***UPDATE AS OF JULY 5, 2020***

We will no longer be using the Student Center as an overflow area for the Sunday service. We are able to spread out enough in the main sanctuary without needing an extra venue while still maintaining appropriate social distance.

We will also be relaxing the requirements regarding touching surfaces in the restroom. These will be downgraded from requirements to recommendations. Further knowledge from the CDC indicates that the risk of contact in that scenario, while still real, is less than originally thought. Simply washing your hands before and after using the restroom will be sufficient.

 

***UPDATE AS OF JUNE 24, 2020***

All Wednesday night activities will now resume on campus. They will follow the same social distancing protocol as Sunday morning activities when reasonable/possible.

***UPDATE AS OF JUNE 10, 2020***

Update to COVID-19 Policy Regarding Nursery, Preschool Ministry (Wee Worship), and Elementary Kids Ministry (KidHope):

 

June 14, 2020

Nursery, Wee Worship, and KidHope will resume meeting for the 10:15am service, however, each of these will look a bit different.

 

Check-in:

All children 0-5th grade must be checked in on Sunday morning before going to their classes. The check-in station will be located in the main sanctuary (Worship Life Center), and it will be open from 10am – 10:30am. Your kids will be checked-in on the computer by a volunteer. There will be no self-check in at this time to eliminate multiple people touching the same equipment.

 

Nursery:

After being checked-in, guardians will immediately bring nursery-aged children into the nursery (in the old building). Children will be picked up from the nursery by a guardian with the corresponding check-in tag for the child after the service is over.

 

Nursery Safety Protocols:

-The nursery is thoroughly stocked with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Volunteers are expected to liberally and thoroughly wipe down any equipment used by a child immediately after it is used, and to use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces. Gloves and masks will also be available should the volunteers choose to use them (not required).

-Children are to be discouraged from playing with the same toy as much as possible. Volunteers are expected to make use of the sanitizing items in the room to help with this.

-There will be no shared snacks given to children from a community supply (children may be given snacks or bottles that their guardian provides for them, but they cannot be shared with other children)

 

Wee Worship:

After being checked-in, preschool-aged children will sit in the sanctuary with their guardian/household. They will remain in service for the music portion of the service. After the music is over, they will be dismissed to meet their teachers in the back of the room and escorted to their class room (upstairs in the old building). This will eliminate time children would normally spend sharing toys together and having snack, and would instead have this time primarily focus on the bible lesson. This will make for easier social distancing. After the service is over, children will be picked up from the Wee Worship classroom by a guardian with the corresponding check-in tag for the child.

 

Wee Worship Safety Protocols:

-The classroom is thoroughly stocked with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Volunteers are expected to liberally and thoroughly wipe down any equipment used by a child immediately after it is used, and to use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces. Gloves and masks will also be available should the volunteers choose to use them (not required).

-Children are to sit on the floor spread apart from one another during teaching time and activities as much as possible

-The communal toys in the classroom will not be available.

-No snack time

-Children are to be discouraged from sharing any equipment during activities as much as possible

-Children will be asked to sanitize hands before and after any activities

 

KidHope

After being checked-in, children will sit in the sanctuary with their guardian/household. They will remain in service for the music portion of the service. After the music is over, they will be dismissed to meet their teachers in the back of the room and escorted to their class room (fellowship hall/middle building). After the service is over, children will be picked up from the fellowship hall by a guardian with the corresponding check-in tag for the child.

 

KidHope Safety Protocols:

-The classroom is thoroughly stocked with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Volunteers are expected to liberally and thoroughly wipe down any equipment used by a child immediately after it is used, and to use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces. Gloves and masks will also be available should the volunteers choose to use them (not required).

-Children are to sit no more than 3 to a table in chairs that are properly spread out during teaching time and activities as much as possible.

-Children are to be discouraged from sharing any equipment during activities as much as possible

-Children will be asked to sanitize hands before and after any activities

 

 

***ORIGINAL POST BELOW***

Dear Good Hopers and those who have been visiting us via our livestreams over the course of this pandemic,

 

We have big news regarding our re-opening! After much prayerful consideration, discussion, research, consulting medical and government officials, and consulting with other churches in our community, we have decided to set a date for when we will re-open our Sunday Morning Worship Gathering. Sunday, May 17th will be our first in-person worship gathering since we decided to suspend gatherings due to COVID-19. May 17th is in line with CDC and White House recommendations for churches to only resume meeting once their state is 14 days past the peak of its curve (barring a second-wave, our peak was the end of April). This also places us after the current state of emergency is supposed to expire. Finally, after a teleconference with the governor for SC Baptists regarding re-opening churches, we are confident in our ability to re-open while following proper safety protocol and social distancing. Therefore, we will open in a limited capacity while holding to a carefully thought out Re-Opening Policy. Please read the policy below so that you can be prepared to gather with us on May 17th in a way that is safe and reasonable! We are very much looking forward to this day!

 

Re-Opening Policy

 

As we prayerfully and carefully re-open our in-person activities in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have created a tentative policy for re-opening Sunday morning worship services beginning May 17th. This policy will ONLY be for the Sunday worship service at 10:15am. Nursery, kids ministry, student ministry, Sunday School, Home Groups, Wednesday Night Services, and all other activities will NOT be meeting in-person at this time and will be phased back in later. Until then, we will continue to provide livestreams for our Midweek Service on Wednesday nights as well as an online youth message each week, and we will maintain the www.goodhopeiva.org/kids resource page for our children.

