Dear TMBC Family,
Hopefully, in the middle of everything you have going on, you’ve found some time to “Be still and know” that God is in control, caring for you and ready to hear from you. By now, I hope you’ve had the opportunity to view our past two Sunday services online. Many of you engaged with us this past Sunday on social media during the service. That interaction was great, and I look forward to experiencing that with you again.
Our COVID-19 Response Team met Tuesday afternoon through a virtual meeting to discuss our continued plan. During that meeting we heard from trusted physician, Dr. Dale Newton who shed light on the medical aspect of this virus and what new discoveries are being made about it. Sharon Lee, our church moderator and deacon chair shared with us how our deacons are continuing to care for our most vulnerable and have begun reaching out to discover the church’s prayer needs. We also discussed new national, state and local mandates and how they will impact future calendaring at TMBC.
In light of the spread of the virus, and our hope to keep everyone as safe as possible, all church related events and programming at the church will remain cancelled through Thursday, April 9.
As concerns continue to grow with the spread of COVID-19, TMBC will continue taking measures to ensure the safety of church members and neighbors who are most vulnerable.
What TMBC is Doing:
All programming of every variety is cancelled through Thursday, April 9. This temporary suspension of programming includes Sunday School, Worship, and all gatherings or events currently scheduled to take place on our campus. We will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision about returning to full or partial programming no later than Thursday, April 9th.
We will continue to use our entry protocol to the church facility. If you are sick and/or experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms (to include fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing) we request that you not enter the church at this time.
Care for Our Whole Church Family
Our deacons and ministers will continue care for our most vulnerable but have also extended their reach into the congregation by connecting with our whole church family. Our deacons are calling to discover your needs, to ask your prayer concerns, to see what’s going in in your life and to give you a break of sanity.
Our facilities staff continue the hard work of sanitizing the church building. Extra attention continues to be given to sanitizing all surface areas, door handles, restrooms, water fountains, pew and seat backs, offering plates, Bibles and hymnals, etc. We are taking this time to prepare for a safe and healthy return.
- Sunday Morning Worship
- Holy Week Services (Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter)
- Scenario One: Normal church schedule resumes, and our services continue as planned.
- Scenario Two: We have modified services, with altered communion, utilizing individual pre-packaged elements.
- Scenario Three: In-person services are cancelled, and we livestream services online.
We will make a decision by Thursday, April 9 regarding the full or partial return of programming. As such, the following modifications will be considered:
- No customary handshaking, hand holding or hugs in worship.
- Placement of antibacterial liquid at strategic locations around the church.
- Ushers and Greeters will continue to be at strategic locations to greet with a warm welcome.
- Worshippers will be encouraged to spread out a bit.
- We will modify our habit for collecting the offering. In order to avoid passing the offering plate around, we will place ushers with receptacles at the exits, where worshippers may give their offerings upon entering and exiting.
Other Calendar Events
All church team/committee meetings – cancelled
All Wednesday evening activities – cancelled
Sandro Silva’s Organ Recital – cancelled
Children’s Bunny Brunch –cancelled
Maundy Thursday Service – cancelled (may offer something virtual)
Preschool – temporarily closed, following school system.
What You Can Do:
During this uncertain time, there are a few ways we can continue to celebrate our shared life together:
Continue to PRAY for one another.
Take the opportunity to pray for those who are sick, and that this health crisis will soon be abated. Pray for ways you can (safely) care and reach out to the most vulnerable around you.
Continue to WATCH our services online.
Join us virtually as we worship the One who speaks hope in the face of fear and calm in places of angst. *Be sure to locate us on Facebook and Instagram or on our website, www.tmbc.org
Continue to GIVE to TMBC ministries online.
Our Ministries Plan/Budget and Annual 10/20 Missions Offering are still in need of your generous support. This is a great opportunity to make a one-time online gift, OR better yet, set up your recurring online contributions through our website.
