FAQ for Reconnect Process
1. What do we ask of our in-person worshippers?
- Please register before attending our initial reconnecting services.
- If you are sick, have a fever, or are showing any symptoms of illness, please do not attend our in-person gathering. You can worship with us either via the 10 am livestream at BIBLECHURCH.LIVE or the rebroadcast anytime at on our MEDIA PAGE.
- If you consider yourself to be at-risk, we strongly encourage you to worship online, either via the 10 am livestream at BIBLECHURCH.LIVE or the rebroadcast anytime at on our MEDIA PAGE.
- We require masks be worn by worshippers two years of age and older, in accordance with our civic guidelines and Chapel Hill’s “Safer for Everyone” campaign. Masks will be available in multiple sizes (to accommodate different ages) prior to the service if you need one.
- Rows are repositioned to allow for social distancing, with four chairs required between groups on the same row. Please look for our seating team, who will be guiding your group to your seats to ensure proper distancing.
- Observe a one-direction traffic flow: enter the building through the Main Lobby entrance and enter the Sanctuary through doors opposite the kitchen. Exit the Sanctuary via the doors by the cry room and exit the building via the doors opposite the cry room, or via the fire lane exit at the back of the Sanctuary.
- If you are going to bring an offering, we thank you for your generosity. Please be prepared to drop it in one of the secure boxes located by the Sanctuary doors either just after entering the Sanctuary or just before exiting
- Please do your best to observe the six feet of social distancing needed at all times during the 9 am service. For 11 am service, while we will continue to require masks and keep rows distanced 6 feet apart, social distancing within rows will be at each individual’s discretion. Consequently, we will no longer sit you in specific locations, but leave that up to your judgment. If you are not comfortable with this new protocol, please join us at the 9 am service.
- We know our church family will be eager to fellowship. Please do so outside where we can enjoy open spaces.
2. Are masks required?
We REQUIRE that all congregants 2 years and older wear masks when attending worship services (this is a change from our previous planning). Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms, as there is an elevated risk of transmission with this type of service. Masks will be available in multiple sizes (to accommodate different ages) prior to the service if you need one. [Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old or anyone who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition. Those speaking and singing on stage will not be wearing masks, but they will be significantly distanced from the first rows of worshippers, affirmed as a reasonable precaution by trusted medical advisors.]
As with all of our reconnecting policies, including social distancing, use of masks, cleaning & disinfection, and childcare/nursery, our objective is to align with the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the NC Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS), Orange County officials, and the recent Proclamation by the Town of Chapel Hill. These are as follows:
CDC Recommendations for Communities of Faith (May 22):
"Encourage use of cloth face coverings among staff and congregants. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult. NOTE: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms."
NC DHHS Guidance for Places of Worship and Religious Services (May 22):
"It is strongly recommended that all staff and congregants wear a cloth face covering when they may be near (less than six feet from) other people.”
Orange County Emergency Declaration (June 10):
“Orange County has extended its COVID-19-related state of emergency through Aug. 31 and has mandated the use of face coverings in many situations. The face covering requirement, which goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, June 12, applies to:
- All customers, employees, and other users of restaurants and grocery and retail stores while they are indoors.
- All occupants of public transportation vehicles.
- Anyone in an indoor or outdoor situation where they cannot maintain a 6-foot physical distance from others.
Face coverings are not required:
- For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
- For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
- For children under 12 years old.
- For restaurant customers while they are dining.
- In private offices.
- When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
- In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering when obtaining or rendering goods or services.
- While with family or household members.”
Town of Chapel Hill Proclamation (May 26):
"(I, Pam Hemminger, Mayor) urge everyone to wear masks when out in public to allow our community to reopen safely and to prevent our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed. Furthermore, I urge everyone to be understanding to those who, for reasons of age, health condition, or religion, cannot safely wear a mask, and to remain vigilant in staying 6' apart and washing hands frequently. In addition, business owners have also be asked to require their customers to wear masks and encourage physical distancing and safe hygiene practices while in their stores.”
