Ready to Get Back to Church?

Are you ready to Get Back to Church?

We are excited to tell you that our church leaders are formulating plans to start meeting together again for worship. Our church leaders have sought guidance from Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, our local Lincoln Baptist Association, and our local medical community leaders in developing these guidelines. Hopefully, we can begin in the next 3 – 4 weeks, if not sooner. However, an exact date is not set at this point, as we must get our facilities cleaned and sanitized. Cleaning and sanitizing supplies must be obtained and ready for use. Other churches may start sooner, and that’s OK. Our church leaders want to make sure they have things in order and safe, so when we restart our worship service, we can do so with peace-of-mind.

What will In-Person Church Look Like

It should be clear to everyone that when we restart our in-person church worship service, things are going to be different. We can’t immediately go back to the way we were doing things prior to COVID-19. What will church worship look like? With COVID-19 still active and prevalent in our community, our initial plan will be to limit our Sanctuary attendance to 50% of our seating capacity or to a number that allows those attending to maintain 6 feet of separation from those not in your household. If necessary, we will provide overflow seating in our Ministry Center where the service and sermon will be streamed. This will give us plenty of space to properly social distance, and we will not have to turn anyone away. We plan to continue broadcasting our service via Facebook Live for those who are going to delay their return or cannot be present for other reasons. No nursery services will be provided initially, but will be considered when conditions improve and church leadership feels it can provide a safe and healthy environment.

We will delay restarting Sunday school, children’s church, adult choir, and activities on Sunday and Wednesday evening. We will consider restarting these services and activities when conditions improve and church leadership feels it can provide a safe and healthy environment.

We would like to share with you some of the steps and measures we are taking and will have in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as some of the things you can do for your safety and the safety of our church staff and fellow church members.

Steps Church Leadership Will Take

-Prior to resuming live services, church leadership will have all church facilities cleaned and sanitized. The focus initially will be on the church office, the Sanctuary, and the Ministry Center.

-Worship areas and restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized prior to each service.

-Entrance doors will be propped open before and after the services so you don’t have to touch push bars, door handles and knobs as you enter and exit.

-Ushers/Security team members, the Pastor, church staff, and other church volunteers involved in the service will be screened and temperature checked prior to each service.

-Ushers/Security team members will wear masks and clear disposable gloves while handling assigned duties.

-Ushers/Security team members will be conducting a temperature check as you enter with a non-touch infrared thermometer. If you are symptomatic, have a fever, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have traveled to a domestic COVID-19 hotspot in the past two weeks, please watch the service from home.

-Hand sanitizer stations will be at or near each entry/exit point for use as you enter and leave.

-Every other row of pews will be blocked off to establish a 6 foot separation to the front and rear (these will be marked).

-Offering plates will be set outside the sanctuary to drop off your offering to limit any potential physical contact. You can still mail your tithe, give online, or drop it off at the church office during the week.

-At the end of the each service you will be directed to exit by seating section (If needed we will use the front and side entrances to expedite this process and limit exposure.)

Steps We Ask You to Take

For everyone’s health and safety (this includes our Pastor and church staff), please consider wearing a mask while entering and exiting the building and during the service. A limited number of masks will be available if you happen to leave yours at home.

As previously mentioned, our Usher/Security team members will be checking each individual’s temperature as they are entering the church facilities. If you are symptomatic, have a fever, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have traveled to a domestic COVID-19 hotspot in the past two weeks and if you are able, please participate in the service from home.

Maintain 6 feet of separation from those not in your household. This means that we are asking that you keep at least a two-seat (person) distance between you and the person next to you on your pew (unless you are in the same household or traveling to and from church together).

Avoid physical contact with those not in your household. This means no hugging or shaking hands (this will be really hard for a lot of folks).

If you stop to visit outside the church, please maintain 6 feet of separation from those not in your household.

If you are in a vulnerable high risk group/category, we are encouraging you to delay your return for a few weeks. If we can assist you in watching online, please let us know.

If you have any potential symptoms of COVID-19, for the safety of others, please stay home. (Check the CDC’s list of potential symptoms, if you are unsure.)

Again, for everyone’s well-being, we are encouraging you to wear a mask while on the church property.

In Conclusion

We know this all seems strange and maybe a little overboard, but hopefully we will be so excited to be back together as a church family that these measures will seem like very small sacrifices. Plus, we can be assured in God’s grace that these conditions won’t last forever as we navigate through this pandemic. You have all been so patient, positive, and encouraging through this ordeal. Let’s keep seeking opportunities to serve and to glorify God with every action and breath we take.