First Shiloh Baptist Church

                                                                                                                Church Conduct and Procedures

As we gather together this morning, we “enter into His gates” with the news of the coronavirus bombarding the airways.  If you are alive and breathing, you have heard more about COVID-19 than you care to know.  I rise to remind us first of all, that we are people of faith!  We trust God.  As the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength.  However, we are also people of action.  "Faith without works is dead." We have developed and are developing protocols and precautions as we continue to do ministry in this context.  The health, well-being and safety of our parishioners, guests, staff and clients is of paramount importance. 

So, things will be different as we meet over the next several weeks.  First and foremost, I encourage those who are ill to stay home! Here are just a few of the changes implemented.

  • Our ushers are armed with hand sanitizer to help ensure that their hands are clean and ours also.
  • We have increased our building staff to ensure that all commonly touched places are disinfected regularly.
  • We will refrain from greeting one another as we have previously done (wave, fake high-five, elbow touch).
  • We will not pass offering plates for the foreseeable future; each person will have to deposit their own offering in the basket.
  • Our Choir will be taking precautions and this will be our last Sunday with choral music until further notice.
  • We will print the hymns each week so there will be no need to pick up the hymnals.
  • I encourage us to space ourselves out to provide at least 6 feet between each other.
  • Our Food Pantry ministry and VITA will have a set of screening questions to ask clients to ensure their safety.
  • The Pastorium and Diaconate will not be making physical pastoral visits except in the case of imminent death.
  • We are in the process of setting up Electronic giving and live streaming so that those at home can still participate in the worship experience.
  • We will continue to monitor, and assess the situation to keep you informed.
  • But most of all, we will pray!  These times are different and they call for us to be vigilant and watchful.
  • The coronavirus provides us with a wonderful opportunity to make sure that our protocols and procedures are up to date.
  • So, I encourage each of us to take this crisis seriously, to wash our hands excessively and make sure that we are staying abreast of all the changes as this is evolving quickly.

The Apostle Paul offered this word of encouragement in the early days of the Church and I commend it to you:

"Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.   And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.   And my God will supply all your need according to His riches in Christ Jesus."   (Philippians 4:6-7, 19)

Worship on Sunday


At a press briefing yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced precautions to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.


The same rules for basic public health concerns apply:

·        If you are sick or feeling poorly, stay home!

·        Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds at a minimum.

·        Reduce or eliminate personal contact with one another by not shaking hands, hugs, etc.

·        Call a medical provider if you feel ill or you think you have symptoms!

Please check on elderly or health-vulnerable congregants. (They will welcome your call!) Note that visits to nursing home residents are prohibited except in end-of-life situations.

Lastly, keep up to date by checking the government links:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

NYS Department of Health:


Pastor Jonathan