COVID-19 Update for January 28

Dear Church Family,

During our last Elder Team meeting, among many other things, we considered what adjustments we should make to our reopening stance. We are aware of the spread Arizona experienced through and after the holidays, as well as how things are beginning to settle down, and that vaccines are going into arms.

We also continue to consider what RESET looks like for us individually and together as a church family – through God’s word, prayer, mission, and with a new heart. With that in mind, we are making three adjustments to our current stance, all of which will begin on Sunday, February 7.

First, we will raise the capacity limit for attendance in the worship center to 150 for both 9:00 am and 10:45 am services. Our worship center can hold 150 people and still maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Second, we will continue to host the 9:00 am service in the Student Building, but it will be entirely livestreamed.

And third, we will not ask for an RSVP to attend. Instead, we will manage our capacity by counting as people enter, and should we need to, members of our Elder Team (Connections or Greeting Team) will ask some people to relocate to the Student Building. We will manage this process with gentleness and respect for all.

We also ask that you follow the lead and example of your Pastors as we continue the following measures:

  • Please wear a face covering while you are in the facility. If you are unable to for any reason, please participate via the livestream.
  • Please maintain physical distancing between yourself and others, in the pews and hallways, unless you are with family or friends with whom you spend time during the week.
  • If you do not feel well, please take advantage of the livestream, and let us know how we can serve and pray for you.
  • During this wonderful season, please enjoy the patio and outdoor spaces by exiting the worship center and foyer promptly so that we can clean between services.

Beloved, if you’ve not been attending, and your health is not otherwise at risk, please gather with us again for worship. We miss and need your voices, faces (masks and all), presence, and ministry among us. We appreciate your prayers for us as we continue to ask for God’s help to faithfully and wisely lead the congregation. We love you all!

Changes to Remaining 2020 Services

Church Family,

We hope this finds you doing well and looking forward to worship and to Christmas this week. The Elder Team met this morning and have an urgent and important message. 

We have become aware that each of the Elders have been exposed to COVID-19 during the course of this week. We are all in the process of being tested and out of an abundance of caution, believe it best that none of us attend in-person worship. 

In light of this decision we believe it is also best to take the remaining worship services for 2020 to live stream only. Specifically the following worship services will be livestream only: 

  • Sunday, 12/20/20
  • Christmas Eve, 12/24/20 (3:00 pm)
  • Sunday, 12/27/20 (9:00 am)

Because of our exposure David Gantenbein will not be preaching tomorrow. Rather, Dr. Dan Diffey will preach from Ruth 4 tomorrow. Dan is a gifted servant and faithful teacher of the scriptures. We look forward to hearing from the Lord through Him tomorrow. 

In addition, Jeanne Nation will introduce Billy and Olga Bean, two IMB workers who will be sharing with the congregation during our worship time tomorrow. They serve in Southeast Asia and we look forward to hearing their story of making disciples there! 

Beloved, our hearts ache. We understand that not everyone may agree with this decision, but we believe it’s best for us as a church family at this time. Please lean into the livestream for all three of these services between now and the end of the year. We will see you all again for in-person worship on January 3, 2021. 

We love you all – may the Lord bless you and yours today – 

The Elder Team. 

Eldership at Foothills Baptist Church

The Scriptures teach that God has ordered His church to be led by a team of elders. (Acts 14, 20, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, 1 Peter 5) The elders/pastors lead the church to carry out her mission in the world, preach/teach the Scripture, care for the church family and protect them from error. They are accountable to God for the way in which they serve and should be men of such integrity and faith that when the church follows them, she will grow in spiritual maturity and be healthier for it.

In line with our Bylaws, we have established a 3-Stage process by which we discover, develop and deploy men to serve as Elders. Once a year we accept nominations from the membership for this role. Nominations may be submitted during a designated two-week period each January.

The Process – Discover, Develop, Deploy

  1. Discovery is the initial nomination and qualification stage. The congregation will nominate men for consideration, and they will be given the opportunity to accept or decline their nomination. If they accept, nominees will work through two qualifying steps, including the completion of a comprehensive application by both husband and wife which includes references and a background check. Following a personal interview, if the process continues, the nominees will be announced to the church as members of the Elder Development Cohort.
  2. The Elder Development Cohort will meet twice per month for 90 minutes beginning in April and ending in October. Attendance and completion of assignments will be in line with the expectations and understanding of the role of an Elder in the church. Cohort participants will read, discuss and apply content in three areas: Scriptural Foundations, Pastoral Leadership, and Practical Shepherding. Upon completion of the cohort, there will be a final interview of the husband and wife with the Elder Team. If the process continues, the Cohort member becomes and Elder Candidate.
  3. Elder Candidates will be announced to the congregation and given opportunity to share their story of calling and testimony of faith in Christ. They will be available to members for questions or concerns. The congregation will affirm Elder Candidates during the Family Meeting in December. If they are affirmed, Elder Candidates become Elders upon their installation in January. And the process starts over.

