May 15, 2020
Dear Broadfording Church Family,
I hope you are doing well. By now, you have probably heard about the governor’s announcement that churches can reopen at 50% capacity with a variety of other restrictions. As a church staff, we have been meeting to determine the best way we can follow the governor’s guidance and at the same time keep people safe. We greatly appreciate your prayers as we navigate through this.
After thoroughly reviewing all of the governor’s directives, we have decided to reopen our church doors on Sunday, May 31. This will give us adequate time to properly prepare for your in-person church experience. We want to be together immediately, but we also recognize there are some additional things we need to do to meet what the governor is requesting. When we do open our doors, we are asking you to consider others in your decision to attend. If you are showing any flu-like symptoms, have had a fever within the past 14 days, have had exposure recently to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or have any other medical reason why you shouldn’t be around other people, please stay home and connect to our online church experience at www.broadfording.church/live.
When we do open our doors, church will look a little different. We ask you to respect the limitations that will be in place for the immediate future. The church has a tremendous opportunity during this crisis to be a leader in the reopening process. We want to show that we are not walking in fear, but at the same time we want to be respectful of our government and do everything possible to limit the spread of the virus.
So what will be different when you return? This is what we are planning for at this time, yet this can change at a moment’s notice:
- We will be requesting everyone attending to wear masks.
- We will be asking everyone to practice social distancing.
- There will be no fellowship time during the service.
- The hospitality center will not be open at this time.
- Restrooms are equipped with soap and hand sanitizer. We will be placing the trash cans outside the restrooms so that after you have used the restroom and washed and sanitized your hands, you can open the door with a paper towel, and then throw it away after you have exited the restroom.
- There will be no nursery or children’s ministry at this time. Church will be a family experience. If you think it will be too difficult to attend church with your children, please consider hosting a watch party at your house in which you invite another family to “go to church with you.” That way, you can allow your children to play together as you see fit, and you can worship together with other friends.
- We will not have any printed materials. Any materials from the church will have to be accessed through the church website.
- Once the church service is over, we are asking people to exit the church fairly quickly. In the governor’s directives, he strongly suggested outdoor church services as the way to start meeting. After reviewing this, we felt this was not possible for us. However, we are asking you to enjoy as much fellowship as you like outside the church. You are welcome to stay as long as you like, but we are trying to have the church service inside, and the fellowship outside.
I know that this sounds like so many things we have to do just to go to church. As I said before, this is a tremendous opportunity for the church to pave the way for reopening. We don’t want to do things that will add to the spread of the virus. We want to meet as a church, while taking as many precautions as are reasonably possible. Our hope is that over the next weeks, we will be able to slowly remove one restriction after another until we are able to return to normal. We are not health experts, so we really don’t know how long that will take. What we do know is that we are excited to be able to worship together in person in the very near future.
So what do we do right now for the next several weeks? Let me share some really important action steps:
- Pray for wisdom and guidance throughout this whole process.
- Give your tithes and offerings to the Lord (by mailing an offering envelope to the church; Broadfording Church, 13523 Broadfording Church Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740; or by giving online at broadfording.church/give
- Invite others to join you at church online by sharing the link to the service on the Broadfording Church Facebook page.
- Prepare for the return to church in person. We know that for some families, this reopening can’t come soon enough. We know that for others, it is still too soon for you to return to church. For those who aren’t ready to return to church in person for whatever reason, you will be able to fully experience the church service on May 31 and after, including the music, preaching, and announcements, by going to the church website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel. In order to make this experience a quality experience for you, it will be available each Sunday by 6:00 pm.
Please continue to pray for us as we get the buildings fully ready for the reopening of church. We love you and are excited to see you in person.
Pastor Bill Wyand