Dear Church Family,

Given the recent news of the coronavirus spreading to the St. Louis area, we want to let you know what First Free Church is doing to prioritize the safety and well-being of those who attend our church. We do not want to overreact, but we also do not want to be unprepared.

1. We are praying, not panicking
We know that this is no surprise to God. We take comfort in the hope we have in God through Jesus. We are praying for the safety of our community, our country, and the world. We are praying for wisdom for everyone in our church to respond well to the challenges brought by the coronavirus outbreak. We invite you to join us in these prayers.

2. We will communicate with you about any changes
Our website ( ), social media ( ), and email lists ( ) are great ways to get updates.

3. We offer online worship services
We believe that gathering together in person is incredibly valuable and should be a priority. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” At the same time, those who are at an increased risk from coronavirus may wish to remain at home and watch the services online. Our online service includes announcements, worship music, an offering time with the ability to give online, the message, and the ability to translate the message using . If you have to remain home, this is a great way to stay connected to your church family.

4. We encourage anyone feeling sick to stay home
We welcome sharing with almost everything, but sickness is something you can keep to yourself.

5. We are enhancing our cleaning processes
We are investing in new equipment and increasing our cleaning time to ensure our facility is as sanitized as possible. We’re paying special attention to the cleaning of children’s rooms, bathrooms, the seats in the auditorium, door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces like railings. We’re also adding hand sanitizing stations throughout the church.

6. We can be friendly without touching
Feel free to offer a holy elbow bump or an air high five instead of shaking hands or hugging.

7. We welcome online giving
Any time attendance decreases, giving typically does as well. Please consider using the online giving options at and consider signing up for recurring giving. This creates a more stable source of income for the church and allows us to better plan our ministry for the rest of the year.

8. We encourage good hygiene
Please wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. If you have to cough, please use the inside of your elbow and cover your mouth to keep any germs from escaping. Remember that the coronavirus spreads before people become symptomatic. Good habits like these will keep you from passing on germs you may not know you have.

9. We are constantly evaluating ministry activities
At this time, we have not canceled ministry activities like our groups, AWANA, Bible studies, and outreaches like the upcoming Easter Egg hunt. However, we will continue to evaluate these carefully and may need to cancel them pending the situation in our community over the next several weeks. The Thorn outreach production has already canceled it’s last few locations, including ours.

10. We may change our approach to communion
We place a high value on the practice of the Lord’s Supper as something Christ directly instituted for His church. One thing Jesus did not do was establish a necessary mode for practicing communion. The methods we use today are based more on tradition than historical accuracy. We see no problems with changing our communion method if it honors the command of Jesus and minimizes potential health risks. If we make a change, we will explain it when we serve communion.

Again, please join us in praying for our community and all those affected by this new virus. We understand that God is ultimately in control and will work all things out for good to those who love Him. We trust in His promises and rest in His peace.
In Christ,
Senior Pastor
First Free Church