COVID-19 update

Last Update: July 15, 2020, 6:15 p.m.

Facemask Mandate from Gov. Ivey

Response for Pinckard Baptist Church

Effective 7/16/2020-7/31/2020

Pinckard Baptist Church continues to seek to honor the Lord’s directives as noted in Scripture as we navigate these difficult, uncertain, and fluid times. We have set out to seek God’s word on compliance to any governmental authority as seen in Romans 13. We have sought to be a good example of Christian citizenship on these matters as an expression of “Loving God and Loving Others”. This has been difficult, but our church family has responded well.

This journey has been about four-months in its duration and in our course we have seen many changes including various mandates and recommendations. Today marks another one of those moments. As many are aware, Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a new amended order which includes a mandate that requires those in public to wear facemasks. Therefore, on the basis of the recommendations and after considerable contemplation over said order, consultation with other pastors and denominational leaders, as well as our church leaders; the following practices will be put in place effective for our worship gatherings.

A) Those who attend our 1045am Sunday worship gatherings will be required to wear a facemask under the following:

  • Upon entry into the church building and sanctuary.
  • While socializing (while trying to maintain social distancing) with non-family members before or after worship service.
  • Facemasks may be removed if sitting with family and at the proper social distance from non-family members.
  • Worship leaders (i.e. Todd while leading worship, special soloist, Pastor Chris or preacher preaching) will not be required to wear a mask while facilitating worship.

An exception will be allowed for those who fit under the mandate’s exception under Section 2 A i. which allows for anyone 6 years old and under as well as Section 2 A ii which allows for those who have a specific medical condition or disability that would prevent them from wearing a mask. The decision to exercise the exception is solely the responsibility of the individual or parent/guardian with no liability on the church.

B) Those who attend our 1045am Sunday worship gatherings will continue to respect the current social distance guidelines for our church which include:

  • Observing the 6ft social distancing guidelines.
  • Observing the seating arrangements with every other pew row mark indicating which to sit and which not to sit. Sitting with family – no 6ft separation; at least 6ft separation with non-family.
  • Utilizing the main entrance (front door by ramp). All other entrances are marked informing worshippers to go to the designated area.
  • Using hand sanitizer stations at the foyer and hall locations.
  • Offerings will continue to be placed in the offering box at the front entrance or you can go to our church website www.pinckardbaptist.com and use the online giving tool to safely and securely give online.

C) Facebook live streaming will continue for our 1045am Sunday worship service as well as our Midweek devotional every Wednesday at 630pm. The Sunday service is streamed on Pastor Chris’s personal Facebook page whereas the Wednesday devotional is streamed on the Pinckard Baptist Church private Facebook page. Please contact Pastor Chris with questions.

Please know that these decisions that are made are not done so in haste but with much prayerful consideration and consultation. It is the goal of this pastor to create an environment during an unusual period to ensure that all have access to the Gospel and worship in as least restrictive means as possible while honoring the biblical mandates. Every Southern Baptist Church, although we work in cooperation through our local, state, and national convention, are all autonomous and every pastor will seek the Lord and counsel on how to lead their church in their context for His glory. I am so grateful that our people have and continue to be cooperative to our plans and practices. Let us pray for one another and remain faithful during this time period.

Church Reopening Plan

May 17, 2020

Pinckard Baptist Church will resumed our physical gatherings starting Sunday, May 17, 2020. The church will implement this reopening plan in respect and compliance to the recommendations of our governing authorities recognizing that issues related to COVID-19. We will implement this plan to create a safe environment to allow our folks to return to worship gatherings but must recognize that this will be a progressive approach done in stages.

The following plan is effective May 17, 2020 and will remain in place until otherwise noted. Your continued cooperation will ensure our folks safety as well as a good example of godly living in accordance to the mandates of Scripture.

ADPH Recommendations

The Alabama Department of Health identifies that those who are 65 and older as “vulnerable” citizens. Those who are in this category are encouraged not to attend physical gatherings at this time. Church members who fit into this category are to use their own discretion as to whether or not to attend, and choosing to attend is solely their discretion. Additionally, those with any symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat (especially within the last 24-48 hours) are NOT to attend the worship gatherings.

