July 21: COVID-19 Update

July 21, 2020

Church Family,

I wanted to provide you with an update regarding our schedule and operations. Although much of our plan remains the same, it’s been three weeks since you’ve seen a written update, and I want to make sure that I keep current information before you.

As these three weeks have passed, we have seen an increase of reported cases of COVID-19 across the country, in our state, and here in our local area. At my last written update three weeks ago, we were not aware of any church members who were dealing with the virus, either directly or indirectly. That is no longer the case. We have heard from a few members who have tested positive for the virus, as well as church members whose immediate family (outside our membership) have been impacted by COVID-19. We are unaware of anyone who has attended a church service while knowingly having the virus or while experiencing symptoms.

Though the coronavirus has been politicized, I have absolutely no desire or intention to do so. As I have previously shared with you, we continue to use the “triangle paradigm” as a filter in making decisions for future operations. First and foremost, we listen to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As we seek to surrender to his guidance, we also listen to the guidelines our government officials and agencies provide, and we equally listen to discussion among our congregants.

Our plan remains simple. Regarding our day-to-day operations, the church office remains open each day and is conducting business as usual. We do ask any guests who visit the office to wear a face mask. Please don’t hesitate to contact our church office if needed.

Regarding our ministry operations, we plan to follow our current pattern for a few weeks more. Allow me to highlight a few aspects of that pattern to keep us on the same page.

1. Connection Groups (Sunday school) are NOT meeting onsite, mainly because it is impossible to physically distance in some of our education / discipleship space.

2. Sunday morning worship occurs each week at 10:30. The wearing of masks, though not required, is strongly recommended. All seating remains available, both upstairs and downstairs. The service will continue to be streamed online, provided the technology components don’t act like a stubborn mule. (A big THANK YOU to our tech team for their often unseen and tireless work to provide this option each Sunday.)

3. Wednesday night activities are available each week at 6:00 PM. We provide space for our preschool / children’s ministry to meet, as well as our students to gather for midweek worship and for our adults to meet for Bible study.

4. We will continue to provide a nursery for Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services, as well as preschool worship on Sunday mornings. We’re taking extra precautions with cleaning and sanitizing these areas. We know that it’s impossible to practice physical distancing when dealing with an infant who needs to be fed or a toddler who loves to run around. Our nursery and preschool worship volunteers wear a mask while in that role, and those facilities are as germ-free as humanly possible.

These four items should provide a summary of our ministry plan moving forward. I am hesitant to speculate a time frame for other activities to resume. Our church leadership will continue to pray and monitor the situation. We plan to share another update in a few weeks, but feel free to contact us between now and then if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Russell
jrussell@fbcmilton.org

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