As Austin is back in Stage Five, we’ve gone back to most of our major COVID-19 safety protocols for in-person worship attendance:
- Masks are highly recommended. If you don’t have one, we’d be happy to provide one for you when you’re on-site.
- Distancing measures are in place. We ask that families stay together, and that there be at least six feet between each family group in the pews, every other pew will be kept empty, and we ask that distancing measures be taken when socializing before and after the service.
- There will be overflow seating in the Education Building for anyone who feels uncomfortable with the number of people in the sanctuary and would like more space.
21 May 2020
Marshall Ford Family,
I hope and pray that you and your family are doing well. As most of you are aware, we attempted to have worship in the Sanctuary last week but out of an abundance of caution we chose to postpone a week. The leadership team and I believe we are able to create a safe environment of worship for you to join us if you follow the guidelines below.
I am excited about worshiping with you on Sunday either in person or online. Please let me know if you plan on coming as well as how many are coming with you. This will greatly help us plan ahead for Sunday.
15 May 2020
Marshall Ford Fellowship Family,
I hope and pray you are all doing well.
We had hoped to open our sanctuary for worship this Sunday but we have decided to delay at least one week. Everyone is well, but by following our own protocols we sent out last week, we decided to delay in an abundance of caution.
I do encourage you to worship with us on facebook live or on our church’s YouTube page. For those who have not worshiped with us online, you are truly missing out. God has blessed us more than we could have imagined through our online worship. We will continue with our online services even when we start to re-open the sanctuary. We are reaching people we have never reached before, and for that we are thankful. God is good.
We will keep you posted. Thank you for your patience.
7 May 2020
Email from Pastor Scott:
Marshall Ford Family,
Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God is good, I love you and miss seeing your faces. I pray that you and your family are doing well. If you have any needs that the church or I could assist you in please let me know.
I know if you are like me, you feel like you have been sucker punched by the ramifications of this virus. All of our lives have been interrupted, but I have seen God do amazing things when we are being interrupted. Make no mistake, God is using this for amazing things. We have been blessed as a church in many ways. The leadership team has been in great contact with our members and have had positive reports, meaning, the church family is doing well.
If you have watched our livestream on Facebook or have seen the replay on our YouTube channel, you know God has blessed us to be able to worship apart. We have had several people – from church members to unbelievers – not only watching but commenting positively about our worship. We also had missionaries we support from Water For All worshiping with us from Uganda. So God has blessed us tremendously with incredibly talented tech and worship leaders to get us through this time. God has blessed the efforts we have put in significantly more than I would have ever expected. (See verse above)
We will continue streaming our services indefinitely and encourage you to worship with us from your home.
As great as our streaming worship is, we have had many polite requests to once again worship at church. As you know, the leadership team has been praying for wisdom as to how we open our church doors once again. I personally, with the support of the leadership team, have determined we will slowly start church attendance once we are convinced that
We can keep those in our service safe.
Those that have never been to church feel safe with our protocols in place.
With all this being said, we tentatively plan to open our doors no earlier than May 17th. This date will require that there are not spikes in Travis County COVID numbers. May 17th is two and a half weeks from the day Governor Abbot “opened Texas”. We feel through prayer and through this extra time of collecting/analyzing data the plan to open on the 17th is a good target.
If for any reason, we, as a leadership team, feel like it is not in your best interest to open the doors we will continue to solely use livestream to worship. We will keep you updated throughout this process.
In order to make this opening successful, we will have protocols in place to keep us safe. You will find the suggestions listed below.
I want to thank you for your patience, and your prayers. God will not only get us through this, but we expect He will do more than we can ask or imagine through the process.
Pastor Marshall Ford Fellowship
Guidelines for reopen by the Leadership Team:
No Sunday School until further notice.
No children’s Services until further notice.
All children will have to sit with their family and remain 6 feet from other families.
Mid-Week Bible Studies remain on Zoom.
Earliest opening : May 17th (we will update you on website, on Facebook, and by email)
Sanctuary can occupy 50 people with new guidelines
Education building can be used for overages
Service will be streamed to a monitor in the Education Building via Facebook
Precautions to protect worshipers:
The sanctuary will be sterilized before the service
- We ask that everyone take their temperature at home before coming to the church building, even if you do not feel sick. If you have a fever, please remain at home.
Greeters will be at the door with hand sanitizer
Make sure you sanitize hands before entering
Remain 6 feet apart at all times
We encourage everyone to wear a mask
One will be provided to you if you don’t have one
We are under the City of Austin jurisdiction, and the City of Austin requires masks
Sit with your family and stay 6 feet from other people/families; please sit at the ends of the pews.
Please bring your own Bible as the Bibles in the pews will be removed
Every other pew will be blocked off
We will have water bottles instead of drinking fountains
Coffee bar will be closed
We will dismiss by family groups starting in the back of the church
Do your best to refrain from touching surfaces throughout the building
Any socializing after church should be done outside while practicing social distancing
We recommend you watch Facebook Live or the replay on our YouTube channel from home if…
You feel uncomfortable being in a group
You are elderly, at risk, or have a child under 5
You are sick (cough, fever, sneezing, anything else)
You have health issues. The CDC defines these as follows:
those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system.
You have been in contact with anyone who is COVID-19 positive in the past 2 weeks.
We do not have these recommendations to restrict but we do want to be wise. In fact we encourage everyone to watch the livestream from home; however, if you feel led to join us we encourage you to follow these guidelines.
