MILLERSBURG       BAPTIST       CHURCH

685 S. Washington St. Millersburg, Ohio 44654

Rev. James A. Jamison, Pastor                                                                          Phone:    (330) 674-5927

e-mail: pastorjamisonsr@gmail.com

_________________________________________________________________________

May 8, 2020

Friends and Family: 

I am happy to share with you that after our leadership meeting last night we have committed to reopen our Morning Service beginning Sunday, May 17, at 10:30m am.  We have reviewed the current directives by Governor DeWine, and discovered that as of May 12th 89 % of businesses will be allowed to open, then by May 15th That number will be 92.5 %.  Since we are determined to be in a low risk area (based on information from with the County Shariff,  and Health Department), we have decided that we will take as much precaution as we can, and begin the process of reopening our church to public worship on May 17th.  We recognize that not all of you may feel comfortable with meeting at this date, and we respect the right of each family to make their return based on their best evaluation of their needs of their family.  At the same time, we do not want to hinder those who have a desire to restart in worship and fellowship.  We must all understand restarting will be a process and not an event, so please work with us in that matter.  Much of what we are recommending are based on the current guidelines given by our Governor for business in our community. 

Since we are concerned for the physical needs of our body, we are asking you to please help us care for one another for the next few weeks as we transition into the entirety of our worship.

  • Since we do not want anyone to feel obligated to attend any of our opening services, to begin with our morning service will start at 10:30 am and will be a “Family Service.”  We are planning on shortening that service to about 60 minutes, and there will be no Sunday School, Jr. Church, or Nursery.  However, the nursery will be open for mothers or fathers who need a place to take care of the needs of their children.
  • We are asking that we only utilize the sanctuary, both bathrooms, and the nursery, this will cut down on the amount of sanitizing that we will need to do.  We are asking our members to watch our children, who will not understand these restrictions, and lovingly ask them to conform. Should we see a child or person in an area that we are not using, please, lovingly, ask them to leave that area.  We will place chairs or some other measure to indicate that, for now, these areas are not to be used.  We appreciate your help in this.  
  • We are asking that each of us would self-monitor our health, and if you have a family member that is showing any signs of illness or the virus, please stay home for that particular week, until you can determine that it was just a “false alarm”
  • We will video our service through Facebook Live, so that those of you, who do not feel comfortable coming to our public service, and those people who have joined us through the ministry of “off the pastor’s desk” may worship with us at the same time we are meeting.  We will also post those services on our Facebook and Website, for future references. 
  • In accordance to our Governor’s guidelines, we will recommend that you wear masks, but they will not be required.  We also will have a quantity of masks available at church for anyone who does not have a mask.  Those masks will be available for any aged person.
  • We will have a box outside the sanctuary for the offering, so that there will be no need to pass the offering plate during the service, for those who do not feel comfortable attending the public service, you may continue to send your offerings to the church via the mail.
  • We will also have bulletins available on the table with the offering box, for those who would desire to have one.  But we will not be handing them out so that they are not handled by many people.
  • We ask that you recognize that not all people may be comfortable with physical contact, so be aware of that as you consider shaking hands, hugging, or other types of physical contact.  We will allow each person to determine what degree of contact they are comfortable with.  Please, as we start our services, consider asking before doing. 
  • Because of the difficulties in sanitation, we will be removing the hymn books and Pew Bibles out of the sanctuary, during our first phase of opening.  We will continue to show the songs on screen so that we can join in our services. 
  • We would also encourage you to sit in family units, and attempt to maintain a degree of social distancing.  We will be setting up the sanctuary as best we can to maintain the best degree of distance from one another, and still enjoy the fellowship and worship with our God and our family. 
  • Please remember that these services are public services, and as such we will be welcoming any visitors who stop by to worship with us.  Please, be considerate of those visitors, and make them feel welcome, but not overwhelmed. 😊 
  • At the conclusion of the service, Kary and I will be at the front of the church, to greet anyone who desires to talk with us.  We will not be at the door, so that people may exit as quickly as they desire, and not be caught in an exit bottleneck. 

Finally, I would remind you that our focused theme through this event, has been to “love God and to love our neighbor,” We have focused on doing that in our absence, and now we need to do that on returning to worship together.  We must value the ability that each person and family has in their personal return to “normal living.”  Returning on May 17, does not make you more spiritual than those who do not, and not returning does not make you more cautious than those who do.  The reality is that each of us has varying degrees of needs, and concerns that must be taken into account. Please, do not pass judgment on your brothers, or sisters for the decisions that they will make about their ability to return, and what that may look like.   

If you have concerns or questions about our reopening, please feel free to contact me or your deacon to express those questions or concerns.  I continue to pray with and for you as you work through these decisions for yourselves.  May God grant you the boldness of Peter to stand in the midst, and the wisdom of Solomon to understand your situation. 

Serving our Savior,

Pastor James A. Jamison

                                                                                    Deacons:

419-303-9276 (cell)                                                                Tim Wolff (330-674-6623)

330-674-5927 (office)                                                            Michael Havener (330-601-4379)

                                                                                                John Kandel (330-231-2263)                                                                                                 Ryan Smith (330-231-5385)