Dear Five Forks family and friends,

For the last few weeks, we have been thinking through our approach to “phasing in” our corporate worship services. After many conversations with church staff, some deacons, leaders, as well as leaders in the medical profession and government, we have a plan in place for the reopening of corporate worship at Five Forks Baptist Church.

Please Keep The Following Things In Mind As You Read And Think Through This Plan:

• This entire situation remains fluid so flexibility and adaptation will undoubtedly be necessary.

• COVID-19 is going to be with us and remain an issue until a vaccine is available. Like it or not, we must think in terms of months, not weeks or days. Long-term problems require long term planning. Every indication from the medical community is that we will likely still be dealing with outbreaks through the fall of this year, minimum.

• Romans 13 is in mind as I think through this. Paul writes, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. In a web conference that Pastor Tim attended this week, Governor McMaster stated, “I believe that church is essential and I will never infringe upon the right to assemble to worship. In fact, the state of South Carolina has not and will not restrict anyone from worshiping. We only make recommendations and ask that churches be wise”. This is not a matter of our state Government infringing upon religious freedom but rather it’s a matter of public health. Because we sincerely believe this to be the case, we do think that the principle of submission to governing authorities in Romans 13 is applicable.

• Led by the Holy Spirit, we must do what is best for Five Forks Baptist Church. We will not be held accountable for decisions that any other church makes so we must not feel pressured to either open or delay based upon their respective decisions.

• As church members, we must be especially careful in our statements, conversations, teaching and preaching not to directly or indirectly suggest that we have an rigid expectation of all church members to attend “in person” services. Though our long-term goal is to have everyone back for corporate worship, if one is personally concerned about their physical health due to age or being immune-compromised already, they should not feel any measure of guilt or shame in deciding to take their time in this.

• As you will see, initially, we will not offer children’s church or nursery services. After we have gone through several services together “family-style,” we will return to offering them.

• It is impossible to please everyone. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. We simply cannot expect total affirmation of these or plans nor can we make plans with that as our goal. We can (and will) adjust things as we go along but there is no “perfect” way to do this.

With those things stated, I prayerfully and humbly submit the following plan for your consideration:

• The Sundays of May 3rd and 10th will operate as we have done recently. The morning service will be online and we will host our Drive In service at 10:30am

 


 

PHASE 1
Sunday, May 17th – Sunday, May 31st

Link to Informational Video

SUNDAYS:
In an effort to abide by Governor McMaster’s recommendations that churches operate at appropriate social distancing for the time being, we will offer three Sunday morning worship services:

**There will be some who cannot attend their designated services and need to switch or have family attending the one they are not assigned to. We’ll obviously try to accommodate that.**

9:00am – Worship Service
Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter A through the letter J.

11:00am – Worship Service

Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter K through the letter Z.

12:00pm – ONLINE service

We will have a 12:00pm service online for anyone who wants to watch from home.

Notes For Worship Services In Phase 1:

• We will be sitting every other pew, for proper social distancing
• We will discourage handshakes/hugs
• We will not offer a “fellowship time” during the service
• The Offering will be taken as you enter and leave in a bucket for that purpose
• Sanitizing Stations will be available
• No Children’s Church or Nursery will be provided
• There will be no Choir

WEDNESDAYS:
Wednesday will be Adult Bible Study in the Worship Center at 6:30 during Phase 1


PHASE 2
Sunday, June 7th – Sunday, June 28th

**There will be some who cannot attend their designated services and need to switch or have family attending the one they are not assigned to. We’ll obviously try to accommodate that.**

9:00am – Worship Service
Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter A through the letter J.

11:00am – Worship Service
Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter K through the letter Z.

12:00pm – ONLINE service
We will have a 12:00pm service online for anyone who wants to watch from home.
*Children’s Church and nursery will resume in during Phase 2:

June 7: No kid’s ministries
June 14: Children K-5th Grades will resume

We will begin Sunday School (10:00am – 10:45am) during Phase 2
ALSO – All protective measures put in place during Phase 1, will remain (aside from the implementation of Children’s Church and Nursery)

Wednesdays
Beginning in Phase 2, Wednesday Night Bible Studies Will Resume For Students At 6:30pm.

Committee Meetings, etc., can resume in Phase 2.
We ask that your group adhere to proper social distancing and any food that is provided be pre-packaged.


 

PHASE 3
Sunday, July 5th – Sunday, July 26th

**There will be some who cannot attend their designated services and need to switch or have family attending the one they are not assigned to. We’ll obviously try to accommodate that.**

9:00am – Worship Service
Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter A through the letter J.

11:00am – Worship Service
Attending this service will be: anyone with a last name beginning with the letter K through the letter Z.

12:00pm – ONLINE service

We will have a 12:00pm service online for anyone who wants to watch from home.
*Preschool and nursery will resume during Phase 3:
*July 5: Preschool and nursery begin (as well as children’s church)
*Choir Ministry Will Return During Phase 3

SUNDAY SCHOOL 10:00-10:45am

Wednesdays
All normal Wednesday evening classes continue
Vacation Bible School – All indications are that we should be able to continue with our scheduled VBS. We’ll make adjustments where needed, and the schedule will be different, but VBS is on July 13th-July 16th

TO NOTE:

Our worship services will be simplified, streamlined and be 45 minutes in length in each phase. As noted, we will adapt and improvise as need be.There will be some who cannot attend their designated services and need to switch or have family attending the one they are not assigned to. We’ll make concessions, of course. As time passes and restrictions ease, there will be much more liberty here and folks will be able to choose which service they’ll attend.

Toward the conclusion of each phase, our leaders will reevaluate where we stand and make adjustments. Prayerfully, by the time we reach the phase three, we will be free to operate without many restrictions. On a high note, we believe that the church as a whole will continue to grow spiritually and numerically during this challenging time and it may very well be that we will realize there’s a need to continue to offer multiple worship service opportunities (we had already grown to 90% capacity prior to the pandemic).

If you have a question about your recommended service assignment, please contact your Family Minister or the church office. Hard copies of this plan will be available at the FFBC office.

We pray that this plan is received in the same hope, faith and love that is was crafted and delivered in. Please continue to remain prayerful, flexible, grace filled and understanding as we move toward the future at Five Forks. More than anything, we truly believe the best is yet to come.

We look forward to worshiping WITH YOU on May 17th!
Pastor Tim and Five Forks Baptist Staff

COVID-19 Church Updates