On September 13th, Covington Bible Church will resume Sunday morning services inside.
As all of you are aware by now, there is more involved with this than simply opening the doors and letting folks in.We want to do this right, and there are several things we have to consider as we make plans for reopening. So here’s what it will look like when we start meeting indoors on Sunday morning the 13th.
We will have one service which will start at 10:30 a.m. Rows will be spaced six feet apart, and families will sit together. There should be a three chair space between families or individuals sitting in the same row. The activity center will also be available as an overflow where people may sit in the chairs provided. We would ask that these not be moved as they have been carefully planned for the ladies Coffee Break Ministry.
Nursery and children’s church will be provided for children ages 0-6 years. Children seven and older will sit with their parents during the service. There will be guidelines provided shortly for parents when they bring their children.
As we move from outdoor to indoor services, "the Commonwealth of Virginia now requires that people wear cloth face coverings when spending time in indoor public settings.” Therefore, we are asking people to wear masks. This is not only to keep us in compliance with the mandate of the state, but also to “love thy neighbor” by doing everything possible to protect the safety of others who are attending. If you are unable to wear a mask, please keep social distancing in mind while you are here.
We will be singing. “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Ephesians 5:19 (ESV) We look forward to worshiping the Lord together and hearing one another’s voices, even behind a mask.
Bathrooms will be available, but because of the limited size of our facilities, we will ask these be occupied by no more than two people at one time. Foot panels will be installed for touch free door opening.
Fellowship has been a hallmark of our church family. Often our people will stay and talk after the service for an hour or longer, which is something that always fills my heart with joy to see. With the social distancing requirements however, this will need to happen outside, where people can spread out. With this in mind we will try to dismiss people a little bit at a time to avoid gathering and congestion. People will be free to stand and talk when they are outside.
The worship center will need to be cleaned after the morning service to prepare for the evening meeting. To facilitate this and make it easier on the cleaning staff, Lysol and Clorox wipes will be provided at each row for this purpose. At the end of the service the windows will be opened, and each family will disinfect their space before they leave. We will share more about this later.
We know that as we make these plans, it would be unrealistic to think that there won’t be bumps in the road. There will be. We also know that there is no way to ever make everyone perfectly happy even in “normal” circumstances, let alone during such times and circumstances in which we are living now. However, we are confident that as we seek to “serve one another in love” (Gal 5:13), to “rejoice with the joy that no man takes from us” (John 16:22), and as we seek to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love," and "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3), we can navigate these waters and even come out stronger as a body as we do.
May God continue to use us to be salt and light, and keep us focused on His gospel as we move forward as a church together.