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  • Phone: (505) 899-0665
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: 6400 Golf Course Rd NW Albuquerque, NM 87120

 

 

COVID-19 Ministry Response and Action Plan

WATCH ONLINE SERVICE

UPDATE: May 25, 2020

Beginning June 7, 2020 we will be able to gather in smaller groups for in-person worship at First West! At the present phase of reopening, churches in New Mexico are allowed to gather at 25% of their fire code capacity so long as they practice COVID Safe Practices (CSPs).

We are presently working hard to train volunteers and communicate clearly with you and our community what to expect as we begin meeting again. We want to gather safely, securely, and in as prepared a manner as possible. This letter will help spell out what we can all expect of each other as we begin meeting in person. As a reminder, all persons who are in the high-risk demographic or have compromised immune systems should follow the direction of their doctors and/or medical experts.                                                                                                  

Reopening Guidelines and Expectations:

  • We will have two (2) identical onsite Sunday services (9:00 and 10:30 a.m.).
    • We must limit worship center capacity to 75 attendees during this phase.
    • We are asking you to register online for the service you are attending so we may ensure you and your family have a seat. Families should plan to worship together. Those arriving without having registered will be asked to wait until all registered attendees have been seated before being admitted.
      • We will ask Sunday morning Bible study groups to attend together at suggested service times. Group leaders/teachers will inform their members which service they have been asked to attend.
      • Members and regular attenders not currently enrolled in a Bible study group will be connected with one and will receive communication from a group member.
      • We encourage all members and attenders who are in the high-risk demographic to follow prudence and exercise wisdom and caution in determining when to return to in-person worship. If you are at all uncertain about returning at this time, you have our blessing to remain home until such a time as there are fewer restrictions or your health allows.
  • We will continue to provide an online video service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. for those choosing to self-isolate during the several phases of reopening.  Watch online here.

  • During this phase, all other onsite ministries/groups remain suspended.

    • There will be no childcare or nursery care provided during gathered worship.

    • Sunday morning Bible study groups are encouraged to continue using video conferencing services to meet virtually.

    • There will be no midweek studies or events during this phase.

  • What to expect when you arrive for worship:
    • All in attendance will be asked to wear a mask or face covering. We will have very few extras to provide to those who do not have one, so please bring one from home to wear.
    • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet (or 5 Crockpots) from all those outside your immediate family.
    • Use non-contact greetings with one another. No hugs or handshakes should be given. Bummer, right?
    • No paper worship guides, pens, or other materials will be provided.
    • Follow all entry and exit signs as we control traffic flow.
    • Make minimal use of the restrooms. Only one person will be allowed in the restroom at a time and greeters will disinfect the restroom after each use.
    • Follow the directions of all greeters as you enter the building. Aren’t you glad they are here to help?
    • Check in with a greeter as you enter the building for worship. This will help us keep track of who has been in the building and when, in the event someone falls ill in the future. This will also help us know who we are missing and need to care for.
    • Find a seat quickly in the worship center. You will be seated from the front of the worship center to the back. No seat-savers and no dibs! It’s OK though, we never had nameplates on the chairs anyway.
    • Maintain social distancing even as you are seated for worship. Families with children may of course sit all together.
    • In worship, pray intently, set your heart toward Christ, and seek His encouragement and grace. Keep your face coverings on during this time.
    • We will have baskets stationed in the building for placing your tithes/offerings instead of passing plates.
    • When worship concludes we will dismiss from the back of the worship center to the front to avoid cross traffic. Please exit quickly and efficiently without dawdling to visit with others (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this!); our greeters will need to begin the 15-20 minute process of disinfecting for the next service.

UPDATE: April 7, 2020

Greetings Church Family!

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

I hope this letter finds you well and at peace during the current COVID-19 situation. On Monday, April 6, New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the statewide “stay-at-home” order, continuing the closure of all non-essential businesses and non-profits and the limit on gatherings of people to five or less. This order is to be in effect until at least April 30, 2020.

What this means for us as a church is that we will continue to meet for worship digitally at https://live.fbcwa.org and through our YouTube channel at least through the month of April. It is hard to imagine not gathering together in person for Easter as a church. Remember, though, dear church, Christ is risen everyday! Each time we worship, we worship the Risen Savior! Our worship of late has been different—but it has not been hindered.

I am so grateful for our Bible study leaders who have done an excellent job in working to keep the church connected. Should you need anything in this time, please do not hesitate to let us know. We continue to maintain a presence at the office via a “skeleton crew” and using social distancing in the office as you do in public. You may call the church to speak with us, though you may need to leave us a voicemail. Or you can reach us by email or cell phone at the numbers below.

