Updates On COVID-19 at FBCCH

A Message From The Pastor 

Update on 6/9/2020 at 12:00 p.m.

 

June 9th - "A Few Things To Know"

 

Hello Everyone!

 

I hope you have had a great week so far.

 

It has been quite a blessing to once again hold in-person worship services at the church. While many of you have taken advantage of this opportunity, several have understandably chosen to wait a little longer before returning. My prayer is that those of you who are waiting will very soon feel confident and safe to return. 

 

Until then, we will continue to provide opportunities to gather via Zoom. We have several teachers putting in a lot of work to provide these opportunities for children, youth, and adults. In many ways, the effort required to prepare for these activities via Zoom is greater and more time consuming than it is for regular in-person meetings. While it's not quite the same as meeting in person, it is still a blessing and it still edifies. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities, especially if you have decided not yet to return to in-person gatherings as it is vital that you remain connected to the church family.

 

Some have asked when other activities, such as Sunday School and Wednesday evening Bible study, will resume here at the church. We're working to figure that out and I hope to have some concrete information to give you very soon.

In the meantime, we will have our Thursday evening Bible study via Zoom at 6:30 as usual. I have provided the regular link below for those who would like to join us. It's very easy to get into the study. The instructions are as follows: Step 1- Click the link. That's it!

 

Also, tomorrow is Wednesday, and we have committed to praying each Wednesday evening between 6:30 and 7:30. Some things to pray for:

 

  • Ask God to help those who are struggling financially.
  • Ask God to help those who are struggling with anxiety and fears related to Coronavirus
  • Ask God to give us wisdom to continue to protect ourselves and others.
  • Ask God to help us to have patience in dealing with those who do not view this matter the same as we do. 
  • Pray, above all, that Jesus Christ will be exalted through His church.

 

I’m sure all of you are aware of the unrest that is happening in our country in response to the senseless death of George Floyd. We must pray for our nation in this matter. 

 

  • Pray that God will help our nation and our leaders to recognize that Jesus Christ is the only true answer to the problems of violence, hatred, and racism. 
  • Pray that He will use His church to prove that Jesus Christ is powerful to overcome these things and bring real peace.

 

Bible Study Link:

https://zoom.us/j/509543762?pwd=ZW9HM2RCQmxmRXZjRVBiZ2dFY20rQT09

 

Meeting ID: 509 543 762

Password: 544990

1 (346) 248-7799

 

Please contact me if you have questions or need anything. I pray you have a wonderful week and I hope to see you Sunday morning!

 

God bless,

Mel

Update on 05/21/2020 at 11:56 a.m.

 

May 31st - Relaunch!!

 

Hello Church Family,

 

We are on target to resume our physical worship gatherings on May 31- Pentecost!

 

At that time, the only gatherings that will resume at the campus are worship services. All other gatherings will remain postponed or available in online virtual formats until further notice. Please let me know if you would like more information about any of our online virtual gatherings.

 

While many of you plan to return on May 31, it is understandable that many of you will not. In fact, if you are considered "high risk," we encourage you to stay home. You should also stay home if you have been in close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, or if you are sick or demonstrate any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, or fever of 100F or higher.

 

We will continue to provide our full worship services online so that those who remain at home may participate. The need or decision to stay at home is not something that requires an explanation from you, nor is it something that you should feel ashamed of. Your safety is important to us and, whether you choose to come or stay at home, we respect your judgment. But again, if you are sick, please stay home.

 

We want you to feel confident about returning, so we are taking every precaution to ensure your safety. Some of those precautions include the following.

 

We will offer two Sunday morning worship services at the campus:

 

  • 9:00 AM, with seating beginning at 8:45
  • 11:00 AM, with seating beginning at 10:45
  • Foyer, restrooms, and sanctuary will be sanitized between services

 

Ushers will greet you at the front door to:

 

  • Encourage you to sanitize your hands before entering the building
  • Offer you a face mask if you would like to wear one
  • Hold the door open for you

 

Inside the sanctuary, you will find:

 

  • No paper worship bulletins. You will receive the bulletin ahead of time via email to access from your mobile device during the service.
  • Chairs will be rearranged and only every other pew will be available for use.
  • Family groups may sit together, leaving approximately six feet of space between them and other groups.
  • Ushers will be on hand to assist with seating as necessary to ensure safety and to maximize use of space.
  • No designated offering time and offering plates will not be passed. Instead, there will be vases located near the entry for you to deposit your offering.
  • At the conclusion of service, ushers will direct traffic to ensure that everyone is able to exit the sanctuary in a manner that will allow proper distancing.

