GBC OUTDOOR SERVICE 

 
 
Mark your calendar and dust off your lawn chairs! We are hosting an outdoor service next Sunday, May 24, at Grace Baptist Church at 10am! We will be adhering to social distancing guidelines in agreement with the Virginia State Phase 1 Policy, including everyone to maintain a six feet distance. All are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask. If you do not own a face mask and would like one, a face mask will be provided. Please join us for worship on the lawn, and bring lawn chairs or a blanket for your family. See below for our Outdoor Service Guidelines.
 
 

GBC Outdoor Services Guidelines

Introduction

  • Let’s all praise God for the opportunity to begin to worship together at Grace!
  • Because of the Coronavirus though we are taking a number of precautions in order to protect the health and safety of our members and our guests.
  • We want you to know that everything we are planning to do was put together with careful prayer, for everyone’s safety, and for the glory of God!
  • So, please read this entire document so you will be able to decide how best to glorify God by worshiping Him, loving one another, and making His disciples! (at the end of this guide you will also find the Governor’s Religious Service Guidelines)

 

  1. Phase I GBC Reopening with Outdoor Services:
    1. After much prayer and taking counsel from other Pastors, healthcare professionals, the Governor’s office, and the SBCV we have decided that Phase I of reopening our in-person worship will be best accomplished with Outdoor Services when the weather permits it.
      1. For those who choose to not attend at this time, we will continue to stream our services on Sundays at 10:00am and will endeavor to upload a taped version of the service to our social media platforms later in the day.
      2. Because we will be attempting to live-stream the service using a Verizon Hotspot we ask that everyone in attendance please turn off their cell phones in order to limit the burden on the cell tower’s bandwidth (you can also place your phone in “Airplane Mode”)
  • We hope and pray that these new Outdoor Services will create a warm, welcoming, and maybe even exciting environment to worship in; perhaps like the first churches and the persecuted churches which have often joyously met outdoors throughout the church’s history!

 

  1. Timing:
    1. We hope that starting the outdoor service at 10:00am will reduce the possibility of high temperatures and excess sun exposure.
    2. It is our goal to keep the services around 1 hour in length to minimize the effects of weather, sun, and the need for bathroom facilities.
  • In the event of cooler temperatures, or very light rain, the service will go on.
  1. If there is forecasted heavy rain, we will cancel the Outdoor Service and announce a switch to a streamed online service at 10:00am on Sunday
  1. Location:
    1. We will be holding our Outdoor Service on the large lawn directly to right of the building.
    2. We will block off several parking spots directly across from the field in case anyone wants to remain in their car and either listen through their windows or tune to our FM Transmitter 90.9 (graciously on loan from Hillcrest Baptist)

 

  1. Necessary Safety Precautions:
    1. Volunteers Safety:
      1. All volunteers will be screened each week before the service (temperature, possible COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, etc.)
      2. All volunteers will wear facemasks and continually wash and/or sanitize their hands

 

  1. Personal Safety:
    1. If you are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 we recommend that you either remain at home or if you do come to our Outdoor Services that you remain in your car.
    2. Anyone who chooses to be outside of their vehicle is encouraged to wear a face mask to protect themselves and the others around them (please bring your own facemasks, but also know that some graciously homemade facemasks will be available)
      1. All volunteers will be asked to wear a face mask, unless they are making announcements, leading worship, praying, or preaching.
    3. Everyone is asked to please maintain adequate social distancing of at least 6 feet while on the church campus (arriving, fellowshiping, worshiping, and exiting)
      1. This does not of course apply to members of the same household who currently live together.
    4. We will provide several Hand-Sanitizing Stations around the field.
    5. Those choosing to participate in the service outside of their cars should bring their own chairs, blankets or cushions and position their families at least six (6) feet apart (a limited number of chairs will be made available)

 

  • Limited Bathroom Availability:
    1. Because bathrooms are a small enclosed space, they will most likely be one of the greatest areas of concern during our Outdoor Services
    2. We will only have one Men’s & Women’s Bathroom open; the ones in the downstairs hallway
    3. A volunteer will be stationed at the Bathrooms to ensure that only one (1) family uses them at a time and he/she will routinely wipe down common surfaces
    4. If you do need to use the Bathrooms, please look for the door clearly marked Entrance and the door clearly marked Exit to the building so we can keep a One-Way traffic flow and proper social distancing.

 

  1. NO Children’s Ministries:
    1. Due to our concern for everyone’s safety during Phase I of our reopening, there will be NO Children’s Ministries at our initial Outdoor Services (Children’s Church, Nursery, etc.)
    2. The children’s playground will also remain closed for the time being.
    3. Parents will be responsible for helping their children maintain proper social distancing from other attendees and their families (sorry!)
    4. We will be having our weekly Worship Challenges, so if children do complete them, make sure their name is on them, and put them into the Offering Boxes, prizes will be rewarded the following week.

 

  1. NO Hymnals & Limited Bulletins:
    1. To prevent the virus from potentially spreading, we will be sending out our church bulletins by mail, email, Facebook, and our website, so please print them off before coming.
    2. A limited number of bulletins will be prepared by a volunteer wearing a facemask and gloves and will be available at several of the Hand-Sanitizing Stations.

 

  1. NO Passing of the Offering Plate
    1. You have been incredibly faithful in supporting God’s work during this pandemic and we encourage you to continue to use our online giving options or the US Mail.
    2. We will not be passing the offering plate during our Outdoor Services, but we will have several Offering Boxes as you enter or exit the lawn.
  • NO Sunday School
    1. During the initial Outdoor Services of Phase I of our reopening we will not have any on-campus Sunday Schools, Small Groups, or Bible Studies.
    2. However, we will be continuing our Zoom Wednesday and Thursday night Studies. If you are interested in becoming a part of these, please contact our church secretary Casey Elkins:  office@hisgraceforyou.org or 276-229-2486

 

  1. We know that this is not going to be easy, but we also know how much we truly love one another and how much we miss gathering together for worship! So please join us in glorifying God by following these GBC guidelines when we gather Outdoors to worship Him, love one another, and make His disciples.