As we move into August, I wanted to provide you with an update on our plans for weekly gatherings, as well as share some exciting announcements and opportunities for you to be engaged in mission and ministry through First Baptist!
Regarding our future schedule…
We plan to continue our modified schedule for worship and Bible study opportunities at least through September 6th. We will provide an update for the time frame beyond September 6th later this month. As a reminder, here are the main points of our modified schedule…
1. Connection groups (Sunday school classes) will NOT meet onsite.
2. Our worship gathering takes place each Sunday at 10:30 AM. Wearing a face mask is not required, but we strongly recommend using them. All seating is open and available. We will continue to provide the Sunday morning worship service online at our church website, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live.
3. We provide a nursery and preschool worship each Sunday morning for parents who wish to utilize these options. Those areas are cleaned and sanitized regularly, and our volunteers wear a face mask while serving in that role.
4. We provide a space for children, students, and adults to engage in Bible study each Wednesday at 6:00 PM. A nursery is provided on Wednesday evenings.
Our church website has been updated and renovated, and it looks great! Be sure to check it out at www.fbcmilton.org. Big thanks to Beau Martin for spearheading this initiative!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve added several new faces to our family of faith. How we welcome those new faces is different during this season of socially distanced relationships. However, we are still very thankful that God has brought some great folks to be the hands and feet of Christ through the ministry and mission of First Baptist! Please join me in welcoming these new members!
* Andy and Leilani Capps
* Diane Hudson
* Vickie Jones
* Alex and Angie Pollock
Milton High School administration reached out to me last week to ask our church if we might be able to help with securing face masks and hand sanitizer for students. If you’re not aware, teachers are set to return to the classroom August 17th for final preparations for the new school year, and students will return on August 24th. Face masks will be required, and the district is unable to provide these.
Regrettably, some students are not involved in a family system which will ensure they have masks, and some students who are in such a system will forget to bring a face mask. (Has anyone else walked halfway from your car to a retail store only to realize you left your mask at home?)
Several churches in our area have been asked to help, and we want to answer that call! We’re collecting face masks and hand sanitizer for students to use. If you can help by donating some of these items, please do so at your earliest convenience. The masks can be disposable, homemade, etc.
You can drop off the masks and / or hand sanitizer at the church office, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also bring the items to church on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening.
Can’t get out or don’t need to be out in public just yet? You can still help! You can find face masks online at sites like http://www.amazon.com or at most any retail store online (i.e., http://www.walmart.com). I was able to find disposable face masks for about 50 cents a piece on Wal-Mart’s website. You can order them from any of these online outlets, and then have them shipped to the church. The shipping address for the church is our mailing address: 6797 Caroline Street, Milton, FL 32570.
Let me know if you have any questions about this project. We will likely have this as an ongoing ministry opportunity throughout the school year, and we would love to be able to bless other schools in our area. The more items you can donate, the larger circle of blessing we can draw!
Many of you have been faithful in your giving. Thank you! The reason we encourage you to give is not to pay a salary or a light bill. Rather, we encourage you to give because (a) it’s commanded, and we need to be faithful to do what God has commanded us to do, and (b) your giving enables your church – AND YOU – to do ministry and be on mission.
Our giving to the Cooperative Program has not stopped. We continue to give to our association. Our missionary families continue to receive support so they can share the gospel in hard-to-reach places. We’ve been able to minister to individuals and families in Milton and Santa Rosa County during the pandemic. All of this has been possible, in part, because of your giving. We can accomplish much more together than we ever could alone.
You can give securely, 24/7, through our church website at http://www.fbcmilton.org/giving. If you’re on campus for a Sunday morning service, you can drop your offering in the receptacles as you exit. Alternatively, you can bring your offering to the church office during regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM), or place it in the drop box outside the office building. A final option is mailing your offering to 6797 Caroline Street, Milton, FL 32570.
Church Approves Long-Range Planning Committee Recommendations
The Long-Range Planning Committee made two recommendations at the church business meeting on July 26th.
The first recommendation was to request approval for the conceptual plan that was presented. That plan consists of three phases.
Phase 1: Utilize current designated funds and Camp Koinonia proceeds to (a) construct a new building for the food pantry, (b) remodel the kitchen in the FLC, and (c) install covered walkways and drop-off areas at the sanctuary.
Phase 2: Initiate a capital funding campaign for (a) the construction of a new building for the nursery / preschool / children, and (b) the reconfiguring and upgrading of parking on the south side of campus.
Phase 3: Initiate a capital funding campaign for the remodeling of existing nursery facilities, existing preschool facilities, and existing children facilities for adult or senior adult classrooms.
It should be noted that future church approval will be required as the specifics for each phase are completed. This is a CONCEPTUAL plan and can be amended.
This recommendation was unanimously approved. If you would like a copy of the recommendation that was provided at the business meeting, please contact our office.
The second recommendation from the LRPC was a request to authorize the use of funds (up to $30,000) to begin design activities. This would include selecting an architect, completing designs and plans, generating bid packages for Phase 1, etc. It should be noted that funding for construction will require future church approval. This recommendation was unanimously approved.
At the same business meeting, a motion was made to authorize the pastor, the church administrator, the chair of the deacon body, and the chair of the trustees to form a project committee to begin this task. The members of that committee are currently being “recruited,” and as soon as they are in place, we’ll announce that committee and organize their first meeting.
We’re thankful to the LRPC for their work in getting us to this point!
We’ve been dealing with a “corona culture” around four of five months. I don’t know about you, but the “new normal” has yet to feel “normal” to me. These last few weeks have been especially difficult for our community.
I want to challenge you to do something for the remainder of this month. Beginning today, make a commitment to encourage at least one person every day. Send a text or an email. Pick up the phone. Write a note. Ask someone how you can pray for them. Walk some COVID-free cookies over to your neighbor’s home and deliver them in a physically distanced way. (Whatever that means.)
Our educators face a daunting task. Many of them are fellow members of this family of faith. Reach out to them and encourage them. Many students will be worried about returning to the classroom, and some will be getting accustomed to a new mode of learning. Pray for them. We have several law enforcement officers in our church, and they sacrifice much to keep us safe. Reach out to them and encourage them. We have members who are in high-stress job environments. Encourage them. For many people, this time of isolation leads to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. You never know what an individual may be feeling or thinking on any given day. Why not ask the Holy Spirit to place someone on your heart that you can encourage?
These days are challenging, and it seems that we’ll face many more like them in the months to come. Let’s follow the command to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thess. 5:11)!