Dear Members and Friends,
Mount Olive Baptist Church will resume worship services on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. We want to reopen in a responsible way that demonstrates our love and care for one another by reducing the risk of infection as much as we can, especially to those in our fellowship who are most susceptible to severe complications related to Covid-19.
To that end, we will be implementing practices and policies that are designed to help everyone in attendance manage their own risk of infection while at the same time allowing us to worship and fellowship together corporately. It is vital that we approach this gathering together with a deep humility that includes both a humbleness toward one another (Ephesians 4:2) and a submissive heart to the authorities God has placed over us for our good (Romans 13:1-4). We beseech each of you to extend grace to one another as we seek to deal with the impact of this epidemic on our community and state (Hebrews 4:16).
Our plan to reopen has four key parts, each of which will require your help and attention. These precautions are temporary and will be eased as circumstances allow. These practices are adapted from the Virginia Department of Health guidelines, so may be a little more extensive than the guidelines. But we prefer to be a cautious as possible. While these measures represent an abundance of caution, we are not operating out of a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Instead, we are motivated by love and concern for one another and the desire to protect those among us who are most vulnerable. When you arrive for worship, here are some things you will need to know:
Social Distancing. Worship will take place in the sanctuary and overflow will be in banquet rooms for the foreseeable future. Please be respectful of others and maintain a safe distance of three feet when greeting one another. We ask that there be no hugging, hand shaking at the current time to limit contact and reduce risk of infection. Until further notice, we will only gather for Sunday morning worship service. We will resume additional services as circumstances warrant. Families in the same house will be allowed to sit together, while maintaining 3 feet between yourself and others.
Remote Access. We will continue to live stream our Sunday School and morning worship service via Facebook and YouTube. This will allow those who are over 65 and/or with pre-existing medical conditions to participate in the worship gatherings safely from home if they choose. The service can also be viewed at a later time and is available via our weekly email at-a-glance.
Elimination of Common-Touch Areas. Items which are commonly handled by many worshippers will be eliminated for the foreseeable future. These include, but are not limited to, bulletins, hymnals, registration booklets, fans, offering plates, etc. A collection box for gifts and offerings will be located at the entrances to the sanctuary. Common areas such as the sanctuary, Narthex and bathrooms will receive a cleaning with disinfectant after service.
Personal Hygiene and Health Screening. Those who are feeling ill with any symptoms are asked to stay home and join us via Facebook or YouTube until they are better. Likewise, please care for others by washing your hands regularly and using one of the four hand sanitizer dispensers located around the church.
Your help with these plans is vitally important to a successful reopening as we seek to maintain our physical and spiritual health. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible with as few distractions as possible so you are able focus on the Lord’s Word. It is our prayer that these temporary precautions will allow us to safely return to regular fellowship for the edification of the body of Christ. If everyone cooperates, we can reopen for services to the glory of God.
Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Ellis, Jr.