In Person Worship Guidelines


We are planning to resume in-person worship services on Sunday, Sept. 6. In an effort to make this experience as safe as possible, leadership have worked out a plan (see below). I'm am looking forward to worshiping in person with those of you who feel comfortable doing so! If you are not comfortable, we will miss you, but please do not feel any pressure to do anything you are not ready to do. The Lord knows your situation and understands, and we understand as well.


PLAN FOR RESUMING IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICES (Final Draft)
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, MARSHALL, TEXAS
JUNE 2020

We believe Jesus has called us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We also believe loving one another means (1) we should act with all wisdom to protect one another from the virus that is currently spreading throughout our world and our community and (2) we should worship together in person as soon as is safely possible. Therefore, we propose the following plan for First Baptist Church to worship together on Sunday mornings:

 

Preliminary cautions for potential attendees

  1. Persons who do not feel well or who exhibit any characteristics of COVID-19 are strongly urged to worship with First Baptist online at home. The characteristics of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, or diarrhea.
  2. Persons who have had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 within the previous 14 days are strongly urged to worship with First Baptist online at home.
  3. Persons who face higher risk of COVID-19 are strongly urged to worship with First Baptist online at home. At-risk persons include, but are not limited to, children under the age of 6, persons 65 years of age and over, and persons with serious underlying health conditions. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, asthma, and compromised immune systems (e.g., because of chemotherapy).

 

General guidelines

  1. All attendees will be urged to practice social distancing at all times and in all locations. This means maintaining a distance of at least six feet between persons who do not live in the same house. It also means, of course, that there should be no handshakes or hugs.
  2. All attendees will be urged to wear a mask at all times. The only exceptions will be those who lead from the platform, in order to assure clear communication and only when they are leading vocally. Masks will be made available for those who do not have them
  3. Attendees will be urged to bring along hand sanitizer to use before and after services. There will also be sanitizer available at designated areas in the church building.
  4. The church van will not run.
  5. There will be no childcare provided at this time.
  6. Core Groups will not meet in person at this time.

 

Guidelines for door-to-worship-center spaces

  1. Greeters will be in place to open and to close doors. This will minimize the number of hands that touch door handles.
  2. No coffee or donuts will be served at this time.
  3. Attendees will be urged not to congregate in the foyer or other common spaces.

 

Guidelines for restrooms

  1. In order to maintain social distancing within restrooms, maximum occupancy of restrooms will be limited to two (2) persons at a time.
  2. Greeters will oversee the hallway to the restrooms to help make sure that maximum occupancy is not exceeded.
  3. Ushers will regularly spray and wipe restroom doors, sinks, etc. to ensure their safety.

 

Guidelines for the worship center

  1. Seating will be arranged in a way that maximizes social distancing. This will include adequate distance from the platform, where leaders will not wear masks while speaking or singing.
  2. Seating will be sanitized after each worship service.
  3. Ushers will show attendees to their designated seating area when they arrive.
  4. Attendees will be urged to remain in the worship center for the duration of the service unless an emergency arises. If someone foresees that they may frequently exit and re-enter the sanctuary, they should request to be seated toward the back.
  5. Offering plates will not be passed. There will be a giving station at the back of the worship center where people may place their offerings.
  6. At the end of the service, attendees will be dismissed by section, from back to front.


Grace and peace,
Pastor Ryan

Updates on in-person and online services


LOADING PLAYER…

Be sure to follow along online

Throughout our website you can find information on how to stay connected to us while we are physically apart. Worship will be live each Sunday at 10:30am on our Facebook page. 

You do not need a Facebook account to watch! Just follow the link to our page. https://www.facebook.com/firstmarshalltx

March 18, 2020 - Latest update

Dear Church Family,


We hope you are doing well and staying healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Below you will find detailed information about how FBC Marshall will navigate the weeks ahead. Members of church leadership, including members of the staff, Deacon body, Finance Committee, Personnel Committee and Ministry Council, have prayed over the following operational changes and we feel these decisions are the right ones to make at this time. We commit to staying informed of local and national guidelines that may effect the plan outlined below, and we will make adjustments as necessary. 


FBC Marshall Operational Changes

  1. In compliance with the National COVID-19 Guidelines, all in-person Sunday morning and evening activities at FBC are canceled for the next eight weeks and staff will limit any on-site meetings, worship recordings, etc. to ten or less persons present for at least two weeks. If these national guidelines change or are lifted altogether, we will re-evaluate church operations with the above mentioned leadership. This is a very hard decision to make, but it is made out of love and care for our community. We prayerfully look forward to the day we stand beside one  another in worship again. In the meantime, we hope to remind our community that the church is not a building. We are the church and we will continue to BE THE CHURCH to one another and our neighbors. Our prayer is that the updates in the section below will help us keep connected and continue the work of Christ in our world. 
  2. Staff will begin to work from home. Our contact has been given to the deacons and is found here on our website. We have access to email from home and can still be reached by dialing our extensions. We will coordinate if/when someone needs to be present in the church building (e.g., if there's a delivery). 
  3. We will communicate with you soon in regard to the new budget. Please pray for our Budget and Finance Committee as they discern the best way (when/how) to present this information. 


