The staff and church leadership have not yet determined a target date for us to meet in person again for worship. However, we have been gathering and gleaning perspectives from other congregations in our area and through our networks. Being able to meet in person as a worshiping community of faith is a goal. Equally important is doing so in a manner and time frame that provides for the safety and health of all our church members as well as our community members.

What is clear in our early discussion is that when we open our doors again for in person worship and activities, we will do so with a gradual approach. Returning involves more than opening our doors. Considerations include providing the means for being able to practice safe distances while together. It is likely that this “soft opening” means returning for worship only at first. We would engage this phase for a period of time before adding other activities and opportunities.

Beginning this weekend and next week, some restrictions in business and community life are being eased. Some time is needed to observe the outcome and impact of these changes. We will continue working toward putting tougher a projection of when and how we re-open the offices, return to the sanctuary for worship, and add other activities. Presently, a date or timeline has not be determined. Once a phased plan is outlined, we will communicate this to the congregation.

We are grateful to you and your continued presence and support of this means of worshiping God together. We are grateful for a dedicated and talented staff, and volunteers, that work together weekly to bring fresh and meaningful ways to worship. We are grateful to God for the grace and hope God offers to us be a thriving community in Christ, where we all participate in worship, and are transformed by mission, even in days of great challenge and need.

Though our scheduled has changed, and in-person activities are suspended, we are still called to serve one another.  Let’s show the world that at FBC we are truly still connected.  Take pictures of your family at worship, Zoom calls with your small groups, or anything that shows how we are all still being church to one another.  Send these pics to Sharon Jenkins to be posted on FBC social media and share them on your favorite social media with the hashtag #connectednotcancelled and #fbcathens.

We invite you to join the live stream of our 11:00 a.m. worship by clicking the link on our website which takes you directly to the First Baptist Church Athens Georgia Channel.

A good resource for more information on the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website