We are doubling (and tripling) cleaning efforts with recommended bleach solution in restrooms, nurseries, children’s areas, and doors within the church.
We will be requiring children to wash their hands on admission to the nursery and to the children’s department, before snack, after snack, and on leaving the facility.
We are propping open doors to limit hand contact with surfaces.
We are encouraging those with any symptoms (fever, cough, or respiratory symptoms) to stay home. Church is important, but we must be responsible in giving our bodies time to heal, and in protecting others. Children found with these symptoms will have parents immediately contacted to be picked up from our children’s areas.
We will be uploading our Sunday sermon to our website earlier on Sunday afternoon. (it usually is posted on Monday) If you feel you would be better off staying at home, we certainly do understand. It is understood for the most part that the elderly with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the virus than those who are younger. The weekly sermon can be accessed via computer or cell phone at the sermon link found at http://fbcdeleon.org/fbc-de-leon-coronavirus-update
As always, we continue to have hand sanitizers at all entrances to the sanctuary. The best way to clean our hands is good old-fashioned soap and water. We are a “shaking hands kind of church”, yet until this passes over, our ushers and greeters will not be welcoming in this manner. They WILL be smiling and waving though.
Lastly, we are going to be praying as a church how we might serve others through this difficult time. We will remain in contact with our civic leaders, hospital, and local government to assess current needs and how we might help others through this time. Difficult seasons are not times for the church to run and hide, but to shine the light and love of Christ brighter than ever! Some of these initiatives will be announced through this prayer chain in days ahead so be prayerful at how you might help in our community as needed.
In closing, I would like you to pray in faith against this in Jesus’ mighty and powerful Name! There is nothing quite so powerful as when we as God’s people stand on His Word in prayer for the world around us!
Let’s pray for our government, our education system, and our healthcare workers. Pray for those that are sick, and the elderly that are vulnerable to the illness. We want to stand in faith not fear, but we also want to take action in wisdom. Pray that God uses even the Coronavirus to bring people to Him! I believe we can see revival as Christians shine the light and love of Christ to a fearful world that is hungry and thirsty for the peace only God can give!
2 Chronicles 7:14 -If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Tim. 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Dr. Daniel Harper
First Baptist Church De Leon