Updates to Keep Us Connected

  1. Broadcast Sunday services at 10:30am on Facebook. We hope you will join us each Sunday for worship that will include music, Prayers for the People, and our sermon. Please make this a part of your week. You may find that you are able to take notes and focus on worship in new ways. If you have questions about the scripture or want to voice a prayer request, you can do that through the comment section! We are working on ways to include those in our congregation that do not have social media or use email/computers. We will continue to update you as new listening options are available. 
  2. Reach out to one another. Don't be surprised if you get a phone call or text from a staff member, deacon, or fellow church member! We will be doing our best to touch base with you. If you have extra time and would like a set of names to pray over and call, please let a staff member know. We understand that in-person visitation will be very limited during this time, but we can still lift one another up.
  3. Church staff will give an online "touch" once a week. Check our website, social media, and your email each week. Online viewers can look forward to the following: Sunday - Worship Service, Monday - Staff moment with Minda, Tuesday- Inspirational Word, Wednesday - Worship with Deborah, Thursday (in Spanish) - Staff moment with David, Friday - Staff moment with Ryan, Saturday - Congregational Challenge.  If you do not currently follow the church on social media, now is the time to start! We will also send out a weekly newsletter. Printed newsletters may go out to those that do not have online access. 
  4. Keep giving. The work of the church has not stopped. We hope you will consider ways you can continue giving to FBC Marshall as you are able so that the mission of our church can continue to be carried out. 

If you have questions about these updates or if you have a personal need, please contact us to let us know. The Apostle Paul often wrote of his thankfulness to the churches he ministered to, how he prayed for them, and how he longed to be with them for mutual encouragement. These sentiments of Paul are at the heart of your staff now. We love you, we thank God for you, we are praying for you, and we miss being with you face to face. The Message paraphrases Romans 1:10 this way, "I ask God to clear the way for me to come and see you. The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache." How true that feels now. Yet, we trust our God is in control and we know, though the ache of separation is strong, the joy of being together as one in our Lord is greater. 


Blessings to you all, 


Your Church Staff

March 14, 2020 UPdate

Dear Church Family,


In a continued effort to comply with sound recommendations from the medical community and government agencies, we have decided to meet together for WORSHIP ONLY tomorrow morning at 10:30am. This limits our time together to one hour within a room that has ample space to spread out, but allows us to engage in the important work of encouragement and praise. We will focus our Prayers of the People on those affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, those working long hours in the medical field, and those in leadership guiding communities all across the globe. 


All Core Groups and Sunday night activities for this week are CANCELED. We will continue to update you as we plan for the weeks ahead. 


We hope to have Facebook Live up and running for those who cannot, or chose not, to attend. 


If you know someone who may not receive our emails or check online sources, please help us get this information to them as soon as possible. 


Again, we will meet for WORSHIP ONLY tomorrow at 10:30am.


Grace and Peace, 

Your FBC Staff

March 13, 2020 (First update)

Dear FBC Family,
 
We want to offer you a blessing of peace and assure you we are taking precautions at the church in the wake of the COVID-19 Corona Virus. We are listening to trusted sources, both local and national, as we proceed with church planning. At this time, we have not canceled any main worship services, but we do have some procedural changes we feel are necessary to implement. Thank you for your attentiveness and flexibility as we work together to stay healthy and support our community through calm, loving actions. We will strive to communicate clearly and quickly when updates or changes are made.

 
Changes at FBC Marshall

  1. Please note that the Alcove will be closed and there will be no coffee or donuts provided by the church on Sundays. If you need your morning coffee, please bring a personal cup from home. The attendance folders will be in each Core Group classroom.
  2. Hand sanitizer will be available at the Worship Center entrance, but we ask that you use this sparingly and as a necessity. Please continue to wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  3. Greet one another and guests with a friendly smile and a wave hello. Please refrain from shaking hands or hugging one another. Until further notice, we will not have a directed greeting time during the worship service. We are a friendly congregation, so this will be hard for us all. Do not take offense if someone declines your hand or hug.
  4. Our Family Connection Meal is canceled for this month. We will hold a business meeting March 22nd following the service to discuss the upcoming budget.
  5. We will not pass the offering plates. Instead, the offering will be collected by designated deacons at the back of the Worship Center at the end of the service.
  6. We will work to update our sermons online as quickly as possible for those that cannot attend our services.
  7. Thursday night College Small Group, Monday morning Women’s Bible Study, Travis mentoring, and the March 175th Anniversary Committee meeting are all canceled until further notice. Sunday night activities will continue as planned for now. New updates and cancellations will be sent out via email and on social media.

 
General Guidelines

  1. If you are feeling ill or have been around those who are sick, please stay home. If you have flu-like symptoms, please seek medical attention.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and soap often and limit touching your face.
  3. Please seek trustworthy and reputable sources of information, such as www.cdc.gov, and limit your intake and spread of false or misleading information.

 
An Invitation to Be The Church

  1. Pray and trust God. Scripture reminds us to trust in the Lord with all our heart (Prov.3:5). Together, we need to lean into this wholehearted trust where fear is prevalent and promoted. Pray for all of our leaders, physicians, nurses, and other officials as they provide care and set protocols for our community in the coming weeks.
  2. Check on church members and neighbors. Be a calming voice and provide support as you can to those that are most vulnerable. Call or text one another to stay connected, offer prayer, and share scriptures.  
  3. As many of us are home in the coming days, let’s challenge ourselves to rest better by giving our time to prayer, meditation and scripture reading rather than social media and other news outlets. Read more, get exercise, do something creative, and laugh with your loved ones. 

If you have questions or concerns please reach out to us by phone or email. If you or a loved one become sick, please let us know as soon as possible so we can add you to a prayer email. 

Thank you,
Your FBC Staff