Dear FBC Family,
The elders are delighted to share the following plans as we re-enter the building for our Sunday morning service. We desire to follow all state and local guidelines with regards to the health and safety for all who join us for worship. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
We plan to gather each Lord's Day for corporate worship at 10:45 AM for a one-hour service. As always, we intend to pray, sing, hear, preach, and read God’s Word together. We also plan to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of the month. Members and visitors are welcome to attend. Please carefully review the instructions below.
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 time. 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.
The Governor has mandated the wearing of face coverings indoors in public spaces in Virginia: “All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. This expands the current mask mandate, which has been in place in Virginia since May 29 and requires all individuals aged 10 and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.”
So, all those attending our services - members, visitors, children (ages 5 and above), and adults - should wear face coverings at all times. Please bring your own face covering if possible due to limited supplies. Those without a mask will be asked by the greeters to put a mask on before entering. The church has a limited supply of disposable masks for those who do not have one.
NOTE: If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering, you are NOT required to wear one indoors. This exception is pursuant to the Governor’s executive order regarding face coverings (EO 63).
Seating in the sanctuary will be marked to observe social distancing. Family units, those from the same household, or those in regular contact should sit together to help maximize seating capacity. The greeting team will help space people as they enter the facility, and direct people to the appropriate location in the sanctuary and balcony areas.
Consistent with Virginia guidelines for church services, we ask all members and attendees to minimize close contact and maintain at least six feet of distance as much as possible while attending the worship services. Please refrain from handshakes or hugs. We recognize this may not be possible in all situations due to the limitations of our facility, so please extend grace and patience towards one another. As much as possible, we will attempt to structure the traffic flow of the facility to minimize prolonged, close contact.
Please access the e-bulletin PDF posted each week on the website. We encourage you to view the bulletin on your phone or tablet or print a copy before leaving your home. We will be using projection for the service for the Scripture readings and the hymns.
The church has placed sanitizer stations in common areas. Members are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer to use during services. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the facility in line with CDC guidance will occur before and after each service.
After the Service
When the service concludes at 11:45 AM, please exit the sanctuary and feel free to fellowship and linger outside. We have been blessed with a beautiful property giving us plenty of room to be together safely, provided you maintain social distancing requirements. Be wise and be safe and enjoy seeing your brothers and sisters in Christ.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be assured we are continually monitoring the process and making adjustments as necessary or as guidance changes. Please pray for the Lord to grant us wisdom and courage and humility during this unusual season in the life of our church.
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.
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.
NOTE: If you have read the latest announcement from Governor Northam you may have questions about how this pertains to local churches in Virginia. According to the Governor’s office, churches and their worship services have their own guidelines. Unless there is specific wording in an executive order or announcement that refers to houses of worship/religious services/churches, then it does not apply to churches. The latest criteria for religious services are set forth in Executive Order 67 as revised on Nov. 5, 2020.
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