The past few months have been frustrating and difficult for all of us. We’ve all learned something through this and have perhaps picked up a few skills or habits we didn’t have before. But we’re all looking forward, I know, to getting back to normal, whatever that ends up being. One thing that will resume—in person services at Hephzibah Baptist Church. Beginning Sunday, June 7 we will have 2 identical worship services, one starting at 9 AM and one at 11. We will still make the service available online, in the same format we have been using, but it will be available later that day. Our goal will be to have it ready for viewing by 6 PM that day for those who are not comfortable attending in person. Because of the circumstances, we will have to do a few things differently, so please note the following changes to what we have done in the past.
- Seating for the worship services will be available on every other pew. We will have the others roped off, and we will be maintaining social distancing requirements for family groups. This will limit capacity, which is why we are having two services. For the purposes of our meetings, we are defining “family group” as anyone you currently live with or with whom you have maintained regular, in person, physical contact during this pandemic.
- The only entrance into the building will be via the front doors, facing Highway 88, and the side, double doors facing the parking lot along Jones Street. The other entrances will be locked to help control the traffic flow.
- Ushers will be available to help seat you, much like at a wedding. Those coming in the front doors will be seated on the left, piano side of the building. Those entering from the parking lot will be seated on the right, organ side, for as long as space allows. Please understand that you will likely not be seated in your normal spot. That’s okay. Your spot misses you, but it will be there when this is over.
- The offering will be collected in two boxes, one located in the sanctuary by each entrance. Online and mobile giving will still be available, and P. O. Box 175 still works also.
- Bathrooms will be available. Please use the restroom closest to the entrance you used when entering the building. This will help with traffic flow also.
- Hand sanitizer will be available. Please use it.
- Feel free to wear masks if you are comfortable with this.
- We will release one pew at the time at the end of the service. Please be patient. If we work together, everyone will be better off.
- Childcare will only be available in the nursery for birth-2s. We are asking for parents of children older than two to keep their children with them during the service. This is, perhaps, not ideal, but it is temporary. Our nursery workers will be screened and the nursery fully sanitized, if you would like to take advantage of it for your birth-2 child. There are also a few spaces available in the front foyer where you can still hear the service and sit with a small child, if needed.
Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, if you are sick, if you have any symptoms, or you have been in contact with anyone who has been sick or who has had symptoms, please stay at home. Our services are still available online. We can only meet together in person if we maintain, for the moment, proper social distancing protocol and stay at home if we are sick or medically fragile. We deeply miss you all and hope to see you all very soon. Let’s be smart and respectful as we gather back together.
I look forward to worshipping with you in person very soon,
Pastor Michael Wren
There will still be no Sunday School on Sunday mornings. Sunday School classes can continue to meet via Zoom, but they will need to decide when they will meet, because they will not be able to meet at 10 AM on Sunday morning. In addition, if your class would like to resume meeting in person, we can accommodate meetings, allowing for social distancing requirements. We simply ask that you contact the church office and work out with us the details of day, time, and location.
For the adults, Pastor Michael Wren has started a video series called “Answering Unbelief”. The series focuses on challenging and equipping Christians to share their faith. Pastor Michael uploads a new video each week. The videos can be found on YouTube. Go to “Answering Unbelief”.
Children’s Ministry activities are taking place via the Zoom web conferencing app during the month of June. Mrs. Lora connects with the children at 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Miss JenJe Stouder will be leading “Camp Create” on Wednesday evenings during the Summer starting June 3rd and going through to July 8th. Learn more about Camp Create.
Engage Student Ministry is now gathering at the Youth House from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. The Youth House is of adequate space for a group our size to meet and still allow for social distancing requirements. Contact Andy Stouder for more information.