COVID-19 RESPONSE

UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

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HOW TO WATCH ONLINE AND OFFICE HOURS

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Our church office will be open till 5:00 pm and we are available to take care of ministry needs as they arise. If you need prayer or any other needs, please call 386-734-1991 or e-mail info@stetson.church.

ARE STETSON BAPTIST BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?

Yes. At this time, Stetson Baptist buildings are open as usual. On certain days, we may decide to close buildings for deep cleaning, and we will include that information on this page whenever that is the case. In addition, certain ministries in the church may decide not to meet at various times for various reasons. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.

SHOULD PEOPLE COME TO STETSON BAPTIST IF THEY ARE FEELING SICK?

While we place a high priority on gathering together as the church for worship and other activities, and we always want you to feel welcome at church, if you are feeling sick or running a fever, the best way that you can love your neighbor is by staying home! If you need to stay home instead of coming to a worship gathering, we encourage you to worship online with us through streaming our services. Click here to learn more!

WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY COME TO STETSON BAPTIST 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 is 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 STETSON BAPTIST TAKING TO MAKE STETSON BAPTIST GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?

While Stetson Baptist has always taken care to clean and sanitize our facilities, we are 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 Stetson Baptist buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are Stetson Baptist buildings open on weekdays?”).

In all of our Kid’s and Preschool 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 an elevated temperature (above 99.6 F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before coming to Stetson Kids or Preschool. 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.

During our worship gatherings, we will begin using a safer way to serve communion with pre-packaged elements. We also drain and fill our baptistery after each week’s services including baptism. In addition, we encourage everyone to take common-sense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow/fist bumping instead of hand shaking).

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’s 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.
  • 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.

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

If you have further questions that are not answered by the above, please contact us at info@stetson.church.

Update 10/7/2020

As Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order has moved Florida into Phase 3 of Covid-19 reopening, your pastoral staff and church council have considered what the church’s position should be regarding the continued use of face-coverings, social distancing practices, and other safety and health precautions. Governor DeSantis has been clear that there has never been a requirement or limit placed on places of worship from the State. Locally, however, places of worship were specifically included in an ordinance requiring that masks be worn. So, we have chosen to abide by that mandate and require masks for on-campus gatherings. As that mandate is still in place, we will continue to abide by the mask ordinance at Stetson Baptist Church.

While we are aware that the Governor’s Executive Order impacts the ability of local governments to enforce mask mandates, we do not feel it is appropriate or biblical (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13) for us to openly violate the local ordinance. In fact, even if the local mandate is removed, we believe we have a responsibility as a multi generational and large numerical gathering of people to serve our community by being a safe place for people of various ages and conditions to gather.

We believe it is an opportunity to share the Gospel by loving our neighbors and considering others more important than ourselves (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 15:1; 1 Corinthians 10:24). We continue to monitor state and federal health officials and their recommendations of reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For now, those experts continue to recommend the use of masks, social distancing, hand washing, and facility sanitization. Thus, at least for the near future, we will continue to employ all of the above actions. We will continue to keep you informed, and will provide further guidance when the time come to make changes to these protocols.