Report from the Health Team:
When Do We Return and How Do We Return?
The Health Team task that seems most critical to church members is the determination of when and how our church can safely return to worshiping in person. The team draws information from available science, CDC and government guidelines, strategies from similar churches, and medical experts in our church. The church bears the responsibility for the well-being of all members; we choose to move humbly and carefully, making tentative and open-ended recommendations.
The next phase of our pandemic response, when we gather in person, will require that: 1) Masks must be worn and will be provided for those who do not have one. 2)There will be sanitation stations at all entrances and exits. 3) Anyone at risk or who has symptoms should stay home. 4) Pews will be marked for social distancing with no touching. 5) There will be no choir or congregational singing and no hymnals. 6) Greeters may seat individuals or families, keeping a six-foot distance. 7) Families will sit together; there will be no nursery or extended session. 8) Offering will be dropped in a basket as members enter or leave the service. 9) We will safely distribute bulletins and communion kits. 10) Online worship will be available throughout.
One major deterrent to resuming group meetings is that our disinfectant suppliers have reported extended back orders. In light of this fact and other concerns, the team recommends that we postpone in-person worship gatherings in June. These tentative plans can be changed as we learn more.
In the meantime, we will continue worshiping online, live-streaming with less than ten participants, including musicians, readers, and pastors. The worship staff will wear masks during taping. The staff will work in person during the week and wear masks as necessary. Pastoral meetings will continue to be by appointment only, using masks and observing social distancing. No in-person gatherings of church or community groups will be held on campus before August at the earliest. Office areas, the sanctuary, all computers, phones, door handles and other surfaces are wiped down regularly.
Thank you for your patience and faithfulness to the church, its ministries, and to each other during these unusual times and challenges. The inconveniences we are enduring are for the common good, for each one’s welfare and well-being, acting out of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. May the grace and peace of Christ be with us all.
Health Team Members: Benjamin Eubanks, Judy Gearhart, Todd Sherwood, Landa Strum, Courtney Stamey and Susan Meadors
Our full time staff is keeping regular hours. As time passes we recognize the potential of working remotely. We are checking the mail everyday if you need to mail anything to the church.
If you need anything, call the church office between the hours of 9am-4pm (601-924-4555).
In person meetings are by appointment only. Masks are required.
Ordinarily, we love when y'all drop by but, for your safety and the health of the staff we are asking you to refrain.
1. Cheer Cards: If you are looking for ways to connect with others, Sarah Howe has begun a card writing campaign for those who are isolated in this time. Please contact Sarah for more details.
2. Errand/Shopping Runs: If you would like to assist in running errands for members who are isolated, please contact your deacon. We are asking that folks who volunteer with this be under 65 and in good health.
3. Benevolence Fund: Thank you for your generosity regarding the Benevolence Fund. We believe we have enough in this fund at this time. Should this change we will notify you.
If you are a church member in needs of these funds please contact the church office.
4. Give to the General Budget: While our ministry may look different right now, the work of God through Northside Baptist Church continues. In addition to our usual payroll, contract service and utility expenses, we anticipate using this time to complete some properties projects around the church, update payroll software, pay building insurance, and more. You may mail checks to the church office or give online. If you are a tithe.ly giver we request that you shift over to the new ShelbyNext giving software. Instructions can be found on our website.
5. Eat Out Takeout or Delivery: Local restaurants are being hurt by social isolation. Find one or two restaurants that you and your family can patronize through eating takeout, delivery, or even buying gift cards. If you live in Clinton there are many locally-owned (non-chain) restaurants. Some close to the church include, Uptown Grill, Dutch's Oven, Great Wall, OEC Japanese, Margarita's Mexican, Fox's Pizza and more. A few families can really make a difference for these folks and their employees.
6. Reach out to our wonderful Northside Staff: We are blessed to have a gifted staff at Northside. These are unusual times for us as aspects of worship, pastoral care, and administration changes almost daily. We are working longer hours and under strange conditions. So thank you to: Dottie, Janet, Tequila, Toney, Norma, Heather, Susan, and Courtney.
7. Sew Masks: If you are a sewer you are invited to sew masks. For more information on how to make masks and where to send them, visit the Mississippi Mask Drive website.