 

Because of the time needed to sanitize the facility, we must kindly ask those who attend the first service to promptly exit the building upon conclusion of the service, and those who attend the second service may not be permitted to enter the building until 10:45. I know this is awkward, but it is vitally important that we have sufficient time to properly sanitize the facility. We must also keep unused portions of the building off limits as allowing access to them will require us to sanitize them.

 

We may reasonably expect to accommodate perhaps 90+ people in each worship service. Currently, we have no way to anticipate how many will attend either of them. For this reason, you will soon receive a short survey, asking if you and your family plan to return on May 31, and if so, how many will be in your group and which service you would like consistently to attend. Please take a moment to provide your responses to this survey and please submit only one completed survey per household. 

 

While we do not expect to have more people than we can reasonably accommodate at either of the services, we do recognize it is a possibility. The survey will help us to know what to expect. In the event that too many people express interest in one of the service times, we may find ourselves in the very awkward position of having to ask some to consider the other option. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

 

At this point, you may have questions about some things. If so, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am excited about our return and happy to answer your questions.

 

These are strange and unprecedented times for our generation. I greatly appreciate your prayers, understanding, and patience as we figure it all out.

 

God bless,

Mel

Update on 05/06/2020 at 3:41 p.m.


How much longer?​​​​​​​


Hello Church Family,


In recent weeks, several of you have asked me when we might resume gathering for worship. Finally, I have an answer for you. As of now, we are hoping to reopen the doors of the church building for worship on Sunday, May 31.


Because churches in Texas have been free to resume gathering since May 1 and the State of Texas has already begun Phase 1 of reopening, some of you may be wondering why we are waiting so long. The reason is because some health experts say that Texas has not yet reached its peak in infections, and they warn that reopening now is premature and may position us for a second wave of infections. 

Your safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, we believe it is wise to heed these warnings and wait until around the third week of May to see if there is a second wave of infections or if things have improved. At that time, if things have improved and we are confident that we can resume our gatherings in a way that is safe for everyone, we will have about a week and a half to finalize and mobilize our plan to relaunch, and in-person worship services will resume on May 31.


You might find it interesting to know that May 31 is Pentecost. In Acts 2, this is the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles while gathered in the Upper Room, representing the birth of the church. There is a sense in which the church is now experiencing a rebirth. COVID-19 and this period of quarantine has forced us to "be still" in many ways, sharpening our focus on Jesus Christ and the hope we have in Him. It has forced us to rethink almost every aspect of ministry and why we do it. It has tested and strengthened us as individuals, as families, and as a body. This time of isolation has, rather ironically, brought us a renewed sense of togetherness and community. I am certain that we will emerge from this with a deeper commitment to Christ, a deeper familial love for one another, and a deeper sense of urgency to carry the gospel message to the lost. It is not by coincidence or clever planning on the part of church leaders that we anticipate worship gatherings to resume on Pentecost. Without a doubt, we are experiencing a rebirth.


Matthew and I have been working with the deacons to craft a plan that will, as much as possible, ensure the safety of everyone at our gatherings. It is a three part plan, with phase 1 focusing on returning to the campus for worship only. Sunday school and various other activities will resume in phases 2 and 3 of the plan. Due to social distancing recommendations, we will relaunch with at least two separate worship services each Sunday morning. I will share more information about what all that will entail very soon.

In the meantime, expect to receive another invitation or two in coming weeks to participate in a brief survey. These surveys will be short and meaningfully designed to help us better to plan for a smooth and efficient relaunch. As such, your responses to these surveys are important, so please take a moment to complete them when they come. 


As always, do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything you need.

God bless,

Mel

Update on 4/28/20 at 12:26 p.m.


Good Afternoon Church Family,


I continue to pray that all is well with you! In spite of the difficulties and peculiarities of our circumstances, I am certain that you continue to see God's goodness in many unique and wonderful ways.


Although we are all eager to get back to "normal" as soon as possible, we recognize that it may be necessary for us to remain in quarantine for a lengthy period. Even so, we continue to try to do all we can to minister to you and encourage your continued spiritual growth during this time. As I’ve mentioned before, this pandemic has challenged our creativity and forced us to rethink virtually everything about how we do ministry.  It’s been a good challenge and an interesting process to ‘connect’ as a church family during these unusual times.  At this point we have developed many opportunities for our church family to gather, encompassing adults, youth, children, and our families as a whole.


