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Church in the Field: FBC Reopening Plan

June 4, 2020 | 0 comments

Dear FBC Family,

The elders are delighted to share the following plans for us to once again gather together to worship our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. As you know, the Commonwealth of Virginia has begun to relax restrictions on gatherings for faith communities. Therefore, we plan to gather for corporate worship in a limited format beginning this Sunday, June 7, at 9:30 AM, for a one-hour service outdoors on the field adjacent to the building. We intend to pray, sing, and hear God’s Word read and preached together.

Members and visitors are welcome to attend. Please carefully review the instructions below. 

General Precautions

The elders recognize that members will have different comfort levels with meeting again, different expectations for social interactions, and different perspectives on how to wisely navigate church service attendance. We understand there are many factors involved in decisions whether or not to attend public services during this time. No one will be judged for their choice to worship the Lord in person or at home. The sermon audio will be posted on the website immediately following the morning service as usual.

Those who are in good health and feel comfortable doing so are encouraged to attend. But those who are high risk, those caring for those who are high risk, those directly exposed to the virus as a healthcare professional, and those who have been otherwise medically directed, are encouraged not to attend during this first phase. Additionally, if you or any member of your family have been sick with a fever or any of the other symptoms the CDC has associated with COVID19, please refrain from attending for at least 14 days. Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms during a service will be kindly asked to leave.

Face Coverings

The Governor’s recent announcement makes wearing face coverings mandatory indoors in public spaces, but not for worship services held outdoors with appropriate social distancing. However, as a way to show neighborly love and care towards others and out of an abundance of caution, the elders ask all those attending our services to wear a face covering (members, visitors, adults, and children ages 10 and above based upon Virgina guidance). “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Social Distance

We ask all members to minimize close contact and maintain at least six feet of distance as much as possible while attending the outdoor worship services. Please refrain from handshakes or hugs. 

Seating

Families or individuals from the same household are welcomed and encouraged to sit together. Please bring  your own sheet, blanket, lawn chairs, or other seating options. Placing a sheet or blanket down clearly signals your distance from others. Consider arriving at least 10-15 minutes early to set up your spot. Those with little ones in attendance should leave time to also visit the bathroom(s) before the service starts.

Singing

We will not be using projection for the service. The words for the hymns are included as a PDF in this e-bulletin. We encourage you to view the bulletin on your phone or tablet or print a copy before leaving your home.  

Restrooms

Access to the building will be limited for the purpose of accessing the bathrooms only. Per the Governor’s order, entering the building will require the wearing of a face covering. 

After the Service

When the service concludes at 10:30 AM, you are welcome to leave or to linger. We have been blessed with a beautiful property giving us plenty of room to be together safely. You are welcome to pack a lunch and catch up with friends, tailgate in the parking lot, provided you maintain social distancing requirements. Be wise and be safe and enjoy seeing your brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Weather Contingency

If inclement weather prevents an outdoor service, then we will post the sermon audio and send the service email according to our recent approach. 

These plans have been made in accordance with the Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith published by the CDC, a source recommended by both state and local authorities. Please send any questions, concerns, or recommendations to the elders directly or to the church office (office@franconiabaptist.org). Be assured we are continually monitoring the process and making adjustments as necessary or as guidance changes. 

Reminders for All:

  • Bring your Bible and note-taking material
  • Bring your blanket, sheet, or towel
  • Bring your chair
  • Bring your snacks, coffee, & water
  • Bring your sunscreen & bug repellant

Reminders for Parents:

  • Keep a close watch on your kids
  • Please do not bring any sports or outdoor game equipment for your kids
  • Talk to your kids beforehand and practice safe behaviors in advance  

Please pray for the Lord to grant us wisdom and courage and humility during this unusual season in the life of our church. Know that we are praying for you, asking the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 

In Christ,

FBC Elders

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