14 Mar Pastor’s Thoughts: Coronavirus Update
We have entered a new normal–at least for a while.
The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 virus a pandemic.
Vacation destinations and athletic events are announcing they are closing for the forseeable future. The most dramatic event for basketball fans has been the cancellation of “march madness.”
Closer to home, the Governor of Tennessee declared a state of emergency in order to qualify for federal funds to combat the spread of the virus. State colleges and universities are closing campuses and going to online classes. School districts are also having to determine what is best as far as keeping their doors open. These steps and others are being taken to slow the spread of the virus especially as it relates to gatherings in large groups.
And, President Trump has declared a national state of emergency to combat the COVID-19 virus.
As it relates to First Baptist Church, we remain in contact with state and local government leaders as well as health officials as it relates to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is a very fluid situation and we want to be responsive to any developments that pertain to us.
After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with our March 15 regularly scheduled 8:30 am COMBINED service in the Family Life Center. Small group Bible Study classes will also gather; the deacons will have their meeting at 10:30 am. However, the Widow/Widowers banquet has been postponed.
If you are sick or have a health condition that could be impacted adversely by gathering in a group setting, please stay at home. Take any steps necessary to ensure your personal well-being. Keep in mind that we will be live streaming the Sunday sermon via our church Facebook page.
Know that I am aware of concerns relating to the COVID-19 virus and desire to respond appropriately and best. Our church leadership has already taken several common sense steps in our buildings to enhance safety, and are prepared to take more significant ones as needed for public health, social distancing, and our well-being.
You can help us with this effort by washing your hands and using the increased number of hand sanitizing stations in our buildings. You might also consider adopting alternative and creative forms of greeting each other (fist bumps, elbow bumps, toe taps etc).
Let’s keep praying for another and seek to follow the Lord’s admonition to trust Him through the trials. Let’s also take things “one day at a time” remembering that we are the church even when aren’t together on Sundays. We don’t have to be afraid. Rather, let’s use our energy to love one another and pray for wisdom for how we might be the people of God during this time.