COVID-19 UPDATE

 
 GIVE 
MAY 19

The unity that exists within us is not conformity; unity is an agreed upon direction and values and, ultimately, it is the desire for you and I to see the Lord Jesus Christ to be so high and lifted up in our lives as a community that it causes us to be unified.  Even with our differences!  There is this unity in Christ that causes us to overcome all those differences.

We try and put language on that here at First Baptist.  We say that that First Baptist Boerne is a gospel-centered (we want to see Jesus high and lifted up), multi-generational family who highly values growth groups and living our lives on mission for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We are a unified family and we are trying to go in the direction God wants us to go.  We need grace and trust during this time because, frankly, there are a lot of difficult decisions that need to be made at a leadership level from the church’s perspective. 

Why this warning?  Because Sunday morning is going to look different than it has always looked to you.  We’ve changed service times, we are going to be here socially distanced, we brought in and hired Ray Jones as an Interim and we are going to have this blended music style and we are going to have a socially distanced choir in both services.

You may show up on Sunday and say, “That was different; that’s not the church I knew.”  Or you may show up and you are desperate to meet and fellowship with all your buddies just like you have always done and suddenly that is not allowed.  And there may be this flavor during the midst of this because you can’t sit next to your buddies and you are supposed to be in family units that leaves you saying, “That didn’t feel the same as it used to.”

First of all, let me say, “I know.”  I am sorry, but, we cannot do anything about that.  This COVID-19 has forced us all to make radical changes that no one wanted or predicted.  But we value meeting together and who we are and where we are going such that we are willing to make changes and to be blessed with what we are able to do right now.  And to be happy about that and just say, “Thank you, God, I’ll take it.” 

Even if that means you are livestreaming at home because you are at risk and you are not comfortable getting out, that’s ok.  More than anything, we need to have a unity and grace that covers different people’s opinions and different people’s perspective about what this thing is supposed to look like. And we need to give so much grace because we understand that things change and people are trying to make decisions.  And, no they are not perfect and communication is not always what we hoped for.  But, ultimately, in the end, the people of God are known for unity, again not conformity, but unity above all things.

Isn’t it crazy that the last thing Jesus did before going to the Garden of Gethsemane, was to pray out loud so that his disciples could hear, “God, I want them to be so unified.”  It’s challenging, because we know that to be unified, we have to lay down our personal preferences.  That’s just part of this. 

So, as we gather, here is what you may expect:

  • It is recommended that you wear a mask while in public areas; you may remove it to worship. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available in the Worship Center.
  • There will be NO childcare; your children are welcome to worship with you. There will be activity kits for the children in the foyer.
  • You will be asked to line up, six feet apart, to enter the Worship Center where you will be seated by an usher. You will also be dismissed by an usher.
  • Seating will be alternate rows with six feet between family units.
  • The offertory plate will not be passed; please continue TEXT to give or mailing your offering. There will be boxes at the back of the sanctuary to place your offering in as you leave the building. 
  • We will be partaking of the Lord’s Supper. The elements will not be passed; they will be prepositioned in the pew racks.
  • There will be overflow seating in the Family Life Building. You will be directed there once the Worship Center is full.
  • The 9:00a.m. service will be livestreamed; it will not be available on the website, Vimeo or Facebook prior to 9:00a.m. A recording will be placed on all three venues later in the day.
  • Growth Groups will continue to meet on Zoom. Please visit fbcboerne.org/live for the most current information on times for each group.
 
MARCH 19

Earlier today, we heard that there is the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 in Boerne.  According to our emergency response plan, we are now in Tier 3.

First Baptist Boerne campus will be completely closed, effective March 20.  The offices will be closed; however, phones will continue to be answered.  We encourage you to reach out if you need assistance.

You may always send your questions or concerns to updates@fbcboerne.org.

On Sunday morning, worship services will be livestreamed at 8:30AM and 11:00AM.  The sermon will be posted to the website on Sunday after the 11:00AM service.  Check out the Sunday Sermon Videos under the Resources tab on the menu.

Arrangements are being made to encourage Growth Groups to continue to meet using Zoom!  Your Growth Groups leaders will be receiving more information about that and will be in contact with you to help you stay engaged and collectively study God’s Word.

We encourage you to continue the GO 4–12 challenge – keep praying and having Gospel conversations.  We know that God is faithfully in control of this situation; we need to be faithful to be about His business of saving souls!

During these times, we encourage you to also remain faithful in tithing.  There are options on the website to give online and instructions on how to “text to give.”  Visit our Give page.  Giving online will protect the staff and alleviate the need to be physically present in the FBC office to collect mail.

 
MARCH 16
 

Dear Church family,

The guidance from the CDC continues to be updated.  The ministerial staff reviewed the current guidelines today and the following changes in scheduling will impact you as we move to Tier 3.

Beginning today, through at least Easter Sunday, all on-campus activities are cancelled or postponed.  As Easter Sunday approaches, the ministerial staff will re-evaluate our circumstances according to the CDC guidelines.  We will keep you informed.

Sunday Worship:  Services will be available at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings on our website.  There will also be a link from Facebook to the service.  The link will remain active on the website and the audio portion will continue to be available as it has in the past.

GO 4.12:  We pray that you will continue this season of praying for the lost and having Gospel conversations.  It is even more urgent now for those who do not know Christ to meet Him and learn to trust Him in all circumstances.

