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Church News and Updates
Welcome to the First Baptist Church news feed. We post articles of general interest and updates here to keep you aware of things going on in and through our church. If you don't find what you are looking for here, check or Events Calendar, or contact the church office at 706-884-5631.
Due to the recent spike in the spread of Covid-19, we are taking the following temporary steps to mitigate the spread among our church family.
We recently paused our weekly Wednesday night meal and monthly Merrymakers luncheon, and we required masks for all children (except those four years old and younger), students, and volunteers in our NextGen spaces. We are fully committed to your safety and feel an urgency to take additional steps to mitigate possible Covid exposure to everyone who joins us in person for any worship service or small group meeting.
Beginning Sunday, August 22, everyone except children four and younger should always wear masks while on the church campus in the hallways, lobbies, stairwells, and in all of our classrooms. If for medical reasons or other reasons you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, we invite you to connect with your class or another online. Contact Tom Farr (email@example.com) to find an online Bible study. We encourage our Bible study groups to offer an online option for those who are not comfortable coming in person during this Covid spike.
Every area of our church is being impacted by this Covid surge. Masks are once again required when you enter the church office. For the next two Sundays our worship choir that sings at the 8:45 and 11:00 worship services will not be singing out of the abundance of caution. Our next gen classes on Sunday mornings for children and teenagers will be meeting in larger rooms where necessary to provide a more spread-out learning environment for our young people.
This is not the time or season for anyone to be negligent about any of our church’s Covid policies. We are aware that some people feel very strongly about masks, one way or the other. You need to know that this is not an issue of personal freedom or politics. Ours is a decision for the personal safety and welfare of our faithful members and attenders. We are asking everyone who attends to abide by the policies of the church in the spirit of Christ-likeness, submitting ourselves to one another in love. We are hopeful that this will be a short-term sacrifice that all of us will make during these critical weeks where Covid cases are spiking all around us.
For anyone who is concerned about gathering in person with others at this time, we will continue to provide our worship services live on Sunday mornings online (Facebook, YouTube, and Online.Church) and on TV 33. Please remember to practice social distancing before, after, and during all of our church gatherings. If you are exposed to anyone with Covid, have symptoms, or test positive, please quarantine from all church activities for 10 days or until symptoms have subsided, following current CDC guidelines.
Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and faithfulness in the midst of what has been one of the most extraordinary seasons that we have faced as a church. Pray for our front line workers in our hospitals. Pray for those who are in the hospital in critical condition from Covid. Pray for every leader on every level of society who is having to make difficult decisions because of this recent spike of Covid. May God continue to bless First Baptist Church and protect each and every person who makes the decision to come, grow, and share with us.
This summer during the month of Junes we will have five guest speakers share on Wednesday night in the Christian Family Life Center from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The schedule will be as follows:
June 2 – Don Shaw
June 9 – Kim Neese
June 16 – Tami Weissert
June 23 – Bob Bowman
June 30 – Jake Murphy
To learn more about each speaker, click here.
We hope you will join on Wednesday nights in June. We will not have a Wednesday night meal or Bible study in the CFLC during the month of July.
Wiley Deal joins the FBC staff as Facilities Manager effective Tuesday, June 1. He comes to us from the Walmart Distribution Center where he served as the Maintenance Area Manager. Prior to that he worked at PowerTech America as a Maintenance Team Leader and at Sewon America where he was a Maintenance Tech. Growing up helping his step-dad, a contractor, he also has experience in residential construction and maintenance and has also served as a Maintenance Director for the Housing Authority. A big UGA fan, he is married to Summer Parmer Deal, an Auburn grad. They have two children: Lilly Grace, ten, and Lenox, who will be six next week. He loves the outdoors and enjoys golf and hunting. He states he is looking forward to taking on the new challenges of this position and to working with everyone to get our facilities in tip-top shape.
Pastor Cade shares some changes to our current policy in light of recent CDC updates.
FIRST BAPTIST COVID POLICY UPDATE – MAY 2021
Last week the CDC updated their policy guidance on masks and social distancing. We have discussed our COVID-19 protocols as a church staff and want to update you on the changes we have already made and the ones we will be making.
Several weeks ago we stopped doing temperature checks for all of our Next Gen ministry spaces, the church office, and the lobby of the CFLC on Wednesday nights before church dinner. That was in response to Governor Kemp recently lifting restrictions on the in-person gatherings for churches. In light of last week’s CDC announcement, we will be making the following changes to our other COVID-19 protocols of masks and social distancing:
- Beginning on Sunday, May 23, we will no longer provide any directions about dismissal in our sanctuary worship services. We will dismiss everyone at the same time.
Beginning on Sunday, May 23, masks will no longer be required in all stairwells, lobbies, elevators, and other smaller spaces. Masks are still recommended, for these tighter spaces in our church.
- Beginning on Sunday, May 30, we will no longer be requiring social distancing in almost every section of our worship gatherings. The tape will be removed in the sanctuary that marks off every other pew. The seating in the New Life Building main floor will continue to be set with the rows set six feet apart, but we will add additional seating to the main floor as needed based on our attendance.
- Beginning on Sunday, May 30, masks will no longer be recommended but considered optional for ALL ages. This is a shift from masks being recommended for adults but required for children and youth in Next Gen spaces. Starting on May 30, masks are optional for all ages in all worship services and classrooms.
- Beginning on Sunday, May 30, staff and volunteers will no longer be required to wear masks, and our elevator operators will no longer be in place. Masks are recommended in elevators, but volunteers will no longer be operating the elevator for you.
- The only thing at this time that will remain the same with our current protocols is the balcony of the 11:00 worship service in the sanctuary. We will continue at this time to offer a mask required and socially distanced space in our balcony at the 11:00 service. If you sit in the balcony for that service, you must wear a mask the entire length of the worship service and sit at least six feet away from others outside of your family unit.
All of these protocol changes are subject to revision in the future based on the conditions of our community and recommendations of our governing and health authorities.
You have done an outstanding job as a church family navigating these past fourteen months. By God’s grace, we believe we are coming to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us show mercy and no judgment, as masks are here to stay with us now as a society because of this past year. Be mindful of other’s comfort levels with shaking hands, hugs, and the distance between you and them. May God continue to give us wisdom, faith, and unity as we move forward together toward the normalcy that all of us long to experience as a church family.
First Baptist Church on the Square is looking for a Facilities Manager as our previous building superintendent has retired. The Facilities Manager is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the buildings, related mechanical and non-mechanical systems and grounds. He will perform, supervise and/or oversee tasks related to HVAC, electrical, plumbing, building construction and remodeling, and grounds maintenance—all playing a vital role in helping to fulfill the mission and vision of First Baptist Church. A full job description can be found here.