We pray that these temporary adjustments to our ministry programming will ensure we are doing all we can to more fully love one another with a non-anxious presence, during this highly anxious time.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Yours in Christ,
March 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,
As our communities, state and country move further along with the world into trying to understand this novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to provide the best care for our congregation as we can, including your physical well-being. Since then, many of us have heard from national, state, and local leaders advising us to take precautionary measures as medical authorities seek best practices to gain control of this novel virus.
Your ministers have continued to meet and have conversations with deacon leadership and are seeking best practices of our own to apply at TMBC, although there is currently not a confirmed case in Greenville. In yesterday’s correspondence you were told that we would inform you if changes in the community affected normal church operations or if we should have to institute changes to our day-to-day operations at TMBC. Here are the temporary changes/precautions that we are placing into effect:
- We will suspend all Sunday and Wednesday activities through the next two weeks – Sundays, March 15 & 22 and Wednesdays, March 18 & 25. Our corporate worship of God is a vital part of our lives as individuals and as partners in the journey. The consensus of our COVID-19 Response Team consisting of Stuart Hardy, vice moderator; Vickie Carden, past moderator; Dr. Dale Newton, physician, deacon and chair of Human Resources; and pastors, believe that the most effective strategy of slowing down the spread of this virus is mitigation and social distancing. We must do our part in order to be a part of the solution.
- We will provide a virtual worship service each week, which will be available through Facebook Live or via a link on our website and emailed to you.
- The Church Office will remain open during the week. However, if you have been out of the country the past 14 days or been exposed to the virus you should not enter the building. If you are currently experiencing any symptoms you should not enter the building and contact your primary care physician.
- The church will be closed to large group gatherings/activities beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020.
- Committee and Team meetings will be encouraged to use technology as a recommended option if you choose to meet.
- Vidant has suspended all visitation of patients unless they are immediate family members. Due to that restriction, our ministers and hospital team will not be able to visit in-person. However, should you or a family member be admitted for any reason to the hospital, please inform the church office at 252-756-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org and provide a number for a minister to contact you so we can seek the best means to minister to you and pray with you.
- Nursing facilities and retirement homes/villages have also placed constraints on visitation. We will comply with these requests and continue to “check-in” through phone calls.
- Staying financially stable through this unknown season is of utmost importance so we can continue our ministries during and immediately after this unprecedented event. Please help our church by remaining faithful in giving. Remember you can also give online www.tmbc.org under the GIVE icon, by mail at 1510 Greenville Blvd SE, Greenville, NC 27858, or through bank draft or transfer. Additionally, you can give through texting.
- Simply send a text message to 833-908-0691 with the amount you would like to contribute (example: 50). Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link and enter your cardholder name and debit or card information. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and a receipt of your donation via email. For future giving, send a text with the amount you wish to give, and it will process automatically. You can even text “repeat” to make it a recurring donation. (Should you have any questions regarding your giving, please contact Becky Geddes, financial assistant, at email@example.com or by calling the church office at 252-756-5314.)
In the meantime, we are asking that you take precautions to keep yourself and others safe from all viruses, especially COVID-19. Here are some guidelines to help you:
- Stay home when you are sick and consult with your primary care physician. If you have a fever, stay home until you are fever free for 24-48 hours.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
The uncertainty around COVID-19 is creating anxiety in our workplaces, schools and day-to -day activities, still we remain certain of God’s steadfast presence and continued promise of provision. Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness, as well as those who care for them and those who are working around the clock to minimize the impact of this virus. After this time of suspended services and activities, our COVID-19 Response Team will re-evaluate and make decisions accordingly. These are times of facing the unknown, so we ask that you be in prayer for your church staff and leadership as they seek out best practices and respond accordingly.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Brad Smith, pastor
Rev. Abbi Mullens, associate pastor
Dr. Andy Roby, associate pastor
Mr. Stuart Hardy, vice moderator
Dr. Dale Newton, deacon, human resources
Mrs. Vickie Carden, past moderator