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Addressing the Coronavirus at Friendship Baptist Church
Saturday, March 14, 2020
As of today, Sat. 3/14, the Brimfield Board of Health has recommended that all social gatherings be postponed / cancelled for a period of two (2) weeks because of the Coronavirus. Of course, that could be extended if the situation warrants. The situation is very fluid and things are changing rapidly as we have all seen over the past week.
With that being said, Friendship Baptist Church will hold its normal service tomorrow Sun. 3/15 at 11:00a.m. with our monthly Fellowship meal following the service. Sunday School will be cancelled tomorrow so that some of us can take the time to clean and wipe down many of the surfaces and areas in the Sanctuary prior to tomorrow morning’s worship service.
While no one should panic, the Coronavirus IS a serious illness which can affect immune-compromised people; the elderly; and, also the very young. For those people, the concerns are extremely valid and all reasonable precautions should be taken to protect yourself from the disease. So, if you come to service tomorrow, let’s be very sensitive to the seriousness of the Coronavirus and avoid any type of physical touching. Let’s avoid the shaking of hands; let’s avoid hugging. Instead, engage in waving; touchless High-5’s; elbow bumps; even the Vulcan ‘Live long and prosper’-salute; and other touchless ways of saying “Hello” should be what we do. Be very sensitive to people if they want to avoid even the slightest physical contact.
Know that if you decide to stay home tomorrow, you should NOT feel guilty in any way, shape or form. If you do not feel well; if you have cold or flu-like symptoms of any kind; or if you are simply concerned about being among people…then by all means, feel free to stay home so as not to spread anything. Use common sense and prayer as always to dictate your decisions.
AS WE MOVE FORWARD
After tomorrow and going forward, we will be using the recommendation of the Brimfield Board of Health and suspending / postponing / cancelling many regular events. I will be figuring out how to video the sermon and/or livestream it so that we can still worship the Lord on Sunday, albeit in a different way than usual. I am also praying about Bible Study and perhaps taking a break from that a brief time.
For now, these are the events that are postponed / cancelled along with any rescheduling dates (although those are subject to change):
CANCELLED: SUNDAY SCHOOL tomorrow Sun. 3/15 @ 9:30 (anyone wanting to come in and help us clean, wipe down, and disinfect as much of the main Sanctuary as possible, we will use the time before service for that purpose)
POSTPONED: Fri. 3/20 – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT (we will now show, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Fri. 4/17 @ 6:30p.m. instead).
CANCELLED: Sun. 3/22 after the service: Church Council meeting
POSTPONED: Sat. 3/28 – Men’s Breakfast / Lunch (next gathering would be on Sat. 4/25 @ 11:00a.m.)
CANCELLED: 4/24-4/25 – Hearts in Harmony Women’s Conference (no date for rescheduling)
Obviously, it is not possible nor wise to look any further than the next couple of weeks. As the situation further unfolds, we may need to cancel or postpone other events on the church schedule.
As has already been said, this is not a time to panic or live in fear. The Lord has told us over and over “Do not fear.” He tells us that so that we will trust Him and His plan. So, let’s choose trusting Him and never living in fear, even in the situation we are living through right now. Yes, these are unprecedented times that have surprised us like nothing since 9/11. But, it is not a surprise to God...and He will get us through it as we trust in Him!
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Jim Fontaine