Connecting people with the love and the life of Jesus Christ.
Updated Guidelines for “Reopening” First Baptist Church of El Paso – June 1, 2020
As our society seeks to “reopen” and resume some sort of normal lifestyle, we recognize that there is neither a perfect plan nor perfect time for us to follow as we move toward renewing our “in person” worship gatherings at FBCEP. Our civic leaders, state and national government officials, and medical community leaders provide us with a variety of options and guidelines regarding this move to reopen our society. The guidelines given below will be followed as FBCEP returns to on-site gatherings.
1. Worship Gatherings
Beginning June 14th, we will return to conducting worship services in the sanctuary. We will only conduct a single morning service. It will run from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m.
Two key elements should be kept in mind: a) We will gather in a manner that is consistent with social distancing guidelines; and b) We recognize that a portion of our church will not be able or willing to gather at this time. I offer a couple of additional comments in light of those two factors.
As we gather, we will exercise extreme diligence to minimize the opportunity for exposure to COVID-19. We have teams that are currently working to put specific plans into place that are designed to enhance your safety if you choose to attend. This means that reconvening for worship won’t be quite the same as it was the last time we met together. Please be prepared for that. During the week leading into June 14th, we will provide an informational video that details what you can expect when you arrive for worship. In order to help us be ready for June 14th, we are asking that anyone planning on attending the worship service in the sanctuary contact the church office ahead of time by calling (915) 533-1465 or emailing Julia Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org. The intent of this request grows from our desire to be certain that we are adequately prepared for all who attend. It is not mandatory that you contact the office prior to coming but it would be helpful for our preparations!
For our members who are considered high risk and for those who do not feel comfortable returning at this time, we will continue to provide an online opportunity for you to worship with us until you are comfortable returning to the church building. We will also continue to have our regular Sunday broadcast at 8:00 a.m. on Channel 38. We do not want to leave anyone behind in this reopening process. Your church staff and leadership are committed to meeting your need for worship, regardless of whether you are on campus or online.
No Sunday evening or Wednesday evening Bible study groups will meet at this time. This will be reevaluated the final week of the month of June.
2. Small Group Bible Study (Sunday School)
No change in the current approach to small group Bible study is planned at this time. The opportunity and guidelines for Bible study groups to schedule a sanitized meeting room large enough to permit social distancing in the building is extended. Many of these groups are thriving through online gatherings. We will reevaluate this part of our plan in late June. We will reintroduce Sunday School gatherings at the church on Sunday mornings as soon as we can safely do so.
3. FBCEP Staff
The church staff returned to on-site working (normal schedule) on June 1st. Social distancing guidelines are being followed, accordingly.
Ministry gatherings will be considered by the full staff and handled on an individual basis. Any meetings or ministry activities allowed will function in a manner in keeping with social distancing guidelines.
We have come to an important milestone as a church. I look forward to meeting face-to-face with you all, once again.
—Mark D. Rotramel, Senior Pastor of FBCEP