Deferment/Drop

Deferment: If a man is unable to continue the process due to life circumstances, he may defer for up to one year. If he is unable to move forward in a year, he will need to be renominated and start the process over.

Drop: If a man requests to be dropped from the process or is dropped by the Elder Team for cause, he will need to be renominated and start the process over as well as provide evidence that the reason for the drop has been scripturally resolved.

Nominations/Qualifications for Eldership

Elders are men who meet the qualifications enumerated in the following scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Particularly, Elders should be men who are able to teach the scriptures. To qualify, they must be members in good standing of Foothills Baptist Church.

Qualifications to consider

Should I nominate a particular man to be an elder at Foothills? Should I accept a nomination to be considered as an elder at Foothills? The following guidelines, though not the final word on the matter, may help as you consider these questions.

Five categories of qualifications

  • Calling: Calling is both inward and outward. A man should desire to serve and be recognized by others as possessing the gifts and graces necessary for the task.
  • Character: Though none of us are perfect, a potential Elder must be exemplary, modeling in a consistent way the character of Christ. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9 offer a useful summary of the character qualifications.
  • Competency: Potential Elders should give evidence of the inclination and ability to fulfill that particular biblical role.
    • A potential Elder should be actively equipping and caring for people spiritually.
    • They should know their way around the Bible, able to teach and apply it correctly, and convincingly.
    • They should be eager to and consistently sharing the gospel with non-Christians.
    • They should be eager to consistently pray with people in need.
    • They should be good managers and lead others well.
  • Compatibility: Potential Elders must understand and fit into the vision and mission of Foothills, and with the current team of Elders.
  • Comprehension: Potential Elders need to understand and accept Foothill’s convictions about theology and church government. This involves a commitment to the Bible’s authority, to Baptist church governance, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and any current Elder Team white papers.
Nominate Elders Here

Meet Our Student Minister Candidate

Last Sunday, the Elder Team was excited to announce that the Lord has led us to our candidate for Student Minister at Foothills. After several months of searching, praying, interviewing, and checking references, we are pleased to present Collin Deinum to serve in this role.

Collin and his wife Valerie and their daughter Ruby Fae will be with us on the weekend of December 11-13. Collin will be meeting with current Student Ministry leaders, Students, current Student Parents, and future Student Parents prior to Sunday, December 13.

Sunday morning, Collin will share his story of faith and call to ministry, and the congregation will vote by secret ballot to affirm his call to serve as Student Minister at Foothills.

Please pray for Collin and his family as we prepare for this important weekend!

Reaffirm Mario Paniagua

During our Oct. 25 family meeting, the congregation affirmed placing Mario Paniagua’s name into nomination to serve a second term as an Elder, beginning in January of 2021 and ending in December 2023.

You can find Mario’s testimony, sense of calling to serve as an Elder, and answers to several other questions on the website by clicking here.

As always, you are encouraged to ask Mario any questions you may have between now and December 6, prior to our vote to reaffirm him.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

In the next several weeks, you will start to hear a lot about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Lottie Moon is the namesake of the international missions offering that Foothills participates in every Christmas with Southern Baptist’s across the world. Lottie was just like today’s missionaries, laboring tirelessly so that people without access to the Gospel could come to know Jesus.

The great thing about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is that 100% of your generous gifts will be used to provide missionaries the services they need to live among the unreached peoples they serve. Currently, there are 3,565 missionaries on the field. 827 people groups are engaged through the work of the IMB. These missionaries live and work among those around the world with little to no access to the gospel.

As one who calls Foothills your church home, you will be challenged to contribute spiritually, financially, and physically to the very same work Lottie dedicated her life to. We could not be more excited to see what God does through all of us this Christmas season.