Until we meet again face-to-face, let us make the most of this opportunity to make much of Jesus. Take a few moments and do one of two things:

  1. Record a short video about how the Gospel of Jesus has changed your life, and post it to social media using the hashtags #JesusChangedMyLife and #FBCWestABQ.
  2. Record a short video about the opportunities for Gospel sharing and ministry to others that God has provided in the last few weeks and post it to social media with the hashtag #FirstWestGoes.

Let us use the unusual amount of time we have online right now to declare the hope we have in Christ to a watching world!

Grace and peace to you until we meet again, my dear faith family!

Your partner in the Gospel,

Pastor Stephen Baum

UPDATE: March 24, 2020

Unless retracted or adapted, this plan is to remain in place through April 10, 2020

Greetings Church Family!

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
I hope this letter finds you well and at peace during the current COVID-19 situation. On Monday, March 23, New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order. This order puts into effect the closure of all non-essential businesses and non-profits, as well as limits gatherings of people to five or less. This order is to be in effect until April 10, 2020.
In response to this order, offices at First Baptist West Albuquerque will be closed through Friday, April 10. As we had already cancelled all on-site meetings and activities through April 7, this new decision simply extends that decision three days. What has changed for us, however, is that there will not be staff in the office regularly through the “stay-at-home” order. Our desire is to continue to be helpful and supportive citizens who follow the just direction and requests of our governing officials. Our decision to close offices will not stop the work or ministry of the church or of its ministry staff.
During the next couple of weeks, you may contact me or pastor Danny directly via email (see below). In addition, we will continue to worship digitally through online services as previously planned. Though it is not possible for us to assemble as we would like, we can still be the church together! I hope you will continue to minister to your friends and neighbors in the love and name of Jesus. Pray with the hurting, help the vulnerable, extend gospel-hospitality as you are able. Above all, in all you do, make much of Jesus!
We both want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you for praying for us recently, and for the many encouraging emails and text messages we have received. Thank you! Remember, God is on his throne! Jesus still saves! His church will prevail! And we are determined to meet again to the glory of God soon!

Your partner in the Gospel,
Pastor Stephen

Ways you can help us:
1. Check your email for messages from the church. If you do not receive emails from the church, subscribe at www.fbcwa.org/contact.
2. Join us each Sunday for worship online! Visit www.fbcwa.org for details.
3. Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @FBCWestABQ
4. Pray . . .
1. For a quick end to this pandemic
2. For wisdom for governing officials
3. For healthcare workers, police, fire and rescue, and EMTs
4. For missionaries serving in heavily affected areas
5. For Christians to make much of Jesus
5. As you are able, continue to support the ministry of First West through your regular tithes and offerings. You may give online at www.fbcwa.org/give, or mail a check to the church or use your bank’s bill pay feature at our address at the head of this letter.


Contact us:
Stephen Baum

Danny Marsh

UPDATE: March 18, 2020

Unless retracted or adapted, this plan is to remain in place through April 7, 2020. Please visit this page regularly for updates.

Worship Services – Beginning March 22, on-site worship and Bible study will be suspended.

WATCH ONLINE SERVICE

  • In the meantime we will provide a Sunday morning worship supplement for you and your family. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m.  Click the button above to watch.
  • Our decision to suspend Sunday services comes at the request of the CDC and the President to strictly limit group interactions for the next several weeks.
  • At this time Good Friday services are also cancelled, but there will be an online supplement for it as well.
  • Even though we will worship from our homes, please make every effort to guard your Sunday morning worship and Bible study disciplines in preparation for when we meet again.
  • Take time Sunday mornings to call other members of your Bible study classes to pray with them, check in on them, and encourage one another. We expect to feel discomfort at not gathering together, and that discomfort ought to enliven our affections for gathering when we begin again.

 
Prayer Plan

  • This is an occasion for much prayer. Each day, as you spend time in God’s Word, take time to pray specifically for our church family, for your neighbors, and for our nation as we navigate this situation.
  • Ask God to grant much grace and peace to his people and to our community through us as we reflect the person of Christ and the hope of the gospel.
  • We ask that every day at 12:00 noon you stop to pray this way with us. You may like to set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you each day to pray.

 
Ministry Plan

  • If you are ill, please call the church office or one of your Bible study class leaders. We want to minister to you and care for your needs as soon as we can. If you need help getting groceries or picking up prescription medication, do not hesitate to contact us. Other church members are standing by to help.
  • This situation presents an unprecedented opportunity to make much of Jesus as we are salt and light to our community. We are encouraging you to look for appropriate ways to minister to your neighbors.
  • Consider volunteering for a community care group like Meals-On-Wheels to serve our neighbors in need during this time: https://mow-nm.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer-opportunities/
  • The prayer note included with this letter may be a helpful way to minister to your neighbors.

