25 May

5-22 COVID Update

FBCJC special update

Beloved FBC family,

Let us begin with this simple truth: we deeply miss meeting together in person. Whether Sunday worship gatherings, Bible Study classes, or Wednesday night meals, we long to gather together. God wired us for community and relationships, and while technology can help ease the distance, it is not the same.

And yet, the facts tell us we must move slowly and continue to exercise caution. For all our wishing, COVID-19 is not going away quickly. At the heart of our FBC witness is the call to love our neighbors, doing all we can to protect one another from the virus. For us this means moving slowly and paying attention to local health experts. We are fortunate to have Dr. Steve Whitt, Chief Clinical Officer for MU Health Care, as a member of our congregation. Dr. Whitt met with our pastors and is creating a brief video to help all of us understand how to be safe during this season. The video will be posted soon on our website and social media accounts and shared via email with you.

I imagine the primary question on your mind is this: when will we worship together in person?

The answer is still: not yet.

While these days involve difficult decisions, and we deeply miss gathering together, we are committed to planning for the long game, not for immediate gratification. We love you and want us all to be healthy in the next 12 to 24 months.

REOPENING PHASES (See enclosed Regathering Phases handout)

PHASE 1 / SHELTER-IN-PLACE. We’ve been in Phase 1 since late March as local and state officials enacted Shelter-in-Place orders.

PHASE 2 / REOPENING BEGINS SLOWLY. After consulting with medical personnel, we will implement Phase 2 on June 1. This phase will focus on reopening the church office and allowing some small groups to gather in person on and off campus in adherence to local health recommendations.

During Phase 2:

  • Church office reopens but the building will remain closed to the public and outside groups until further notice.
  • Worship and Bible Study options will continue online for all.
  • On-campus gatherings of small groups must be coordinated through the church office and follow currents safety policies/procedures.
  • Physical distancing will be practiced when gathering. (Read handout for further details regarding physical distancing and masks.)
  • Our staff and volunteers will practice recommended disinfecting protocols throughout our facilities.
  • For your safety, we ask high-risk individuals to not attend in-person gatherings.

PHASE 3 / WORSHIP GATHERINGS RESUME. Phase 3 allows for worship gatherings to resume. Currently, we are not announcing a start date for Phase 3. We will use Phase 2 to prepare for Phase 3 by enlisting a team to help implement protocols and procedures for the safety of all who attend, so we are ready when we are able to safely gather again.

As your pastor, I want to thank you for your encouraging words and support of our church’s approach to ministry during this pandemic. It means more than you know. These are not easy days. As you know, there are many voices and opinions about how to best respond to the challenges in front of us. Our commitment and heart continue to be loving you and our neighbors the best we can by listening to the recommendations of local health officials on best practices for the good of others. We know it may seem slow to some, but slow is better than unnecessary risk.

I am so very grateful for the tremendous work of our staff and volunteers during these days. They are working as hard as ever in new ways of ministry, and you can count on this continued faithful commitment throughout this season.

Please join us this Sunday online as we conclude our “Home Repair and Maintenance” series. We will also honor our 2020 High School Graduates with a video and insert. It’s going to be a great Sunday to gather in heart and spirit to worship our Great God together. You can find our online services at, or

We love you. We are praying for you and with you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me or any from our Leadership Team, listed below.


Doyle Sager
Lead Pastor

LEADERSHIP TEAM // Pastors; Ray Wallace, Deacon Chair; James Preston, Spiritual Formation Coordinator; Sondra Allen, Authentic Relationships Coordinator; Ron Medin, Missions Coordinator; Kris Crawford, Communications Coordinator

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