Dear First Baptist Family and Friends,
Last night the Executive Board held an online meeting to discuss issues relevant to the Church pertaining to COVID-19 and would like to present the following updates.
To this point, our Staff and Committees have been active in their particular responsibilities for our ministry. We have worked to maintain communication to individual members as well as the congregation as a whole through various resources such as email, US mail, social media and online worship. We have retooled our website to provide more accessible information to our congregation as well as the public. The Church Office phones are being answered remotely during regular business hours and the staff is accessible through their work and personal contact numbers. The building is being maintained, cleaned and santized. I am grateful for the creativity that our staff and members alike are exhibiting to help maintain the spiritual vitality of our members and extend the outreach and mission of the Church.
We have received a $10,000 matching gift which we pray to meet by Sunday, April 5. Those who wish to give may do so online. We will also count online bill pay and mailed contributions that are postmarked by April 4, as part of the "I Love My Church" challenge. You can donate as part of your pledge or give over and above your pledge.
Pastor Emily is using technology to maintain frequent contact with children, youth and their parents. This past week several of our adult small groups began virtual meetings through technology as well. We are encouraging ministry leaders and small group leaders to utilize this tool for Bible study and prayer, connecting, or conducting meetings. We are also working on ways to connect people together who do not have internet access.
We recognize that our campus ministry closure could possibly extend to June 1. Therefore, the Executive Board has formed and empowered a COVID-19 task force to deal with any extraordinary financial decisions facing the Church. This would include decisions related to payroll, bill prioritization, spending freezes, reallocations of funds within the budget, accessing reserve account funds, or renegotiating service contracts or payments with vendors. The five members of the task force are the Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, the Investment Committee Chair, the Property and Finance chair, and the Senior Pastor. As long as the health crisis lasts, the Board will meet on a bi-weekly basis and will make pertinent updates to the congregation in a timely manner.
Every member is encouraged to continue to support one another through prayer, cards and phone calls. In addition, our hope is that you will continue to participate to worship online each Sunday morning. We are grateful beyond words for your faithfulness in financial stewardship and are prayerful that you will continue. We do not know how long it will be before we will return to corporate worship, but when the day comes we will celebrate Easter and the renewal of all things that is made possible by the resurrection of our Lord.
Please know that you are loved by your Staff and our membership. Most of all, you are loved by God!
On behalf of the Executive Board,
Rev. Dr. Tim Deatrick, Senior Pastor