Gatherings

Gov. Kay Ivey has removed the limit of 10 in non-work gatherings but continues to recommend social distancing be practiced. Social distancing includes physical distancing as well as interacting with one another. The following will be our guidelines as we resume our physical gatherings.·

Our initial gatherings will be limited to Sunday morning worship services (10:45am) only – no Sunday School classes, no Children’s church, and no nursery for the immediate future. Additionally, we will not have Wednesday night gatherings, classes, or fellowship meals for the immediate future.

The rationale for not including the small group classes is due to the social distancing rule as it is going to be difficult to implement that as of now in classrooms and maintain 6-foot separation. Additionally, we do not want to rush back into things and put added stress on volunteers and members especially if the Governor must return to temporary suspension of meetings and gatherings.

  • We will not have the choir at this time due to the social distancing guidelines.
  • We will not have any of our special group meetings during this time as well including our Baptist Men’s Breakfast, Pinckard Baptist Women, or Sonshiners.
  • We will limit ministry events due to the social distancing guidelines including postponing VBS for a later date. The Youth Summer Camp was canceled by Lifeway and will not be rescheduled.

We will observe the following guidelines for our Sunday morning worship services:

  • We will provide staggered seating. Worship attendees will sit with their family members only and non-family members will spread out in the sanctuary at least six feet apart.
  • We will observe social distancing and interactions including no physical contacting which includes no hugging, no handshakes, no fist bumps, etc.
  • We will observe social distancing by encouraging the use of face masks during worship.
  • We will take necessary precautions to ensure the sanctuary is sanitized. The facility will be sanitized before and after the worship service.
  • We will station assigned greeters to open and shut the entrance to the sanctuary. We will limit the entrance to the main door by the ramp. Please use that door only when entering and exiting the sanctuary.
  • We will not take up our offering by way of passing the plate. Rather, to practice the recommended guidelines, we will station the offering plates at the rear entrance of the church for members to drop off as they enter or leave. An usher/greeter will be assigned to ensure the offering is secure until after service. You can also use our online giving tool at the church website or continue mailing them/dropping them off at the office.
  • We will not be serving coffee for the immediate future as we are only having our 10:45am service. The fellowship hall will be closed off at this time.
  • We will encourage attendees to use proper procedure in entering and exiting the restrooms. Please enter the restrooms by pushing with your elbow or shoulder and then wash your hands thoroughly. When exiting, use paper towels to open the door and discard the paper towel in the trash can located outside the restroom.
  • We will NOT have paper bulletins during this time. Additionally, we will be removing the pew Bibles and hymnals as a means of sanitary practices for this time.

This is not an exhaustive list but covers many of the high points. Additional items that come up will be addressed and communicated to you via Facebook posts, church website posts, text/calls, and mail correspondence.

As always, if you have any questions, you can contact the pastor, staff, or deacon for information.

For those who are not comfortable or unable to attend our 10:45am worship gatherings at this time, please know that we will continue to Facebook livestream the worship service as well as upload the sermon to the church website.

The Facebook livestream can be accessed on the Pinckard Baptist Church private Facebook group. This is a private page so once you access it, you will need to request to join. If you need assistance in setting this up or navigating the technology, please contact Pastor Chris and he will provide assistance for you.

Church members are encouraged to continue to stay abreast of developments related to our church through ongoing communication including phone calls, text chains, social media posts, and updates to the church website and private Facebook page.  Further, church members are encouraged to regularly keep up with CDC and Alabama Department of Health updates.

We encourage our church family to remain faithful to their Lord, church, and service while exercising good judgment. In addition to constant, fervent prayer, some simple common sense measures will help keep you and your loved ones safe:

Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when out and about, and practice social distancing: Avoid large crowds as much as possible, and avoid standard social greetings such as shaking hands and hugs for at least another month. Whenever possible and practical, try to keep a minimum distance of about 6 feet between yourself and others.

Please remember that the COVID-19 virus tends to hit the elderly with more severe symptoms than younger people, so if you or your child develops flu-like symptoms, including fever and a persistent dry cough, please stay at home to avoid spreading the disease to those at higher risk. The CDC recommends self-quarantine for those with these minor symptoms. Please avoid going to the hospital or urgent care facilities unless your symptoms worsen.

If you or another family member develops more severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion/inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, please call your doctor immediately. They will advise you on your next steps.

More detailed information about symptoms and prevention can be found on the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

Please continue to check this web page or the Pinckard Baptist private group on Facebook for the latest updates.