Responsible RestartOhio: Religious Services update October 13
On Tuesday, October 13, the Ohio Department of Health and the office of Gov. Mike DeWine updated their COVID-19 guidelines for religious services. Our leadership continues to look to the guidelines outlined by the experts at the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, and the office of the Ohio Governor as we have since March.
The update this week outlined the following: During the COVID-19 pandemic, religious services have been exempted from most mandates because of First Amendment freedoms, with the exception of the Director’s Order for Facial Coverings Throughout the State of Ohio which members of the congregation must still follow. (Read more at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Religious-Services.pdf)
Based on this update, starting this Sunday, October 18, 2020, masks will be required at all three of our Worship Service times in all areas and anytime you’re on campus for any event or gathering. Social distancing and the other Phase III precautions we have in place will continue as well (read more below).
Thank you for your cooperation and partnership in helping us maintain a priority on the health of everyone but, especially the most vulnerable members of our congregations and communities.
Phase III Restart: Starting September 6
As a staff, we have been working on the logistics and precautions of moving into our much anticipated Phase III. As always, we maintain a priority on the health of everyone, but especially the most vulnerable members of our congregations and communities. We continue to look to the guidelines outlined by the experts at the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health, and the office of the Ohio Governor. We believe, based on current information, that it’s the right time to make the following adjustments with some continued precautions.
WATCH the video from Pastor Rick Williams for an overview of Phase III. In the videos below, Pastors and Staff Members give more in depth details of what Phase III looks like in each area. All Phase III details and answers to frequently asked questions below.
Phase III includes:
We will be eliminating our Thursday evening services for the near future with the last Thursday service being August 27th.
On Sunday mornings, we will continue to offer 3 Worship Service times of 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m.
Our 9:30 and 11:00 am Worship Services will be live-streamed for you to participate in should you need to join us remotely.
Phase III will also include the restart of Jr. High gathering on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in the Overflow Youth Room. Senior High will continue to meet at their new “Sr. High @ Nite” time; Sunday evenings at 6:00 PM. WATCH: Video from Pastor Keith
Phase III will also include the re-opening of Kidstown with many precautions to prioritize the health and safety of everyone. WATCH: Video from Pastor Mike to hear more about the hands-free check-in procedures, new traffic flow for check-in and pickup, and the many opportunities for volunteers.
In Phase II, LifeGroups were able to begin gathering on campus again in a limited number of large rooms. WATCH: Video from Pastor Brian as he shares the details around more rooms and spaces opening back up for LifeGroups to gather in Phase III.
As we move into Phase III, we will continue with many of the precautions we have in place today. Some of the most significant precautions are social distancing, sanitizing between services, hands free faucets, hand sanitizers and masks available throughout our campus. See full list of all the precautions below.
Service Registration & Social Distancing:
We will continue to ask that you register for the service you plan to attend each week. This allows us to ensure our capacities for social distancing and know who is in each service should we need to notify you with specific information.
As we move forward with cautious optimism, we ask that you continue to join us with a focus on “space and grace.” Realizing that not everyone’s comfort level is the same, we ask extend grace to everyone and maintain 6′ space between you and the next person anytime you are on our campus.
Frequently Asked Questions (updated 8/26/20)
How and why do I have to register for weekly services?
We have added additional service times with consideration to capacity for seating with six-feet social distancing. We are using a registration link because there are a limited number of seats and when a service is full to our 6-foot physical distancing limitations, the service will be closed. We require that you register. Registration for services will open Monday at 9:00 AM each week. You can access registration in one of 3 ways: Via an email you receive on Monday morning OR on our website Registration Page or through our Church Center App.
Do I have to register each week?
Yes, we require that you register. Thank you.
Can you reserve specific seats?
Registration is to attend a service. Registration does not include specific seat/section reservations. When you enter the service you’ve registered for, you will be asked to choose a seating group that fits the number of people with you. For example, a family of two should not sit in a pod of 6 seating arrangements. You will not be permitted to rearrange chair configurations.
Can I attend a service I didn’t register for?
We respectfully ask that you and your guests do not attend a service without registering. To do so, would put our staff, volunteers, and those who have registered in an unfair position.
Precautions we’re taking:
As we get our campuses ready with a deep cleaning, our staff has also outlined a detailed plan to create a touch-less experience as much as possible. For our worship gatherings, we’ll have Greeters at the doors to open the door for you, pod seating with 6′ social distancing with those in the same household, and services will be dismissed by section to limit the traffic flow. Hand sanitizer stations will be available. While masks or face coverings are recommended by the CDC they are not mandated by law, and so we will not require that you wear a mask. However, we will have disposable masks available if you don’t have one of your own. We understand that there are many differing opinions on wearing masks. We ask that you extend “space and grace” as everyone makes their own decision on what is best for them. We will have electronic bulletins instead of handouts. We have a tithe drop box available instead of passing an offering plate. We won’t do a hand-shake greeting time and we’re taking special precautions for invitation and response time. In our restrooms, we will have foot-pull door openers where possible, and hands-free options such as faucets, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers. Our coffee stations won’t be open during Phase I. Our children and youth areas also won’t be open during Phase I. We will be cleaning and sanitizing between services. We ask that you arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your service time to allow us ample time to do this.
Will masks be required?
See update at the top under “Responsible RestartOhio: Religious Services update October 13.” We will continue to have disposable masks available if you don’t have one of your own.
What is a “Space & Grace” focus?
Some people want to gather together now and hug every last person they have missed seeing over the last several weeks. Yet for others, it will be several weeks before they are comfortable gathering in-person again. As a staff, we too, consider this for our very own family members – especially those with health concerns. We don’t know where each of you personally land in that continuum of opinion and readiness. We do know that everyone lands somewhere and we can be sure that it’s not a given that your comfort level is the same as the person next to you. So in respect and responsibility to all, we’re asking you to keep “space and grace” in mind. We ask you to maintain social distancing and keep 6′ space between you and the next person. As much as you have missed someone, please respect their space. We ask that you extend grace as you keep in mind that others may not share the same opinion and readiness as you. We ask that you keep “space and grace” in mind anytime you are on our campuses as we slowly reopen things.
Can I still watch online?
We’re praying for you as you consider what’s best for you and your family, whether it be to return in person in June or to tune in to our online service.
Watch this Updates page for on-going updates.
3 Ways to Give: The Mission and Ministry Continues
Our ministry, mission, and financial responsibilities continue even as we’ve deemed it best to not gather in person this Sunday. We encourage you to continue your committed, faithful giving to what God has called us to. 3 Ways to Give: Online giving www.violetbaptistchurch.org/give-online. You can also download our Church Center App and make your donation through your smart device. You can also text your dollar amount to “84321” and follow the steps to confirm your donation.