CORONAVIRUS

UPDATE 

Grace Crossing Family,

                                                                          

 

WORSHIPPING TOGETHER DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK AT GRACE CROSSING BAPTIST

Rationale for meeting as a body for worship at Grace Crossing

As a leadership team of Elders, we have taken many things into consideration when deciding when, how and where our Church Family will begin to meet together again. These issues and concerns have been:

  • Scriptural commands to meet together. (Hebrews 10:25)

  • Scriptural commands to obey the leadership of governing authorities. (Romans 13)

  • Scriptural commands to care for the physical health and well-being of the people under the care of our church. (James 2:16)

  • Scriptural commands to care for the spiritual well-being of the people under the care of our Church. (1 Peter 5:1-5)

  • Practical considerations in regard to resources (Space to worship, volunteers and staff, timing and schedules), and special events such as Mother’s Day and Senior Recognition Sunday. 

  • Practical considerations in regard to the age, health, and special needs of specific members of our congregation. 

 

Balancing our Biblical mandate to meet together with recent executive orders from our Governor and directives from the CDC and Mississippi Department of Health, our staff and Elder team have developed a plan by which we can abide by the executive order which gives exemption and essential status to religious organizations given they abide by CDC and MDH standards. Below is the section of Executive Order No. 1463:

 

      “3. c. For purposes of this Executive Order the phrase “Essential Business or Operation” means: 

      Religious entities including religious and faith-based facilities, entities and groups, religious gatherings, provided that they adhere to the CDC and           the Mississippi Department of Health recommendations and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

 

Given the CDC guidelines for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 we have instituted these safeguards before, during and after each worship service at Grace Crossing.

 

  1. First, we are asking all members of our Church Family if they are not well, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, suspect they may have exposed to COVID-19, have traveled within the last two weeks to a COVID-19 hot spot, or have an underlying medical condition that makes them at risk, to please stay home and worship with us on line at 10:30 AM.

  2. We are asking attendees to sit with their family. We have spaced family unit seating a minimum of six feet apart.  

  3. We have a volunteer at our church entrance to help individuals find their assigned seating, and also remind them to maintain social distancing. 

  4. Following each worship service, we are wiping down hard surfaces in our restrooms and worship center.

  5. We are not serving any food or drinks before, during or after our worship services. 

 

We feel that by implementing these actions we are providing adequate adherence to the directive to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These actions are very much in line with those being taken by retail stores that are open during the pandemic. In fact, it is our belief that what we have in place may even be more health-friendly than those safeguards in place at stores. 

 

Common Questions:

  1. What about the “Group smaller than 10” regulation?

    1. We feel that while the entire group meeting together may be a number larger than 10, our family seating setup and six foot minimum between families, along with strict social distancing guidelines, provides that we are no more in a group of 10 people in worship than we are when there are more than 10 people in a store at any given time.

  2. Why not just wait until all this is over to meet together...we can worship “online”…isn’t that enough?

    1. Yes and no. While technology does give us some great advantages to share the Gospel, and also reach those who are home bound and otherwise cannot attend worship with the Body, we do not feel that only having “virtual” worship is the answer. Our interpretation of the Body of Christ is that the local Church is a local group that meets together regularly.  Much of what we struggle with as leaders is the unknown. Many are saying that there will be another round of the virus. Then another. And another. Will we cease to meet as a body for every one of these episodes, or will we find ways we can still be together in a responsible manner? That is the question we are seeking to answer. 

    2. We believe there is a danger to believers who have the physical ability and freedom to worship in person, who might grow comfortable with the ease of being able to “just watch online” and believe they are an active part of the Body of Christ. While there is value in the online experience, we do not believe it is ever intended to be a replacement for the gathering of believers together. 

  3. What about our Biblical responsibility to submit to the governing authority? Are we in violation of the law by meeting together?

    1. We believe that by not meeting for five weeks, one of these including Easter, we have made effort to submit to the governing authority. 

    2. We believe that in addition to our responsibility for humble submission to government, we have a greater responsibility as under shepherds to lead this local Body of Believers to worship our King in a regular corporate gathering as the Local Church. 

    3. We will continue to be attentive to daily requests from our government and MDH officials. We will also monitor the daily reports concerning the spread of COVID 19.

 

In all of these things, we want to proceed knowing that The Body is made up of many different members with different giftings, needs, ages and restrictions. We desire to move forward in a way that is careful, loving and graceful. If you have any specific questions we have not answered here, please feel free to contact Pastor Kevin at KCooper@gracecrossing.life. You may have a question that we have not thought about, that could help us in the days ahead.

 

 

© 2018 Grace Crossing