 

This Re-Opening Policy will include three different parts. The first part involves “Requirements.” These are non-negotiable rules that will be put in place for the safety of all in attendance as well as those in our community that people in attendance may come in contact with during the week. The second part will include “Recommendations.” These are suggestions that we strongly encourage but do not require or mandate. Finally, the third part will include “Safety Procedures.” This will include procedures for things like sanitization and social distancing that will be put in place to help ensure health and safety.

 

Requirements

*Disclaimer: Please understand that these requirements are not given in order to be harsh or authoritarian. They are given out of love. Christians are called to love our neighbors, and in the midst of a pandemic there are some things that would normally be fine but currently put our neighbors in jeopardy. As a result, we are prohibiting those things in order to be as loving of our neighbors and honoring of Christ as we can reasonably be.

General:

-If you or anyone in your household is sick, or if you have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms, remain at home and watch the service online.

-If you have regular contact with someone outside of your home who is elderly or has a pre-existing health condition that makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, remain at home and watch the service online.

 

Social Distance:

-Maintain a 6ft social distance from ALL people outside of your household at ALL times. This includes children.

 

Seating:

-Only one household per 6 chair cluster (more info in Safety Procedures). DO NOT share a chair cluster with another household, even if it is only one person.

 

Restrooms:

-Only one person will be allowed in each restroom at a time (unless you are accompanying a small child as their guardian). Wash your hands with soap and water UPON ENTERING and BEFORE LEAVING. While in the restroom, you must utilize a disposable barrier (such as a paper towel or disposable glove) before touching any surface (like turning on the sink, flushing a toilet, opening a door, etc.) and dispose of that barrier immediately after touching a surface and before touching another surface. When you touch another surface, please utilize another barrier and follow the same disposal procedure.

 

Loitering:

-Do not stand around and loiter IN THE BUILDING before, during, or after service. Even if you are social distancing, this will make it difficult for people to walk around you while maintaining appropriate social distance. You are welcome to spend some time fellowshipping and chatting OUTSIDE so long as you maintain 6ft of social distance and leave room for people to move around you while maintaining social distance.

 

Recommendations

-We recommend that senior citizens and people with pre-existing health conditions remain at home and watch the service online. We cannot guarantee you will not be exposed to the virus. Should you decide to still attend, we welcome you, but know that you do so at your own risk.

 

-We recommend that you wear a mask if you are over the age of two, do not have breathing problems, and/or do not need to be speaking into a microphone during service. If you do not have a mask, we understand. We will try to have disposable masks available, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to procure them.

 

-We recommend if you do not feel safe or comfortable attending in-person gatherings that you remain home and watch the service online. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Rejoin us when you feel reasonably safe.

 

Safety Procedures

Sanitization/cleaning:

-All buildings will be cleaned the day before the Sunday Worship Gathering by a professional cleaning service.

 

-One of the reasons that we will not yet resume Wednesday night gatherings is just in case any remnant of the virus was left uncleaned on a surface, there will be ample time for that virus to die naturally on the surface before we meet again.

 

-All doors (with the exception of restrooms) will be propped open so that you don’t have to use door handles.

 

-We will NOT be offering our coffee bar at this time in order to avoid cross contamination.

 

-We will NOT pass an offering plate in order to avoid cross contamination. There will be offering receptacles by the doors that you may utilize upon exit.

 

-We will have as many hand sanitizer stations available as we can (based on supply).

 

Seating and Social Distancing Measures:

-All chairs will be arranged in 6 chair clusters. Each cluster will be at least 6 ft. apart from all other chair clusters. There will only be one household per chair cluster. Even if you are the only person in your household, you cannot share your chair cluster (you’ll just have six chairs to yourself). We will place a few appropriately spaced smaller chair clusters at the back as well.

 

-Once we have reached capacity in the sanctuary, we will begin seating people (under the same rules) in the Student Center (Old Chapel), where the service will be simulcast into the room with a projector and sound system. All of the same rules apply in that building as in the sanctuary.

 

-We will not have designated greeters at this time. It is difficult for a greeter to meet you in a doorway or foyer or to open a door for you without getting closer than 6ft.

 

-We will be dismissing chair clusters in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the service in order to maintain social distance upon exit.

 

If We Have a COVID-19 Positive Case in the Building:

-In the unfortunate event that someone within our congregation tests positive for COVID-19 AND was present at an in-person gathering within 14 days of testing positive, we must (per DHEC regulations) close the facilities for 14 days after the time of exposure. In that case, we would move to a completely online format and the church office would be completely closed during the week until we have reached the 14 day threshold.

 

 

Thank you so much for your understanding and participation regarding these policies and procedures. We are working hard to be as faithful and loving as we can during this unprecedented time. We look forward to the day when we can loosen up more guidelines and include more gatherings, but for now we are excited about May 17th!

 

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the church office at 864-348-6385 or email Pastor Mike at miked@goodhope.church

 

Much Love in Christ,

 

Pastor Mike D’Avanzo

Good Hope Baptist Church