First, we’re streaming our worship services and announcements for families via YouTube and we see that many of you are watching.  In addition, the Lord has been good in increasing the number of people outside of our congregation who join in, with some from even as far away as Michigan!  I’ve had a few people from the local area contact me as well, mentioning that they are watching our services.  This is important because it gives people a way to connect with the Lord who might not have been able to do so under our ‘normal’ circumstances.  It’s all a glory to God!


Another option for families is our “Pray at Home” event on Wednesday evenings.  Each week, I send out the prayer guide email for the prayer time, and families have the opportunity to gather in their home as we raise our collective voices to God.  It’s a beautiful time of gathering in our homes, and even though we’re praying as individual families, we can be sure our collective prayers are being heard by our powerful and almighty God!


For adults, we have three Bible study options, with one on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. led by myself, and two on Sunday mornings led by Ted Clee and Jeff Kamprath.  All three classes are held via a web application called ZOOM.  The times and information are posted on our website, or you can call the office at (979) 836-9777 for more information.  The schedule and times are also listed below:


·         Thursday – 6:30 p.m. – Bible Study with Dr. Mel McKinney

·         Sunday – 9:15 a.m. – Explorers Bible Study with Jeff Kamprath

·         Sunday – 9:45 a.m. – Applications Bible Study with Ted Clee


For youth, Matthew has several options during the week, as follows:


     Tuesday Night @6:00 p.m.: A devotional message will go live on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. (Channel     

     information will be provided below)


     Wednesday 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Large Group Discussion via Zoom of questions from the Devotional Message.


     Friday Night @6:00 p.m.: A time of prayer and worship via Zoom


     Sunday School Details are still being finalized. Once we have the details you will receive an email with all the information

     available to you.


     Here are the links to the appropriate to the above-mentioned tools:

     Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/fbcchyouth

     Instagram Page - https://www.instagram.com/fbcchym/

     YouTube -  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtKWbWe6bHHJIWBERHJ88Nw?view_as=subscriber  


     Information for Zoom


     Topic: FBCCH Youth Group Hangouts

     Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime


     Join Zoom Meeting

     https://zoom.us/j/9529708525


     Meeting ID: 952 970 8525


For children, we have ‘Big Group’ time with Mrs. Pamela on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. via ZOOM.  On Sunday afternoons, Mrs. Pamela sends the Bible Study curriculum to the parents who can then teach their children at home, reinforcing our faith and fostering spiritual growth in our families.  The feedback from parents has been very positive!  The parents comment that they love the way the studies supplement what they already teach their children about the Lord at home, and they also enjoy getting to experience first-hand what their children are learning at church.  It’s been good!


As always, I encourage you to contact me if you need anything at all!


God bless,

Mel

Update on 3/19/20 at 12:39 p.m.


Hello Church Family!


I want to update you on some important things related to church life. 


Although the coronavirus pandemic prevents us from gathering together physically in the same place on Sunday mornings, we can nonetheless worship together. We will continue to provide FBCCH worship services via livestream. Simply go to YouTube.com and enter First Baptist Church Chappell Hill in the search pane. Services will go live every Sunday at 11:00.


Also, Matthew and I are working with other leaders to continue to provide Sunday morning Bible study classes for adults, youth, and children, as well as the Wednesday evening Bible study. We're not talking about prerecorded lessons. We're talking about fully interactive Bible studies that will allow you to see and communicate with everyone in real time. We hope to have the Wednesday evening Bible study going by March 25 and Sunday morning Bible studies going by March 29.


We have no excuse for allowing our spiritual development to go on hold along with everything else in the world. Our continued participation in these things is vital!


We can  continue online with our worship services, Sunday school classes, and Bible studies, but maintaining our sense of family and community is the greatest challenge we will face during this time of quarantine. Overcoming this challenge will require action on the part of each and every one of us. There are things you can do.


Use social media to share testimonies and pictures of your family's participation in online worship and Sunday school. If it blesses you, talk about it and share links! This will encourage others to participate. 


Keep each other connected. Make direct contact with others, especially with those who are shut-in or otherwise "out of the loop." It is entirely impossible to overstate the importance of this. Some of our people live alone and this time of quarantine will leave them in virtual isolation, which will take a tremendous psychological and spiritual toll on them. We cannot allow that to happen. We must care for them and reach out to them.  Matthew and I will do our part, but the task, which is difficult to keep up with under normal circumstances, will certainly overwhelm us unless you help. Call or email one of us if you need contact information, help identifying who these people are, or even if you need help knowing exactly what to say.


