|Dear First Baptist Family and Friends, |
As you know, this is the time of year when the spread of viruses represents a significant concern for many individuals and families in our community. This year, in particular, these concerns have been increased given the rapid spread influenza, pneumonia, and COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Out of our responsibility as Shepherds and leaders, and particularly in support of members of our community who would be most vulnerable to these conditions, our Church Staff and Executive Board are implementing the following preventative measures to do our part to ensure as safe an environment for church members as possible:
We are encouraging everyone to please stay home if you are showing any signs of illness. Remember that you can live stream our services at our website (www.fbcdsm.org/media) or watch them at your convenience. If you cannot attend worship, you can also make contributions online (www.fbcdsm.org/ways-to-give.aspx).
During worship we are encouraging the alternative form of greeting one another by placing your hand over your heart as a sign of Christian love. In similar manner, greeters will now wave to everyone rather than shaking hands or hugging.
We are suspending communion through the month of April. We will also suspend providing donut holes before and after worship through the month of April. Coffee will continue to be provided on Sunday morning by servers.
Any food, including Wednesday night dinners, will be plated and served individually by people wearing food service gloves.
Those who have volunteered to make hospital visits will suspend their ministry. The Pastoral Staff will continue to provide pastoral care to those who are admitted to the hospital as permitted.
Frequent hand washing with soap and water is encouraged! Hand sanitizer is available in each class room as well as in the Narthex.
Please make sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow, turning away from others as much as possible. Kleenex tissues are available throughout the building.
In addition to our regular cleaning, we will be regularly cleaning and disinfecting all doorknobs, handles, and frequently used surfaces at the Church.
Parents: please remember that we always regularly wipe down all toys in the nursery.
We appreciate your willingness to work together to promote the health and well-being of our entire community. We will continue to monitor the latest recommendations from governmental agencies and hope that these measures will soon be unnecessary. You can find the latest information at The Iowa Department of Public Health website (www.idph.iowa.gov) or the National Center for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov).
To that end, let us be faithful and vigilant in our prayer for those nations, communities, families and individuals most affected by this outbreak, and for the medical personnel and government officials seeking to respond. Finally, let us show respect to those who are deeply concerned about these viruses and resist any temptation to invalidate their concerns or personal precautions.
God’s blessings to you all,
The Church Staff and Executive Board of First Baptist Church