Warrenville FBC and COVID-19
Currently, we are still moving forward with our plan to move our worship services back inside on July 19th. We realize that some of you might not be ready to do so and we want you to know that we understand. If that is your decision, know that we will still be live streaming our service. The live streamed service will be at 10:30 am. Although there could be some who do not feel safe, we want to ensure those who do decide to come that your safety is a high priority and we are going to do everything we can to keep everyone safe. To do so, we are going to need everybody to cooperate and follow the guidelines that we are giving. Lastly, remember to consider others over yourself, as we learn in God’s word in Philippians. If we all do this, we will have a safe and worshipful time as we come back to our home that God has so richly blessed us with.
Precautions that are being taken:
1.) Two Services
In Order to make sure that we are maintaining proper social distancing, we will be forced to have two worship services. The first will be at 9:00 am in the Sanctuary, and the second at 10:30 am in the Moody Building. There will be a seating capacity limit that will allow each service to accommodate about 60 people.
2.) Registering to attend a service
Since there will be a seating capacity, we are asking that you let us know which service you plan to attend. Ways to do that are as follows:
a. There will be a form emailed and sent through text to each member. Simply fill out the form and let us know your plans.
b. There will be a place on the website to sign up for which service you plan to attend.
c If you are not able to use the forms, simply call your deacon or Steve and inform us of your plans.
We will leave 10 of the 60 slots vacant for any first-time visitors or others that forget to register. Please do your best to register, so there is plenty of room for everybody who wants to attend.
9:00 am service in the Sanctuary – Mask WILL BE required for this service. We encourage that if you are more high risk to consider attending this service.
10:30 am service in Moody Building – Mask are highly recommended but not required. If you do not have a mask, we will have mask available upon entry.
4.) Cleaning and Sanitation
Both Worship Spaces will be professional cleaned and disinfected weekly by a janitorial company called JAN-PRO.
Upon entry into the building there will be hand sanitizer available.
Each service will have one designated set of bathrooms available for use in the case of an emergency. We want to encourage you not to use these unless you absolutely must. There will be a different set of bathrooms for each service.
6.) Entry into the Building
If you could imagine a wedding, we will us a similar strategy to seat people.
When you arrive, there will be an usher waiting at the door that will escort you and your family to a seat. We ask that once you are seated that you remain in that seat until the service is over.
When you arrive, if there is a line to get in the door, we ask that you stand on one of the designated marking that will be six feet apart to maintain social distancing while waiting to be escorted in. We encourage you to arrive early.
7.) Once in the Building
Again, we ask that once you are in the building that you remain in your seat and not get up and walk around. The only time you should leave your seat is for an emergency or upon dismissal.
8.) Exiting the Building
When the service is complete, we will dismiss people by row starting with those closes to the exit to limit people from walking by others.
9.) Tithes and Offering
We will not collect tithes and offering the traditional way. Instead, there will be a designated place on your way out of each worship service to give your offerings.
We want to make sure that each of you feel comfortable as we make our way back inside. Again, I want to ensure you your safety is our high priority. We have given much time and thought to these strategies and are open to your suggestions as well. If you see something that we have not considered, please let us know. We are excited to be able to come back together but understand things will be quite different. If there is any way, we can serve you or any questions you have feel free to ask. We love all of you and look forward to seeing you on July 19th at one of our worship services
Your Pastor and Deacons
We miss all of you and are looking forward to the day that we can be all together again in person worshiping and serving our Lord. As we begin to move back to this, I want to give you some direction and vision as to how this will look for Warrenville FBC.
Let me start by addressing this Sunday May 24th. We will continue to host our Worship service outdoors, there are two significant changes you need to be aware of:
Worship will begin at 10:00am it will continue at this time until you are notified otherwise
You have the option of sitting outside if you bring your own chair this will allow us to worship together in shaded area designated for chairs
With the option of sitting outside, if you are not yet comfortable doing this, there will be a section for vehicles to be parked in a close vicinity to the stage and you can remain in your car. It is important that when you arrive Sunday to pay attention to our parking attendants as they will instruct you on where to go based on your preference. We want to emphasize out of respect for all in our church family that we try to maintain social distancing.
Secondly, I want to address what the next several months will look like as we look to resume all functions essential to local church ministry. As we find in Scripture, we first and foremost find it crucially important to be together. The questions move to what we should do when we are together. We believe that there are functions that are essential within the church that we want to move back into doing together. Those are Worship, Teaching, Prayer, Evangelism, and Service/Stewardship.
As we begin to move back to normal, I believe we must be cautious not to miss the opportunity that God has laid before us. I begin to ask the question WHY? Is God showing us grace and favor, is God making necessary changes and transitions in our church a lot more practical in this season. There are two concerns I have as your pastor that motivates us to move back in a more strategic way:
Us growing stale and apathetic
Us just heading back to our traditions, bad habits and ineffective strategy, what we often call “normal”
The goal is not to go back to normal; the goal is to continue to move towards healthy. With that said, the essentials that I have referred to will be our guide into going back to a fully functioning Church. We want to create opportunities for you to benefit from these five things with others in person.