If you get the virus, please let us know. We would like to pray for you and to look after those you have been in contact with.
Lastly, if you have any questions please write them down. We will have a Zoom meeting Wednesday the 13th to go over any questions or concerns. Be looking for an email early next week for the Zoom invitation.
March 20, 2020
Several of the local churches, including Marshall Ford Fellowship, have put together a great resource, Lake Travis One, to help you and your neighbors navigate this new challenge in our world. Go here for more information. You can also like/follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laketravisone/
March 19, 2020
A letter from the pastor:
Marshall Ford Fellowship Family,
God is good and in control. I wanted to thank you for being patient with the church as we are learning how to be a church family at this time. For at least the next 2 weeks, we will live stream our service on the church facebook page. We will begin worship shortly after 11:00 AM. Once you are watching, I encourage you to hit the share button so your friends can worship with us.
We ask that you worship with us from your home until we are able to collectively worship together again at church. Make a joyful noise in the comfort of your home but don’t get too comfortable because we will worship shoulder to shoulder again as soon as possible. For those that are not on facebook, we have a YouTube channel (Marshall Ford Fellowship) you can watch the full service. The YouTube version will be posted no later than Monday morning.
As for this Sunday, I will be preaching on the Great Commission. God’s timing on this is perfect because I believe sharing the love of Christ and His Gospel at this time is crucial. 1st Peter 1 says For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. I encourage you to find creative ways to love your neighbor and to stay connected to your church family. I recently had a meeting (by video) with the Mayor of Lakeway and she recommended I encourage our church family to stay in fellowship with one another.
This has been a time where we have been forced to adjust the way we worship, but worship we will. If we remained silent, the very stones would cry out in worship (paraphrased from Luke 19:40). We will worship Him through song, through the preaching of His Word, through fellowship (in a different way) and through giving.
Giving will have to be done differently for most of us. So below is a message from our church finance team:
“In light of these adjustments to our program, we are making every effort to keep us close to each other as a church family, through this time when we can’t be physically close. And, as much as we prefer not to talk about money issues, because we know that God will provide, we do urgently need your support for the church to continue operating. Please pray about what you are able to do and give as you feel led.”
Here are some options for getting your gifts to the church:
- Click this link to access our EasyTithe page: MFF EasyTithe
- Just under “Marshall Ford Fellowship” you will see two options: Give Now or Sign In. You may choose either. If you want to make recurring gifts online, it is best to choose “Sign In” and then “Register for an account.”
If you have questions, or problems entering your data, you can call Mary Partridge at (512) 657-8390 for help.
B. SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS:
Marshall Ford Fellowship Church
5000 Marshall Ford Road
Austin, TX 78732
C. An additional option is to set up a RECURRING CHECK FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, to be mailed to the address above.
Again, this appeal is to allow us to continue operating in a way that blesses you and our community in whatever ways we can.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)- So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Paston Marshall Ford Fellowship
March 16, 2020
As of this week, all Wednesday night activities are cancelled until further notice.
Sunday school/Bible study classes have been suspended until further notice.
We will let you know by Saturday at noon whether we are meeting in person for the Sunday morning service or going strictly online.
March 14, 2020
After a lot of prayer and discussion with the church elders, we have come to a consensus that we will not have our normal church services Sunday, March 15. We as Christians are not to live in fear of things this world has; however, we do have a responsibility in being a good neighbor and not spreading a virus. We are living in a time where there is a lot of unknown about the COVID-19 virus.
However, I do know as much as we need to flee from spreading sickness, we also need to cling to the Gospel of Jesus. Our church family knows first hand the power of prayer, so I will be at the church and I will lead a small prayer group at 11 am.
Philippians 4:4 says Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you would like to join me in prayer for our church, our community, our city, our nation and our world feel free to join me at 11am.
If you have any type of sickness, from scratchy throat, to cough, to fever we ask that you pray with us from your home. If you are elderly please pray with us from your home. If you have any kind of chronic illness please pray with us from your home. We will live stream our service on the church Facebook page.
For those who do come to pray, I ask you to please follow a few guidelines. Please wash your hands before you come and as you enter. We have sanitized our sanctuary building but please do your part in keeping hands sanitized. Also, this will be a small prayer group so spread out.
As for kids, know there will be no kids church. If you come, have them stay with you. I see this as an important time for our kids to see us cling to Him in prayer. If they make noise it’s ok, we are a family and kids make noises.
The prayer time will have a brief message but will primarily be focused on prayer. If you feel uncomfortable at all we ask you that you join us from the comfort of your home on our Facebook page. If you are healthy and feel uncomfortable not attending church I will be here. We do ask if you come please follow the guidelines and please do not linger after the service.
We will continue to monitor this situation and we will keep you updated. As things are changing rapidly we will be sure to get you an email by noon on Saturday concerning the service the next day.
Lastly, Dawn and I would love to help those in need. If you are struggling getting things you need let Dawn or I know. Anything from toilet paper, to formula, to anything else, please reach out to us. If you have not been to the grocery store lately you might be unaware of how difficult it is to find necessities. If you feel led to help Dawn and I in this please let me know. My contact information will be below.
Just as a reminder, none of this takes our God by surprise. But we as a church need to reflect the peace that comes only from Him. So during these difficult times, find your peace in clinging to Him.