|October 23, 2020 |
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
Greetings in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ:
It is with delight that I continue to pray God’s protection over you and your family amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While I’ve had to adjust to a number of things throughout my ministry, the most impactful adjustment has been the inability to personally interact and engage with my members during worship services.
As of today, Wicomico County has experienced 2,397 coronavirus cases with 49 deaths. We are currently witnessing a rise in positive cases with more than 218,000 deaths nationwide coupled with the prediction of 410,000 deaths by the end of the year and 600,000 deaths by February. In addition, we are at the beginning phase of the influenza season. As we are quickly approaching the third peak of COVID-19, it necessitates a reevaluation of the decision to resume in-person worship services.
I am thankful for each of you who participated in the FBC Reentry Survey. In reviewing the results of the survey, 62% of the respondents said that it would be quite some time before they would return to worship in the building. Conversely, 38% of the respondents said that they would return at the first opportunity. While I am aware that some are anxious to return and other churches have reopened, as I stated in my previous correspondence, my first and primary responsibility as Pastor is to protect the members of our congregation and community. After much prayer, consideration and meetings with my Reentry Team and leaders, I have made the decision that we will not reenter the building for in-person worship services for the remainder of the year. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you apprised if anything changes. However, we will continue to have funeral services in the Family Life & Cultural Center, as needed. To ensure the safety of attendees and staff, funeral services will be abbreviated and include a limited number of persons practicing social distancing and following CDC guidelines, as per the Reentry Plan. Please understand that this reentry is different from a traditional in-person worship service, which has no fair measure of control in respect to the number of attendees.
Remember, the building is closed, but the church is and will remain open. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I shall build this church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) I look forward to your participation in our virtual worship experiences, as well as Morning Prayer, Devotions, Bible Study, Discipleship Study Class, Fill My Cup, Youth 4 Truth, Women’s Ministry, and Men’s Ministry.
In closing, please know that I am thankful for each of you and your unwavering financial support during this time. As always, please know that I am covering you in prayer as I hope you are praying for me while making these challenging decisions. As always, if you need me, I am just a phone call away. I encourage you to stay strong, remain safe and keep the faith. “And this too shall pass,” but we must stay connected!
Lovingly and Prayerfully,
Worship Services, Sunday School, and Bible Study
Virtual Worship is live every Sunday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on our website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Fill My Cup (Adult Sunday School) is every Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and Youth 4 Truth (Youth Sunday School) is every Sunday at 9:15 a.m. on our website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Bible Study is live on our website and Facebook page on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. We won’t have any W.O.W. Services until further notice.
The Shepherd’s Table
The Shepherd’s Table (Soup Kitchen) will be closed until further notice.
Tithes and Offerings
Giving is critical to the function of our church. Although we may not be physically present in service, the ministry work we are tasked with continues. Please continue to support First Baptist Church with your tithes and offerings.
Online giving options:
• E-Giving: Visit www.firstbaptistsby.org, click ‘Give,’ click ‘E-Giving,’ and follow the instructions to give.
• Givelify: Download the Givelify App, search First Baptist Church of Salisbury, and follow the instructions to give.
• Text to Give: Text ‘Give $Amount’ (Ex. Give $50) to 410-847-7725.
Additionally, if you want to give using your envelope, please mail your tithes and offerings to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1738, Salisbury, MD 21802 or drop-off your tithes and offerings at the Church Office, using the mail slot located in the vestibule of the Family Life & Cultural Center, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 to 10 a.m. If you are using a long envelope, please be sure to fold it in half before dropping it into the mail slot.
Thank you for your contributions!
Virtual Holy Communion is every first Sunday during our Virtual Worship Service. Please have your elements (grape or fruit juice and bread or a cracker) ready to participate. You are welcome to stop by the church Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to pick up an individual communion wafer and juice set.
Devotions with Pastor Watson is every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. on our website and Facebook page.
Discipleship Study Class is every Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the GoToMeeting website and app, access code: 566-893-429. You can also dial-in at (872) 240-3212.
The Prayer Call is every Wednesday from 6 to 6:30 a.m. The dial-in number is (646) 749-3122, access code: 609-676-261. Please remember to mute your phone. Note: We have a new dial-in number and access code. Please discard the old number.
We will not physically meet for meetings and rehearsals, including tutoring and Zumba classes, at FBC until further notice.
Baby blessings, weddings, and funerals will include a limited number of attendees. These guidelines are subject to change as we continue to monitor the situation.
We will keep you informed of any updates. Please be sure to connect with us.
• Text FBCSBY to 84576
• Visit firstbaptistchurchofsby.flocknote.com
What You Can Do
Take steps to protect yourself:
– Clean your hands often.
– Avoid close contact.
Take steps to protect others:
– Stay home if you’re sick.
– Cover coughs and sneezes.
– Wear a face mask.
– Clean and disinfect.
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
– Stay up on current events.