Bethel Safety Protocol Summary for Congregation
Question and answer 68 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism instructs us that the sixth
commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others. In obedience to this commandment, and after seeking the advice of medical professionals, the session implemented a number of safety protocols for worship at Bethel. We ask that those worshiping at Bethel abide by these protocols.
The foundation of the safety protocols is face mask usage, social distancing and limiting the number in the building at one time. We ask that face masks be worn over the nose and mouth of anyone age 2 or older while in church building. We recommend mask usage during time spent with others outdoors on church property. Of course, when the Lord’s Supper is served, masks may be removed when the elements are received and put back on when the Supper is completed.
Outside of worship, we strive to maintain social distancing of six feet or more.
During worship, we strive to maintain social distancing by roping off two out of three rows, providing spacing of at least three or four chairs between family units in the sanctuary and providing spacing of at least ten feet between family units in the overflow rooms. This greater social distancing requirement for worship is beneficial because our practice of singing and reciting creeds during worship is believed to spread the COVID-19 virus more widely than mere conversation.
Bethel is also seeking to abide by the guidelines set forth by the State and local authorities. Currently, we limit the number at a worship service to no more than 100 in the building, with approximately 50 in the sanctuary and approximately another fifty (50) spread around in four (4) other worship rooms.
While at Bethel, we ask that you refrain from contacting others outside of your family unit in ways that might spread the COVID-19 virus, particularly shaking hands and hugging one another. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the building if your hands need to be sanitized.
When adult Sunday School is offered, chairs will be set up to maintain appropriate social distancing.
Finally, the session recognizes that these protocols are burdensome to many. We also recognize and acknowledge that other Bible-believing churches have implemented safety protocols that vary from what has been implemented at Bethel, some more stringent and some less. Moreover, we know that our wisdom in this matter is finite and we may have been too restrictive, or not sufficiently restrictive.
We have sought to preserve life and honor our Lord and Savior. We ask that you pray for us for wisdom in this matter.