Reopening


Friends, by God’s abundant grace, we are excited to welcome you back to in-person worship starting July 26th for both our services.  We will require you to wear a mask and fill out an online health form each week. Please see the forms below to register. If you need help, please call us at (757) 851-6302.

We are now able to welcome children into the building. In the sanctuary, you will be able to sit with household units, so families stay together. Otherwise, we must respect the 6-foot distancing requirement. Thank you for your patience as we all are struggling to adjust.

We will continue to stream our live services and provide other online content for those who are unable to join us in the building. We want to create more opportunities to share the Gospel and help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sadly, opening for worship means we cannot also have Sunday School until the Virginia Conference clears us for the next phase.

Please use the form below for adults and submit weekly.

Please use the form below for all children under the age of 18.

On the day of attendance, please stay home if you have:

  • A temperature over 100.4
  • Visited out of state in past 14 days
  • Has a positive COVID test or are waiting on a result
  • Have been in contact with someone who has COVID
  • Don’t feel comfortable meeting indoors.

Please remember, all attendees must bring and wear their masks the whole time. If you need help obtaining a mask, please call the church office at (757) 851-6302.

Questions & Answers:

I’m used to wearing my PJ’s to worship! Do I have to dress up again?

When we reopen for worship, on July 26, wear your PJ’s – and keep wearing them as long as you wish! July 26 is officially PJ (or shorts and t-shirts, or anything that covers you) day! After that, just come in whatever you wish.

Where’s my bulletin?

We aren’t allowed to hand out bulletins in the building because it is a possible transmission source. You can either print a bulletin from home or access it on your tablet/cell phone. Worship leaders and AV volunteers will get copies to do their work, so it’s a great time to volunteer – we can use your help!

Can I hug?

Unfortunately, no. However, elbow bumps and “rump bumps” are permitted. Air hugs too!

Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes! Everyone in the sanctuary will be wearing a mask. We will be experimenting with masks for speakers as well. Please wear it from when you exit your vehicle the moment you return to it, including in the restroom. Please pull it up over your nose too. We are not the “mask police,” but we ask that you respect the needs of others to be protected.

How do I register to attend?

Registration has been simplified, thank God! See the above button for the “combined health form” and answer the few questions each week. If you have problems or want to have human interactions, call the church office (757) 851-6302.

Why did you lock the Olde Buckroe entrance?

We are glad you asked! We need volunteers to handle registration, ushers to escort folks to the pews, and cleaners to follow up on touch surfaces in the narthex, bathrooms, and sanctuary. By having everyone come in from the narthex entrance, we only need about 12 additional volunteers per week instead of 16. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but it is purely a matter of having enough volunteers. If you want to help in any of these vital areas, please contact Pastor Brian.

Do you need volunteers?

Thank you! We do! We need additional people to greet and register people (4 per week), to clean (minimum 4 per week), run the AV system (8 per week ideally), and usher (especially at 11am). Use the Combined Health Form and note your area of interest. Until we know exactly what we need and have people in place, we would love for people to register to attend one service and serve at the other one. You are our essential workers.

What can I expect at the 8:30am & 11:00am services?

No difference in rules or needs. No difference in basic service outline. Some differences in attendees and approach. Our 8:30 service will be mostly the same. However, to engage families with children, we have made the 11:00 service a little shorter and more interactive. It has songs with hand and arm motions, repeated blessings that everyone can memorize, and more moments geared to younger minds. Who knows? It could become your favorite time!

What will in-person worship be like?

It will be different than what we used to do. You will be greeted at the door and asked if your health information has changed. Ushers will then take you or your group to a seat. We will encourage you to socialize outside the building, and we are not allowed to offer coffee or any food.
During worship, you will be encouraged to hum (we’re not supposed to sing – but you can dance all you want!). Ushers wearing gloves will collect the offering via butterfly nets. We will say our Communion prayers together and pass out the sealed elements, but you will need to wait until you are outside the building to partake in them. Despite these shifts, our prayerful desire is that you will feel more connected with the Lord, each other, and your community. As before, we seek to send you home with strength and love to live better during the week.

Where did my Hymnal go?

Worship is now BYOB! (Bring your own Bible) There will be no hymnals, Bibles, or offering envelopes in the pews (you can bring anything you wish from home and take it back home). We have a system for you to check out a hymnal until the Conference clears us to return to worshiping as we had. Children will receive individualized zip-lock with activity bags.

Will there be children’s church or time?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer either at this time. We will continue to have a videoed segment for Children’s Time during the service, but children will stay with their family at all times. We are preparing weekly ziplock packets for the children who remain in service. We are also offering the nursery for children 0-4, and they must wear masks there too. Please see the “Nursery & Children’s Registration” button above to let us know who is coming. We have limited space in the nursery, so please be sure to register for every week you attend.

How will the nursery be different?

You will bring your child(ren) into the preschool room and pick them up there after worship. Everyone will wear a mask, even children in the nursery. We had rigorous cleaning practices before COVID, and we have increased the frequency. We do not have wiggle room on these requirements for any age person unless there is asthma or COPD, in which case we will need to know beforehand to make alternate arrangements.

Do I have to pre-register?

Yes, please. We have some wiggle-room for adults, but as space is limited, children for the nursery must be pre-registered. If you forget, or if someone visits who doesn’t know about our procedures, we can register people on the spot. They must agree to the same health questions and provide us their name and contact information. Preregistration reduces delays as people arrive and ensures that contact tracing is possible. We hope we never have to use the registrations for anything other than internal use, but if needed, we can precisely tell who to contact.

What about Sunday school?

At this time, we cannot offer Sunday school and worship together. Those classes that have used Zoom (Searchers and FaithLink) are encouraged to use it. We encourage others to either choose another time or place or start using Zoom or another service. With interest and leaders, new classes and groups can always get started!

What about cleaners?

This is the one area of service that is brand-new. Cleaners will need to arrive early (especially for 8:30) and will either get gloves or bring them from home. We are using a peroxide solution that is certified by the EPA on all surfaces that hands touch, from pews to fixtures in the bathroom and doors.

Why so many rules?

We know your pain. Believe it or not, the Healthy Church Team has condensed nearly 100 pages of two different training manuals into slightly more than 4 pages. We know that some of the requirements don’t make much sense. Some make perfect sense. Pastor Brian is open to suggestions, but please know that we may not be able to use a good number of the helpful suggestions that you may have. (And many are good and helpful, by the way!) There are only a few places we can bend these requirements. While Virginia is in Phase 3, Virginia United Methodists are in Stage 2.

Is it worth it for me to come?

That is a question you will have to answer for yourself. We respect your decisions to care for you and your family whatever the choice.
From Pastor Brian: “I am not personally in a high-risk category, but I have type 1 diabetes, and there are no guarantees that any of us will make it through this pandemic alive. I think the value of being together, even physically distanced, is high and important for my mental and emotional health. We have minimized all the risk factors that are in our control, and the registration system we have ensures contact tracing is both easy and simple should it be needed. However, being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ does not exempt anyone from contacting the virus. We hope to see you, but we love you whether we see you or not, and we will not judge you for being careful.”

I haven’t been to church in 20 years! Will the roof cave in on me?

There has never been a better time to grace us with your presence! At this point, everyone has been away for over 4 months, so everyone is a first-time guest for all intents and purposes! This is a new start for everyone.