Worship - To be able to Worship Together in person
Discipleship- To be able to teach and be taught (Sunday School, Bible Study, Community Groups)
Evangelism- To be able to engage lostness together with the gospel
Prayer- To call out to and petition God with our thanksgiving, concerns, and burdens
Stewardship/ service- To steward what God has given us and serve within the local Church
With these essential to set the stage for how we move back we will do so in 3 Phases:
Phase 1: In Person Corporate Worship Experience
Phase 2: In Person Worship Experience, Discipleship opportunity (Sunday School), and Prayer Time
Phase 3: In person all 5 essentials to the local Church
As of today, we are in Phase 1. We will evaluate where we are every two weeks and as we pray and feel it is safe to do so we will introduce the next phase until we are back to being a fully functioning Church.
As we move back to doing in person gatherings, I want you to keep in mind a few recommendations from the CDC.
Wash your hands often
Avoid close contact
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
Cover coughs and sneezes
Monitor you own personal health
It is important to remember what might feel comfortable or be ok for you might not be the same for a brother or sister in Christ. Out of care and love for our family please be aware of others precautions in dealing with the virus.
These have no doubt been difficult times for all of us. I want to say how proud I have been of the response of our church family. It would be extremely easy to slip into reverse as a Church, but I see us with drive to continue to move forward. Again, I am reminded of Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I believe and trust that God is no doubt using all these things for the good of his Church. I am a firm believer the best days for the family at Warrenville FBC are still ahead. We have much anticipation and are very eager to hit the restart button and get going again.
Your Pastor and Deacons
I want to start by saying I love each and everyone of you and I am thankful for you. There is no doubt these are trying times, but let us not be caught by surprise as God's people. We know we live in a broken and fallen world and this is why we rejoice in a savior named Jesus, who is making all things new.
We do want to inform you, through prayer, searching God's word, and seeking wise counsel, we have come to the decision that at this time it is best to operate as a church in an alternate way than we are used to. I want to emphasize that church is not “cancelled” or “shut-down”. We are just going to do some things differently for a short time. Starting immediately, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, there will be no gatherings of more than 10 people (per guidelines from the President of the United States) on campus at 1012 Aiken Boulevard.
I want to be transparent and inform you on how we came to this decision. We have talked with people across the state, a doctor, and other church leaders, and on March 14, 2020, we met with a team from our church of Deacons and a couple of people in the medical field. During that meeting we came up with some criteria that would lead us in our decision making. Those criteria were as follows:
Clarity from God as to what we should do as a church.
Decisions that other churches made.
Government giving mandates or guidelines
Confirmed Cases in the CSRA
I can report to you that as of Monday, March 16, 2020 all these criteria were met.
To focus on what I consider the most important of all these, I want to call your attention to criteria #1. With the CDC giving guidelines of no gatherings of more than 50 persons and the president saying gatherings of no more than 10, I believe we have an obligation to make the decision we have made. We find in God’s word Romans 13:1-2, it says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” and in 1 Peter 2:13-17 it says, “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bond-servants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” I don’t feel our government or officials are asking us to do something in opposition of God’s word, therefore we must obey God and follow these guidelines. Though some might think this decision is made out of fear or hysteria, let me assure you it is not, it is rather one of obedience.
I want to emphasize the church is not “cancelled”. We are carrying on as a church, in prayer, worship, teaching, stewardship, missions, and caring for each other. Those things will be happening a little different over the next couple of weeks. Let me walk you through some things you can expect. Today or Wednesday you will be receiving a call from your Family Deacon with some questions and specifics about how we plan to minister to you and your family. Thursday we will send each family an envelope by mail filled with a weekly bulletin prayer list, contact list of all leadership, formal statement from church and a return stamped envelope for you to continue to make your contributions by mail. We will also have the ability to make contributions online at www.warrenvillefbc.com. On Sunday, we ask that you tune in live at 11:00 am at www.warrenvillefbc.com for our time of worship. This will also be a time to share more information about our plan to keep things moving the next few weeks.
In these circumstances it is important to remember that we are a family and families come together when things get hard. Communication is key, as we communicate with you, please do us a favor and communicate with us. Let us know the needs you have, but also ideas and ways you can help the family in this time.
I want to finish by encouraging you with Psalm 121:1-2 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills,
From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord,Who made heaven and earth.” With the right attitude, mindset, focus and most importantly help from God, we will be better as a family. I believe because of this we can come out better if we stick together and trust in the Lord. Again, I love all of you and look forward to sharing in what God is doing with you this Sunday at 11:00 am in our live stream service at www.warrenvillefbc.com.
Your Pastor and Deacons