Our Top Priority is the Health and Safety of our
Children, Adults, Friends and Neighbors
Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website
for the most accurate and current information at https://www.cdc.gov.
BAPTIST DISTINCTIVE: INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY
Baptists believe God created each human with the individual freedom of the soul and personal responsibility to relate to God or not (to choose no religious belief system) without external influence or force of family, institution, government, or the law (including creeds, confessions, or canonical law). Humans are free to exercise their religious beliefs and religious convictions without consequences, coercion, or persecution. This inalienable freedom is fundamental to our Baptist identity, practices, and distinction.
West Side Baptist Church respects the individual liberty and freedom of choices of each member to exercise their religious beliefs within the community of faith and asks all persons to respect other persons’ religious practices and choices. Learn more about Soul Liberty at https://www.abc-usa.org/what-we-believe.
West Side Baptist Church Strategic Plan to ReOpen
The Strategic Plan to ReOpen WSBC was created and approved by the Church Council at its regular monthly meeting in May 2020 to voluntarily cooperate and comply with the Federal, State of Kansas, and the Shawnee County Health Department plans to stop the spread of the COVID 19 virus (and its variants). The Federal, State, County, and local governments reserve the right to amend or change their Plan at any time.
All persons are encouraged to use the recommended tools from the Center for Disease Control and the Shawnee County Health Department to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the omicron variant.
BACKGROUND – On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID 19) an international pandemic. The Church Council voted unanimously on April 7, 2020, to voluntarily cooperate with the Federal, State, and local governments to mitigate the Coronavirus (COVID 19). The Governor of Kansas issued Executive Order 20-16 on March 28, 2020, making Kansas the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order. On April 30, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly presented her Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas – a detailed framework for gradually, safely reopening the Kansas economy. The Church Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, to adopt “The Strategic Plan to Reopen West Side Baptist Church” (Plan) with the commitment to voluntary cooperation with the State of Kansas’ “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” the Shawnee County Health Department “A Guide to Re-Opening Shawnee County Ad Astra 3.0 (6/19/2020),” the federal government (e.g., Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the World Health Organization, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) global pandemic, and our denominational leadership. The top priority of the Church’s leadership is the health and safety of our families, friends, and neighbors!
REAFFIRMED – The Church Council, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, reaffirmed by unanimous consent to continue to cooperate with federal, state and county officials to stop the spread of the virus while respecting the conscious choices of others to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
THE BUILDING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – The church building is OPEN to the PUBLIC during PHASE 1 (GREEN), PHASE 2 (YELLOW), and PHASE 3 (ORANGE) and afterward, except upon order of the Shawnee County Community Health Officer and the Church’s Executive Officers. The Sanctuary will remain OPEN for all religious services, and the building will be OPEN to classes, meetings, public gatherings, community groups using the building, and community assistance programs. Every member and guest on church property must comply with the Governor of State of Kansas executive orders, Shawnee County public health orders, hygiene guidelines, federal, state, and local government regulations, as well as the decision of the Church Council and Congregation.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES – The Sanctuary has remained OPEN for public worship and will remain open until further notice. All worship services will continue to be broadcast LIVE on Facebook and YouTube. Religious Services (including funerals and weddings held in the Sanctuary) are not restricted to the State or county governments’ mass gathering limits. However, participants must comply with all public health orders, regulations, restrictions, and best practices issued by the Shawnee County Health Department, including the mandatory order to wear masks in public.
Please contact me or Pat Carpenter, Church Moderator, if you have any concerns or questions.
The Reverend Ivan E. Greuter, D.Min.
Senior Minister at West Side Baptist Church
1008 SW 4th St., Topeka, Kansas 66606
Phone: (785) 233-4241