COVID-19 Prep: Smiles and waves instead of hugs and handshakes

Jeff Noble Blog

The following was an email sent out by Jeff on Friday to help prepare the church family for worship services this Sunday. Since things are very fluid with the state of response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are watching all sources of information. As of noon Friday there were still no reported cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, per the Virginia Department of Health website.


First of all, greetings in the name of the Lord! We live in wild days. The turmoil and uncertainty of this past week have impacted our world in dramatic ways as the coronavirus has spread. We’ve seen fear and the amount of information is overwhelming.

If you haven’t yet, I wanted to direct you to our web site where we’ve released a statement and guide for our response to the current health realities.

On this Friday morning, we are still preparing wisely for our Sunday gathering. We are monitoring news and using resources and having ongoing discussions about best practices.

I am thankful for our staff team who have meet again even this morning to discuss our gatherings going forward. Things are very fluid, and we ask for your prayers and patience.

Things to do:

  • Pray diligently for all those impacted personally by COVID-19. Pray for wisdom for the leaders of nations, organizations, institutions and localities as they make decisions. Pray especially for God’s glory and compassion through Jesus to be made known in our world. These are moments of significant opportunity for witness and testimony to faith, hope and love in Him.
  • Stay tuned and informed. We will use our web and social media and email to alert you to any changes. A few local churches have made decisions to cancel and/or livestream their services.

Here’s what we are doing for Sunday:

  • Encouraging social distancing. It’s not that we don’t want to greet you with a hug and handshake (or holy kiss), but Sunday we will be bumping elbows or simply waving vigorously at you on Sunday.
  • Cleanliness. We are wiping down everything from kids toys to cafe (and if you’d like to show up early to help… be there at 8:30 a.m.) We will have hand sanitizing stations available as well.
  • Donuts and coffee. We will be serving, but we will have people serving you donuts. Help us with your children on Sunday who are used to helping themselves.
  • Bulletins and handouts and offering. We will have your bulletin on your chair waiting for you on Sunday. We won’t be handing out anything to everyone who arrives. We will also not be “passing the plate.” Instead, we will have offering baskets stationed by the doors so that you can give on arrival or exit. (You can always give online.)
  • Space. Again, it’s not that we don’t love one another, but we will be taking out a few chairs per row and re-spacing our chairs to give you a little more space between you and your neighbor. Couples, feel free to scoot your chairs back together. 😉

These are a few of the changes we’re making to accommodate and prepare wisely. We will reassess our future gatherings after Sunday.

We do encourage you to come and worship with us if you can do so without fear and anxiety. Otherwise, stay home and worship online with a faith community or tune in to our video of the service which will be posted Sunday afternoon.

Also, make use of our online interactions to maintain community/submit prayer requests, etc:

Being the church with you!