June 9, 2020 Update
Dear Church Family
The time has finally come that many have been looking forward to for three months! In compliance with the State of North Carolina guidelines and the Carolina Conference of Seventh-day Adventists guidelines, the Greensboro SDA Church Board has voted to re-open the church for in-person worship services, and this will begin on June 20, 2020.
However, things will not to be “normal” at the church. First of all, Zoom Sabbath School classes will continue for the time being, so we will only come to the church for Divine Worship – there will be no Sabbath School at the church. In order to give members who participate in the Zoom Sabbath School classes time to travel to the church after their class, the Worship Service will be delayed until 11:15 am.
Upon entering the church building, you will find that greeters will not shake your hand or hug you as they greet you, and you are asked to refrain from physical contact with anyone else. You will not be handed a printed bulletin. We are requesting that everyone wear a face covering, and if you don’t have one, we will give you a disposable one. You will also be requested to make use of the touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser and observe social distancing. Then you are requested to proceed immediately to the sanctuary and be seated rather than stay in the foyer to visit. The doors of the sanctuary will remain open to prevent the need for continually sanitizing the door handles, so please be reverent and quiet!
At the door of the sanctuary there will be a mailbox to receive your tithe and offering because we will not be taking up an offering during the service. For your convenience a container beside the mailbox will hold tithe and offering envelopes. If you need to take an envelope and fill it out after taking your seat, you may place your tithe and offering in the mailbox as you leave. Feel free to take several of these to fill out at home so you won’t need to do so at church.
As you enter the sanctuary, you will notice that for social distancing purposes every-other-pew has been roped off and tape has been placed on the pews available for seating to indicate appropriate spacing. Of course, immediate family members are permitted to sit close together. But the practice of social distancing will require the use of the entire seating capacity (about 280) in order to accommodate about 50 participants. So seating is limited!
At the conclusion of the service, rather than stand at the door to greet those attending, the pastor will dismiss them pew by pew, allowing him to greet them personally. Then they should exit the building immediately and “catch up” with friends outside. There will be no Fellowship Lunch. This will be disappointing for many, but it is the price we pay to begin worshiping together in person at this time.
Because of the short amount of time occupying the building on Sabbath morning, it is hoped that the use of bathrooms will be very limited. Please do not use them as a place to visit! Sanitizing will take place as frequently as possible, but please take every precaution yourself.
Anyone with fever, body aches, chills, cough, or otherwise feeling ill needs to stay home and self-isolate from others. Immune-compromised people (those with heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, lupus etc.) should also consider staying at home during the first few weeks of the church opening as this will be an adjustment for everyone. Due to the fear of contracting the virus, those with allergies are encouraged to continue worshiping from home since others are not able to differentiate between “COVID-19 coughing” and “allergy coughing.”
And one other very important thing. Parents or grandparents or guardians with children under the age of 14 are required to keep their children within arm’s length. Children must not be allowed to wander around on their own, and no one should drop off a child at the church door.
These guidelines are intended to provide a safe and healthy environment to the greatest extent possible under difficult and stressful circumstances, showing love and respect for our brothers and sisters. Thank you for graciously observing them as once again we meet to offer our united worship to our Creator and Redeemer.
May God bless you,
Pastor Glen Garver