CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

    03.22.20 | News by Andy Carter

    TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH
    CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

     

    UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

    Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how Temple is responding. Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. As information evolves, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and the surrounding community.

    IS TEMPLE GATHERING AT OUR CAMPUSES THIS SUNDAY?

    No. We will not be having physical meetings/services at either of our campuses beginning this Sunday, March 15, until further notice.  Due to the official ban of gatherings of 50 or more, Temple has determined that it is best to move from physical meetings to online meetings beginning this Sunday, March 15, at 10 a.m.   

    ARE TEMPLE BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?

    No.  At this time, all areas are closed until further notice, yet we are monitoring our phone lines.  For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader. 

     

    WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY COME TO TEMPLE BUILDINGS?

    We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:

    • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • Using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available;
    • Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
    • Staying home if you are sick;
    • Covering your cough or sneeze;
    • Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly. 
    WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS TEMPLE TAKING TO MAKE TEMPLE GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?

    Even though we may not be gathering physically, we want to remind you that Temple is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:

    • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with an EPA certified disinfectant.
    • Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
    • Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. These deep cleans will likely involve closing Temple buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are Temple buildings open on weekdays?”).

    In all of The Journey Place areas, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with elevated temperature (above 100º F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of medication before coming to The Journey Place. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns. 

    When we resume our physical worship gatherings, we will continue utilizing safe ways to serve the Lord’s Supper to our faith family. We will also continue to baptize people in pools filled with sanitized water. In addition, we encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow bumping instead of handshaking or simply giving a smile!).

    WHAT ABOUT TEMPLE WEEKDAY (PRESCHOOL) MINISTRY?

    Beginning Monday, March 16, WEEkday will be closed.  As per our policy of following the Lincoln Parish School System's schedule and based upon the Governor's March 13 declaration, our WEEkday ministry will be closed until at least April 13.

    WHAT ABOUT TEMPLE SHORT-TERM MISSION TRIPS?

    Our staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the International Mission Board. Based on this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate. For more detailed, up-to-date information on Temple's short-term mission trips in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), contact the Church Office.

    HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

    Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.

    The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

    Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.

    HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

    The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the Gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.

    If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So, let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.

    In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here are some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):

    • Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
    • Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
    • Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed. Contact the Church Office as well if you see a particular need that may demand a congregational response.
    • Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. We want every Asian-American (as well as Asians around the world) to feel and know the love of Christ. So just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
    • Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
    • Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online HERE or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.

    Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.

     

    Thanks to McLean Bible Church for allowing us to adapt their communications model to help us better communicate with our church family.