Updated Announcement re: Changes to Church Meetings & Events due to Covid-19

*The following message was emailed to all church members on Thursday; July 2, 2020:

Good evening Southside Family & Friends!

It’s a long message I know folks, but it’s important.  This contains information regarding the most current changes we are making in response to the possible “second wave” of Covid-19 infections in our community as well as new Orange County executive orders.

1)    Having spoken with Pastor Richard and some other pastor friends of mine, our church council has agreed (upon my recommendation) that we will NOT reconvene meeting for Sunday School and Thursday evening Prayer & Bible study beginning this Sunday (July 5th) like we’d previously announced and scheduled.

2)    At present, we are NOT announcing another date for restarting either of these meetings or any other regularly scheduled church events.  For the time being, the only event we will gather for is our Sunday morning worship service.  All other events / meetings are cancelled until further notice unless otherwise noted in this message.  Please be assured that our greatest desire and goal is to return to a “normal” (pre-Covid) schedule and church life as soon as feasibly possible. 

3)    We will continue to meet for corporate worship at 10:30am on Sunday mornings in our sanctuary. We will continue practicing social distancing in our sanctuary like we have been doing.  Should this need to change, we will notify you via email, phone, and on our website and Facebook pages.

4)    While we don’t want anyone to suffer unnecessary fear or anxiety, there are still risks involved in gathering in large groups at this time.  If you are over the age of 65 and/or have underlying medical issues that put you at greater risk should you contract the Covid-19 virus, please carefully consider your decision as to when it is best for you to attend congregational services once again.

5)    Given the recent county-wide executive order regarding face masks, I encourage you to wear one when you attend if you are able.  However, we respect anyone’s decision not to wear a mask due to matters of physical health / comfort, emotional well-being, or conscience.  If you choose not to wear a mask, we will not refuse you entry but ask that you make certain to abide by social distancing measures while inside.

6)   If you are not feeling well, have a fever or any of the other signs of possibly being ill, please refrain from attending worship services until sufficient time has passed and you have recovered.  Please notify us as soon as possible if you have attended a recent worship service and later test positive for Covid-19.

7)    As the Body of Christ, we are accountable to our Lord to work toward, preserve, and protect the unity of His Church. Therefore, I sincerely ask we all do our best to abide by the following:

  • Please do not make judgements or vocalize opinions you may have about those in attendance who may or may not be wearing a mask.  Unfortunately our culture has begun making this another issue to divide over.
  • Please do not assume that someone’s attendance at a worship service (with or without a mask) means they welcome close contact at this time.  It is probably best that we refrain from initiating handshakes or hugs with others for the time being
  • There are folks who are genuinely at risk should they contract the virus and others who are still very fearful at this time.  As such, please keep each other in mind, in prayer, and refrain from discussing our opinions regarding the pandemic while we are together for worship.

8) Lastly, if you are in need, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Richard, or Bob so that we can work together as a church to be of help to you.

On behalf of the Southside Baptist Church Council,

Pastor Darren