Effective November 22, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our everyday lives, and as we watch the numbers rise on a daily basis in our community, we have been incredibly blessed that our church has largely been able to avoid being impacted. Unfortunately that time has come to an end. With a staff member testing positive, our best course of action is to go virtual for a couple of weeks until it is safe to gather in person again. Pending test results, our hope is to resume in-person worship on December 6 or 13, and we will keep you updated.
For the next few Sundays, we will be featuring worship online only, and the service will be accessible on the church’s Facebook page (First Baptist Church of Davenport), our YouTube page (First Baptist Davenport Iowa), and on our website (www.fbc-davenport.org.) It will be different, of course, but our goal always is to bring honor to God, and to proclaim our love for Jesus Christ. Though it’s inconvenient, we can accomplish this goal online. We’ve been down this road before, and we trust that our time apart will be short.
Unfortunately this also affects our Thanksgiving dinner this year. Because of the rising numbers, and an inability to guarantee safety, we have decided to cancel the dinner for this year. This was a difficult decision, and we want to thank all who signed up to help serve, provide food, and deliver meals. We deeply appreciate your willingness to help, and we will be excited to resume our annual dinner next year.
Please be safe and healthy, friends. These are challenging times, but we do serve a God who will lead us through this. Call us at church or drop us a note if you find yourself struggling. Know that you are dearly and deeply loved, and I look forward to connecting with you on Sunday.
Yours in Christ’s love,
Dear Members and Friends of First Baptist Church,
Every church must endure difficult times at some point in their life together, and the last three months have provided such an opportunity, not only for our congregation, but for every church around the world. Because of your continued faithfulness in prayer, giving, worship participation, compassion, and understanding, we have not only survived the last three months, but we have continued to feed and assist families in crisis, we have supported missionaries around the world, we have reached hundreds of people that we normally wouldn’t be able to reach, and we have proclaimed loudly and clearly that our God is not limited to a building! I’m proud of you, people of First Baptist, and I’m deeply appreciative of you. As you know, we have been praying relentlessly about the time and process for gathering together again, and I’m pleased to be able to tell you that we will be opening the building for worship together on Sunday, June 21.
We recognize a few things up front. We know that not everyone will feel comfortable coming back right away, and that is perfectly fine. No one should or will be made to feel guilty about waiting. In fact, if you consider yourself to be a vulnerable person, please do stay home and continue to join us in worshiping online. We will continue to live stream the service online so that you can participate wherever you are. We also know that a lot of things will look different when we gather. So to give you a bit of a heads-up, here’s what to expect:
● We have one worship service at 10:00 a.m.
● We block off every other pew to allow for distancing. We wipe down the backs and arms of all pews between services. We also use a OZone Air cleaner in Sanctuary between services.
● Families will sit together, but will sit 6 feet apart from other families.
● Restrooms will be cleaned after each use, and will only have one person at a time in them. Therefore availability will be rather limited, so please try to use the restroom at home beforehand.
● We will strongly encourage everyone to wear masks, and will have them available for those who do not have one. If you have masks, please do bring them. We will sing together, and although masks are not required, please do wear one if you choose to sing.
● We will use touchless thermometers for all who come, and for the safety of all, anyone with a temperature of more than 100 will be asked to go home and participate in worship remotely. Our goal is for this to be a temporary measure, and as we see cases continue to drop, we will be able to forgo this.
● We will not have childcare available for either service, and we will not have classes for any age until it is safe to do so. Sunday mornings will be reserved for worship, and the hallway and sanctuary will be the only areas of the church used on that day.
● Everyone will enter through the glass doors near the carport, but we will use multiple exits following worship.
● The way things are in week one back together will probably be different than week two. We will adapt as we go, so bringing a compassionate and understanding spirit will help us all come into the presence of God joyfully.
We know that these are unusual times, but the truth is that God has operated in unusual ways throughout history. The simple fact that he has entrusted the hope of the entire world to us shows his desire to utilize unusual methods to accomplish his purposes. God is not looking for perfection from our gatherings – he is looking for faithfulness. As we come together again, thank you for your faithfulness to him, to one another, and to the church. See you very soon!
Yours in Christ,