Procedures for the Initial Return to Northside Baptist Church
May 31st, 2020 (9:30 & 11:00 Worship Services Only)
*It is very important to note that this document represents a working and tentative plan. We will continue to monitor the situation and be in contact with local and state medical and governmental officials for up to date information and guidance.
Due to the Public Health State of Emergency and the current shelter in place for the medically fragile and/or elderly, we are recommending that those attending be under the age of 65. We also ask that you not attend if you have been sick, or have been experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a unexplained loss of taste of smell.
The 9:30 service will be broadcast on Facebook Live. This will give you the opportunity to continue worshiping with us online if you decide that is the best option for you. We know that there are going to be those who are hesitant to return right away. We understand and will look forward to seeing you when you feel comfortable returning. For those in what is being considered the vulnerable population, we encourage you to return after the restrictions are lifted and when you are comfortable. Please exercise caution in making that decision based on your personal set of circumstances.
This plan has been developed through prayer, research, and the responses that we received from you. By following this plan, you will have a “contact-free” experience when we return to meeting together. The only thing that you will have to contact is the seat that you will be sitting in.
With the spacing that we will be making available (approximately 10 feet when seated), we are not requiring that you wear a mask when you attend the worship service. You are more than welcome to wear a mask if you so choose. For us to require masks, we would need to supply masks and that is not feasible.
We are asking that all families ride to church together if possible. Families will need to enter the building together and sit together during the service. This will include children of any age, as there will be no childcare provided.
Parents, you will be responsible for making sure that your children are following all of the guidelines.
We are setting up everything for a one-way-in and one-way-out experience with no passing between services. This will all take place through the Foyer. [If the need arises for an evacuation, all exits will be utilized]
All restroom facilities will be closed during this phase of our reopening. The men’s and women’s restrooms on the Fellowship Hall side can be used, but only in the case of extreme emergency.
o As you enter the church property, please park on the playground side or steeple side parking lots. If you are able, please leave parking spots closest to the steeple open for those who need to park closer to the building.
o Remain in your vehicle until 9:15 for the 9:30 service and 10:45 for the 11:00 service. Please enter the building through the right or left doors that will be propped open under the steeple. All other entrances will be closed.
o There will be a station set up outside each of these doors with hand sanitizer, but we ask that you utilize your personal sanitizer if possible. This will keep things moving more smoothly as we attempt to get everyone in and out of the building in a timely fashion.
o Once in the auditorium, we ask that you find your seats quickly and realize that we will need to utilize ALL the chairs designated for the service that you are attending.
o Please understand that for now, there will be a 200 person capacity for each service. If we see that this limit is a hindrance, we are committed to formulating a plan to accommodate all who wish to attend.
o We will be using half the rows for each service. This will help us ensure that nobody has been in contact with the seat that you will be sitting in.
Rows utilized for the 9:30 service will be marked with GREEN tape.
Rows utilized for the 11:00 service will be marked with BLUE tape.
o Families need to sit in contiguous seats and there need to be three chairs between individuals that are not a part of the same family.
o You are free to greet those around you, but we ask that you do it with a smile and wave (“contact-free”) and that you DO NOT leave the area where you will be sitting.
o Decision cards will be available in the seat pockets. They can be dropped off in the offering receptacles that will be located in the Foyer.
o You must remain in your seat through the end of the service. This will be quite different, but we will have a deacon on each side of the auditorium to dismiss you one row at a time.
o We ask that as you are dismissed, you make your way directly out the back of the auditorium, straight through the Foyer, and out the doors that will be directly in front of you.
o We know that the giving of your tithes and offerings is typically a part of the worship service, but we will be doing this as you leave the service. There will be receptacles to the right and the left as you exit the auditorium for those that do not wish to utilize the online giving platform. We will also continue the Wednesday drop off from 4-6 PM for those who would like to continue that method of giving until you are able to attend the worship service in person.
o Please be mindful of the spacing as you exit the building. If you slow down, it will cause a traffic jam behind you. We do not wish for anyone to feel rushed, but we will need to keep things moving at a comfortable pace. Those attending the 11:00 service will not be able to enter until all those attending the 9:30 service have exited the building.
*****ALL INFO BELOW THIS POINT IS FROM PREVIOUS UPDATES*****
To the Northside Family:
I trust you are well and that you are doing everything you can do to keep your family well during the Covid-19 crisis. At this time, many people are beginning to ask when will be able to gather together again as a church.
Please know that your church staff is attempting to make plans for the future gatherings of our church. At the present time, we are gathering information from various resources to help us in making plans for the future.
We have heard from the Governor’s office. He has been gracious to engage many of our faith leaders in Georgia in conference calls and has provided a liaison in his office that we can call and email with questions.
We have participated in talking to local pastors in the Tiftarea as to what we can do together and what all of us are anticipating our churches to do.
We have also listened intently to local health officials express their concerns about Covid-19 and the cautions they have expressed about us reopening.
In pondering all the material, we feel it best that we look at a date for opening that is later rather than sooner. It is our hope that we can begin with public worship sometime at the end of May. Please understand that all of our plans are tentative in nature. Since this crisis began we have learned that things can change on a daily basis. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can be more certain about a date.
One of the big issues we face is how to meet in our place of worship and still maintain social distancing. We love our church family and miss seeing all you in a great way, but we also love you enough to make certain that our gatherings are safe for all us, especially for our children, our senior adults, and those with weakened immune systems.
Here is something you can do to help us. We have heard so much about what others think, we want to hear what you are thinking. The link below will take you to a survey for the Northside Family. Please take a minute this weekend and fill out that online survey for us.
Be sure to watch us on Facebook Live this coming Sunday at 9:45 AM. God bless and hope to see you face to face soon.