It's Time to Re-Launch Services at Vero Bible Fellowship
From the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak nearly two months ago, the elders and staff have asked God for wisdom in providing the necessary protection for and ministry to the flock at VBF. I believe He answered us big time and guided us through this uncharted time of social distancing. I want to thank our Elders: Scott Walker, Doug Hampson, Marshall Pennell, Bill McLellan, and Rey Garcia for their unwavering commitment to shepherd this flock of God. They have continually prayed for you throughout this ordeal.
I also want to thank our Ministry Staff: Deb Walker, Sherry Fraser, Rey Garcia, and Brenton Wade for their diligence to provide continual ministry to our congregation. We are a blessed with leaders who have a heart to serve, rather than be served. I also want to thank our many contributors to our devotional ministry that we provided each day.
We also are blessed with outstanding ministry leaders who have taken it upon themselves to stay in touch with their volunteer teams during this time of isolation. And, of course, YOU deserve a big THANK YOU for practicing the one-anothers with members in need and with those who have been isolated from family and friends. I am so thankful to belong to a church that is led by the Holy Spirit to love, care, and pray for one another!
While we are not out of the corona virus woods yet, we are beginning to see signs of a loosening of the regulations given by our governor. This leads us to begin laying the groundwork for a re-launch of our public services! Yahoo!!!
While this is encouraging news, we still need to practice caution and safety. Scripture warns against being driven by fear in our decision making, but that does not mean we should ignore or act disrespectfully towards this virus or minimize the potential harm it can still cause to our members.
In anticipation of gathering again, our staff has been working on a re-entry strategy for public worship and I would like to share some of the guidelines which we feel are very important.
We strongly believe it is imperative that we continue to make our live services available to as many members as possible, whether they attend the service in person or watch it from a live stream. We want to be sensitive to our members who will not be comfortable attending a public service right away. Some need to take preventative measures and stay home because of compromised immune systems, respiratory issues, or other health concerns. That means we will provide live streaming coverage of our Sunday and Thursday public services through our website and Facebook.
I am excited to announce that our first Sunday back together, in person, will be May 24th
For the time being we will be meeting at a TEMPORARY LOCATION. While we love and value our relationship with Storm Grove Middle School, the size of the cafeteria facility won’t accommodate our need to spread out appropriately during our Sunday gatherings. So, temporarily, we will be gathering on Sundays at Life For Youth Camp off 82nd Avenue. They have a worship center which is large enough to allow us to meet together in a one-service format since the capacity of the room is over 600.
We will re-start Thursday night Bible study at The Plaza on Thursday, May 28th at 6:30PM. This service will also be live streamed for those who feel more comfortable attending virtually and not in person. During Thursday evening Bible Study we will practice the same guidelines that we are mentioning below for our Sunday worship service.
GUIDELINES FOR OUR PUBLIC WORSHIP SERVICES:
On Sundays we will implement ‘physically distanced’ seating for our church service by using a six-foot rule between families or individuals. Chair rows will be set up and spaced out appropriately and we will ask family groups to sit together with 3 blank seats between family groups. On Thursdays we will strive to spread out across the room and utilize the table spaces at The Plaza.
During the foreseeable future we will not provide a separate children’s ministry on Sundays. However, because children are very important in the life of our church, we want our children to come and to sit with their parents during our service. We will come alongside our families of children in a few ways. First, there are two side sections in this larger facility which we will provide just for our families, if they choose to sit there. This gives a little more space for families with younger children. Secondly, our Children’s ministry team will be providing resource activity bags for each child so that they will have something to work on and stay engaged with during the sermon.
We are taking every measure to provide ample hand sanitizer at the entry for those who don’t bring their own. Bathrooms will be sanitized before and after the service. As a further precaution, we will enter the facility from the back doors and exit the building from the side doors, to help spread people out across the facility.
Out of an abundance of caution to avoid spreading germs, during the days ahead we will not be offering any food or drinks during any of our public gatherings. Also, Life for Youth Camp has asked that only water bottles be brought into their carpeted chapel so please finish your coffee before coming to Sunday services and bring your own water bottle if you will want water during church.
Lastly, as hard as it will be, we will practice ZERO hugs and handshakes. While some of us are very comfortable shaking hands and giving hugs, some feel it is an unsafe practice. Please respect this request so that everyone feels comfortable attending our service. Let’s show preference for others over ourselves!
Like you, I am excited for the re-launch of our Sunday Worship Service at 10:00 AM at Life For Youth Camp on May 24th and the re-launch of our Thursday night Bible Study service at the Plaza at 6:30 PM on May 28th! We all look forward to seeing you in person!!
As we move forward please continue to pray for those in our body who have lost jobs, and families that have been separated from loved ones because of social distancing. Let’s continue to practice the one-anothers and think about those who struggle with anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion from caring for loved ones and family members. They could use our phone call or card of encouragement and support.
You are a wonderful body of believers! Thank you for your continued prayers!
With love and concern,
Pastor Greg Sempsrott