COVID-19 Protocol for Frisco Bible Church

Introduction

 

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
    • Sanitation
    • 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 State of Texas has defined moderate social [physical] distancing as:

  • Keeping 6 feet apart as much as possible.
  • Chairs in the assembly set in rows 6 feet apart.
  • Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
  • Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
  • Masks and gloves are recommended but not required.

Collin County and the City of Frisco have imposed no further restrictions.

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.

Collin Cares

 

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

  • All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place.[1] According to the CDC, the high-risk population for COVID-19 includes:
    • Individuals over age 65.
    • Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, obesity, and moderate to severe asthma.
    • Those whose immune system is compromised by disease or by therapies such as: chemotherapy treatment for cancer, kidney dialysis, or recent organ transplantation.
    • Those who are themselves not at risk, but who live with individuals who are vulnerable.
  • When in public (including at church), all individuals should maximize physical distance from others. Where appropriate distancing is not practical, gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided.
  • Organized church activities that are currently being conducted through non-physical means may transition to a physical gathering provided strict physical distancing is observed in that gathering. Electronic means should be employed whenever possible so that those unable to attend are included.
  • The worship assembly can reopen under strict physical distancing protocols.
  • Children and youth gatherings will not occur in-person on Sunday mornings as it is impractical to practice strict physical distancing then. 

Phase II – effective May 20, 2020

  • All vulnerable individuals (see phase I) are encouraged to continue to shelter in place.
    • Note: the scriptures teach self-control and personal responsibility. It is each person’s responsibility to steward his own well being 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.
  • When physical distancing is not practical, social settings of more than 50 people should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • Organized church activities can operate in a physical gathering provided moderate physical distancing protocols are observed. Electronic means should be employed whenever possible so that those unable to attend are included.
  • Tailgate style meetings can be shifted indoors. The meeting space being used must host no more than 50% of capacity. [For example, a room rated to hold 200 persons could only host a gathering of 100.] Moderate physical distancing must be observed.
  • Children and youth gatherings will not occur in-person on Sunday mornings as it is impractical to practice strict physical distancing then. 

Phase III – to be announced

  • Vulnerable individuals (see phase I) can resume public interactions while maintaining responsible physical distancing.
  • Every FBC ministry can operate under limited physical distancing protocols.

 

Encouragement

 

Big idea – God provides abundantly and allows His people the honor of playing a part in that provision. 

  • Collin County, where FBC is geographically located, was surprised by a larger-than-expected federal block grant.
  • In response, our county commissioners worked very hard to craft a remarkable strategy to help the homeless, increase testing, keep businesses open, and provide for families. A portal on the Collin County website will be established soon with all the information. The program that directly affects citizens is a $45 million plan called Collin Cares. In short:
    • The four largest cities in Collin County – Plano, McKinney, Frisco, and Allen – will administer direct grants to families who are in need because of income disruption attributable to the COVID-19 panic.
    • A family can receive up to $2500 a month for four months. The monies will be presented for food (in the form of a Wal-Mart card), utilities, and rent/mortgage. (Rent and utilities will be paid directly to the providers.)
    • Existing structures will be employed to oversee the Cares program in cities. For example, Frisco Family Services will assist Frisco homes and Allen Community Outreach will guide families in Allen.
    • Collin County will manage disbursements for those living on unincorporated land.
  • Denton County, where many of our church members live, is making direct grants to individuals and businesses as a county. Please check their website to apply.
  • Other cities home to FBC members will have similar programs because of their own block grants. Those living in Arlington, for example, will be served through existing groups like Mission Arlington. Note: Collin County residents living in Dallas will need to use the City of Dallas’ portal.

 

Phase II 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. 

Gathering:

  • On May 24, physical worship will expand to include those who desire to gather physically. 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 during Phase II. 

Auditorium:

  • Registration is strongly recommended, as we are unable to accommodate regular numbers while keeping moderate physical distance. The specifics of The Open Texas checklists coupled with our own space realities means we will only be able to accommodate about 250 persons in the auditorium per service. Once the auditorium is full, we will seat in the gymnasium, which can hold about 100 more. Click HERE to register your family for a service.
  • The space between rows of seating has been set to allow only 50% 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. Per the Governor’s order, seats will 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 by rows. People will enter the gym by the four north doors and exit by the 8 south foyer doors. We will dismiss by rows.
  • When offered, the Lord’s Supper will be received single-user style.  

Foyer and entrances:

  • Greeters will set doors open and stand well back to wave and welcome. 
  • Gloved and masked ushers will hand out bulletins. Additionally, we will continue to post our digital bulletin for those worshipping remotely.
  • Due to light demand, coffee and tea will not be served for now. Bring your own on Sunday, and we’ll restart coffee and tea service soon.
  • 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 list under Presidential Guidelines above.) 
  • Handshaking, hugging, and other physical contact are discouraged. Other methods of friendly interaction from physical distance – such as waving, smiling, or yelling “I love you!” – are encouraged.  

Classes, Bible studies, life group gathering, and activities:

  • Children’s classes will not physically gather in a traditional classroom. The wonderful remote activities performed by our ministry teams are greatly appreciated and encouraged to continue.
  • 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. For phase II they are encouraged to continue “tailgate” style, which now includes the new indoor protocols listed above.
  • The FBC Beach Party and Baptisms has been rescheduled for August 16.
  • Camp in the City will go forward according to Pine Cove’s rules and the guidelines given Day Camp operators in Open Texas.
  • Ministry leaders, be certain to schedule your activity through the church calendar system as you would have in the past.  

Office:

  • 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 contactus@friscobible.com.
  • 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.
  • Counseling ministries and ministry team meetings may resume at church May 1 provided they follow the protocols listed above under “Elders’ Protocols: Phase 1.”
  • If able, please register HERE to serve in one of these areas that have expanded needs:
    • Hospitality – greeters and ushers needed who are not at risk and totally healthy.
    • Sanitization crew – many healthy individuals will be needed to rapidly wipe down high-traffic surfaces after each worship service and to sanitize seats.
    • Remote visitation – calling to check on and keep up with those who are isolated. Contact Jeremy Mikeska at jmikeska@friscobible.com to volunteer.
  • We have three other avenues where we feel FBC members can be most effective:

 

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.]

 

Phase III Strategies

 

Phase III strategies will be released at a future date.

 

God bless,

The Elders of Frisco Bible Church 

 

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[1] On the Texas Executive Order GA-18, you will see a suggestion that churches provide a particular “area inside the facility reserved for the high-risk population.” FBC cannot do so during Phase I due to space restrictions. The church instead asks all high-risk individuals to worship from home. 

 

 

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Join us Sunday at 

8:45, 10:15 & 11:45 am