Earlier this month the Church Council met and adopted a plan to begin a limited reopening on June 7th. Here is the basic outline of our plan for reopening:
- Before June 7th we will have the church thoroughly cleaned so that it is ready for reopening.
- In the month of June, we will not have Sunday school or other social gatherings (like fellowship meals or table groups).
- We will have masks at the church for those that need them or want them, though we will not require that they be worn.
- To encourage social distancing, every other pew will be roped off.
- We are asking that church members please refrain, at least at first, from hugging and handshaking (I know this will be hard!)
- If you are in a high risk category (for example, over the age of 65), the Church Council wants to encourage you to exercise your own discretion about when it may be safest to return.
- The Council will meet again to reassess at the beginning of July.
We will also resume communion on the first day of the month on our first day back, but it will feel a little different. In June and July, we will use self-contained and sealed individual communion servings (they are packaged a bit like a very tiny Lunchable). These will be sanitized and distributed before the service so that they are ready when we come to that part of the service. This change in the mode of distribution will not be permanent, but will last so long as Covid-19 concerns are pressing.
I want to personally thank you for your patience as Church Leadership has navigated the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. I know that there are many different opinions about how best to respond to this unique event. Our church leadership, including the Deacons, myself and the Church Council are all united in the belief that the response outlined above strikes a good balance between personal safety and the necessity and vocation of the church to gather for worship.
I very much look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks! Until then, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you”!
Church doesn’t need to be complicated. It shouldn’t be an impossible choice between fitting in another program or feeling guilty if you just can’t make it. Church at Sunshine Baptist is simple. We believe simplicity leaves time to focus on the things that matter most: the Gospel, relationships, and mission.
The church is called to love God and love people. So, faithfulness means a commitment to the truth, and to humility. It means preaching the Word of God boldly, and observing baptism and communion according to the Scriptures. We believe God is calling Sunshine to this kind of faithfulness.
The Church should be about so much more than just trying to keep the doors open. We are called to show Christ’s love to the hungry, the hurting, and the lost. We are called to preach the Good News to all people. We believe God is calling Sunshine to be this kind of church - a church on mission.
5034 East Sunshine Terrace, Springfield, Missouri 65809, United States