Dear First Baptist Church Family,
Over the past week, we have done our part to inform our community by having Dr. Vance Burns present the latest information on the COVID-19 virus and its potential danger to our community. If you did not get to join us for that presentation, you can go and watch via this link, https://www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistOlathe/videos/2420976431546867/. Since that presentation, we have watched as this virus has spread rapidly too many people throughout the nation including the first recorded COVID-19 cases in Kansas City. In light of this difficult time, we have seen many announcements about the virus including the mayor of KCMO and the governor of Kansas declaring states of emergency and calling for limits on large group gatherings.
As your Diaconate met Thursday evening for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting, we spoke on this topic at length and even this morning held out hope that we would go about our normal activities at the church on Sunday morning. Last evening we decided to suspend any activities in the church until April 3. The following was the statement sent to all who use our church for activities. To all our friends and family of First Baptist Church of Olathe. To do our part to help reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, we are closing the church facility starting immediately to all groups until at least April 3. This means no one but church officials will be allowed to enter the building during this closure. While the church facility is closed, it will be thoroughly disinfected as a precautionary measure to further protect all of us upon our return. If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 913-764-7088, ext. 306. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult time. This morning, as the Diaconate communicated via phone calls, we went on to determine that in order to our part in protecting people from undue contamination, we elected to have online worship only this Sunday. The Diaconate will reevaluate this on a week-to-week basis. As you know, I am a proponent for keeping the doors of the church open on Sundays no matter what, however, the Diaconate and I believe that this is the right thing to do to help our Church Community, the Olathe Community, our nation, and ultimately our world. Please join us for worship online this Sunday.
This weekend I will continue to preach through our series Fully Alive. The scripture in Luke 18:31-34 has become even more alive for me in this time of crisis. I believe God has placed this scripture for us to realize the importance of knowing the gift of Jesus. I look forward to sharing this sermon titled “Know” with you. Join us at worship on Sunday morning at 10:30 am via this link, https://www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistOlathe/
Please know that most people most people who contract the coronavirus will have no health risks or symptoms. Our bodies fight off the virus like all others. For those who do get sick, the vast majority will recover. Not having in-person worship will help minimize the number who will get sick, and prevent some of the worst outcomes of this illness. Per Dr. Burns, as you seek out information about this pandemic the best places to get the most accurate information is at the World Health Organization (www.who.int) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
Finally, I am reminded when Joshua took over leading Israel into new territory. God said, “Do not be afraid, discouraged, or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). As Joshua led Israel into Jericho, the Israelites did their part and God did God’s part. Ultimately, Jericho feel and the territory became the Israelites. In this case, we must remember that we need to do our part and God will do God’s part. Although I will miss seeing all of you in person this Sunday, I will be worshiping with you in Spirit.
May the Lord fill your house with peace in this time.