We will be working to generate other ideas on how we can maintain our sense of family and community. If you have ideas on how to do this, we would love to hear about them! 


Finally, when routines are disrupted, it is easy to forget to do certain things that we might normally do out of habit. In the case of suspending our worship services, giving can be one of those forgotten things. Don't forget to give! The church cannot continue to function and provide ministry if you forget to give. I have included an attachment to this message that provides instructions for online and text giving.


In the meantime-
Stay home!
Wash and sanitize your hands frequently!
Don't touch your face!
Block coughs and sneezes (but not with your hands)!
Stay more than 3 feet apart!


God bless,
Mel

Update on 3/16/20 at 11:00 p.m.


Dear Church Family,


Thank you for your patience with our efforts to livestream yesterday's worship service. I understand there were some issues with the sound. We will attempt to work out any kinks and bugs between now and next Sunday. 
Also, thank you to Matthew Kamprath and Matthew Glaze for doing such a great job in getting things together for the livestream on such short notice. You guys did a fantastic job!


As you know, the CDC and local authorities are continually updating recommendations and requirements in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect people from infection. Currently, they recommend that groups of ten or more abstain from gathering. We have every intention of adhering to these guidelines. So, please plan to stay home on Sundays and worship via livestream until further notice. I will provide information pertaining to this week's livestream much further in advance than previously. Only those individuals whose presence is absolutely necessary to conduct the livestream worship services should come to the church building on Sunday mornings.


The church offices will remain open during the week for as long as it is safe. However, please do not come up to the church for anything unless it is absolutely necessary. In fact, I ask our committee chairpersons and other ministry leaders to cancel any upcoming meetings or conduct them via email, conference call, or text.


I announced yesterday morning that although regular Wednesday evening activities have been suspended indefinitely, the church building will be unlocked and staffed for those who wish to pray in the sanctuary. Given the latest recommendation that groups of ten or more should abstain from gathering, I'm afraid it would be unwise to continue with that plan. Please commit to praying at home on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30.


And pray daily! Ask the Lord to bring an end to this pandemic and heal those who have been infected. Ask Him to endow our leaders with wisdom and discernment as they seek to determine what measures should be taken to protect our communities and our families. Also ask Him to protect healthcare workers and give them stamina and courage to continue treat those who need their help. Pray, above all, that Jesus Christ will be glorified.


Though this is a serious situation that presents us with unprecedented challenges, it is also a situation that presents us with unique opportunities to represent Christ and to minister and care for one another. Pray that God will inspire us to act in creative ways.


Check your email and the church website regularly for the latest information.


God bless,
Mel 

Update on 3/14/20 at 5:45 p.m.


Dear Church Family,


In light of heightened concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, we are working to livestream our worship service for tomorrow morning and upcoming weeks. The link for this will be forthcoming. Although the doors will be open and you are free to join us at the building for worship, we strongly recommend that you stay home and limit social contact at this time.

If you choose to come to church tomorrow, please be aware that there will be no Sunday school classes or childcare. We also ask that you remain mindful to abstain from physical contact with others and wash and sanitize your hands frequently.


Although regular Wednesday evening activities will be suspended, the church building will be unlocked and staffed for prayer in the sanctuary.


As I said last Sunday, this is not a time to panic. Rather, it is a time to be sensible and take necessary precautions and to remember that God is greater and demonstrate our faith in Him.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).


Prayer is key!


This Sunday has been declared a day of prayer. Please join your prayers with those of brothers and sisters, asking God to bring an end to this pandemic and bring healing to those infected. Ask Him to give our leaders wisdom to discern what courses of action should be taken to protect our communities and our families. Ask Him to protect our healthcare workers and give them courage. Above all, pray that the name of Jesus Christ will be glorified.  


Continue to Give!


FBC Chappell Hill is a generous church and we want to demonstrate our faith by continuing to give. This will enable us to continue to function as normally as possible during this time. 

You can give online by going to https://fbcch.net/giving/. Or you can give through text. Simply text FBCCH to 73256 and follow the link. 

Please continue to watch for updates via email.


Let us not give in to fear, but rather demonstrate our faith in the wisdom and strength of Jesus Christ.


God bless,

Mel