living the Great Commandment, fulfilling the Great Commission
Dear BCC Family,
We are looking forward to seeing you in person again SOON!
First, I want to thank the staff and leadership of this church for staying connected and continuing your ministry online. I want to especially thank Michele, Rachel and Amanda who have been the backbone of all the online ministry you experienced. Our church family has also remained active caring one for another. I am proud of you for fighting off selfishness, frustration, and fear, and most importantly I want to thank you for your online attendance and faithful giving.
We have learned much through this trial and may we never again take meeting together for granted. For many, we have had the opportunity to re-calibrate our priorities, and I pray we will permanently reset them to align more closely with God’s original intentions.
We are ready to start gathering for worship in person again on Sunday, June 14, 2020! This is going to require a lot of patience, flexibility, humility and love. As I have already shared, the one question that I would like for us to always ask as we make decisions is “What does love require of us?” We want everyone to be safe, and for a short while, not everything is going to be the same as when we left. I would like to share with you the plan for the in-person worship services. Remember, all these measures are for a few Sundays after we open.
Our sanctuary will be arranged to allow for social distancing. As you might imagine, this will reduce some of our capacity. We will continue to provide the service online, so if you are uncomfortable coming to the church building, please stay home and participate with us online.
For the first few Sunday’s we will have one family-style worship service at 10:30 am. There will be no children’s ministry activities, nursery, or childcare. This means your children will be sitting with you in the service. We understand that this means there will be more noise and activity. Please do not stress about this. It is ok. We are a family! Materials will be available to help your children participate during the service. Rachel will continue to provide children’s services online.
Pastor Caleb will provide youth ministry in Clay Chapel on Wednesday evenings with the same safeguards of cleaning, disinfecting, and arranging seating to maintain social distance. Women’s and men’s bible study will also resume following the same safeguards for safety.
All doors to the sanctuary will remain open when you enter and exit to eliminate the need to manually open and close them. When you enter the building, we ask that you do not congregate in the hallway but go immediately to the sanctuary. Once seated, please remain near your seat as far as possible so the ushers will know what seats are available. The back few rows of each section will have reserved seating for families with young children.
We realize you may have a favorite place to sit, but we ask for flexibility. Remember, families need to sit together. We understand that children/teenagers will see friends and may want to sit with them during service. At this point in the re-opening process, we strongly urge all children and students to stay with their parents at all times. After service, we ask that you do not congregate in the building, but fellowship outside in the parking lot exercising social distancing.
The following safety procedures will be in place. Please know these are not implemented out of fear but in a spirit of love for those who may be more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.
Masks are encouraged but not required for attendance.
All rooms, nursery, common areas, and the fellowship hall will be closed. This means no lingering in the building, no coffee and no water cooler. We will provide bottled water.
Before every service, the sanctuary will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Hand sanitizers will be available in the building. We encourage you to use them frequently.
Offering can be deposited in the plates in the foyer or you can give online.
Greeters and ushers will greet you verbally. I know there will be some who may want to hug or shake hands, and we will not be rebuking you for natural displays of brotherly love but ask that you be mindful that many are still nervous and may not feel comfortable yet. To assist we will have stickers available. Attach the sticker on your clothing to indicate that you are comfortable with a handshake or a quick hug. If you do not see a sticker, then please assume the person is not yet comfortable. Give them an air hug, wave, and a smile.
Most importantly, if you are high-risk, we encourage you to stay home and continue to join us online. While we would love to see you in person, we love you and we want you to stay healthy.
There is a lot of tension in our country—and a lot of opposing views. Here's how we are going to respond. We will respect the preferences of others and not make anyone feel less spiritual because they have a different approach. This is what love requires of us! One who chooses to attend is not godlier or more committed, and one who stays home is not smarter or more caring. You've all done a beautiful job of loving and caring for others over the past several weeks, let us keep that same attitude of love and concern as we come together for worship.
We will not become the social distancing police. We will encourage you to follow them out of love for each other. Like you, we are ready for this to be over! Many of these things feel like a hassle and extra work - because they are! But let us remind ourselves that this is temporary, as we work together knowing that the challenges of re-opening will be over soon.
We look forward to worshipping with you on June 14th! We are going to celebrate being together again and the faithfulness of God! Come ready to worship expecting God to do something amazing! These are Great Days with Great Opportunities!