Greetings First Baptist Church Family,
In the last few months, our days have been filled with uncertainty. Many of the routines, schedules, activities, and relationships have been upended. None of our lives are the same as they were just six months ago. It has become a cliché, but these are unprecedented times.
At the church, we have strived to be faithful to our God-given mission and to minister to our church family. We all miss being together with our groups and large worship gatherings, and it has broken our heart to cancel so many scheduled events. Yet, ministry has moved forward. The Word of God is being preached. People are worshipping each week. Our age-group ministries are moving forward.
Our church family has been resilient and faithful. As your pastor, I am so thankful for your patience with schedule changes, stops and starts for on-campus worship, and the new, largely online, format for services and ministry. I am thankful for your generosity to your church that has allowed us to continue to move forward and to continue to support our ministry and missions partners.
As we look to the future, the picture is not crystal clear. It is difficult to know what the next months will look like, and it is even more difficult to make plans that include every contingency. But this hardship must not stop us. What we do is too important for our church to take a season off. Because of that, we have created a plan and a schedule. There is more to the development of this schedule than can be included in a brief letter, but please know that your church staff has studied, prayed, debated, and agonized over these plans. As your pastor, I believe this is the best plan we can make at present, and I believe this plan will provide a good path for our church as we seek to move forward and honor God through our worship and our ministries. Of course, in this season, everything is somewhat tentative, but we are committed to the plan as it stands today.
Questions and input are welcome. We will continue to provide further details and explanations in worship service announcements, our church website, and my weekly “The Pastor Show” (which can be found on our webpage with a new episode each Wednesday).
Our New Sunday Worship Schedule
Beginning Sunday, August 16th, we will have two simultaneous worship services at 10:15am.
- Celebration Worship - 10:15am
(Traditional/Blended Worship Service in the Sanctuary with choir and orchestra)
- Summit Worship - 10:15am
(Contemporary Worship Service in the Christian Life Center Gym with praise team and praise band)
- Simulcast Message from Sanctuary
Preschool and children’s worship will begin on a later Sunday (more information coming). However, in Summit Worship, we will have large round tables in the rear of the worship space for families with children. One family per table with proper social distancing between tables. Children’s activities will be provided.
Other Ministry Schedules:
- Sunday School - New start time: 9:00am. Re-Start Day: Sunday, September 13 for all ages.
- Adult Choir - Rehearsals begin Wednesday, August 5.
- Youth Ministry - Weekly Wednesday night worship has begun.
- College Ministry - Plans to begin as soon as students begin to arrive at SFA.
- Children's Ministry - Children’s ministry has had a busy summer. Schedules for regular weekly events (Children’s Church, Sunday School, Wednesday Nights, etc.) are still being developed. The Children’s Ministry Team is working aggressively to relaunch as soon as they can do so safely.
Please pray for our church and our ministry in the days to come. Pray that we can continue to have a gospel witness in our community. Pray that every member of our church will have bold faith from the Lord and tender love for those in our community who don’t know Christ.
In Christ, Pastor Noel