I wanted to provide you with the latest update on our church plans after last night’s (Jan 7) church council meeting.

Due to the increase in COVID cases in our area (and expected continued increases following the holidays), in-person worship will be suspended January 17, 24, and 31. Church council will meet again the last week of January to re-evaluate. For those 3 weeks, we will have online worship in a format similar to what we had from March through August.

While our precautions for in-person worship seem to be effective and we have no known instances of COVID transmission at church, we do have increasing numbers of COVID cases among our church family and in our community. Earlier this week, Anderson County declared a state of emergency. Anderson County hospitals are at 90% capacity. The numbers are alarming (see data here: Anything we can do to help reduce the spread has the potential to save lives.

Note that we will proceed with in-person worship as planned for this Sunday, Jan 10. This will allow us time to communicate the schedule change and to better prepare for online-only worship. This Sunday’s service will be broadcast on Facebook Live. If you are at higher risk of COVID complications, concerned about possible recent exposure, or for any other reason would feel safer attending at home, please do not feel obligated to attend in person. Safety is the priority; God is with us and can be worshiped from wherever we are.

Thank you for your patience, for your diligence in following precautions, and for your faithfulness to our church in these challenging times. It has indeed been a gift to be able to gather in person for worship for these past few months, and hopefully, we will be able to do so again soon.

A couple of other schedule notes:

  • The Quarterly Church Conference scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 20 has been moved to one week later and will now take place on Wednesday, Jan 27 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.
  • Wednesday night Bible Study will continue on Zoom at 6:30 pm each week (with the exception of Jan 27, due to the church conference).

Stay safe and take good care.

Blessings and peace,
Jennifer Rygg
First Baptist Church of Pendleton