Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 11 AM EDT on WKBY 1080 AM if you live in the Chatham, Virginia area, or on the internet at WKBY1080.net.
We tentatively have set Sunday, June 7, 2020 as our first Sunday to resume in-person worship in the buildings of Chatham Baptist Church. When we do resume, the in-person service will be at a new time — 10 AM EDT. The online/radio service will continue at 11 AM.
Please visit pages on our website for past Broadcasts of Worship; Music selections performed by Charlotte Paris and Kathleen O’Hare; Kids’ Stuff; Photos of past events in the life of our church; Videos on various topics; and information about the Virus.
Governor Northam announced last Friday that Virginia will move into Phase One of the state’s reopening plan beginning Friday, May 15.
The part of his announcement our church is interested in is the new guidance for faith communities. The ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people is still in effect, but this no longer includes religious services. This means churches can resume in-person worship.
However, there are other restrictions churches must adhere to. Here is the wording from the governor’s order —
Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, individuals may attend religious services subject to the following requirements:
i. Religious services must be limited to no more than 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room or facility in which the religious services are conducted.
ii. Individuals attending religious services must be at least six feet apart when seated and must practice proper physical distancing at all times. Family members, as defined above, may be seated together.
iii. Mark seating in six-foot increments and in common areas where attendees may congregate.
iv. Persons attending religious services must strongly consider wearing face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times.
v. No items can be passed to or between attendees, who are not family members, as defined above.
vi. Any items used to distribute food or beverages must be disposable, used only once, and discarded.
vii. A thorough cleaning and disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces must be conducted prior to and following any religious service.
viii. Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is permitted in the establishment.
ix. Post signage to provide public health reminders regarding social distancing, gatherings, options for high risk individuals, and staying home if sick.
x. If religious services cannot be conducted in compliance with the above requirements, they must not be held in-person.
That’s quite a list of restrictions, and we will adhere to them for the health and safety of all who attend. But those aren’t the only considerations. Add concern for the most vulnerable — those who are 65 or over, or have other health issues — which includes two-thirds of our adults.
In addition, the design of our sanctuary presents challenges in seating worshippers 6-ft apart in all directions.
However, as I mentioned Sunday, our deacons will be studying this and developing a plan for going forward. Until all our options are explored and we have discussed them as a congregation, we will continue as we have been.
I want to hear your thoughts on how we design and implement a new “normal” for our church’s future. We will announce a “town hall meeting” using GoToMeeting soon to discuss this as a congregation. Stay tuned, there’s more to come!
Remember, we’re all in this….together!
Here’s a quick word of encouragement from our sanctuary. I hope to “see” you soon!
Here’s the audio from our online worship on Sunday, April 19, 2020. The text for the message is John 20: 19-31 — Jesus appears to the disciples on the evening of resurrection Sunday. Thomas is absent, and he is usually the focus of this story, but I think there’s alot more to it than just Doubting Thomas.
I’ll edit the video out of this and repost, but for now here it is. We’re using GoToMeeting because our folks who do not have internet can dial in. We’re averaging about 50% log-ons and 50% dial-ins, which is exactly why we chose this platform instead of live-streaming.
Here’s a portion of the audio of our Easter Sunday online worship for April 12, 2020. We “broadcast” this over GoToMeeting. I hope it’s helpful to you during this Easter season.