Reopening Guidelines

Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church

Partial Reopening Plan

For October 4th, 2020

Dear JHBC Family,

On the 14th of September the deacons met and approved a partial reopening of the church on the 4th of October for the 11AM worship service. We plan to open the church according to a slightly modified previous plan which is highlighted below.

These recommendations may seem burdensome, but if they will prevent some of our church members from becoming sick, or dying, they would be more than worth it. Over the last six months, we have had five diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the congregation. Additionally, a few of our church members have lost loved ones from COVID related illness.

Let me say first, if you have any doubts about returning to church, especially if you have a pre-existing condition, stay home and continue to participate in our services through the radio or online. If we continue to follow approved guidelines we all hope that we will be able to fully open soon.

Even as we open on the 4th of October, please realize it will not be the same as the pre-COVID days. One of the things we have all missed is fellowship before and after the service. As we anticipate less than 100 people initially will attend, we can space ourselves safely during the service. But the temptation will be, before and after the service, to hug and talk in small groups. Please resist the temptation! Again, if we follow the guidelines, we will be able to get back to where we were. Until then, your twinkling eyes and a warm wave will have to do. If you do wish to have a conversation with someone after leaving the building, please do so with your mask on and stand at least six feet apart.

Please review the guidelines below. If you do not feel you can follow these guidelines that are consistent with common practices and approved by the deacons, please stay home and continue to worship online or on the radio.

Preparing the Facility:

· Doors

    • We will limit access to the church to four doors; the front of the sanctuary on Main Street; the two access doors on the east side of the sanctuary (between the sanctuary and the new property, and the portico entrance on Woodland Ave.
    • Signs will be posted at entrances reminding all to wear masks, sanitize hands, and keep appropriate social distancing.

· Sanitizer

    • Richard Sistrunk has obtained six sanitizing stations which have been placed throughout the facility. Please use them as you enter and depart.

· Fellowship / Greetings

    • Signs will be posted around the church reminding all to not shake hands and greet one another at an appropriate distance. Ushers and First Impressions will encourage appropriate social distancing.

Worship Service:

o Social Distancing

    • We have taped off every other pew and encourage social distancing between families (6 feet) on a pew.
    • Once the number of people in the sanctuary (approximately 100) is exceeded, members will be asked to go to the fellowship hall where the service will be shown on a large screen. Please maintain social distancing in McDowell Hall.

Sunday School: We will hold off on Sunday School probably for several weeks.

Nursery: There will be no nursery or children’s church for two additional weeks. During those two weeks we will coordinate with workers to see what is possible.

Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services: We will continue to hold Wednesday evening services on line. Once we have more clarity of the effect of lifting restrictions, we will make a decision with regard to evening services within the church.

Instructional Video:

  • A video is posted on line (JHBC.ORG) for what to expect when we return to church. This was a video we made in May, so there have been some minor changes.
  • https://www.facebook.com/JonesboroHeightsBC/videos/589167355053031/

Offering:

o Offering baskets will be provided in the front foyer and outside the sanctuary with ushers standing by.

o We continue to encourage online giving, as well. Dropping your offering off throughout the week is also still acceptable.

 

Lord’s Supper: We will likely use prepackaged communion sets for October 4th 2020. Individual sets have already been purchased.

Masks:

    • Masks MUST be worn by all congregants. If you are not comfortable with wearing a mask, please continue to worship online or the radio.
    • A mask will be provided to those that do not have one.

Choirs and Singing:

o We will hold off on choir rehearsals and inclusion in the worship service for now.

o We will continue to use soloists to ease back into more normal services.

o Because of a concern about singing and spreading COVID, shields will be placed in front of our worship leaders.

o Congregational singing will occur as the congregation will be wearing masks.

 

Bulletins: We will not distribute bulletins, other than what is posted electronically. After a few weeks, bulletins will be positioned throughout the church, but not handed out.

 

Meet-and-Greet Time: Eliminated until further notice.

 

Hymnals and Pew Bibles: Please do not use them. The current musical template will continue to include hymns.

 

Dismiss by Pews: Similar to the way people depart after a wedding, we will dismiss the church by pew to avoid people grouping together. We also encourage people not to congregate in the hallways or parking lots.

Preschool and Children (anticipated on October 18th):

    • Toys: We will eliminate toy boxes and an overabundance of toys. We will bring out only the amount of toys that volunteers are willing to clean at the end of the session.
    • Take Temperatures: Children and nursery workers will identify a single drop off and pick up point. A ‘no touch thermometer’ will be used to perform temperature checks on children and leaders before being allowed in preschool or children’s classrooms. If a child or worker is identified as having a temperature, the entire family will be asked to return home.

Drop-off and Pick-up: Only one parent will be allowed to drop off and pick up children. Children’s workers will be provided with masks to use at their discretion.

Again, I understand that these guidelines may seem strenuous but as the expression goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!’ Our great desire is to be together again, to worship and praise and fellowship – but do it as safely as possible for as long as we can!

God Bless You and Yours!

Pastor Cal