Impactful, traditional, worship

Our weekly 10am service creative collaboration of music, spoken Word, visual arts and community sharing through prayer and news.

Worship at First Baptist Church…

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…is a creative collaboration of music, preaching, prayer, visual arts, and community. While our worship format is traditional, our worship content can be fresh and dynamic. In addition to regular worship services at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday mornings, we hold special worship services during the church year, such as Holy Week services, contemporary music services, and a Blessing of the Animals with other congregations in the summer. There are also musical services like All Soul’s in November and Lessons and Carols in December. During the summer, services are held in Gordon Hall, rather than the main sanctuary.

Before your first visit

1

What do services at FBC look like during COVID-19?

During this time of physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our services and events have primarily been held online. Our COVID Task Force has been meeting monthly to update guidelines and expand the conditions that will allow us to meet together in person. The current guidelines can be found on the Upcoming Events page. For summer 2021, we transitioned to in-person, outdoor services on the lawn, and in September we began holding in-person services inside the sanctuary. All in-person attendees (vaccinated or not) are required to mask and socially distance while inside the church building. At FBC, we value inclusion and chose not to resume regular in-person services until it was felt to be safe for everyone to join us. We will continue to prioritize the safety of all and will return to online services only if infection rates in the community change. We recognize that not everyone feels comfortable attending in person at this time, or are unable to physically attend due to work, sickness, etc. Our services will continue to be broadcast live on the Sermons page and Facebook Live so that all may worship together, whether in spirit or in person. If you are curious about the church, the livestream is a great, no pressure way to check us out.
These are our current safety protocols for services:
Outdoor Services
• Social distancing to be maintained.
• Fully vaccinated people may decide whether or not to mask. Mask wearing is encouraged around children or those who have not been fully vaccinated.
• Close encounters and hugging only with others’ permission.
• No sharing of food, beverages or books with people outside your family group.
Indoor Services:
• Masks to be worn at all times, even during singing and spoken responses.
• Social distancing between family groups must be maintained at all times within the building.
• No sharing of beverages or books.
• Solo singers may be without masks within the chancel area.
2

Are any events being held in the church building at this time?

As above, we are currently holding in-person services outside. We are also resuming other events, such as funerals and weddings. As we navigate the path to having in-person events again, the following guidelines are being followed for any event held at FBC:
• All participants must wear masks inside the church building
• Social distancing is encouraged for all participants inside the building
• Masks and sanitizer must be available for all
• Event organizers must keep a record of all attendees and follow up with everyone if any participant subsequently tests positive for COVID-19
• Event organizers must ensure all participants understand and adhere to safe practice
• No food or drink may be served without prior approval of FBC
• FBC reserves the right to modify these protocols in light of changing infection rates
• All attendees are participating of their own free will and release The First Baptist Church of Worcester (FBC) of any liability, or responsibility should an exposure, or positive test arise in the days, or weeks following an in-person event held at FBC
3

Where do I park?

Our main parking lot entrance is off of Salisbury St. Overflow parking is available across the street or behind the church in the WPI parking garage. Entrances to the church are located along the main parking lot. The doors closer to Salisbury St. access the historic Sanctuary via stairs, while the main entrance down the sidewalk leads to education and fellowship spaces and is wheelchair accessible with an elevator to the Sanctuary.
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When you arrive.

When you enter the sanctuary, you will be greeted by an usher who will give you an Order of Worship which includes church announcements and guidance to participate in worship. The worship service begins at 10:00 am and usually lasts about an hour.
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What if I have children with me?

Children are always welcome in worship! We have a well-equipped and staffed nursery available for infants and toddlers in the education wing. An usher will be pleased to show you to our childcare room. Parents are also welcome to keep their toddlers and infants with them throughout the worship service. Sunday school (WooKids and WooYouth) for the older children occurs at 9 AM on the 3rd floor. They then join the rest of the congregation for worship. We have bags available at the sanctuary entrances which include children’s activities for those kids who may find it difficult to focus for the entire service. All children are invited to come up for the Moment of Wonder during the service where children receive a lesson crafted for them. Following the Moment of Wonder, children then return to their parents. All adults who work with children are CORI certified, and FBC as a whole is Safe Church certified.
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What happens during worship?

Our ministers and members participate in leading different parts of the worship service. We sing hymns, recite prayers, listen to Bible readings and special music, participate in giving and learn from a sermon. Once a month, we celebrate Communion in worship.
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May I take communion?

Yes, you can. We welcome everyone to share in communion with us. We serve the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. The church practices OPEN COMMUNION, which means that anyone who wishes to may partake of the bread and the juice. You do not have to be a member to participate.
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Where are the restrooms?

Restrooms may be found by entering the hallway through the doors to your right in the front of the sanctuary (near the pulpit). The nearest restroom is in the Going Library, which is on the right and down the hallway from the stairs and elevator. There are also restrooms on the lower level of the church, which you can reach by taking the elevator (to level BR).
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Fellowship Hour

Everyone is invited to join us for our Fellowship Hour following worship! We love to meet visitors and greet each other after worship. Fair trade coffee, tea and light refreshments are served in Gordon Hall just outside the Sanctuary, accessible via stairs or elevator. On many Sundays, programming of a variety of interests follows the time of fellowship.
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What if I'm an introvert?

If you’re nervous about visiting a new church, you can always check us out online first! Even pre-COVID we livestreamed all of our services on our website. We are currently using both Facebook Live and Zoom to stream the services while we remain outside of the church building. We also post previous sermon audio on our SoundCloud page and previous sermon videos on our YouTube channel and Sermons page. When we have in person services again and you feel ready to visit, we suggest coming in through the entrance closest to Salisbury St. (near our Free Little Pantry), as this will bring you into the sanctuary at the back, rather than the front. There’s always a brief time of greeting during the service, and then a Fellowship Hour in Gordon Hall after the service. Feel free to participate in those as much or as little as you’d like. If you’d rather meet with someone one-on-one first, Pastor Brent would love to grab a coffee or bite with you.
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Is FBC accessible?

FBC’s commitment to inclusion means that we want everyone to have full access to our church building and full participation in our worship. Because our building is more than 80 years old, it has undergone multiple renovations to work toward full accessibility, and this remains an ongoing process. For those who may have difficulty with stairs, our main entrance is located just off the parking lot near the playground and has no steps. The entrance leads to the church office, and then down the hall to the elevator, by which you can access all levels of the church building. Hearing devices are available for the hard of hearing to use during the service, and Communion will be brought to your seat if you have difficulty coming to the front. We still have progress to make, and we welcome suggestions regarding areas that need improvement.

Want to get involved? Check out our church calendar by clicking below!