COVID REOPENING UPDATE – June 15, 2020
Governor Murphy has recently moved the State of New Jersey to Phase 2 of the COVID reopening process which allows houses of faith to gather with certain restrictions and guidelines. The leadership at Ardena Baptist Church has prayerfully considered the regathering options and wanted to communicate our tentative plan as we move into this “season” of worship.
We have chosen to reopen the doors for worship services beginning June 21. Service will be held in the fellowship hall with limited seating which will help ensure that proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines are followed. The limited seating means some of the Ardena family may still need to worship from their homes. We encourage those in the vulnerable category to carefully weigh your risks and prayerfully decide which is best for you. Please review for yourself here:
If you are not feeling well, have new symptoms of fever, cough, body aches, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell within the past two weeks, or have been in contact with anyone who has been COVID positive in the last two weeks, please stay home.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We ask that everyone who comes to worship on the church grounds wear a face mask. This is a normal expectation now for most places and goes along with the CDC guidelines. If you do not feel comfortable wearing a mask for any reason, we ask that you participate in the worship service from the outdoor seating, weather permitting, or continue to worship from home. Recorded sermons will still be posted on the website. Nursery will not be available at this time. Sunday School and bagel fellowship hour have also been temporarily suspended.
When you come, you will be glad to see people that you haven’t seen in a while, and your immediate instinct may be to give them a handshake or hug. For right now, resist that urge and greet one another from a safe distance. Please remember to maintain the 6-foot social distancing recommendation…even if it is challenging.
Since there is limited seating in the fellowship hall, you will be directed to the next available seat. Please kindly follow the instructions of those in charge when you enter or exit. There will be no Bibles available as they are difficult to sanitize, so please bring your own. We also realize that singing is difficult to do with a face mask and is a fabulous way to spread germs, so instead we encourage you to hum along in worship as you think about the words. “…You are working in our waiting, You’re sanctifying us. When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust…You are sovereign over us…”
Please pray for wisdom as the church leadership continues to review the ever-changing state guidelines and assesses our situation on a weekly basis. Plan to be flexible during this “season” of worship that we find ourselves in. Yes, you can expect the experience at church to be a bit different for a while. It may even feel weird. But that’s okay…we are all going through it together. We’ll get used to it. May God continue to be glorified in all we do.