Is the Church building closed to the public? When will First Baptist return for public worship services?
Although Governor Reynolds has begun the process of loosening restrictions on gatherings for businesses and churches, we are not prepared at this time to meet for public worship. The Executive Board is working toward a phased approach to re-enter the facility for meetings and worship. This plan will give utmost consideration to best practices recommended by governmental agencies and medical professionals to ensure the safety of our Staff and those who choose to attend. While we are giving due diligence to our preparations, we have not put in place a date that this will occur. In the meantime we are asking that the public, including our members, not to come to the Church building unless they have an appointment. Only essential staff are allowed access to the building and Church Offices. Our church family and friends in the community are encouraged to continue to enjoy our virtual small groups on Zoom as well as online worship each week.
For the latest information, we are following the resources below:
Is the Church Staff still serving the needs of the congregation and community?
Yes. The Church Staff is accessible and working either at the Church or remotely from home. USPS mail and email are being checked, and the Church phones are being answered during regular Church Office hours. The Staff can be emailed directly from the Staff page of the website or contacted by phone. Telephone numbers are available in the Church directory. The Staff is doing their best to offer ministry using the technology we have available.
How is ministry being conducted for our membership and regular attendees?
Governmental regulations currently prohibit the Staff from visiting hospitals, retirement centers, care centers and nursing homes. The Senior Pastor is available by email, phone, and in person by appointment. The InReach Committee is coordinating a congregation wide strategy to make telephone calls and send hand written notes to our membership with special emphasis on our older members. Opportunities are available for small groups to remain connected via teleconferencing programs. Everyone is encouraged to stay connected with one another to the best of their ability. A weekly prayer list is being sent to those who participate in our prayer chain ministry. That list is updated as new requests are submitted to the Staff.
Do we have an online worship service?
We offer online worship at 10:00 am each Sunday. The abbreviated service includes prayer, music, a sermon, and an opportunity to observe the ordinance of Communion each week. The service can be accessed through your computer, tablet or device at www.fbcdsm.org/live-stream. If you are not available on Sunday at 10:00 am, the service will be archived so you may view it at your convenience. The Pastor will also post a midweek message at the same link sometime during the week.
What is being made available for Children and Youth?
Our Pastor for Children, Youth and Families will connect through multiple avenues. A YouTube channel has been developed and may be subscribed to at FBCdsm Children, Youth & Families. Pastor Emily also connects through social media platforms and through email. These collectively provide activities, encouragement, support and study opportunities for our next generations. Pastor Emily also provides a Children's Sermon for each week's online worship. Never miss a lesson or hunt for a link: subscribing to receive weekly CYF Updates.
Is it possible for me to make a financial contribution to the Church?
Yes. The mail is regularly checked, so you can mail your contribution to the Church address. You can also utilize online bill pay to make your donation. For your convenience, we offer online giving as well. You can access our online giving at www.fbcdsm.org/ways-to-give. If you need assistance with online giving or simply have a question, please contact the Church Office.
How will the Church communicate through the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis?
Members who do not have access to the internet will receive a weekly newsletter in the mail. Those who have internet access will receive updates through email. We will continue to issue our weekly email through Constant Contact. Further updates will be sent by email through Constant Contact or REALM. Our text messaging service is another way we will provide updates.
First Baptist Church is also active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can follow any of our social media platforms @FirstBaptistDSM. More lengthy articles containing helpful information are posted on the Church's website at www.fbcdsm.org/news. Words of inspiration and encouragement may be accessed at the Pastor's blogsite at www.timdeatrick.com.
Do I need to sign up for any of these communications?
Email through Constant Contact, our text messaging service, and the prayer chain email require you to request to receive them. You may do so by contacting the Church Office. Members who have not logged into REALM to set up an account may also do so by contacting the Church Office. The Church website and social media platforms are open domains available to the general public with internet access.
What can I do?
First, you can take care of yourself as well as do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently and stay home as much as possible, especially if you are feeling ill. Maintain your daily routine as much as possible. Try to maintain a balanced diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
Second, you can pray. Prayer, coupled with daily Bible reading, will help you remain spiritually, mentally and emotionally strong through this challenging time.
Third, you can connect. If a person in our congregation or community comes to mind, treat it as an invitation from the Holy Spirit to reach out to them. Pick up the phone and give them a call, or drop them a greeting card in the mail. You may very well make their day, and feel blessed for doing so.
Where can I direct someone who has a need such as food?
We recommend that those in need of food contact one of the local food pantries operated by the Des Moines Area Religious Council. Their phone number is 515-277-6969. Those who live in the boundaries of the Johnston Community School District may contact Johnston Partnership. Their phone number is 515-868-1357. Johnston Partnership also has limited funds available to assist people with financial needs such as rent and utilities.