Dear Church Family,
The leadership team at First Baptist continues to prayerfully consider the path to reopening our church for in-person services as we monitor the Covid-19 situation.
Based on the prevailing conditions in Multnomah County related to COVID-19, including the fact that the County is now in “Phase 1” we are hoping to resume an adapted version of our in-person worship services as early as Sunday, July 19th. Up until that date, we will continue offering our worship services only through online platforms. If you would like to learn more about the different “phases” of reopening in the State of Oregon, please check out the following link:
When we get closer to the date of re-opening, we will share more information about what changes in protocols will take place. For at least the first several weeks once the church reopens, we will only offer one worship service starting at 10:45am and it will follow the same basic format of what is currently being broadcast each Sunday. This service will continue to combine elements from the three worship services we were used to in the past, in an attempt to celebrate the wide array worship styles used in our ministry.
We are eager and very cautious to resume meeting in-person. To make sure this can happen as safely as possible, our staff has been—and during the month of June will continue to be—hard at work coming up with plans that will ensure as healthy a worship experience as is possible for our church family when the time is right. For example, we are already setting up the sanctuary for social distancing, making sure sanitary supplies are available, and training staff on strict cleaning checklists.
Even after we resume in-person services, whenever that happens, we will continue to offer our services on Facebook and YouTube. This will allow us to take a hybrid approach—while services may be available in-person, they will also be available online. Thus, if you feel more comfortable worshipping from home, you will still be able to do so.
Similar to recent months, we will continue to take the following steps throughout the month of July:
- WORSHIP FROM HOME! We invite you to keep accessing the Facebook live-stream of our worship service every Sunday at 10:45am (Cambodian devotional) and 11am (English service) at the following link, scrolling down to the most recent video posts on the page: https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistportland/. On Sunday afternoons, the service will be posted on FBC’s YouTube channel by 2:30pm, which you can access by looking up “First Baptist Church of Portland,” or by following the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NZlktyoQdliwp5P1TJ0WQ.
- JULY EVENTS. Sadly, the church picnic has been cancelled due to the health situation and current closure of Oaks Park. However, the Quarterly Business Meeting will still take place after the regular worship service time. For those who prefer not to attend in person, we are working to find a solution that will enable you to participate by using technological means.
- KHMER BIBLE STUDIES. The Khmer language Bible studies at 9:30am on Sunday and at 8pm on Wednesdays will continue to be offered throughout July. However, the English language Bible studies will be on break for the month of July.
- PHONE A FRIEND! Don’t forget to reach out to your friends from church with an encouraging phone call or email. This can bring great hope to us all as we are relatively isolated at home.
- WEDNESDAY EVENTS. The cancellation of all our in-person Wednesday events will continue through the summer months of July and August, including choir practice.
- CHURCH OFFICE STILL FUNCTIONING BUT CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. Church staff continues serving the needs of the congregation, working from home in most cases. The Church Office will continue to be closed to the public. If you need to reach a staff member, please just reach out via phone or email.
- DROP-IN MINISTRY. This important ministry is still operating, with the meal being served at the sidewalk.
- SPREAD THE WORD! Let’s all continue to invite friends and family to join us for church from the comfort of their own home.
- GIVING. Even though we can’t gather in person, the expenses of the church continue. Not only that, but the economic situation in our world has also had a significant negative impact on the various community groups that rent our building on a regular basis. That is why we are extremely grateful to our church family for faithfully giving to support our ministry during this challenging time. As a reminder, e-giving is available on our church website through PayPal at the following link: http://www.fbc-portland.org/giving-online/. Of course, checks can also be mailed to the church. THANK YOU!
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you informed of any changes to the plan. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Church Office. Let’s all join in prayer for one another and for our leaders, as they make decisions that will impact our course of action.Blessings,
-Pastoral Staff of FBC