Barring some unforeseen major event, Grace Bible Church will resume more normal operation of all services effective Sunday morning, April 4, 2021. During the 2 weeks prior to April 4, the church will be thoroughly cleaned, and during these 2 weeks, our present protocol will continue to be followed.
For the past year we have been functioning under strict CDC guidelines. The cooperative effort of our congregation to adhere to these guidelines is phenomenal and greatly appreciated, and has resulted in a high degree of protection from the Covid virus.
Based on several encouraging trends, such as the publicly reported decline of the virus, the progress of vaccinations in our area and across the state, and the observed successful practices of other public venues, such as restaurants, retail stores and other churches in the area, and based on the spiritual needs of our assembly, we have prayerfully made the decision to return cautiously to a more normal mode of operation.
We have come to understand that no matter how rigid we design the protocols to safeguard everyone, perfection is not possible. We conclude that every individual member of our congregation has their own unique set of circumstances to consider, such as their age, underlying physical condition, vaccination status, recent contacts, exposure to travel, etc. Therefore, we emphasize that it is now a matter of individuals making decisions based on their own personal responsibility and common sense.
What is meant by ‘returning cautiously to a more normal mode of operation’ ?
o Masks will be optional on church grounds and within the church and are a matter of personal choice based on individual circumstances.
o Distancing in the sanctuary will be optional – and a matter of personal choice based on individual circumstances.
o A special area consisting of several front rows of seating near the side exit will be designated for those who have the need for separation due to their particular circumstances. Those seated in this area will exit through the side door.
o The overflow area in the Fellowship Hall will be available for those whose circumstances preclude seating in the sanctuary.
o There will be congregational singing and special music in the Sanctuary.
o Sunday morning services will be in person but will continue to be live streamed on YouTube and via Zoom.
o Sunday night and Wednesday night services will be held in the church building but will also be available via Zoom.
o Sunday School classes will be resumed, including nursery, children, and adults. The upstairs men’s class will initially move into John Ward’s class in the Sanctuary.
o At the conclusion of each service, it is asked that worshipers exit in an orderly manner and avoid congregating in large groups in the sanctuary and foyer.
o Initially there will be no traditional offering taken. A box will be located in the foyer for depositing offerings. Also ushers with offering plates will be positioned in the foyer.
o There will be no bulletins or other materials handed out.
o We will continue to use the pre-packaged cups with bread and juice for the ordinance of The Lord’s Supper
o Everyone is asked to continue to assume personal responsibility for handwashing and use of hand sanitizers.
o Our 1st Sunday fellowship meals will be postponed until a future date.
This policy change is a starting point for returning to normalcy and will be subject to review as events unfold. In the meantime, we trust that everyone will exercise their own individual personal responsibility and common sense in making wise choices.
Grace Bible Church Elder and Deacon Boards
John Ward Tommy Vickers
Steve Bonner William Peacock Jason Walker
Gary Hensarling Richard Thomas Curtis Watts