Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how OBC is responding.
Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. As information evolves, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.
Out of an abundance of caution and love for our church, we’ve cancelled all services and events for March 14 & 15. We’ll update you as soon as possible on plans for upcoming Sundays. Please join with us in prayer for our church and country. We appreciate your cooperation with these hard decisions! If at any point this changes, we will update this page immediately.
Yes. At this time, OBC and One Way Cafe are open as usual. On certain days, we may decide to close buildings for deep cleaning, and we will include that information on this page whenever that is the case. In addition, certain ministries in the church may decide not to meet at various times for various reasons. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
While we place a high priority on gathering together as the church for worship and other activities, and we always want you to feel welcome at OBC, if you are feeling sick or running a fever, the best way that you can love your neighbor is by staying home! If you need to stay home instead of coming to a worship gathering, we encourage you to worship online with us with any previous services available at osbornebaptist.com/sermons >
We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
- Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
- Staying home if you are sick;
- Covering your cough or sneeze;
- Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.
OBC is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
- Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with an EPA certified disinfectant.
- Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
- Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. These deep cleans will likely involve closing OBC buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are OBC buildings open on weekdays?”).
In all of our OBC Preschool, Kids, Switch, and Collide areas, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with an elevated temperature (above 99.6 F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before coming to our student gatherings. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns.
During our worship gatherings, we will continue using a safer way to serve communion with pre-packaged elements. We will also continue to baptize people in pools filled with sanitized water. In addition, we encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow bumping instead of hand shaking!).
Our Missions staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Based upon this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate.
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
- Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
- Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
- Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. Just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
- Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
- Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online here or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.