May 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
As we move into Phase 1 here in Northern VA, I want to provide you with some important information as you prayerfully consider returning to worship at our building.
First, I want to thank our “Compliance Team.” They’ve helped us think through various practices and procedures that we will utilize as we resume corporate worship. Please feel free to reach out to them if you have suggestions or ideas or would be willing to help in various ways.
In returning to corporate worship our goal is to praise our God in obedience to the commands of Scripture and to do so prudently (wisely/carefully). To be clear, the elders are calling for the congregation to gather this Sunday because we are convinced by Holy Scripture that this is the Lord’s command. We recognize that some in higher risk groups may still find it wise to remain away for some finite amount of time.
In order to help you through the decision-making process as to how you will participate in the re-gathering of ABC for worship, I’ve included a list of “Frequently Asked Questions.” These FAQs will help guide you to think through the implications of what this new phase means for you. We are excited to resume the free-exercise of Christian worship.
Should you have any questions that were not covered, please email any member of the Compliance Team or the elders of ABC, and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.
Please continue to pray as we prepare to return to gathering for worship on Sunday, May 31.
Warmly in Christ,
Questions about the Service
Questions about the Building and Activities
Questions about Attending
When are we having our worship service?
Our first service, Lord willing, will be on Sunday, May 31st at 10:30 AM.
Will ABC be following the governor’s guidelines for opening?
The Elders ABC are prepared to follow the guidelines listed in our Governor’s phased approach. You can read more about what is required here in the Governor’s Executive Order.
Are visitors welcome during this time?
Yes! We would love to be able to meet you.
Questions about the Service
What about communion and baptism?
ABC has purchased convenient, individual communion packets (contains bread and fruit of the vine) which will allow us to continue our celebration of the Lord’s Supper on a monthly basis. Baptisms will continue to take place as the Lord Jesus calls men and women to faith and to follow him.
Can we continue to give our offering?
We will not pass the plate during the service, but we will have a secure dropbox (in the lobby) available for you to drop your gift into.
Will we be singing?
According to Ephesians 5:19, we are commanded by God to sing. So, in obedience to Scripture, yes, we will sing.
Will we be able to spend time together in fellowship?
Yes, but while maintaining physical distance. Members may also wish to speak outside in the open air.
How should we greet one another?
The CDC Guidelines suggest and the Governor’s Executive Order 61 mandates that we maintain social distance and refrain from physical touch.
Questions About the Building and Activities
Will restrooms be available?
Yes, and we would advise you to use the restroom before you come.
Will children’s Sunday School or adult classes be offered on Sunday mornings?
For now, we will only resume the 10:30 AM worship gathering.
What safety measures can I expect to see on a Sunday morning?
Our plan involves propping all main doors open, having ample hand sanitizing stations, and organized seating.
What will seating be like?
We ask that those who gather sit every other pew (sit in pews marked yellow). If not in your physical family, please sit 6 feet away from the next closest person. The pews are marked in 2ft increments so you can discern what amounts to 6ft of space. If overflow seating is needed, there will be some available downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. Again, if not in your physical family, please sit 6 feet away from the next closest person.
Will there be childcare?
For now, no childcare will be provided, but children are welcome and encouraged to attend the service. The service will also be on a feed to the Fellowship Hall and the Cry Room.
Will there be coffee and snacks?
No, in order to eliminate unnecessary shared contact points.
Questions about Attending
I’m not sure I should attend. What should I do?
The elders of ABC would be willing to help shepherd you through this decision, please reach out to us.
What if I have been sick?
If you have a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, we ask that you not attend. Furthermore, do not come if you are showing any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or (less common) nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
What about face coverings?
We encourage you to prayerfully consider wearing a face covering in the building. Executive Order 61 states that “persons attending religious services must strongly consider wearing face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times.” Executive Order 63 gives additional guidance on face coverings including stating that “Face coverings may be removed to participate in a religious ritual.” Among other things, Executive Order 63 exempts face coverings for “children under 10,” “those who have trouble breathing,” “persons with health conditions that prohibit wearing a face covering, or if doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition.” It is likely that some in attendance will have face coverings, and some will not. We should all believe the best about one another, and not assume, jump to conclusions, or rush to judgment about each other's decisions. We should believe that we are all making decisions which are in accord with our best health and the best health of those around us. We should endeavor to trust God and trust that we’re all making decisions in accordance with God’s Word and love for one another.
Will there be hand sanitizer to use?
Yes, as much of it as we can provide. There will be some provided at the entrance and throughout the Sanctuary. Please use some as often as you feel you need, or bring your own.
Is there a way I can help?
Sure. The compliance team might need help in organizing additional cleaning, so please contact them. We have also started to take on the maintenance of the grounds ourselves and teams are needed to edge, weed, and mow each week. Please reach out to Mike if you can help with that, especially in organizing a schedule of teams!