COVID-19 Policy

Guidelines effective January 2021 on COVID-19 for Providence Church
It is important to note that these guidelines are primarily for the sake of considering others before ourselves (Rom. 14), as Christ did and would have us do always (especially during this time). There are people who are high risk and COVID-19 is real. As a church we are considered an essential service and there is no law that requires us to follow any government mandates for compliance. However, there has been a notable, recent spike in the local COVID-19- related infection rate, hospitalizations, and deaths. The good news is that a vaccine is being released and will have an effect (we pray, significantly) on this pandemic in the next few months. So far, Providence has not had a major outbreak that traces to our church. We praise God for this grace, and ask that he give us protection, and the wisdom and love for others so that we can continue to meet together for the sake of his glory and his mission.

Corporate Meetings

We are going to ask people to please wear masks while they are inside the building, particularly while speaking with others and singing. All other safe habits are encouraged (social distancing, hand-washing, etc.). Providence will continue to decontaminate (fog) rooms and wipe all touched surfaces before, after, and in-between services. Wearing masks outside is optional, but hugging and shaking hands (as we all want to do) is discouraged until this season is past. We will continue to livestream the services on YouTube for those who are higher risk or are around those who are high risk. If any outbreak happens, Providence will communicate with all involved and with the church as a whole if necessary.

This is not to diminish the importance of meeting together. In fact the opposite is desired! Remember Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” We need each other—now more than ever!

Small Groups

Group leaders are encouraged to prayerfully consider the risks in light of those in your group and meet either outside (weather permitting) or on Zoom. If the whole group desires to meet in person indoors, please take all precautions (masks, social distancing, etc.).

Small groups have been Providence’s salvation during this past year for encouragement, continued spiritual growth, support, and care. Thanks, leaders, for continuing to feed and care for your sheep. This is what disciple-making is all about.

Ministries

MANday Night will continue to wait to meet due to the difficulty of being able to do what makes that environment so special (eating, hugging, being together en-masse, etc.), but stay tuned to when we will begin again when the virus begins to subside.

Leaders of student ministries, women’s ministry, discovery groups, children’s ministries, and other ministries of Providence will communicate with their respective groups regarding the measures being taken. Staff and leaders will communicate with the elders (and vice-versa) regarding wisdom when needs arise.

Staff

Staff will work from home when able to do so without impeding their responsibilities. On Tuesdays (and other meeting days) staff will wear masks while meeting with others and practice social distancing, unless they have had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated. However, it is good if staff will still practice social distancing, wearing masks, etc. while attending or leading others in the church by way of example.