UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how First Baptist Arlington is responding.
As a church, we are committed to find solutions that will enable us to gather on our campus as soon as possible. We are offering a robust online offering while we are apart and are grateful for all God is doing during this time, and we are now holding limited attendance worship services. We are constantly monitoring governmental requirements and medical advice, and will let you know of changes in our policies when we feel we can both follow governmental instructions as well as do our best to protect our physical health.
Here are a few frequently asked questions to help us as we respond to Covid-19.
IS FIRST BAPTIST GATHERING AT OUR CAMPUSES THIS SUNDAY?
You can register for our worship services at www.fbca.org/regather. There is a limited number of tickets available.
We are still gathering for worship! online Join us in your home – dressed in pajamas, drinking coffee – for worship at 9:30am. We will be streaming live at on our webpage, our Facebook page and in our app. To download our free app, visit our webpage on your tablet or from you mobile device text FBCA APP to 77977.
ARE FBCA BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?
No. First Baptist Church Arlington buildings are closed until further notice. Our offices are closed for the foreseeable future and we encourage you to connect with our church online.
If you have a question about an appointment at Soteria Family Counseling, call (817) 276 – 6412.
If you are a parent with a child in the Child Development Center, call (817) 276-6492 with any questions.
Here are some numbers for each individual ministry, should you need to contact them:
Preschool Ministry: 817-276-6421
Children’s Ministry: 817-276-6423
Youth Ministry: 817-276-6426
College Ministry: 817-276-6491
Young Adult Ministry: 817-276-6451
Median Adult Ministry: 817-691-3106
Boomer and Traditional Ministry: 817-276-6416
Activities Ministry: 817-276-6490
Cross-Cultural Ministries: 817-276-6415
Worship Ministries: 817-366-0230
Business Office: 817-905-1965
WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE?
We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
- Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
- Staying home if you are sick;
- Covering your cough or sneeze;
- Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.
Remember – it’s not just about protecting yourself, we’re all in this together. We don’t want anyone to get sick, and we don’t want to inadvertently spread it to others, including our most vulnerable people. Download an instructional hand washing infographic here.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS FBCA TAKING TO MAKE FBCA GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?
FBCA is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
- Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with a disinfectant.
- Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
- Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis.
In our Preschool Ministry, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children, as we do every week. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with an elevated temperature (above 99.6 F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before coming to our Preschool or Children’s Ministry events. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns.
In addition, we encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow bumping instead of hand shaking!). We are normally a very huggy and hand-shaking crowd, but it’s okay to just give a friendly wave during this time. Feel free to do a Guns Up, Gig Em or Sic Em.
WHAT ABOUT FBCA SHORT-TERM MISSION TRIPS?
Our Cross Cultural Ministry staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Based upon this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel by consulting with medical professionals, as appropriate. You can find up to date information by visiting www.fbca.org/go.
HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Anytime we see the spread of disease, we are reminded once again of just how far our world has fallen from God’s original plan. This latest iteration of a communicable virus is another example of the brokenness of our world.
We know that God is still sovereign, and He is paying attention to us. He grieves more than we do when things like this occur. So, let’s keep trusting in Him and seeking His guidance as we manage our way through this crisis.
Here are some practical suggestions:
- Pray for God’s intervention in the crisis. Ask God for wisdom for our leaders, health care officials, and others who are making crucial decisions that affect the lives of others.
- Pray for those who are sick. Ask God for His healing power, mercy, and grace for those in need due to this outbreak.
- If you are healthy, seek opportunities to help those who are most vulnerable right now. Can you serve a senior adult who may not be able to get to the pharmacy? Can you deliver food or other necessary items to those who may not be able to care for themselves?
- Stay connected to your church. We have Livestream, the church app, Church Community Builder, email, the website, and various other means that allow you to communicate with fellow church members, listen to worship services, support the church financially, and stay informed about all our church is doing during this season.
God can use us during this time of challenge. May He find us faithful!