Click HERE to view our Elder's COVID-19 Gathering Protocol Phase 3 Addendum.
Big idea – Romans 13 and other passages command Christians to work under the sphere of each appropriate governing authority. God, who rules over all, calls us to obey earthly rulers without violating His word.
The Presidential Guidelines
On April 16, 2020, the U.S. Government unveiled President Trump’s Opening Up America Again Guidelines. These guidelines contain three phases for reopening businesses, including houses of worship. You can read the full transcript HERE.
In all phases, individuals should continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow, and refraining from touching one’s face. People who feel sick or exhibit symptoms should stay at home. [According to the CDC, the following symptoms have been associated with COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit.]
In all phases, employers, businesses, and houses of worship should:
- Develop and implement appropriate policies – in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance – regarding:
- Physical distancing and protective equipment
- Testing, isolating, and contact tracing
- Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas
- Business travel
- Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Instruct symptomatic people to remain physically away from work until cleared by a medical provider.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following a positive employee COVID+ test.
The State, County, and City Guidelines
The Governor of Texas has decreed the state enter Phase III. In essence, any suggested restrictions on church gatherings are removed.
The state does recommend these safety precautions for persons.
- Are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
- Over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
- Are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.
Collin County and the City of Frisco have no further requirements.
The State, County, and City Guidelines
It appears that best practices of limited physical [social] distancing involve:
- Operating at 75% of a room’s capacity.
- Limiting physical contact.
- Washing hands frequently, particularly after contact.
- Avoiding lingering in conversation with persons less than 6 feet apart.
- Sitting with at least 2 seats between non-family members.
- Spreading large groups out so that activities involve as little close contact as possible.
Collin Cares Recovery Plan
The Collin County Commissioners Court on Monday, May 11, adopted the 'Collin Cares' recovery plan to assist families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. The county plan provides direct financial assistance for housing, utilities, and groceries; as well as funding for COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment, and cities' COVID-19 costs and recovery efforts. Click HERE to learn more or visit www.collincountytx.gov for other news and updates.
The Frisco Bible Church Elders’ Protocols
Big idea – The following plans will be used to guide the ministry of Frisco Bible Church (“FBC” or “the church”). These protocols are based on the guidance of the governing authorities and may be updated as conditions change or further guidance becomes available.
Phase I – effective May 1, 2020
Phase II – effective May 20, 2020
Phase III – effective June 7, 2020
- Every FBC ministry can operate under limited physical distancing protocols. Electronic means should be employed whenever possible so that those unable to attend are included. [See note below regarding FBKids Sunday School.]
- Note: the scriptures teach self-control and personal responsibility. It is each person’s responsibility to steward his own wellbeing and care for those with whom he shares community.
- Following the commands regarding “disputed things” in Romans 14, we will not condone any condescension among the brethren. A person declared “high risk” by the CDC may choose to gather physically for worship. They will not be looked down upon. Likewise, one who is supposedly “low risk” may choose to stay home. No one will consider them lesser.
- Our FBKids children’s ministry developed the great concept of Family Summer Adventure Packs to replace VBS.
- Church staff and volunteers developed an amazing package, specifically tailored for the makeup of each family. Dozens of volunteers spent days putting them all together.
- Hundreds of people in our community will participate in a Family Summer Adventure. At this point, it appears the numbers will even exceed our normal VBS!
- At this writing, 9 other churches have asked for the formula so they can do the same. Our team has happily shared with each one.
Phase III Strategies for FBC
Big idea – The summary “trust God without testing Him” continues to wisely guide all ministry decisions. Below is our plan to live trust-without-testing in the near term.
- On June 7, physical worship will expand to encompass 75% of our capacity. We will worship at our normal times: 8:45, 10:15, and 11:45 am.
- The live stream will continue to occur at 10:15 am for those who do not desire to physically attend.
- Registration is no longer necessary.
- The space between rows of seating has been set to allow only 75% capacity. A two-seat minimum will be required between non-family members seated on the same row.
- High-traffic surfaces will be thoroughly wiped down after each service. Seating will be sprayed, since the Governor’s guideline still recommends seats be sanitized between each service.
- Offering plates will not be passed. Please give online, via mail, or use the boxes as you exit the auditorium.
- People will enter the auditorium via the 8 south foyer doors and exit via the 4 north auditorium doors and into the parking lot. We will dismiss front to back.
- When offered, the Lord’s Supper will be received single-user style.
Foyer and entrances:
- The state of Texas recommends all who enter immediately go wash their hands.
- Gloved ushers will hand out bulletins. Additionally, we will continue to post our digital bulletin for those worshipping remotely. Please do not recycle bulletins at this time.
- Coffee and tea will again be offered self-serve on June 14.
- Signage will be placed throughout the building to encourage people to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout our facilities.
- Masks will be available, as supply allows, for people who do not wear their own mask yet desire one.
- Signage will remind all to go home immediately if the individual has any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. (See Presidential Guidelines above.)
Classes, Bible studies, life group gathering, and activities:
- FBKids Sunday School classes are scheduled to resume July 5. Protocols are in process of development. New servants will be needed to replace those for whom risk is still too high. For help, please write Tasha Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org or Tony Jacobs email@example.com.
- Bible studies along with adult and youth classes can meet according to the protocols above.
- Small groups in all ministries will be allowed to gather according to the protocols above.
- Middle and Senior High Youth Camps are rescheduled for June 22-26 at Camp Tejas.
- The FBC Beach Party and Baptisms has been rescheduled for August 16.
- Camp in the City will go forward July 20-24, following Pine Cove’s rules and the guidelines given Day Camp operators in Open Texas.
- The church offices will be open to all during regular business hours.
- Required signage will direct any who are ill to not enter the buildings.
- The buildings will continue to be thoroughly and regularly cleaned
Pastoral care and helps:
- Call or write the church office if you are an FBC member who gets laid off or enters serious financial distress. Use (972) 335-8150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call or write the church if you need food, prescriptions, etc. delivered to you.
- If you become ill with COVID-19, please let us know so the pastors can confidentially pray for you.
- If you know of an at-risk church member or attender who could use encouragement, please inform the pastors via the phone or email address listed above.
Dealing With The Unknowns
Big idea – We trust the only sovereign God who brings all to pass in His time [1 Timothy 6:15] and submit to human under-authorities while we prepare to do good works. [Titus 3:1-2.]
The Elders of Frisco Bible Church