Covid-19 Update – July

SMBC Covid-19 Update

July 30, 2020

Please read this one.

Hey! I get information overload too. It’s hard to take the time to read everything we receive, especially when the writer (like me) is too verbose! But I need you to hear me this time. Next time you can just skim! ☺ 

Let’s talk about the Governor’s most recent Executive Order (#68). With this order, in effect June 30th, he gave additional restrictions to the eastern region of Virginia. This was done because of the increase in positive COVID-19 case counts here. There are two things we need to know, as a church, about this Executive Order: 

  1. This order does not change what we are doing. Page three of the written Order states, “Nothing in this Order is intended to place further restrictions on religious services,” as long as certain “requirements” are followed. We are following all of the requirements listed in the Order. 
  2. This Order should raise our awareness of the situation that is happening in our community. This highly infectious virus is still moving among us. People are still getting very sick. Some are dying. It is definitely not time to be “over it.” 

Let’s talk about our SMBC COVID-19 rules. Our guidelines and precautions remain the same and we need to resolutely keep them. 

  1. We REQUIRE social distancing while here. We are directing the access and egress to and from the building. We are seating worshipers socially distanced from one another and we are preventing gatherings from forming in common areas. 
  2. We are sanitizing for every new group entering the facility. 
  3. We SERIOUSLY REQUEST that everyone who comes to worship (or any other activity we might be holding now like Sunday School, Youth Discipleship Groups, or Prayer Meeting) wear a mask/face covering. I think we can do better following this precaution. The Lord’s place of worship should be known as a sanctuary (“a place of refuge or safety”) and we need to make everyone feel as safe and sheltered as possible. If putting on a mask removes a barrier to someone letting God move in their life, then as a mature brother or sister it should not be too much to ask from us. 
  4. However, we will not enforce mask wearing or condemn anyone who does not wear one. 

Apparently, this mask-wearing, socially distanced, unusual COVID-19 world we are experiencing is going to be with us for months and months to come. Our church leadership feels that the Lord would have us proceed in deliberately, and as safely as possible, opening up our in-person, growth, and ministry activities. We will not throw caution to the wind. We will be depending on one another to use safe practices and be extra thoughtful to one another. Our online opportunities will continue to be offered for those who should not yet get out. 

You may have questions about something I have said here. You may have questions about something I failed to say here. I am always open to talking with all of you and so are our Elders, Staff, Deacons, Ministry Team Leaders/Members, and Teachers. Do not hesitate to call any of us.

God continues to bless us and we have much to be excited about. We have three baptisms, VBS, and another Fun in the Son Day all coming up soon! 

I really love you church family!


Pastor John

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