Special Statement Concerning Reopening the Church

We have been richly blessed by our YouTube Channel and our weekly radio broadcast. This has enabled us to continue to worship even though we cannot physically be together in the sanctuary. Yet, we are all looking forward to the day when we can be back together and worship in person once again.

We have been following the Governor’s guidelines, but on Saturday a Federal Judge issued a temporary restraining order, allowing churches to meet again for indoor worship. This has led to confusion and some misunderstanding as to why some churches are electing to have in-person services and other churches, like ours, are not.

Our deacons met via Zoom on Sunday night for their monthly meeting. We discussed the issue of reopening. The deacons, based on my recommendation, unanimously adopted the following statement:

First Baptist Church of Lexington will not reopen until the Davidson County Health Department informs us that it is safe to do so.

We adopted this statement for two reasons. One, we do not agree that the Governor’s order restricting public indoor worship is a First Amendment issue. This is a Public Health issue. I used the comparison on Sunday of our church being evacuated because of a gas leak. Evacuating the church because of potential danger is not denying our right to worship, it is protecting the health and safety of our congregation. The threat of COVID-19 is just as potentially deadly as a gas explosion.

The second reason that we adopted this statement is because we care about our church family and feel it would be too risky to engage in pubic worship at this time. Confirmed cases in Davidson County jumped almost 50% last week. On Mother’s Day there were 199 confirmed cases. Today there are 294. The Health Department is reporting that the great majority of cases have come from people who have congregated in groups. Considering the demographics of our congregation, we would be irresponsible and foolish to open our doors and place our people in jeopardy.

When the Health Department informs us that we can safely begin steps to reopen, we will. But I want you to understand that public worship will be much different than it was before. When we return to worship in the sanctuary, we will encourage people to wear masks and practice social distancing. We will not be able to pass the offering plate. Every precaution must be taken to protect the health of our worshipers.

Following each service of worship, the sanctuary must be sanitized by professionals. The same is true of any activity in the fellowship hall. We will probably open the doors of our sanctuary to worship before we open our educational space for Sunday School and small groups. Most of our classrooms are not large enough to practice social distancing. Any space that is used must be sanitized before it can be used again. Churches that have had two worship services on Sunday mornings will not be able to do so anymore because of this requirement.

One of the biggest issues in reopening is congregational and choral singing. Saliva droplets are considered a prime vector for spreading the coronavirus. When people are singing with passion and conviction, saliva droplets can carry well beyond six feet. One of the first major outbreaks of the virus in March was a community choir in Washington. Almost everyone in the choir came down with the virus. As hard as it is to say, and as hard as it is to imagine, we may be returning to public worship without a choir to sing and without congregational singing. This is already happening in Germany where churches are meeting again, without singing.

I am sharing this with you because I want you to understand that reopening the church will not be as simple as opening the doors and welcoming people back in the sanctuary. Public worship will look different, feel different, and sound different for a long time.

On Mother’s Day a church in California decided to ignore the Governor’s order and meet for worship. About 180 people gathered. The next day one member of that congregation tested positive for COVID-19. Today, the entire congregation is in quarantine.

In Jewish law there is a concept of “pikuach nefesh” or mortal danger. In cases of mortal danger, almost the entire body of the Jewish law can be put aside until the danger is resolved. We find ourselves in a state of mortal danger. Until this danger is resolved and we are convinced it is safe to return to public worship with restrictions, we will continue to worship only through YouTube and on the radio.

This is the dark reality that we find ourselves in, but as I said Sunday, we can’t change the dark reality but we can change the darkness. There are many ways to let our light shine. Your continued financial faithfulness enables us to continue to be a light of hope and healing for our community.

There are many creative ways we can continue to be the church. If you have ideas of different ways we can minister and worship in this crisis, please share them . . . we are all in unchartered water together. Or as a friend said the other day, “We are building an airplane in the air!”

One day we will all look back on this experience and reflect on the lessons we learned and the many different ways we saw God in the storm. And we will give testimony of how we emerged from the darkness into God’s marvelous light!

YouTube FAQs

FBC hears your feedback about the online services and we’re listening to you!  If you’re having trouble hearing or just want to see a bigger presentation of the service, look at the graphic below for an easy how-to make this happen.

Keep talking with us!  We’re working out the details and want to make this online service/mission a continued success!

Ice Cream Social and Game Night at FBC

 

 

Due Dates, 2018

PASTOR’S PANTRY
The deadline for collecting cans of yams for Pastor’s Pantry is November 15.

ADVENT POINSETTIAS
The deadline for purchasing poinsettias to decorate the sanctuary during Advent is November 15. Cost is $35 each. Call the church office if interested.

CHRISTMAS SHOEBOXES ARE DUE NOV 14

CHRISTMAS FOOD BOXES WILL BE PACKED AND DELIVERED ON DECEMBER 12

CANCER SERVICES CHRISTMAS PARTY WILL BE DECEMBER 20.
FOOD DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS WILL BE NEEDED

Fall Festival 2018.

FBC: I have some really exciting news! A Fall Festival in the church fellowship hall is being planned for Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.. We will have the following: a supper consisting of soup and sandwiches for $5.00, a silent and live auction, a bakery shop with yummy treats, and crafts and games for the children. Our goal for this night is to raise money to get our church budget caught up and to have a night of fun and fellowship. I know if we all work together we can raise the funds we need.

I am challenging all members to participate in some way. Every age group will be able to help. For example, our children can save change and bring it the night of the festival. Our youth can give hours of babysitting, yard work, or make crafts to auction. The youth can also volunteer to serve food or help with the crafts and games.

I need the adults to donate items to auction, make baked goods, and/or serve on a committee. Our committees are Food, Games, Advertising, Sweet Shop, and Silent Auction. I will have a sign-up sheet so that we don not have more than one person going to solicit from a business. There will be sign-up sheets in the Sunday School classes, the office, and other places around the church.

This event will be open to the community. I hope you are as excited as I am about this opportunity to erase our church debt and have fun and fellowship! Please remember that no donation is too small of time or money! Every penny counts!

Sincerely, Beverly Fulbright

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Vacation Bible School

Mark your calendars for VBS! From July 30th to August 2nd, 2018, we will journey with Daniel and his friends into Babylon.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!

If you are interested in volunteering – please contact Meagan.

See the sneak preview below:

In case you missed past VBS action at FBC, take a look at the fun:

Winston-Salem Dash

Senior Adults are invited to join us this Friday night for WS Dash Baseball! The cost is $15. Please let us know if you can attend. All youth and youth families are invited to join us on Friday, June 1 for Dash Baseball.

A “Meager Meal” on February 14th, 2018

February 14th is Valentine’s Day. It is also Ash Wednesday.

We will observe this most significant day with a “Meager Meal.” Reservations can be made as you normally do for Wednesday night meals. We will not charge for the meal but will ask for donations for the Dragonfly House.

The meal will consist of Pinto Beans, Greens, Onions, Pickles, and Cornbread. Following the meal we will have an intergenerational family discussion on love followed by a brief Ash Wednesday service.

Touching Davidson County with Love.

Parker Lecture Series 2018

We are happy to announce that Pam Durso, the Executive Director of Baptist Women in Ministry will lead us in the 2018 Parker Lectures on February 3-4.

Pam has her Ph.D. in Church History from Baylor University.

She will speak on Women In Church History.

Follow the links above to read more about Pam’s work with Baptist Women in Ministry.

The Parker Lecture series is made possible by a generous donation from the Carolyn M Parker family in memory of Carolyn M Parker.

Read more about this series at this link.