Greetings New Holt Church Family and Friends,
 
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you, in all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God’s word is being fulfilled during our generation. The oracles of God proclaimed that such would happen in the last days and the church of the living God is an integral part of God’s provision. Therefore, every church must find its place and carry out God’s mission for His work must never cease.

The disciples urged Jesus to eat something. But Jesus said, “l have meat to eat that you don’t know about. My nourishment or my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish His work.” Jesus asked the disciples a question, “Don’t you have a saying, it’s still four months until harvest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike?”

I ask every believer to seek God’s guidance for what He would have you do in this hour.

As a church, we find ourselves in uncharted waters, but we are not alone. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us.

Covid-19 has caused us to become more innovative in the way we worship, minister, and carry out God’s will. But as leaders, we must continue to lead, by implementing innovative strategies because God’s people still need to be encouraged, loved, and have their physical and spiritual needs met.

As we trust the Lord and move forward, New Holt Baptist Church will continue to follow the guidelines and procedures set forth by the CDC and health experts.

However, our main and most important guidance must come from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can no longer do things the way they’ve always been done. This is a new beginning and we must align ourselves accordingly.

We understand that the structure of each church is different. As your Pastor, I’ve considered several areas prior to the reopening of our sanctuary. First and foremost, among these, is the health and well-being of the New Holt Family and the community that we serve. I have also considered the following:

  • Church Demographic
  • Congregation Size
  • The infection rate in our community
  • Precautionary health and sanitation strategies
  • Impact of governmental limitations
  • Local and State recommendations for group gatherings

The final piece was offering our congregation and community the opportunity to receive free Covid-19 testing.

With that being completed, careful consideration and seeking the Lord, on July 5, 2020, we officially reopened the sanctuary while continuing to live stream and implementing the following measures:

  1. Sanitation of church before and after each service
  2. One entrance for everyone
  3. Temperature check at church entryway
  4. Sanitize hands upon entering foyer (Sanitizer also located at each window)
  5. Mask available in the foyer
  6. Practice social distancing. Family members living in the same household may sit together
  7. Restrooms have disposable toilet seat covers and wipes
  8. No programs will be printed. Limited use of hymnals and mics. No rotating mics.
  9. Mics have been staged with social distancing in place. (Please do not handle or move)
  10. No social gather before/after service (no handshaking or hugging-cyber hugs, respect people’s personal space)
  11. Adhere to posted signs and used designated disposal areas for used masks/gloves
  12. Ushers and teams are present; however, we should police ourselves hold one another accountable for following the safety measures
  13. Parents are asked to monitor and assist your kids with visits to the restroom
  14. We will enter/depart using social distancing
  15. We will use time wisely and aim to limit keep service time to one hour or less unless otherwise directed by God
  16. At this time, we will only have Sunday School for Adults and High School students
  17. On Communion Sunday, communion cups will be pre-placed in the communion cup holders on the pew backs.

 

Keep in mind, while there is no one size fits all solution to reopening, we must effectively navigate the current challenges and formulate answers that will guide our processes. Ultimately, this is about how best to care for our congregation and community, effectively sharing the love of Christ.

Everyone must do what is best for themselves and their family, mindful that we give an account to God, not man. Therefore, whether an individual chooses to worship at church or from their home should not be perceived as an indicator of one’s level of faith. This is new for all of us and change takes time.

However, our God remains the same and we must trust Him on this journey. Let us do what’s right in the sight of the Lord. I encourage us to love and pray for one another.

God Bless You All and Be Safe.