What’s Happening at East Sylva Baptist
Information from Pastor Reed Benson
The following information has been shared with the ESBC members concerning our on-campus-plan for when we are again able to be together to worship. Even though our plan is in place, things could change depending on the virus and the guidance we receive from our state and local officials. Our main concern as we come back together is your safety. I will share a few general things, then I will share more specifics about our phase plan.
- When we do come back together, if you do not feel comfortable being around others, or you are a vulnerable / at risk adult, please stay home. We will continue offering Facebook Live until things get back to “normal”.
- We will continue to follow physical distancing guidelines to stay at least six feet apart.
- Masks are recommended and will be available if you do not have one.
- We will provide hand sanitizer for your use.
Now I will share with you our plan for a phased in approach to coming back together.
Phase 1 – The Governor issued Phase 1 orders on May 8, 2020. We are restricted indoors to ten or less people with social distancing guidelines in place. Phase 1 should last several weeks. We will continue offering online worship on Sundays at 10:00 and Wednesday nights at 6:30. We will not have Sunday School or other activities during Phase 1.
Phase 2 – We are hoping to begin our Phase Two plan beginning Sunday, June 7. This date could be pushed later depending on any directives from local or state officials. If this date changes, we will let you know through our One Call system. In Phase 2 we will still need to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet. In order to do that, we will have TWO services on Sunday morning. Service One will begin at 9:30. Service Two will begin at 10:45. In order to limit our numbers, we are suggesting if your last name begins with A – H, you come to Service One at 9:30. If your last name begins I – Z, you come to Service Two at 10:45. The two services will be the same. If this suggestion does not work for you, then come when you can. The two-service plan will help us control our numbers better. During Phase 2, we will have a few changes.
- Every other pew will be blocked off to help ensure distancing. (You may not be able to sit where you normally sit. This will be temporary)
- We will not pass the offering plates. There will be two drop boxes at the doors as you enter the sanctuary for you to use.
- Our welcome time will be done differently. We will not be shaking hands, hugging, etc.
- We will still use a smaller music vocal group for worship. The choir will return in Phase 3.
- We will not have Sunday School or Sunday night activities during Phase 2.
- The two-service plan will only be until we can get to Phase 3, then we will go back to our regular schedule with one service.
- We will open our Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 10 for you to return, but we will still maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.
- Facebook Live will continue to be offered during Phase 2. (Sundays and Wednesdays)
- As you know, we have limited bathroom space. If you need them, they will be open but only to one person at a time.
- Greeters will be wearing gloves to pass out bulletins, and hand sanitizer will be available.
- Masks are welcome. If you have one, please bring it. If not, we will have some available.
Phase 3 – Date unknown currently.
- During Phase 3 we will move closer to our regular schedule.
- Limited physical distancing
- Regular schedule for Sunday (one service at 11:00), including Sunday School and Sunday night ministries at their regular times.
- Wednesday night schedule will be our regular time at 6:30.
- Music ministry / choir rehearsals resume and will be part of worship.