After much prayer, consideration, and reflection, we will be starting a Phase One reentry into the facilities of Woodlawn Baptist Church for Sunday worship. Sundays will look a bit different for a time, but with the proper protocols and the support of God’s people, we believe that we can come together to worship our Lord, hear his Word, and encourage one another once again safely.
Considerations for Reopening:
As our staff has discussed reopening, there have been several considerations that have driven the discussion and that drive our current decisions:
1. Safety: We care about each of you as family, and we want to make sure that every stays safe and that we don’t propagate the further spread of a virus that would cause great illness or even death to those attending. Thus, the primary consideration is keeping folks heathy.
2. The Need for Godly fellowship: On the other side of safety is a very real desire of God’s people to come together. The Bible describes the church as a body. And, it is hard for the body to operate well when it is apart. For this reason, the writer of Hebrews 10 encouraged God’s people not to forsake the meeting together for encouragement. There is a degree that we can do that on Zoom and Facebook, but there is no replacement for being together.
3. Prudence: Obviously, those first two values must be balanced out by what is prudent for the particular church and the particular area. There are many parts of the country right now that are experiencing escalation with this Pandemic, and others are on the decline. Then, there are some that have had very few cases all along. We are grateful to have had few cases in Okaloosa county, but are even more grateful that over the past few weeks there have been next to no new cases and no new deaths. This consideration has helped guide our decisions.
I want to encourage each of you as this process begins. Different people have vastly different ideas and thoughts on coming back to the church building. There are many, because of caution or medical reasons that will choose to stay home. We support you! If fact, if you are at risk, and especially if you feel sick in any way, we want to ask you directly to stay home. We will continue to stream our services on Facebook and upload them to our website so that you can join us each week in worship and hearing the Word. There are some who want to come back but desire some reassurance on safety. We support you! Below you will find, spelled out, the precautions that Woodlawn is taking to stop any potential spread of Covid-19, and if there are any changes to what is taking place locally with the virus, we will be making adjustments as needed. Finally, there are those of you who have been ready to come back for some time and have little hesitations. We support you, and we appreciate your enthusiasm! We can’t wait to be together.
With that being said, there is one challenge I want to give to us all – Let’s love and support each other. In light of the different ideas and the fact that people are at different places, when you come back to church, take a step back and consider the needs of others. In Philippians 2:3, Paul encourages us to, “Consider others more important than yourselves.” Consider that others will have hesitations and fears. Consider that others have valid health concerns. Show love and consideration. If we do that, not only will we keep people safe, but we will encourage the church towards greater love and unity in the midst of this strange, difficult, and trying time.
-There will be two services from 9-10am and 11-12am
-Each Sunday school class will be assigned a service to attend
-Sunday Zoom classes will continue online but will be adjusted based on the service that class attends
*Example: If a class is assigned to the 9-10 service, their Zoom meeting will be
later, from 11-12
-Our services will be streamed online at the 9am time frame
Social Distancing Procedures:
-Please do your best to maintain social distance of 6ft and refrain from physical contact. -The doors will not open up until 15 minutes before service begins
-The single-entry point will be the front foyer entrance
-Hallways and other parts of the facility will not be accessible
-When the doors open, ushers will lead people to their seats and make sure families are spaced 6 ft apart
-Ushers will be equipped with protective masks
-Pews will be roped off to ensure proper distance
-All children and youth will remain with their family
-Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance/exits for those that desire them, and we encourage and recommend it.
-When service lets out, ushers will release people one row at a time to ensure proper distance.
-When exiting, please do not linger in the entry way
-If you desire to speak with other members, please seek them out in the parking lot and maintain distance as appropriate.
-Each service will have the max capacity of around 150-200 people
-For this reason, it is important to come during the time assigned to your Sunday school class.
-If you do not normally attend a SS class, come during the time of your choosing
-If the max capacity of the Sanctuary is reached, we will have overflow in the Life Center -If this happens, ushers will close off entry to the Sanctuary and guide folks through the hallways to the Life Center.
-In between the two services, a professional cleaning company will come in to wipe down and sanitize the Sanctuary and bathrooms to prepare for the next service.
-For this reason, it is important to move everyone outside, as we will have a limited time frame for cleaning.
-For the start and close of church, all of the doors will be open so that no contact has to be made.
-There will obviously be no fellowship time in the service
-A normal offering will not be taken up, but offering bins will be available before and after service to drop offering in.
-Water fountains will be closed off for use. We encourage members to bring a bottle of water from home to use if necessary.