In Mark 4 we are told about a rough encounter between the disciples and the raging environment around them. At one point in their struggling they called upon Jesus for help. In that moment, Jesus spoke three words, “Quiet, Be still.” In a moment, all went calm and the obvious nature of Christ and His authority was made evident.
Today our community, our world has a storm of care and concern swirling around us that has caused a fearful panic to set in concerning the Cronovirus, COVID-19. Although we should be good stewards of our health, environments, and relationships…isn’t it good to know that we still have a Lord who can simply utter PEACE into existence!!
Our Ministerial team has met, and after visiting with Christ-honoring local health and school officials desire to help provide you with information on how we will navigate the coming days as a church family. We know, even though our plans may change along the way, that we are operating under the one who holds authority over every body, animal, and created thing!
Some of the information in this letter is generally informative about our approach as we move forward while other information is specifically for this coming weekend (3/15) THIS WEEKEND THROUGH SATURDAY (3/21) For This Sunday, March 15th, we will be having worship service, but it will be a little different---We will be asking everyone to join us "virtually." We're encouraging you to stay home (Lord willing, this Sunday only) as we LiveStream our service. Our team will lead in a service designed for you to participate in from home) You can join in on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/firstpearland) or on our church website (http://www.fbcpearland.org/live-stream-boxcast). If you need any help getting set up, please contact the church office before Sunday morning and we'll make sure help is on the way. BEYOND THIS WEEK... we'll keep assessing things and keep you informed, but there is some information we want you to have as we navigate the weeks ahead.
In the next few sections we want to keep you informed of a few things that 1) we’re doing to keep our church environment a clean and healthy place to worship 2) you can do to make sure that you’re staying healthy and being mindful of the needs of others and 3) what tweaks & changes you can expect to encounter over the next few weeks as you come to church.
How we are making FBCP a clean & healthy church environment
What’s great is, this is a week-in and week-out priority at FBCP. Each week our cleaning crew takes time to wipe down all the things you’d normally touch, doors, handles, counters, tables…even the wood on the back of the pews! Spring break has provided a great opportunity for extra deep cleaning of our main areas (foyers, bathrooms, kids areas, & sanctuary). We’ve gone the extra miles to have floors cleaned and older surfaces in restrooms repainted.
On top of the great job our cleaning team does nightly (yes, 6 days a week!), our volunteers and teachers pitch in too! You can be sure that baby toys are wiped down/soaked with cleaning solution, and all table surfaces, chairs and cribs are wiped down multiple times each day. It’s a pretty incredible moment when we sit back and see just how much our teams care for every person coming to FBCP as they maintain this environment.
Although you may be bringing your own, we’ll also have plenty of hand sanitizer stations set up. Feel free to visit them as much as you need!
What you can do to help
We have policies for wellness for children which our parents and volunteers know to look out for, but during this season we’re asking everyone to do a “self well-check” before coming to church or going where others gather.
Running a feverExperiencing uncontrollable coughing fitsJust feeling “sick”
stay home and worship with us from home! You can participate in our live worship service though our live feed on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/firstpearland) or on our church website (http://www.fbcpearland.org/live-stream-boxcast) Through our website you can sign up for coming events, give and even engage with our prayer team for prayer requests! We know it’s not quite the same as being together, but for a week or two we know it will help you and others stay healthy in the long run.
*If you’re staying away from big crowds or church during this time, please email us (email@example.com) and let us know. We want to have a church leader stay in contact and continue to minister to you during this time.
What you can expect when you come to church
When you come begin to gather again for Sunday morning worship and community, what will you experience? Our prayer is that many things will return to normal, but even in the new normal of 2020, we’ve instituted some changes to help keep everyone comfortable and cared for:
It's ok stay home
If you are feeling well, but are uncomfortable about gathering with others...it's ok. Just like we said above. you can still be a part though our LiveSteaming.
When you come in the door.
Praise the Lord for GREETERS!
When you come to church you’ll be greeted with a smiling, waiving friendly greeter! They’ll hold the door open, so you don’t have to! If you or your child want to offer a friendly fist or elbow bump, they’ll be ready to return the greeting!
If you have children.
We know kids need meaningful contact with others.
You can be sure, every volunteer and child will wash their hands once they get into their classroom. So those who pick up your child, rock them to sleep, or even give them a “high five” in the classroom are consistently “disinfected!”
For all ages where snacks or donuts are provided, we’ll be switching to prepackaged snacks for a little while. Yes it’s a great way to help things stay clean, but how fun will it be for each child to have their own “stash of snacks” each week waiting for them at church!
Kid’s Time during worship.
We know how important the children’s sermon is to our “big kids” in worship. For the next few weeks we’re pressing the “Don’t move around the cabin” sign in the sanctuary. Pastor David will still be sharing a short object lessons for the children each week, they’ll simply be enjoying it sitting next to you instead of coming to the front of the sanctuary during this season.
When you come to worship service.
Our greeting time will be taking a “time out.”
We know Sundays are a time of catching up and greeting one another. We still are encouraging smiles, waves, and a welcoming spirit, but for a few weeks we’ll be removing the greeting time from the service flow. Don’t worry, it’s not gone forever…it’s just taking a small time out.
More room to spread out.
We have a BIG sanctuary! It has almost 1600 seats! On a normal Sunday we have about 800 of those seats accessible. During this season, we’ve opened another 300 seats. That’s about 40% more space to choose from than you would have on a regular Sunday. Since each week we have about 375-400 in worship, you can feel comfortable sitting in your normal spot or spreading out just a little more when you come to worship.
Utilizing offering boxes
Giving to the Lord is a joyful privilege for believers! We won’t stop providing a time for taking up the tithes and offerings, but we’ll be utilizing offering boxes instead of baskets as a means for collecting the offering.
New information is being released daily and our ministerial team is keeping an ear to the ground. Keep checking your email, our webpage, and the FBCP Facebook Page for continued updates. We are making plans for our church family regardless of what circumstances we find ourselves in. At this moment we feel like the steps listed above are the best, most appropriate actions to take as a church family. In the meantime would you join us in making an extra commitment?
Would you commit to…
Pray for the health of our church family, community, and world.Pray for doctors and nurses on the front lines caring for those in need. Pray for those working on vaccinations. Pray for our leaders who are making decisions that impact our daily lives.
Text encouraging notes to those in your small group throughout the week. Make a phone call to let those around you know you’re thinking of them. Don’t neglect meeting together. The group may be smaller than normal or in a different location that normal, but make time to share in biblical community.