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

COVID-19 Update For July 16

Lots of you have questions about what’s next for Foothills. We will update the congregation every two weeks. Here’s where we stand today.

  • Sunday Worship Services will continue to be livestreamed through July.
  • We will provide our next update for Sunday Worship services on July 30.
  • We are developing plans for the Fall reopening of our ministries with Preschoolers, Children, Students, and Groups.
  • We plan to reopen in-person gatherings for Preschoolers through Adult Groups 2-3 weeks after our local school districts resume in-person classes.
  • Choir and Orchestra will resume once it is safe to do so.
  • We are developing new ministry strategies to serve our congregation and the community impacted by covid-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 Update For June 4

We are excited about beginning to gather again for worship on Sunday, June 7. As we plan to reopen, we are committed to opening safely, strategically and spiritually. You may find some of our adjustments to be too little or too much. At the same time, as a family of believers let’s make sure that our lives and our words demonstrate our love for and desire to honor Christ and each other. So, here is what you can expect related to each of these:

Reopen Safely

  • We are observing the guidelines of our AZ DHS and the CDC to provide as clean and safe an environment as possible for ourselves and our guests.
  • The foyer and entry doors will be propped open as you enter and exit to minimize touching surfaces.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
  • We encourage you to wear a mask. The Elder Team will wear masks when not on the platform.
  • Please maintain physical distancing upon arrival, as you sit through worship, and upon your exit.
  • For the sake of physical distancing we have limited the capacity of our Worship Center. If we reach capacity in that room, we will then open the Student Building as overflow.
  • The water fountains will be off.
  • If you or your children are not feeling well, or running a fever, please stay home and worship with us through livestream.
  • If you are particularly vulnerable because of age or physical condition, or simply do not feel ready to join us for public worship we encourage you to stay home and worship with us through livestream.
  • If you give by cash or check, you may drop your offering in one of the two offering boxes mounted to the wall in the foyer. You may continue to give online and through the App.
  • We will not be offering hospitality items before or after worship.
  • To minimize items to be cleaned all hymnals, bibles, envelopes, and pens will be removed from the pews.
  • You may enter and exit the Worship Center through the main doors adjacent to the parking lot. You may enter and exit the Student Building through its main doors. All other entry doors to the facilities will be locked.
  • We will disinfect all touched surfaces between services. If you attend 9am worship, please exit promptly to enable our team to clean before the second service.

Reopen Strategically

  • We will hold two Services, one at 9:00 am and a second at 10:45 am. Both services will be limited in capacity, for the sake of physical distancing, and in time for the sake of families in worship. We will count people as they enter to ensure we do not go over our capacity. Both the Worship Center and the Student building will be available for the first service. However, only the Worship Center will be available during the second service.
  • Childcare and Sunday School continues to be suspended. Parents will receive a digital activity page by email the week prior to worship. You can download, print, and bring that with you to help your children engage in worship.
  • Choir and Orchestra continues to be suspended.
  • Livestream for worship will be available. If you are particularly vulnerable or are not quite ready to return to public worship, simply click the “Livestream” button on the homepage of the website. (It will replace the “Church@Home” button) In the future, our livestream will also become another “front door” for people seeking to know more about Christ and our church.

Reopen Spiritually

  • On June 7 bring a bag of groceries to serve families in crisis through our mission partner, Rio Vista Center. Imagine the impact of 400 bags of groceries!
  • We will be providing Equip Courses via ZOOM this summer on Marriage and Parenting, Financial Peace University, and Hermeneutics.
  • Alongside our Deacon Ministry, the Elder Team and our Foothills Groups will continue to care for our shut-ins and those experiencing crisis within this crisis.
  • We will continue to hold the prayer meeting prior to 9:00 am worship with adjustments for physical distancing.
  • We will continue to equip ourselves to have gospel conversations, share stories of conversations we’ve had, and pray for the spread of the gospel in Ahwatukee.

COVID-19 Update for May 8

Dear Foothills Church Family,

“Beloved “we” pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 1 John 2 This is a prayer written by the apostle John while he was in isolation and exile. It captures our prayers for all of you during these days of uncertainty and distancing.

We are overdue for an update to you regarding how and when we might reopen for public worship. Two weeks ago, the Whitehouse issued “Opening Up America Again,” guidelines based on satisfying a set of “gating criteria” through three phases. In the meantime, the Governor of Arizona has also announced reopening the state on a more “occasional” basis.

The Elder Team is working on a phased-in plan to reopen for Sunday worship. We will communicate that to you prior to Sunday, June 7. Until then, we will continue Church@Home through May 31.

In the meantime, thank you for your faithful engagement with Church@Home, as well as with our local mission partner, Rio Vista Center. Your gifts of groceries have served hundreds upon hundreds of families in need because of this crisis. The red barrels are still out at the facilities and we are delivering your gifts weekly.

Finally, beloved, Ephesians 4:8-11 teaches us that walking faithfully with Jesus, growing in maturity like Him and fighting sin is not something meant to be done in isolation from one another and the church. We need to gather again, not just because we miss seeing each other, which we do, but because God has designed that His sanctifying grace work through us to one another when we gather. Apart from gathering together for worship, prayer, observing the ordinances, and hearing the preaching of the scriptures, we are particularly vulnerable to the temptations that arise not only from within, but also from the Adversary. In the meantime, let’s be diligent to “…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

With love,
The Elder Team

COVID-19 Update for March 31

Dear Foothills Church Family,

Grace and peace to all of you. It’s time to update our posture regarding the national and international crisis around the COVID-19 virus.

