To the Family of Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church
Some of you want to know what we are planning. Especially regarding our corporate worship. I offer that things are being done, and plans are being made, or are already in place. So are we anxious to be with family and friends like the good old days. Others are very cautious and thinking this may not be a good idea. Because there is too much that is unknown and the information sources add more confusion than clarity, we are to tread lightly and prudently.
Sanitation and disinfecting are prominent terms used today about facilities and how they are to be maintained. Hygiene, both personal and corporate, must be at a much higher standard than previously to reduce the chances of infecting others. Frequent hand washing and disinfectant wiping are now the order of the day. Distancing even in social gatherings will be required. The lack of touching will be a strange practice for us to learn while still having family closeness without contact
Our worship experience will be strained as we remove items that were frequently shared (Bibles, hymnbooks, writing instruments, even envelopes and communion). Elimination of bulletins and getting updates and announcements by the website will be common. Offerings though still accepted by envelop will be received in different ways; dropped in the mail slot, in a collection box at the door or by electronic methods. We must figure out how to deal with visitors and new members (baptism) and a host of other things. All this must be done while wearing masks to prevent sharing our spittle. This is to protect you as much as protecting ourselves. Gloves will be more visible as we manage some things and then there is that pesky reading of the temperature before entry into the building.
Say What? Yeah, I can hear you.
Some will say this is getting a bit extreme and you may be right. On the other hand, if asking the infected person if something should have been done, they undoubtedly will say we did not do enough. Can’t we come back sooner? Sure. Is that prudent? It depends on who you ask. Since we are all different, you will hear of local churches doing something different. You should be used to that by now.
Our carpets will be cleaned, and our facility sanitized before we open, all for your protection. Practices will be required that you help us to maintain this condition. Hand sanitizer will be available at strategic locations for your use. Your seating location will be uncomfortable for a while, but we will modify over time as we see better health responses.
Keep praying for God’s guidance to get us through this and we will remain standing. To help your understanding, please read the following about viruses in general.
So, what is a virus, and have we had them before now?
What is a virus? A virus is a microscopic pathogen that attaches itself to a host and hijacks the host’s cellular apparatus to release poisonous particles and cells, causing disease.  A virus is different from bacteria. The point being that antibiotics do not work with viruses.
We never notice most viruses. They simply run their course and eventually die out. Others, however, are more dangerous, persistent, and resistant to treatment, such as:Polio – also known as “infantile paralysis.” It is under control but still prevalent.
Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E – an assortment of various forms of inflammation that destroys liver tissue.
West Nile – This virus causes fever, a mild infection, but has no known cure.
Swine Flu – also known as H1N1 became prevalent from 2009 – 2010.
HIV/AIDS – infection of the immune system with no known cure, though some cases are under control
Ebola – known as “hemorrhagic fever,” that now has a vaccine
MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS-Cov, caused by a corona virus infecting the respiratory system. With no cure.
SARS-CoV-1 – severe acute respiratory syndrome is a respiratory infection with fever, cough and breathing distress. Like MERS, there is no cure
SARS-CoV-2 – Currently known as COVID-19 is much like MERS and SARS only much more contagious and severe with new conditions and symptoms learned daily. No vaccine or cure known at this time. Current treatments are not clinically proven to be effective. Tests have not validated the infection consistently.
Why is this one so important?
First it is highly infectious in two ways: inhaling someone’s breath even from up to ten feet and by touching an infected surface.
Secondly, there is no effective and consistent testing method to know who has it. Someone cannot have symptoms and be infected.
Third, there is no cure, vaccine or medication that can ease symptoms or remedy the infection.
Fourth; new symptoms are being found regularly in all ages as no one, NO ONE, is immune. Some may have less severe symptoms, but no one is immune.
Under these circumstances, until more is known, and we experience better understanding of the disease, we want to practice the best measures to prevent spreading the infection. Our current effort is to have services by way of media (Face Book and ZOOM). Only daily devotions and Sunday worship use these methods now. Many unfamiliar with technology are being challenged to pick up this means of communicating. Other means of fellowship and study may be implemented soon, as we also make plans for re-establishing communal worship in our facilities. Even that will be phased in and have unfortunate restrictions that will eventually be discontinued. As for now, please stay in prayer for God’s guidance and continued care over His church as we navigate these trying times.
 “Not All Viruses Are Bad for You” by Cynthia Matthew in The Conversation at Science Alert blog (August 10, 2019) at sciencealert.com.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We believe that God continues to be in control of all things despite the National Emergency and recommendations from State and local governments.
Please join us in prayer for the families of individuals who have passed away or are hospitalized or quarantined due to this pandemic. As we worship in spirit and truth, let us not be fearful of this pandemic, but keep God as our audience. He is why we live, move, and have our being; Acts 17:28a.
We are asking that we all consider our current health circumstances. Those of us with respiratory ailments should reconsider attending any mass gatherings.to protect yourselves and those in your family circle.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease includes FEVER, COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH. Some symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your medical professional.
Let us continue to be encouraged with the words of Psalm 96:6.
Additional Recommendation from Consolidated Baptist District Association