CORONAVIRUS: IMPORTANT UPDATES Updated 7/9/20

Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how Dixie Lee Baptist Church is responding.

Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. As information evolves, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.

If, as a member of DLBC, you or someone you know needs help or assistance during these difficult days, please contact your deacon or the church office.

 

WHAT IS OUR PLAN FOR THIS SUNDAY?

As we continue gathering for in-person worship in the Worship Center with two services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., we are adding the opportunity for Sunday morning Bible Study.
 
We will have “family” Bible study in the Family Life Center, meaning there will be no nursery for children ages 4 and up and all in attendance will be in the gym area. Brady Wassenaar will be teaching the 9 a.m. Bible study on July 12, 19 and 26, while Mark Weeks will be teaching the 10:15 a.m. Bible study on July 12 and Mark Miller on July 19 and 26. Howard Cusick will be teaching middle school and high school youth at 9 a.m. July 12, 19 and 26 in room 208 upstairs in the Family Life Center. Worship services will run simultaneously in the Worship Center.
 
There will be a nursery available in room 118 of the Education Building for children ages 3 and under for the 10:30 a.m. service only. The remainder of the Education Building will be closed and not available for use.
 
Each of the family Bible studies will accommodate a maximum of 80 people so that we can follow social distancing guidelines outlined by state and federal government.
 
Our baby nursery in the Worship Center continues to be available only as a temporary “crying room” where parents who are attending worship services but not ready to utilize the nursery can take distraught little people (ages 3 and younger, please) that are needing comfort from their mom and dad. Our nursing room in the Worship Center will be available only for moms and their children that are nursing. Although it is our normal routine, please remember we are not able to use the foyer of the worship center to simply gather and talk.
 
The 10:30 a.m. worship service continues to be livestreamed online via Facebook Live so that our older members who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and those who are still hesitant to worship in person can gather virtually with the DLBC family. Members are heartily encouraged to invite friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and others to join us for worship in person and online. Please consider sending a Facebook invitation.
 
Find Dixie Lee Baptist Church’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DixieLeeBaptistChurch
 
Each of the two services will accommodate a maximum of 120 people so that we can follow social distancing guidelines outlined by state and federal government. Worship leaders will remain on the main platform.

 

HOW SHOULD WE GATHER?

While we aren’t accustomed to planned entrance and exit of our Worship Center, these unusual days call for a more structured approach to make everyone feel a little more comfortable. The goal is for all of us — those who are hesitant, those ready to attend and everyone in between — to exercise grace in our interactions. For example, many of the DLBC family might not be ready to give and receive hugs, so for now a warm smile and a wave is probably best. Please respect the personal space of others. Frankly, it will be wonderful simply to be in the same room together!
 
Plan to enter the Worship Center through the front doors only no earlier than 8:50 a.m. for the first service and 10:20 a.m. for the second service. Our younger and more mobile members should park as far away from the Worship Center as possible to leave room for older members, those less mobile, those with small children, and guests. We are encouraging older members to attend the early service, while others who have already been interacting in other ways in the community attend the second service. Exterior doors will be open for you and our greeters have been instructed to maintain proper distancing. Doors to the Worship Center will be closed when we reach a capacity of 120, and no one else will be admitted.
 
For Bible study, plan to enter the Family Life Center through the side parking lot entrance on the lower floor. Please use the doors on the far side of the Family Life Center to exit toward the Worship Center.
 
We are encouraging anyone who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask to do so. We are not going to be taking the temperature of individuals, but we strongly urge anyone feeling sick to please stay home.

 

HOW SHOULD WE EXIT?

Many of us will find it difficult to leave! However, please don’t congregate in common areas of the worship center or parking lot. Remember that parts of the other buildings will be open only for church use (Bible study and nursery). A structured approach to exiting the first service will be crucial so that we can properly clean and prepare for the second service. All of us will exit through the side doors of the worship center past the rest rooms and nearest the Family Life Center and Education Building. A similar exit strategy will be used for the second service.

 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS DLBC TAKING TO MAKE DLBC FACILITIES AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?

DLBC is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
  • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) with a safe disinfectant. This will also be happening between Sunday morning worship services beginning May 17.
  • Continuing to place hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the worship center.
  • Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. Even after we have begun to return to campus, deep cleans could involve closing DLBC buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on our website and Facebook page.
 
We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.

 

HOW CAN I GIVE TO KEEP DLBC STRONG?

There are digital giving options on our website at dixieleebaptist.org through our giving portal and through the GivePlus+ app available for phones and tablets. And anyone can still mail a check via USPS. We encourage our membership to give during this time so that we are well-positioned to meet critical needs now and expand our ministry in the community when the current health crisis subsides.

 

ARE DLBC BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?

No. For now, DLBC buildings remain closed to the public and membership and most activities through May — with the exception of some critical leadership meetings — have either been canceled or postponed. There could be changes as we begin to open the campus for worship, so look for updates regarding specific activities. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader and refer to our online calendar that is updated frequently by our administrative staff.

 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE?

We encourage everyone to continue to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu and other illnesses, including:
• Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
• Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• Staying home if you are sick.
• Covering your cough or sneeze.
• Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.
 
As emphasized above, we encourage everyone to take common sense precautions and consider creative interactions that do not involve hugging and hand shaking (consider the “holy wave!”) since many people will likely not be comfortable, at least as we initially begin to gather, with close contact. Treating others with an extra measure of grace and understanding during these days will be the needed approach.

 

HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
 
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
 
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus seems to spread person to person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention updates risk status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.

 

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS?

The coronavirus is one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
 
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. Let’s take this opportunity to spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
 
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus:
• Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
• Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
• Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
• Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. We want every Asian-American (as well as Asians around the world) to feel and know the love of Christ. So just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
• Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
• Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.