As of March 30, our church offices will be closed and staff who can will work from home. However, we are available, working and engaged in ministry. Today, we conducted our weekly staff meeting via Zoom. Our main phone number will continue to be answered during business hours by Penny Wilson, our Ministry Assistant. You can continue to reach any of the Ministry Staff via their email addresses and phones. You may also email elders@foothillsbaptist.org. The offices will remain closed through April.

In addition, we will extend the suspension of our public gatherings through April. However, we are excited about our plans for this Easter season. Our Palm Sunday message will be from Mark 4, and our Easter Sunday message will be from Mark 16. We have also planned a service for Good Friday. More details on that to come.

In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to walk with Jesus daily and participate in your Foothills Group via Zoom, and in worship each Sunday morning on our website, www.foothillsbaptist.org, on the Church@Home page.

Finally, as we prepare for Easter we encourage you to participate in these three steps to help us engage people to put Jesus first for the sake of others…

  1. Use the Foothills App to prayer walk your neighborhood (watch for it this week).
  2. Post a yard sign in your yard publicizing our Church@Home service for Easter Sunday (available now at the Student building on the church property. Simply pick up one sign per household).
  3. Download and post our Church@Home video invitation to your social media accounts (available now via our Foothills Baptist Church Facebook page).

We love you church and pray we will continue to grow in grace while we look forward to gathering again soon!

The Elder Team

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 24, 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 8. 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 12 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.

Rio Vista Food Drive

Did you know… In Arizona, 46.5% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children. 1 in 4 children in Arizona lives in poverty and is at risk of going to bed hungry. Arizona ranks 47th out of 50 states in the number of children who may not know where their next meal is coming from. These statistics came from FeedingAmerica.org.

Rio Vista Center in south Phoenix serves nearly 5,200 people every month who are in need of food. Foothills is proud to partner with Rio Vista, and over the next two weeks, we’re going to work hard to stock their pantry!

Between now and November 3, pick up some extra items while you do your own grocery shopping and bring them to the church!

Here’s the shopping list:

  • Canned Non-Perishable Proteins
  • Canned Non-Perishable Fruits and Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Pastas
  • Cereals

On Grumbling

On Sunday, September 8, Rick Burress, one of our Elders, led us in prayer during worship. Prior to praying, Rick shared some scriptures and an exhortation with us about Grumbling. We’ve had lots of requests for his message, so we’re posting it here on our blog.

Thanks, Rick, for your loving and scriptural admonishment!

Vacation Bible School 2019 Recap

This year’s Vacation Bible School was wild! After five days full of fun activities and sharing the Gospel, VBS 2019 is one for the books. Many families were blessed as we were able to introduce Jesus to children and families who do not yet know and trust Him.

Our Children’s Minister, Jeanne Nation, is here to give you a rundown of the impact this annual tradition has made at Foothills.

What a great time we had at Vacation Bible School last week! Our theme was In the Wild. We looked at real life encounters with Jesus in the Scripture through the stories of Jesus in the Temple, the Baptism of Jesus, Jesus Walking on Water, Jesus Rose from the Dead, and Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus.

We had an average of 260 kids each day (babies-5th grade). I want to say a huge “Thank You!” to the approximate 100 volunteers who helped make VBS a success.

Our leaders were able to have Gospel conversations with 34 kids during the week; 13 of the kids prayed to trust Christ for forgiveness of their sins! That’s what VBS is all about! We took up a mission offering to raise money to help some of our partners who run a mobile pregnancy center in Southeast Asia.

During the week, the kids collected a total of $1,146! We had a friendly Kiss the Pig competition to help raise the funds. As a result of the kids reaching their goal, Mrs. Stacey, Mr. Dustin, Mr. Logan, Mrs. Mindy, and I all had to kiss the pig during Friday night’s Family Night. To see pictures/videos from the Kiss the Pig – and the rest of Vacation Bible School, click here.

Thank you to all the leaders who served in VBS, especially those who took vacation time or rearranged their work schedules.

Thank you to the students – without your help, VBS would not be possible.

Thank you to those who could not be here during the week but supported us in prayer!

New Elder Candidate

Foothills Church Family,

The Elder Team is happy to announce that during our last Family Meeting on May 19, we presented Mario Paniagua as a candidate to serve as our 5th Lay Elder. The congregation will be asked to affirm Mario for this role by secret ballot in a special called Family Meeting on Sunday, June 9 at 4pm.

We believe that elders/pastors are men who 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 of such integrity and faith that if the church follows them, she will be healthier for it. We believe Mario is this sort of person.

Between now and Sunday, June 9, the congregation will hear from Mario on Sunday morning, June 2nd, in both worship hours. You can also learn more about him by reading his profile posted here. Finally, we encourage you to connect with Mario personally and ask him questions or raise any concerns you may have with gentleness and respect. He is committed to be available to you on Sunday mornings and looks forward to your conversations.

Thank you for continually praying for your Elder Team as we seek to faithfully and carefully lead the church. Please pray that God would be glorified and His church built up as we take this next step.