a baptist congregation at the virginia beach oceanfront
I’m so glad to share with you that we will be meeting for worship this Sunday! Wooooooooo hooooooooo! We’ll be meeting at 11 am in the sanctuary for Sunday service! No Sunday School yet (however the classrooms have been disinfected) –just worship at 11 am!
Things will be different. Very different! In keeping with the Governor’s executive order (Executive Order 61) we will be doing the following:
1. We’ll be marking places to sit allowing for six feet of space for individuals. (Families may sit together, but all the sanctuary pews will be marked off to allow six feet of personal space. The markings will be made with painters tape and will be eight feet apart in every direction. This will allow each person to have two feet of personal space if they stick with the markings.) We’ll only use the marked spaces for people to sit. This in no way will be close to utilizing 50% of the sanctuary space.
2. We will sanitize the sanctuary, lobby and bathrooms before and after the service. We’ve already done a deep cleaning of the pews. (You’d be surprised how much gunk gets in between the creases and crevices of the pews!) We are sanitizing the sanctuary, lobby and bathrooms on Saturday with a disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs. I wish to do this as close to Sunday as I can. All of the music along with the scriptures will be on the screen.
3. We’re making signage that is specified in the executive order. These signs will include no entry if running a fever or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, along with what are appropriate practices during this pandemic and warnings if safe practices are not followed.
4. Attendees are “strongly” urged to wear face coverings at all times during the service. During the service I will not be wearing a mask. I wear one to Wal-mart, the grocery store, drug store and gas station. Preaching a sermon in one would be most inhibiting. Know that I will be greeting and well wishing folks before and after the service from six feet away.
5. We will not pass the offering plate. (The order states that nothing is to be passed between persons, unless they are family members.) There will be an offering plate located in the lobby both before and after the service for people to give their financial offerings.)
6. I won’t be hand-shaking or hugging anyone this Sunday. (That is the strangest sentence I have ever typed.) It’s my hope that through my words and expressions you will sense the grace of God and my care for you. In these times that we are in, this must be enough.
7. Last and most important: Each person must be wise and consider both the risk factors for contracting along with their own health and condition. If for any reason you do not feel it wise for you to attend then please do not. (Another strange sentence as I type it.) You must be wise and make good decisions concerning your health, and when to re-enter community. If you feel it best to not attend yet, I hope you can bless me along with others who do attend.
This service will be on Facebook Live. Please go to www.facebook.com/FBCofVB to view the service. In addition to this, the sermon will be in print form and either mailed or delivered to members who cannot attend and those who wish to receive it. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my work over the last eight weeks and will continue to do so. At some point I’m going to write “Things I Learned During the Pandemic” and writing is one of these things.
I’ve always tried to be a good citizen, and these are the highlights of the Governor’s executive order that pertains to us. Whether the leadership is Republican or Democrat, I wish to follow the rules and do so with a good attitude and good heart. The rules do not dampen my spirit, and I hope they don’t dampen yours. We are called to be good citizens!
I’m excited about worshiping this Sunday!
The Reverend Dr. Steven R. Gupton
We welcome you as you seek to connect with the God of all grace and mercy.
This Sunday we will look at John 13:33-35 and consider the message Love in the Time of the Pandemic (or All You Need is Love.) It is my hope that this will be a time of refreshment and renewal for you!