Reopening Guidelines

Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church

Reopening Guidelines

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Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters, and JHBC Family,

Regardless of the exact day we are able to reopen, it is important that we prepare for the reopening the church. Kenny Lamm has been kind to forward excellent articles from Christianity Today and the Georgia and North Carolina Baptist State Conventions with regard to their recommendations. Below you will find how we have adapted these examples as guidelines for our church. All of these guidelines are in accordance with state and national instructions.

These recommendations may seem burdensome, but if they would prevent some of our church members becoming sick, or dying, they would be more than worth it. We have had two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the congregation and we want not no more.

Let me say first, if you have any doubts about returning to church, especially if you have a pre-existing condition, stay home and continue to participate in our services through the radio or online.


Preparing the Facility

· Sanitize

    • The cleaning team has continued to clean the church during this period of isolation. In addition to their efforts, volunteers will remain for a few minutes after church services to sanitize the top of pews in the sanctuary, door handles, faucet handles, and light switches. Masks, gloves and cleaning supplies will be provided for these volunteers.
    • Please help us by leaving no paper, wrappers, tissues, etc. after the service.

· Fellowship / Greetings

    • Signs will be posted around the church reminding all to not shake hands and greet one another at an appropriate distance. Ushers and First Impressions will use appropriate social distancing.

· Offer Sanitizer

    • Richard Sistrunk has obtained six additional sanitizing stations which will be placed throughout the facility.

Worship Service

· Social Distancing

    • We will tape off every other pew and encourage social distancing between families on a pew.
    • Once the number of people in the sanctuary (approximately 100) is exceeded, members will be asked to go to the fellowship hall where the service will be shown on a large screen. Please maintain social distancing in McDowell Hall.
  • Sunday School
    • We will hold off on Sunday school for at least two weeks after church opens. At that time, please encourage social distancing within classrooms.
  • Sunday and Wednesday Evening Services
    • We will continue to hold Wednesday evening services on line for 2-4 more weeks. Once we have more clarity of the effect of lifting restrictions, we will make a decision with regard to evening services within the church.
  • Instructional Video
    • A video will be posted on line of what to expect when we return to church.

· Offering

o Offering boxes will be provided in the front foyer and outside the sanctuary with ushers standing by.

o We continue to encourage online giving, as well.

· Lord’s Supper

o We will use prepackaged communion sets for June 7th 2020. Individual sets have already been purchased.

  • Masks
    • We encourage all to feel free to wear masks.
    • A mask will be provided to those that do not have one.

· Choirs

o We will hold off on choir rehearsals and inclusion in the worship service for at least four weeks.

o We hope to use soloists, trios or quartets to ease back into more normal services.

· Bulletins

    • We will not distribute bulletins, other than what is posted electronically. After two weeks bulletins will be positioned throughout the church, but not handed out.

· Meet-and-Greet Time

    • Eliminated until further notice.

· Hymnals and Pew Bibles

o Please do not use them for four weeks. The current musical template will continue to include hymns.

· Dismiss by Pews

o Similar to the way people depart after a wedding, we will dismiss the church by pew to avoid people grouping together. We also encourage people not to congregate in the hallways or parking lots.

Preschool and Children

  • Toys
      • We will eliminate toy boxes and an overabundance of toys. We will bring out only the amount of toys that volunteers are willing to clean at the end of the session.
    • Take Temperatures
      • Children and nursery workers will identify a single drop off and pick up point. A ‘no touch thermometer’ will be used to perform temperature checks on children and leaders before being allowed in preschool or children’s classrooms. If a child or worker is identified as having a temperature, the entire family will be asked to return home.

· Drop-off and Pick-up

      • Only one parent will be allowed to drop off and pick up children. Children’s workers will be provided with masks to use at their discretion.

Again, I understand that these guidelines may seem strenuous but as the expression goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!’ Our great desire is to be together again, to worship and praise and fellowship – but do it as safely as possible for as long as we can!

God Bless You and Yours!

Pastor Cal