COVID Reopening Letter (May 20, 2020)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dear Earlington First Baptist Family, 

This Sunday, May 24, 2020 will be our reopening for in-person worship in our sanctuary.

The decision to re-open has not been taken lightly and has been carefully considered using your survey input, conversations among our deacons, our leadership, and staff, and through much prayer.
  
We desire in every way to provide a meaningful time of worship and also a safe environment for everyone who will attend during this initial phase of reopening.  Thus, our leadership has put in to place various guidelines as we return to gathering in-person. Please carefully read through what you will need to know before you attend and what you may expect upon your arrival. 

We are excited to see many of you who will be able to return, and we are looking forward to the coming weeks when we can all gather again in worship.  May the Lord continue to bless and keep you as we move forward in the hope found in Him!


As you make your preparations to attend, please consider the following:

 

  • If you or anyone in your immediate household has had symptoms of COVID-19 (based on CDC), or has been exposed to individuals exhibiting symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please do not attend and continue to worship via our live stream
 
  • If you or anyone in your immediate household has exhibited symptoms of illness or has had a temperature of over 100.1 in the previous 72 hours, please do not attend and continue to worship via our live stream
 
  • If your age or health places you in the “vulnerable” category of individuals (based on CDC), please consider continuing to worship via our live stream for the time being
 
  • Face masks are strongly recommended for the safety of each person gathered.  Please plan to bring your own masks.  Masks will only be provided for those who do not have their own.
  • Our sanctuary and facilities have been professionally sanitized this week (May 22) and have been continually cleaned and sanitized prior to this time.
 
  • All commonly touched surfaces within the facility will be cleaned throughout our gathering times.
 
  • Only a 10:30AM Sunday Worship Celebration will be offered in our initial re-opening
 
  • There will continue to be no Sunday School, Children’s Ministry, Student Ministry, or other gatherings on our church campus at this time
 
  • Childcare (Nursery and Children’s Worship) will not be provided.  Children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to worship in the sanctuary with their families.  Activity packets will be provided to assist families with young children in worship. 
 
  • Our sanctuary will be open at a 33% capacity and we will be asking individuals to sit according to spacing guidelines. 
    • Should attendance exceed the 33% capacity the fellowship hall will be set up for overflow (also at 33% capacity) where you may view the live worship with others on a large screen. 
    • If you arrive after the sanctuary has reached capacity, you will be directed to the fellowship hall
 
  • There is no way to accurately project how many people will attend so please be patient and understanding if adjustments need to be made due to a larger than expected attendance.
 
  • Prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance in your decision to attend at this time, and we ask you to only attend if you feel safe in doing so.  We also ask each individual to exhibit grace and understanding toward those who may not have the same perspective on guidelines or gatherings as you.  May we continue to live out the love of Christ.



When you do attend:   

  • Traffic patterns for entry and exit of the building will be clearly marked and communicated. Please follow these predetermined routes for the safety of everyone.
 
  • The entry under the main portico facing 41S will be the only entry open at the facility
 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located at all entrances to the sanctuary and at the parking lot entrance.
    • We ask each individual entering the facility to utilize the hand sanitizing stations or wash their hands in the restroom
 
  • Please refrain from greeting others through touch (handshakes, hugs, back pats, etc…). Smiles and discussions from the suggested 6’ distance are encouraged and acceptable.
 
  • Allow ushers to direct you to available seating.
 
  • Please follow all posted signage concerning closed seating.
 
  • Children’s activity packets will be provided at the entry of the sanctuary to help families worship with small children.
 
  • Family units living in the same household may sit together while distanced from others by 6’.
    • Every other pew will be closed to seating
    • Seating on each pew will be clearly marked
 
  • Family units of four (4) or more in the same household will be asked to utilize seating in the center section of the sanctuary to help maintain social distancing
 
  • All areas outside of the sanctuary (basement, hallways, education rooms, office annex, etc.) will be closed unless marked or utilized for overflow. 
    • Please respect these boundaries
 
  • Restrooms on the main floor nearest the sanctuary WILL be open and we will be adhering to recommended guidelines for use.
 
  • Dismissal from the worship service will be guided by the leadership at that time
 
  • Tithes and offerings will be able to be placed in the plates that will located at the sanctuary exit at the close of the service

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the information we have communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to worshiping together this Sunday as the church, whether together in-person or online.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the ministry at EFBC, and for your loving and gracious cooperation as we journey forward together.  

Living out the love of Christ,

The Staff and Leadership of Earlington FBC