3/16/2020

A message from LFB Staff and Elders,

In a time of uncertainty and fear, our primary objective as followers of Jesus remains: engage in the disciple-making process through love of God and neighbor. During this time, we have an incredible opportunity to act in love and not fear, thinking of creative and unique ways to practically love others. 

One of the ways to practically love is to limit our gatherings in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. Furthermore, we are partnering with our community and state to limit the spread of COVID-19 in order to “flatten the curve” so we do not completely overwhelm our health care system.

Here is what this means for us as a church moving forward, in accordance with State mandate:

  • All meetings, gatherings and activities that utilize the church building are suspended through April 14
  • Our recommendation is that any groups of 10 or less who still choose to meet outside of the church facilities, do so at their own discretion – but we ask that you please follow social distancing recommendations.

Communication

During this time, we will be implementing some ways to keep us all connected while our normal methods of gathering are suspended. Please continue to check our regular information portals for ongoing updates and connection points (www.firstbap.org, Facebook, Flocknote, email). The staff will not be maintaining normal office ours, so if you need to contact us for any reason, the best way is by emailing the church office (fbc@firstbap.org) or the staff – [first-name]@firstbap.org). We will also continue to check our phone messages during business hours.

Giving

Another concern we have during this time is the financial status of the church. Our Sunday gathering is the primary means for people to give toward the ongoing ministry of our church, and while our gathering times are suspended, this is something that may be easily forgotten. In an effort to ease the financial burden, we are cutting all non-essential spending and keeping utility usage to a minimum. However, the majority of our remaining expenses are essential to operations. We still believe that all we have belongs to God, and we are stewards entrusted with His resources to use with His best interests in mind. While our gatherings are suspended, please continue your normal giving using one of the following methods:

  • Mail or drop off a gift (use the locking mailbox outside the office entrance)
  • Our secure online giving portal (www.firstbap.org/giving/)

Care

This is unprecedented action both locally and globally, so while we seek to balance the imperative to love God and neighbor along with the imperative to refrain from large gatherings, we have the responsibility to identify and implement new ways to practically love others.

Here are some ideas:

  • Check in on your neighbors
  • Contact others who may be self-quarantined to offer support and prayer
  • Deliver groceries to someone who is self-quarantined
  • Call others to encourage them
  • Be creative! Post your creative ideas to our church Facebook page.
May you be encouraged and not give way to fear. God is still in charge. We are still the church.

Our prayer for you comes from Jesus’ words to his disciples:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27