Our Goal for 2020 = $45,000

In our worship services over the next several weeks, you will see videos of some of our partners in the mission field overseas, as well as hear from some missionaries who are currently stateside. The Lottie Moon Christmas offering will help support missionaries just like them, providing things like language education, children’s education, security training, Bibles, tools, medical needs, refugee care, and much more!

Will you pray with your family for missionaries serving in the fields? All throughout December, we will provide you with a prayer guide of specific needs. Please, also pray to see how much God would have your family sacrificially give to help the gospel be unleashed into all of the world. Our official “Give Sunday” will be December 20, but you can contribute at any time.

Read and download the Prayer Guide.

Give Now

Angel Tree at Foothills

We are once again partnering with Angel Tree to provide gifts to children who have a mom or dad in prison. Through Angel Tree, Foothills has the opportunity to help a child strengthen his/her relationship with a parent by providing a present on behalf of the prisoner.

When a parent is in prison, their children often suffer in silence, unseen by many. Through Angel Tree, we are able to answer the requests and prayers of an incarcerated parent for the sake of their children, in our community and beyond. We are also privileged to deliver those gifts to the family and have the opportunity to show and share the love of Christ with them!

Beginning Sunday, November 29, you can select a tag from the trees located in the foyer. Once you’ve selected a tag, complete the information on the tracking slip, and place it in one of the Angel Tree boxes. Then purchase the gift listed and return it to the church no later than December 13. All gifts should be returned unwrapped and cost between $20-$25.

To volunteer to deliver gifts, call the church office at 480-759-2118.

To volunteer to wrap gifts, join us for the Gift Wrapping party, Thursday, December 17, from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Wrappers, please bring your own scissors and tape!

If you have questions, please email Penny Wilson.

Reopening Plan For Children And Students

Preschool, Children, and Student Ministry will begin meeting in person on Sunday, October 11! Sunday School will be offered at both the 9:00 am and 10:45 am service for Birth-5th Grade. Middle School Bible study will be offered during the 10:45 service.

Wednesday nights will also begin to meet in person!

  • Students will meet in the Student Building from 6:30-8:00, following their typical schedule of large group and small group times.
  • Preschoolers will meet in the preschool hallway.
  • Children will meet in the big room of the Children’s Building, following a similar pattern to the student ministry, with a large group teaching time followed by small groups.

Our plan is to begin Awana again in January.

We will be following the same safety protocols that we have been using on Sunday mornings for worship. Kids ages kindergarten and up will be asked to wear masks. We will practice social distancing as much as possible. Kids will be provided with their own supplies, and cleaning will be conducted of all tables, chairs, and doors between services.

We know that not everyone will be comfortable returning in person, so we will continue the virtual class on Wednesdays for anyone who wishes to participate. 1st-5th grade’s Zoom call is from 6:00-7:00pm, and the student zoom call is from 7:00-8:00pm.

We are looking forward to gathering together again soon!

Deacon Qualifications and Nominations

The Scriptures teach that there are two servant leader offices in the church: Elder/Pastor and Deacon. These two offices are meant to be a partnership in ministry for the health of the church and the progress of the Gospel in the world.

Deacons meet needs in the church family and support the ministry of the Word. Needs must be met, and the Gospel must be preached. The church must be led. People must be helped. Several of our deacons will be rolling off of the Deacon Team at the end of the year.

Here you will find a list of the biblical qualifications for Deacons. Please read these carefully, then use the nomination form provided to submit your nominations for people to serve as Deacon at Foothills.

If you prefer a physical copy, you can download and print the Deacon Nomination form here.

Nominations are open now and close on August 9. Following that date, the Elders will consider all the nominees, pray, and determine which ones will become candidates to be presented to the church for consideration during the Family Meeting following.

COVID-19 Update For July 20

Beloved,

COVID-19 is putting increased pressure on our city and state. Yesterday we had our highest number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for one day. Our Governor also issued a new executive order this week closing some businesses and limiting gatherings to 50 or fewer.

Constitutionally, we understand that as a church we are exempt from this order, however, beginning this Sunday, July 5, we are suspending our public worship gatherings until further notice.

We will continue to livestream worship on Sunday mornings, so please join us for worship each week!

It grieves us to make this decision, but our Elder Team believes this to be the wise choice for now.

We want to thank the team of men and women who worked hard each week disinfecting the facility between services!

While we continue to navigate these difficult days, let the uncertainties, adjustments, and decisions continually drive us to Jesus. Keep relying on the presence and power of the Spirit to love your family and others around you well.

And let’s pray together, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19