March 27, 2020
On Thursday, March 12th we assembled a team that included medical and emergency management professionals to assess how FBC should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time the decision was made – rightly – to cancel services for the next two weeks. We told the church that an update would be forthcoming on Friday, March 27th. Today, I am providing that update to help keep you informed.
In the past two weeks, much has obviously happened in the United States and in Virginia related to the spread of COVID-19. Both the federal government and state governments have recommended (and in some cases, ordered) steps to be taken to social distance, work from home, and the closing (or significantly altering) of many businesses in an effort to flatten the curve of infections.
On Monday, March 23rd, Gov Northam extended the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people. His statement reads, “All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.” In addition, the statement reads, “This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020.”
We will, of course, honor the Governor’s order and will not gather in person for worship or any other gatherings of more than 10 on our church campus. Indeed, we ask that you limit your visits to the church facility during this time. We will continue to provide our worship service via livestream at 10:45 AM on Sunday morning. In addition, our Student Ministry will continue to livestream at 5:00 PM on Sunday evening. On Wednesday night we will continue to provide a Family Bible Study at 7:00 PM and our Senior Adult Bible Study on Tuesday at 1:15 PM. All of these can be found at fbcparkstreet.com/live or facebook.com/cvillefbc, in addition to archived copies for you to watch anytime at vimeo.com/fbcparkstreet.
I also encourage you to join me in praying for this crisis, for our national leaders, for our church, and for the work of the gospel worldwide every day at noon, as we all began on Friday, March 20th. Knowing that every part of the FBC Park Street Family is pausing at noon each day will provide a great encouragement to us.
Let me also encourage you to continue to support the work of FBC Park Street financially during this time. We have taken action to reduce our ongoing costs and delayed new ministry projects during this crisis. Yet, we have monthly obligations of approximately $90,000 per month. That amount includes our missionary support, CP giving, utilities, health and property insurance, and personnel costs (salaries, payroll taxes, etc). We have complete confidence that God can and will provide for us during this time through you, just as He always has. You can give online at fbcparkstreet.com/give. In addition to online giving options, you can mail your regular tithes and offerings to the church addressed as follows:
First Baptist Church
Attn: Sherry Parmly
735 Park Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Using this address will ensure the confidentiality of your giving, as Sherry Parmly is our Financial Secretary.