When can we gather again? Our Leadership Council is meeting regularly to answer that question. We want to care well for our church family and our neighbors. We also want to submit to our governing authorities. Because of that we don’t know for sure when we will gather again.
As you know, our church family includes people who fall into multiple at-risk categories. Caring well for everyone means that we must take the time to ensure that the gathered worship experience is safe. For that reason, our return to gathering on-campus will take place in phases. I want to share with you what we know right now about the first two phases. Keep in mind that much of what I am sharing with you today will likely look different when we finally return to 700 Huffman Road.
Phase 1 | Preparation | May
As I mentioned in Sunday morning’s message, we are figuring out what living in an on-going CoViD-19 world looks like. Our facilities staff is working diligently to complete projects they started during the shut-down and to prepare the campus for reentry. The entire campus has been cleaned and sanitized and will be again prior to our reopening.
For the past month-and-a-half we have relied on our Sunday School classes and informal church networks to keep everyone connected, to communicate, and to meet ministry needs. With an extended time of social isolation and only a tentative return date, we will implement in May a more formal plan to reach out to our membership. During the month of May either a deacon, a staff member, or someone else from the church will contact every family which had active members or regular attenders prior to March 13. We will be asking you at least four questions:
- How are you doing?
- How can I pray for you?
- Do you need anything?
- Are you able to connect with the online worship services?
Phase 2 | Return to Campus | Begins June 7
We anticipate beginning Phase 2 on the first Sunday of June but that date depends upon our ability to meet all guidelines issued by Governor Ivey’s office as well as the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Jefferson County Health Department, and the City of Birmingham once they are announced. We will post updates as needed during the month and in the June edition of The Source.
Under our current plans, Phase 2 will only involve Sunday morning worship services. All other activities and gatherings will remain cancelled until further notice. As the pandemic subsides and our civil authorities release the restrictions, we will begin to implement other phases of our plan.
We are excited about the possibility of returning to gathered worship. But as you would expect, it will not be worship as usual. We will implement a social distancing plan as well as other safeguards for the health and well-being of our members and neighbors. We will communicate these details in the June edition of The Source and post them on our website.
In the meantime, I hope that you are able to connect to our “live” stream worship on Sunday mornings. The links are available on the website, Facebook and YouTube. If you need help, let us know. Keep praying for HBC at 7:00 every morning. Keep reading the Bible daily. And keep praying for, investing in, inviting, and sharing with your One! Know that I love you and look forward to seeing each of you, once again!