 
Other Church Events

  • As stated in previous correspondence, all weekday meetings that take place on-site at the church are presently suspended.
  • This includes all midweek Bible studies, Wednesday evening activities, Golden Girls, and men’s and women’s ministries.

 
Office Hours

  • The church office will be open (M-Th, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; F, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm), but closed to non-essential visits. We will use the intercom, phone calls, and email for communication. Please avoid making in-person visits if at all possible.
  • There will be no change in pay through the duration of this plan. We pray that no changes in pay will be necessary even if this situation goes longer than the duration of this plan.
  • Staff members who feel working from home would be a more prudent option may be allowed to do so. Either Pastor Stephen or Pastor Danny will be at the church during normal office hours M-Th.
  • Staff will work to ensure there is little to no non-essential ministry spending. In the mean time, please remember to continue to support the gospel ministry of the church through new avenues.

 
Ways to Give

  • Mail a check, payable to First Baptist Church of West Albuquerque (100% of your gift goes to First West).

First Baptist Church of West Albuquerque
6400 Golf Course Rd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120

Thank you for your patience and prayer as we navigate these unique circumstances.

Your partners in the Gospel,
Pastors Stephen and Danny

 

UPDATE: March 16, 2020

The COVID-19/Coronavirus situation continues to evolve daily.

Yesterday the CDC released a new suggestion for the cancellation of all events with over 50 people in attendance for the next 8 weeks. In light of this we feel it most prudent to suspend until further notice all weekday activities and meetings scheduled to take place at the church. This decision is being made in order to protect the most vulnerable among us and promote the overall health of our community during this time.

This suspension includes:

  • All Wednesday evening activities
  • All mid-week Bible studies
  • Golden Girls
  • Other previously planned meetings

Obviously this situation continues to develop, and we will do our best to communicate with you regularly and often about developments. Expect to hear more from us by mid-week regarding weekend services and gatherings.

Thank you for your prayer and patience.

UPDATE: March 12, 2020

This weekend, 9 AM Bible Study & 10:30 AM Worship will continue as normal.

At First West, we want to do all we can to care for our congregation including both their spiritual and physical well-being. We invite you to be praying for all of the aspects regarding the coronavirus, and we remind you to trust in the Lord, not be fearful, and remember as the Psalmist has said, “God is our refuge and strength” (Psalm 46) and all of “our times are in his hands” (Psalm 31).  We have an uncommon opportunity to demonstrate the peace, calm, and hope that come with knowing and trusting our sovereign God who holds all things in his hands.

IN SHORT, sanitize, wash hands, avoid touching, stay home if you are sick.

Governor Lujan-Grisham has declared a state of emergency in NM with regard to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to ensure access to funds and materials needed for testing and combating the virus. The governor has suggested that planned large gatherings be postponed or canceled (though public schools will remain in session) until there is a handle on the matter.

For now, First West will remain open, and we will continue to have regular Sunday morning worship and Bible study and our mid-week activities. If local and state health officials do recommend closure, or we determine it is in the best interest to close or cancel any programming, we will inform you through our website, email, and social media. 

WHAT WE ARE DOING

  • We will continue to disinfect commonly touched items, children's toys, doors, handles, railings, tables, water coolers, and all kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Our staff and volunteer teams are committed to washing and sanitizing their hands frequently and will stay home if they are sick. 
  • We have several hand sanitizing stations around the building in classrooms and the worship center.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children home.
  • Use an elbow bump, friendly smile, etc. for greeting.
  • Use only your knuckle or elbow to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Get in the habit of NOT touching your face.
  • Open doors with your closed fist or hip ‐ do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom doors.
  • Use disinfectant wipes and sanitizers.
  • Wash your hands with soap for 10‐20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the Doxology!).
  • If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard.
  • If you or a family member are seriously ill, please let us or someone in your Bible study group know so we can care for you.

Pray for the peace of God which surpasses all understanding to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Pray that we would not be swept up in a spirit of fear, but in confidence in Jesus and in God's sovereign control. Pray for our members who may be ill, and call them to check on their well-being and pray with them. Pray that God will give wisdom to health officials and the public at-large to deal with this matter calmly and responsibly.

Remember, if you or a family member are sick and need to stay home during this time, you can listen to our sermons online here or find us on your preferred podcast app.