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

COVID-19 Update for March 17

Hello Foothills Family,

We are living in the midst of a global healthcare crisis that is impacting all of our lives. People feel anxious, confused and fearful, and some are facing a financial impact.

On Monday the Church Staff met to make plans for the ministry of the church in light of the most recent recommendations from Gov. Ducey regarding COVID-19. About one hour later, the White House and CDC announced, “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.”

You can find those guidelines online at whitehouse.gov. One of those guidelines was of particular importance to us:

  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

A key point in the President’s statement reads, “Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

And so, not out of fear for ourselves, but out of love for our neighbors and one another we regret to announce that we are suspending the public gatherings of our congregation beginning today through Friday, April 3. Specifically, that means 3 things:

First, all Foothills Groups, Women’s Bible Study, Men’s Bible Study are suspended through April 3.

Second, Wednesday night activities are suspended on March 18, 25 and April 1.

Third, we will not gather as a congregation for worship in our facility on Sunday March 22, and 29.

However, we want you to gather as a family to worship at home on Sunday March 22 and March 29. On our website we will provide a video including a pastoral prayer, the sermon and prompts to pray together, as well as links to selected songs so that you can sing together! In addition, during this time, we will provide some simple, clear content for families to use to have faith conversations during your meal-times together.

We have also established a newsfeed page on our website, that will keep you up to date with any and all changes in this fluid situation.

We’re sure you’ll have questions, so please go online, read this statement and check out the FAQ’s. If you still have questions or any needs, please call us at the office or write to elders@foothillsbaptist.org. We are ready to serve you.

Seasons of uncertainty mark all our lives in this world. In Joshua 1, the children of Israel were ready to enter the Promised Land when Moses, their leader died. In the midst of all that uncertainty God called Joshua to step in and lead, and God promised, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” When our lives fill up with uncertainties, our sovereign God hasn’t left us alone. He is with us, he is in control, and the uncertainties of life are tools of His loving purpose to demonstrate his faithfulness and shape us more and more into the image of our Savior, Jesus.

So face this season with faith, and hope by acting on the words of the Apostle Paul, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

We love you church family and we are praying for you. Remember, to care for one another and be sensitive to opportunities to speak to others about the hope that we have in Jesus!

In Christ’s love,

Your Elder Team

COVID-19 Update for March 15

Dear Foothills Family!

There have been significant changes in the news this week surrounding the corona virus. The Governor has declared a state of emergency to mobilize funds should significant health care needs arise, but currently there are just 8 active cases in the State.

The State Health Department has posted 5 Public Health Recommendations on their dashboard;

  • No recommendations to cancel mass gatherings at this time
  • No recommendations to close schools at this time.
  • No current changes to normal business activities.
  • Increase hand hygiene
  • Stay home when you are sick

We are aware of the voluntarily enacted local and statewide precautions and closings affecting sports, entertainment, and school systems, including the Kyrene school district. So how are we responding at Foothills?

In light of the State Health Departments recommendations:

  • We will gather for worship on Sunday at 9:00 and 10:45 am. Our facilities are clean and ready. We will greet each other with smiles and waves rather than handshakes; between services we will provide individually wrapped snacks, and the hospitality team will serve the coffee and water. You will be able to give your offering at the doors at the close of worship.
  • If you are not well, please stay home for your own health and that of others. But join us for the sermon on our Facebook livestream around 9:20 am.
  • At this time, we will hold Wednesday activities, including student ministry, and Awana. However, we will suspend dinner this week.

Finally, as the world reacts to this crisis, how do we respond as the people of God?

  • People are thinking about their own mortality. Be ready to share the reason for the hope that you have in Christ. 1 Pet. 3:15
  • While we practice some “social distancing” let’s draw near to God. Spend time in the scriptures and prayer for our world, for healthcare providers, the sick, the church, and government leaders.
  • Let’s love one another, check on one another and care for one another. Use your health to serve, not to hide. Prov. 3:5-6

In Christ,

The Elder Team