Current Ministry Information

Updates on our activities in the midst of Coronavirus.  We continue to follow IDPH guidelines for best practices in a changing situation.   If you have any questions, please contact the church office at (309) 662-4253, or contact a member of the church staff.

Worship: In Person and Online

Worship is streamed online each Sunday at 10am www.youtube.com/user/FBCBloomingtonIL/live

Small Groups and Classes: In Person and Online

* Plans subject to change based on circumstances and will be posted here
* For information on hosting an in-person small group or class, click here.

For those who choose to attend worship or events in-person:

(Updated May 4, 2022)

  • Following current guidance, masks are not required for any activities at church.
  • At the same time, please feel welcome to continue wearing masks as you prefer.
  • We encourage those not feeling well to wear masks and/or to participate online.
  • Masks are available at the entrance to the church, along with hand sanitizer as needed.

Current Classes and Small Groups:

(click on the Zoom links to join) 

FBC Ladies Bible Study: 1st and 3rd Saturdays 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm online through Zoom

Breakfast Fellowship: 2nd Saturday of the month 9-10am online via Zoom

Wednesday Evening Bible Study: an interactive discussion on the scripture for the coming Sunday.  6:00pm via Zoom

Koinonia Class: Meets alternating Thursday evenings at 7pm in Barker Hall

Crusader Class: Meets Wednesday mornings at 11am – contact the church office for meeting location.

Meeting ID Numbers (if you prefer to save them / write them down)
1) The Church Account Meeting ID is our phone number: 309 662 4253
* Used for Sunday Prayer & Sharing time, the Wednesday Bible Study, Racism and Justice Class, Board and Committee Meetings
2) The Christian Education Account Meeting ID is: 822 018 8253
* Used for the LOGOS program, the Women’s Small Group, the Koinonia Class and Special Gatherings
To Join a Zoom meeting by phone, dial: 1 312 626 6799, then when prompted, enter the Meeting ID number, followed by the # key.


Using the Church Building for Classes and Small Groups:

Small group ministries for all ages are an important part of the ministry of First Baptist Church, and are continuing to meet and gather in multiple ways.

  • Classrooms and other meeting spaces are available throughout the week to reserve for small group gatherings.  Please contact the church office to reserve a time and place.
  • Reservations may be made through Jania by phone or email.

A word about ministry in this time:  

Over the years, we’ve heard it said that the church is not the building, it is the people.  The events unfolding in our world are challenging and upsetting, and at the same time, they reveal the essential truth that community and the bonds we share in love as children of God in Jesus Christ remain even when we cannot gather in person as we are used to.

At the same time, we are all leaning into and learning new ways of being the church in this time.  We believe that despite all of our uncertainty, God is present, God is active, and God is moving to redeem these events, bringing good out of what is not good.

One way we will continue to honor God and connect with each other is by gathering online for worship together; not as if we were watching Netflix or a podcast, but actively engaging and being together in a virtual space.

I believe that in the midst of something none of us would choose, God has given us the opportunity to ask some of the most important questions about our faith, to realize the value of our church family, to step into a time of fear and respond with grace, love, and the confidence that as Paul writes in Romans 8:39 “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Connecting with Others: Sharing meals, sharing life

Food is a necessity of life — and a meal shared with others can be life for the soul.

Our human interactions with and around food are a universal experience and are likewise found throughout scripture.  Sometimes those meals are life-changing; from Abraham and Sarah setting a feast before three strangers who will share good news, to a Passover feast eaten hurriedly in anticipation of God’s saving work, to the meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion…

In our lives today, meals are both an ordinary experience and one with the potential to experience God’s presence is made tangible.  How might we lean into that potential, both in our the lives of our homes/families and among our friends and wider community?

Some quick thoughts:

  • Use a meal as an opportunity not only to connect with friends but to get to know new people.  Invite someone you don’t know as well.
  • If family meal time has become scattered – what would it look to prioritize that time at least a few times a week?
  • Another building block would be to use conversation starters or short devotional times as part of the meal.
  • Remember that at the core of this is loving one another where they are at.  It is important to stay open to spiritual opportunities and deeper conversations – but the goal is not “getting people to come to church” or a aiming for some kind of conversion conversation.  Let God do that work.  People are not projects for us to work on, but are beloved by God whatever happens or doesn’t happen in a specific moment.

 

A quick note – obviously much of this is more difficult in the time of Covid; particularly outside of the people in our immediate circles.  The CDC has provided updated guidance for small gatherings of fully vaccinated people, and the possibilities that opens up.  For Christians, the law of love of neighbor and care for those most vulnerable/at risk, continues to take precedent in guiding our choices and actions.  In the midst of this, let us continue to think and act creatively so that we are connecting with others while caring for one another’s health. 


Ideas and Resources for Gathering around the Table:

(links provided are not a blanket endorsement of all content and perspectives found within them; take/adapt what is useful)

Small Group Meal Resources:

Meal Ideas — something to get some friends together and try: http://sneakyspoons.com/2012/01/small-group-meal-ideas.html

Incorporating meals into existing small groups: https://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2009/sharing-meal.html

Family Resources: 

Simple conversation starters provided monthly by the UMC https://www.umc.org/en/content/get-them-talking-discussion-starters-for-families

50 Table Talk Questions (general questions that open up conversation)

The challenge of leaning into difficult subjects around the dinner table:

Religion and Politics at the Dinner Table: Challenging the Old Maxim

Tips for Having Challenging Conversations – Some really good practical advice here