Forward Baptist Church, Toronto

Glorify God. Grow in Christ. Go with the Gospel.

Contact Us
416.699.7156
info@forwardbaptist.com

COVID-19 Response Updates

March 21, 2020

We are excited to officially invite you to join us online Sunday morning at 10:30 am for a time of worship together. You will find the service at forwardbaptist.online.church or by heading to our website and clicking the link on our home page. Feel free to head there now and check it out if you are curious! We encourage you to join us a few minutes early and stay following the service to chat. As you listen to the sermon, we encourage you to think of questions you would like to ask. At the end of the service, we will invite you to ask your questions in the chat window.

For Parents & Kids! Each week we have a worksheet that you can print out for your kids to complete during the service. You can find it here, or by clicking the "Kids" link at the top of the forwardbaptist.online.church page. If you are not able to print it out, please let Aaron know (aaron@forwardbaptist.com) and he will look into possibly having a packet delivered to you for future weeks.


March 19, 2020

Dear church family,

The church of Christ is called to be a lighthouse in a dark world, bringing the truth of the gospel to everyone, embodying the love and hope that we have received from God.  We are called to sacrificially love our neighbours, and that is especially important in times of crisis. One of the most important ways we can show the love of Christ to our neighbours during the COVID-19 pandemic is to do our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.  For this reason (not out of fear for ourselves, but out of love for others) we have decided to suspend all church gatherings at Forward for the time being.  

  • Our Sunday morning services are cancelled for the time being, but we will be putting together a live-stream service. Watch your email for details on how to connect to the live-stream service on Sunday morning.

  • All other church gatherings are cancelled for three weeks, after which we will re-evaluate.

  • We encourage small groups to explore alternate ways of staying connected and growing together.

  • The church leadership will meet weekly to evaluate the situation and respond accordingly.

However, as a church we are not limited by our building and even while we are practicing “social distancing” there are still many ways that we can minister to one another and those around us.  It is important that we don’t isolate from one another, and especially from those who are in need. Our hope is that we will all see this time not as a break from church, but as a unique opportunity to grow deeply as a church in caring for each other and for our neighbours!

In addition to the ways that you personally connect with and care for your neighbours, there will also be needs that are brought to the church. If you are interested in helping to fill these needs or have ideas you would like to share with the church staff, please fill out this interest form.


March 14, 2020

Dear church family,

We are committed to being a people who love and glorify God as we grow together in Christ and love our neighbour as we love one another, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our world.

First Chronicles 12 tells the story of the soldiers who came to David's aid after he became king of Israel.  Among them were men from the tribe of Issachar who "understood the times and knew what Israel should do". People like that are needed in times of upheaval and crisis.  As we receive mixed reports and alarming news about the spread of COVID-19, the leadership team of Forward has been prayerfully considering how to best understand our situation and go forward.  We believe that God is sovereign over all things and we know that we have hope in the face of fear, and we also desire to be wise and to be good neighbours, protecting our community from the spread of COVID-19.

We will meet this Sunday on a modified basis and would like to communicate the extra measures we as a church are taking and what you can do to mitigate the possible spread of infection.

  • Our Sunday morning service will take place in the main sanctuary and we will not be offering nursery and Kidzone programs.

  • Sunday Prayer Meetings and Adult Sunday School will take place as usual (without coffee, feel free to bring your own).

  • If you are at higher risk (i.e. older adults, people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease), we encourage you to consider staying home.  

  • If you are not feeling well (i.e. any symptoms of cold or flu) or have traveled outside the country in the last 14 days, stay home and follow the recommended steps given by the government.

  • We have sanitized doorknobs, handles, pews, tables, and bathrooms.  We have many bathrooms available for handwashing and there is hand sanitizer available in high traffic areas.  We also have numerous tissue boxes available. 

  • Our greeters and ushers will be sharing smiles and words of welcome. Instead of handshakes and hugs, we ask that you share smiles and avoid physical contact. Bulletins will be available on stands near the entrances

  • Instead of passing offering plates around, we will place the plates at the exits at the conclusion of the service and invite people to put their offering in the plate.

  • There will be no food or drink at the fellowship time following the service.

We will continue to monitor and will update you if any changes take place. Our Deacons and Elders have their monthly meeting this Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and will be praying about and discussing COVID-19 and our continued response.

Here are the most important steps to prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

  • Stay home when you are ill.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.

  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

With March break approaching, it is important to follow the most updated advice on traveling. The Government of Canada is posting the best available advice on their website here. You can search for country-specific advice here. Note that the Federal government is advising that Canadians avoid all travel on cruise ships.

Remember to stay up to date and informed with the latest Toronto Public Health advisories at toronto.ca/coronavirus.

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This Week's Sermon:

Luke 2:22-40

March 22, 2020
Steve Lambert
Scripture
Luke 2:22-40
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