Growth Groups:  We are a church family who highly value Growth Groups, and we are looking for ways to creatively allow you to continue to grow in Christ and community during the time we will not meet in person.  You will hear more about this later in the week.

How you can pray?  Here are some specific ways you can pray during this time:

  1. Pray that the Lord would guard us against fear and anxiety; that we may be beacons of hope in our community.
  2. Pray for those who are suffering.
  3. Pray for FBC Boerne to remain unified.
  4. Pray that God would guard us against addiction to media/news.
  5. Pray that God will show us creative ways to reach out to hurting people; that we might be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.
  6. Pray that God would humble us.
  7. Pray that we would long for Jesus’ return.
 
Postponed Events:
Preschool Teacher Appreciation Lunch (3.26)
Children’s Lock-In (3.27)
Children’s Ministry Volunteer Luncheon (3.29)
Cancelled Events:
Boerne Outdoor Family Festival (3.22)
HUB Leader Training (3.22)
Men’s First Thursday (4.2)
MOPS (4.6)

Some committee and council meetings will be conducted electronically; if you have questions, please contact your committee chair.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email updates@fbcboerne.org.

 
MARCH 13
link to video from Pastor Jason
 
We have been notified that Boerne ISD has cancelled classes the week of March 16th.  As we developed our emergency plan for COVID-19, this cancellation moves us to Tier 2 conditions. 

What that means to you is this:

Sunday, March 15

Worship Services:  We will have two worship services at 8:30 am and 11:00 am.  Should you choose to stay home, the 8:30 am service will be streamed live through our Facebook page.

Childcare:  Available for children 4 and under during both services.

Growth Groups:  Cancelled.

Both buildings will be sanitized between services.

Week of March 15-21

No midweek activities. 

All schools on campus are closed for the week.

At this time, the Lock In for the 4th and 5th graders has been postponed until a later date.

These changes are for this week only.  The staff will be evaluating the changing landscape of COVID-19 precautions during the week and we will communicate those changes to you as they occur.

There will be updates posted on the COVID-19 UPDATE page on the website.  Please check back often.  If you have any questions, please email updates@fbcboerne.org
 
MARCH 12
 
Dear Church family,

Given the very fluid situation and recent media coverage of the coronavirus, we want to assure you that First Baptist Church leadership is committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.  At this time, we have been advised that there are no cases detected in Boerne or Kendall County.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

We have developed a tiered plan for emergencies such as this and are operating under Tier 1

  • All of our weekly ministries and Sunday services are continuing as usual.
  • During morning services, we will move away from shaking hands during the greeting time and passing the offering plate. Alternate ways to give during service will be explained.  Please remember, you may donate online at https://www.fbcboerne.org/#give/ or text to give using 73256 and typing fbcboerne$(amount) in the body of the text, send, then follow the prompts.
  • We have increased our cleaning protocols. Last week, we described the measures we are taking.  Additional hand sanitizing stations have been placed across our campus and our custodial staff consistently and frequently cleans common touchpoints and surfaces.
  • We have created a webpage that will allow you to view real-time updates as the situation changes; please visit https://www.fbcboerne.org/covid-19-update/ to stay up-to-date.
  • We are coordinating planning with the preschool and private school leaders as well as within the major groups that meet regularly on site.
  • We will be communicating via email and social media as circumstances demand.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

  • Consider your attendance risk. Remember, sermons and RECHARGE messages are available on the website.
      • If you are ill, please stay home. The best way to love your neighbor is not to expose them to colds, flu or other illnesses.
      • Other individuals who are at-risk include:
      • People who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
      • Immunosuppressed individuals (people with recent or upcoming surgeries; people on autoimmune treatments, including steroids; people with impaired heart, kidney or liver function; and people going through cancer treatments)
      • Direct caregivers of at-risk individuals.
  • Stay informed
  • PRAY! May we hold fast to our trust in God and look for opportunities to love and care for others. 
      • Pray for our church family and community – protection against illness
      • Pray for the many medical professionals, public safety professionals, educators, missionaries and others who are affected
      • Pray for Gospel opportunities to come from this outbreak
      • Pray for wisdom regarding ministry impact in the event of local COVID-19 cases.

While the coronavirus is one more reminder we live in a broken and fallen world, the Gospel is good news.  The good news is that Jesus Christ lived a life with no sin, died on the cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death.  Anyone who turns from their sin and trusts Jesus will be forgiven of their sin and restored to relationship with God forever.  Through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness and death because we know we have eternal life through him.

MARCH 5
 
Given the recent media coverage of the coronavirus, we want to assure you that First Baptist Church is remaining aware of the situation through proven sources such as local Emergency Room doctors, the Boerne office of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Texas Center for Infectious Disease.

As with any respiratory illness and the flu, our staff, especially the children’s ministry, take precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Those measures include frequent hand washing; restricting access to stuffed animals; cleaning surfaces, toys and markers after each use; and disinfecting common areas.

In addition to all the normal things you do to stay healthy, we encourage you to take preventive measures yourself, such as, wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often; cover your cough or sneeze; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and, if you are sick, stay home.

God is good – spring break is next week and our normal activities will also be on break — there will be no preschool or midweek classes or activities.  Crestmont will also be closed next week.  In the unlikely event that the coronavirus requires greater measures, we will notify you immediately of any schedule changes or restrictions on activities.