First Baptist Church St. John

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Covid-19 Reopen Phase 1

  • Jeremiah Greever
  • Jun 1, 2020

Church,

One of the most important lessons to learn in the Christian life is learning who has control. Daily God has to teach us that he alone is the One in control of all things without fail. Jesus taught this in Matthew 10:29 when he said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father." If God is in complete control of the mundane events in nature, surely God is in complete control of the detailed aspects of our lives.

With this being said, as your church leaders we want to affirm God’s control over our church in every regard. The plans we make are solely in subjection to God’s divine plan. Proverbs 16:9 makes this abundantly clear – "The mind man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Thus far, the Lord has worked very differently in 2020 than we had planned. We planned an Easter Sunrise service, game nights, baby dedications, graduation Sunday, and various Bibles studies. In the end, God hasn’t allowed any of them. We recognize God has had something infinitely greater in store for our church than the plans we had at the beginning of the year. We would be wise as a church to pay careful attention to what God is teaching us through these days of uncertainty and change.

With this in mind, your church leadership wants to share two things with you – our plan to reopen, and a call to renewed faithfulness. The Deacons and I met on Monday, May 4 and unanimously approved a Three Phase Plan for Reopening. You can find Phase 1 of this plan on the subsequent page. Like everything else during the Covid-19 crisis, we want to make clear that each Phase of the plan is subject to change in the event of changing health or government regulations. Our shared commitment to you is we will continually monitor and evaluate the changing situation. We are committed to the safety of our church members, complying as much as possible with our elected leaders and health officials, and most importantly, leading faithfully to the Lord according to his Word. We take these decisions seriously and above all prize faithfulness to the Lord as our leading desire. Our greatest authority is not man, but God through his Word.

Along with the reopening plan, we also want to call each of you to a renewed faithfulness in the Lord. It would be naïve to think that everything will immediately return to “normal”, and this shouldn’t be our overarching goal. Things have changed, and we ought not to lament this. If God is truly in control of all things and works for ultimate good, then we must believe God is giving us an opportunity to change, grow in faithfulness, and be more like Christ. Remember, God never calls his people to complacency – he calls us to continual, faithful growth in his Word. As your church leaders, we take God’s Word and each of its commands seriously. We take James 4:15 seriously, which says, "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'" Therefore, we’re asking each of our members to be in prayer that the Lord would continue to lead our church however he chooses. We’re asking each of our members to understand things will be different in our church and to celebrate whatever change that brings us closer to the Lord. And we’re asking each of you to thank the Lord that though ministries and outreaches have been taken away, the Gospel has and will eternally prevail. That alone is our hope. As a church, our goals, motivations, and desires must be for God to lead and guide us for his glory.

Therefore, we’re excited to present to you Phase 1 of our reopening plan on the following page. Please make sure to read through it carefully and begin praying now for God’s blessing upon our reopening. Each family will have to make the decision whether to physically attend services or continue worshipping through our live-streams. We understand and respect each prayerful decision our members make. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me or to your deacon. We look forward to seeing God continue to work through our efforts and for him to build his church. 

Soli deo Gloria. 

Pastor Jeremiah Greever

 

Reopening Plan – Phase 1 

  • Worship service will return Sunday, June 7 at 10:15 AM. All other church activities will remain closed.
  • Services will be approximately an hour in length to help aid families with children and discourage bathroom usage.
  • Sunday School classes and Children’s Nursery will remain closed.
  • All attenders (exceptions for those physically unable to climb stairs) will enter through the middle entrance doors to the sanctuary. 
  • External and interior doors will already be propped opened to discourage individual use.
  • No gathering in hallways or elsewhere in the building in close proximity to one another.
  • Every other pew will be closed to encourage social distancing.
  • Those who live in the same household may sit together. Otherwise, please adhere to a minimum of 6 feet separation from others.
  • Tithes and offerings will be placed in an offering box upon dismissal from the sanctuary.
  • All pew hymnals, Bibles, welcome cards, bulletins, and writing utensils will be removed.
  • We recommend face coverings and masks to be worn at all times while in the building.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be made available and usage will be encouraged.
  • Three bathrooms closest to the sanctuary will be open for use (strongly encourage proper hand washing).
  • The back section of the sanctuary will be opened for families with children. Children (and their noise) will be welcomed with great understanding and patience.
  • Worship service will be dismissed with the deacons recessing families by rows.
  • Those who are at high risk or uncomfortable attending will be able to continue worshipping via our Facebook Live-stream.
  • We strongly recommend anyone who feels sick to remain at home and worship via our Facebook Live-stream.

8665 St Charles Rock Rd. St Louis, MO 63114

314-427-1974