Update July 16, 2020
Dear HFBC Family,
Please bear with us for a little bit longer message, but the subject deserves a longer explanation.
I’ve always heard that where 2 or 3 Baptists are gathered together, there are 5 or 6 opinions. We are generally independent and strong-minded folks. I (Chuck) recently asked a group of folks how to get to Princeton, KY, and you wouldn’t believe all the answers! Now, if that can be true about how to get from point A to point B, imagine how many opinions there are regarding how to handle the issue of face masks during our worship service.
Last week, (July 9, 2020) we wrote you, asking that in light of the Governor’s renewed recommendations, that everyone wear a mask until being seated in the auditorium, feel the freedom to keep it on or take it off during the service, and then put the mask on once the closing prayer is over. It was a genuine joy on Sunday to see everyone abide by that – thank you! Then Tuesday evening, we had our regularly scheduled deacons’ meeting via Zoom. Among other agenda items, there was a good, kind and respectful discussion about the whole issue of wearing masks. All the men made it clear that they know it’s a virtually impossible position, but they just wanted to share their thoughts. Finally, on Wednesday, our staff met and worked through the many options in light of the overall needs of the congregation. We listed the suggestions given by the deacons, discussed what other churches are practicing, and considered the various viewpoints across the spectrum of our congregation. The discussion included the physical and practical issues, but it also took into consideration the spiritual, for that is also what we are called to oversee.
Therefore, here are a few caveats –
- Any “way of doing things” simply must be fluid, for everything around us right now is in a constant flux. The old church maxim, “We’ve never done it that way before,” has completely flown out the window! Virtually everything we’re doing right now has not been done before. So, what we are about to ask may have to be adjusted again. Please continue to be patient.
- We desperately want to fulfill Jesus’ prayer for His people to be unified and loving. Therefore, we ask for grace to continue to reign in our conversations and conduct with each other.
With that said, let’s try this together –
- For everyone, please continue to practice what we put in place this past Sunday. This protects each other when we are inevitably closer than 6’, and still allows us to feel the freedom to sing and worship. Again, throughout, if you want to leave your mask on the whole time, please be at liberty to do so.
- For those who need/want that extra layer of protection and want to ensure they are around others of like practice, we will reserve multiple rows in the section next to the windows on the piano side of the auditorium. The folks who sit in this section are asked to wear their masks for the whole service. This will not only fulfill the 6’ social distancing requirement but also provide an extra layer of “protection” through the mutual wearing of masks for those in closer proximity.
HFBC has a long history of being a loving church family and it is continuing. It is our prayer that this updated practice will allow more people to feel comfortable in returning to worship, for we miss you. Let’s all pitch in together on this, see how it goes, and remain as gracious and flexible as possible for the glory of God and good of the church.
Your HFBC Staff
PS – Don’t forget the first service begins at 9am and the second service begins at 10:45am!
When you attend:
- Traffic patterns for entry and exit of the building will be clearly marked and communicated. Please follow these predetermined routes for the safety of everyone.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be located at all entrances to the sanctuary and at the parking lot entrance.
- Allow ushers to direct you to available seating. Please obey and do not move signage concerning closed seating.
- Family units living in the same household may sit together while distanced from others by 6’.
- Please refrain from greeting others through touch (handshakes, hugs, back pats, etc…). Smiles and discussions from the suggested 6’ distance are encouraged and acceptable.
- Children’s activity packets will be provided to help families worship with small children.
- All areas outside the sanctuary, fellowship hall, main floor hallways, marked cry rooms, and marked restrooms will be closed. Restrooms nearest the sanctuary and in the fellowship hall will be open.
Serving the Lord with you,
The staff and leadership of HFBC