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Welcome 

To my Dear Church Family,

This is certainly a time where we need to prayerfully consider best steps forward for ministry. According to the latest CDC recommendations, all public gatherings should not exceed 10 non-symptomatic people at one time. In any gathering, social spacing of 6 feet between persons should be maintained and no contact such as hand shaking or hugging should go on.

I have been in contact with several pastors/churches from around the area to see what they are doing to comply. The responses have varied greatly from some who believe this is a grand conspiracy that they need to stand up to while others are afraid to venture outside their front doors. My encouragement for us all is to be in God's Word as we make decisions for how we properly respond.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

Here are some things that I have been considering:

The Bible clearly maintains that we as christians are to respect and follow those who serve our government (1 Peter 2:13-25). In response to this pandemic the CDC has stated what they believe is our best response to stem the growth of this contagion and I believe it is wise for us to follow their guidelines. I realize that it is going to be difficult for the next few weeks; however, I also think that it is an opportunity for us as a church family to have a healthy shake up in the way we do ministry. 

My suggested response:

Family First, Sunday School, and Sunday Worship Services at the church building will be postponed until further notice. A simplified version of Sunday Services will be live streamed over Facebook and then posted on our Facebook page. A link to to posted services will also be available on our website and through weekly contact emails from our office. A hyperlink will also be posted for tithes and offerings. Our existing Sunday School bible studies will be encouraged to continue during this time by either meeting through conference call or coordinating a time together during each week for groups of less that 10 non-symptomatic people practicing proper social spacing to gather for study. Church building facilities can be used for these gatherings as coordinated and scheduled through the church office. Sunday School teachers will be responsible for contact with their classes each week. Contact information can be generated from the church office if needed.

Ministry to the church family needs to be contact heavy. Church families will be divided among our deacons.for weekly contacts, prayer, and to share ministry needs. If any physical needs are discovered, (Elderly that can't go out for groceries...), effort to help will be coordinated through the office. Travis and myself will be contacting church members weekly for personal ministry and encouragement. All church members will be challenged to make copious effort to stay in communication with each other. We are by necessity being asked to isolate socially, yet we as a church are commanded to have biblical fellowship (1 John 1:6-7). We have largely come to a place where we are widely satisfied in seeing each other primarily for fellowship on Sundays. With this large gathering out of play for a while, it can be an opportunity for us to have real one on one contact on a more consistent basis. Who knows, we might create some better fellowship habits through this trial that will be a boon to our church family in the future. 

I would suggest that these practices be open-ended since we do not have an idea of how long this will take. I know that some entities (schools, other churches, civic organizations...) have already published an ending date for suspended gatherings. I would rather take a "wait and see" approach so that people don't get confused by a "moving target" end date. Our President has already talked about this pandemic lasting into the summer months. I personally think that is probably a worst case scenario, but I also see the wisdom in it as people have a tendency to take anything that is said as concrete. When it does not happen; they grow frustrated.

This is already a long read. Please forgive me, but this is heavy on my heart. I desire to move in faith and wisdom as your pastor, and I am asking for your cooperation and involvement as my church family. I see this as an opportunity to respond, as the church has throughout history, to a significant trial in a way that greatly glorifies God. I look forward to your prayerful replies.

Grateful for You,

Pastor Mark

Announcements

  • Ministry Center

    Due to the social distancing requirements. The Ministry Center is not doing a onetime monthly distribution on the 2nd Monday of the month. We are doing case by case and as needed.
     If you need groceries please call the office at 806-256-3207 or after business hours private message First Baptist Church Facebook or website shamrockfirst.com or call Ruth Putman 806-203-0068 to set up an appointment.We are here to help!

 
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