As we all desire unity in our church body, let us be mindful of the health concerns of our entire body as we consider these guidelines and make decisions that may be sacrificial in setting aside our interests for the good of our church body.
3. What kinds of special precautions are taking place to avoid the spread of coronavirus?
- We will be providing as much of a “no-touch experience” as possible. Doors will be opened, no bulletins or Bibles will be available, and handshakes and hugs are discouraged
- Hand sanitizer and tissues placed throughout the building
- Hand washing instructions posted in bathroom stalls
- Increased disinfection efforts throughout the building
- Double the ventilation requirement to provide fresh air
- Cup dispenser at lobby drinking fountain located between the restrooms in lieu of water fountains
- Volunteers will be screened and have their temperature taken before serving
- Sanctuary will only be used for Sunday morning services to limit the possibility of any infected individuals entering during the week
- Masks are required for all congregants 2 years and older
- The pulpit will be moved back to increase the distance between the preacher/worship band and the first row of attendees. (Preachers and worship leaders will not be wearing masks.)
- Coffee and tea will not be available
- The elder prayer area will be near the front of the Sanctuary with seats positioned to allow for social distancing
4. Do I have to register for worship services?
Yes, please register at biblechurch.life/sunday. Registration is expected for worship services due to extremely limited seating capacity. Registration will be used to estimate attendance and for coronavirus contact tracing, if necessary. If we fill up with registration, those not able to be in attendance will be pre-registered for the next week. We will increase to two services as soon as the need arises.
5. What online options are available?
A livestream will be broadcasted at 11 am simultaneously with the in-person service, followed by a rebroadcast posted online, available anytime. This means that there are 3 options available for worship:
- Attend in-person Sunday morning service @ 9/11 am
- Livestream the in-person service online @ 11 am at biblechurch.live
- Watch rebroadcast of in-person service online anytime at biblechurch.org/media.
We do not want anyone to feel pressured to come if they are not comfortable. We are still one church, even if the congregation worships together over multiple platforms!
6. Is it safe to come?
Although we cannot guarantee that there will not be any transmission or spread of coronavirus for in-person gatherings, the Reconnect Team has prayerfully determined that there is a limited risk for those who attend as we follow CDC, NCDHHS, and Chapel Hill guidelines. Great efforts are being made to meet all recommended sanitation and procedural guidelines for a meeting of this nature. We encourage each guest to weigh the risks associated with attending an in-person event prior to coming and to feel no pressure to attend the service; there are multiple ways to worship online. If you consider yourself to be at-risk, we strongly encourage you to worship online, either via the 10 am livestream at biblechurch.live or the rebroadcast anytime at biblechurch.org/media. Again, we are still one church, even if the congregation worships together over multiple platforms!
7. I have a health condition that makes me particularly susceptible to coronavirus. Should I come to the in-person service?
8. How long will it take to transition back to ongoing, in-person services?
The transition back to ongoing, in-person operations is organized into four stages:
- Stage 1: All operations online (this is the stage we have been in since March).
- Stage 2: In-person gatherings begin, assuming sanitizing and social distancing protocols are possible and in place, with a preference toward outdoor gatherings. Virtual attendance options will be offered in conjunction with in-person gatherings whenever feasible and appropriate.
- Stage 3: In-person gatherings can continue as in Stage 2, with increased capacity. Virtual attendance options will be offered in conjunction with in-person gatherings whenever feasible and appropriate.
- Ongoing: All ministries to resume in-person gatherings with virtual options in conjunction with in-person gatherings whenever feasible and appropriate.
The dates for each transition are flexible, and they are not yet determined. The church will transition into Stage 2 on June 14 with the first in-person Sunday morning service. Ministry leaders will communicate their specific ministry plans as we move along.
9. What will happen if someone has coronavirus at the service?
If someone who attended the in-person service tests positive for coronavirus, the registration will be used for contact tracing to notify attendees.
10. Will childcare be provided?
Not initially; more details and updates will come from ministry leadership.
11. Will there be Sunday school or adult classes?
Not initially in-person; more details and updates will come from ministry and Sunday school leadership.