COVID19  UPDATE 11.14.2020

Dear Amissville, Baptist Church Family,


Yesterday (11/14/2020), Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia announced an amendment to Executive Order 67 that will go into effect on Monday November 15.  After consulting with the SBCV, the elders of ABC have concluded that the amendment to Executive Order 67 will have a minuscule effect on ABC’s services. The newly imposed 25-person limit on gatherings does not apply to churches which are under Executive Order 61. Northam’s order explicitly states, “Individuals may attend religious services of more than 25 people.” In accordance with the state of Virginia and the SBCV, ABC will continue to meet on campus in good conscience, asking those who attend to wear masks and social distance while attending services at ABC. For full list of precautions see below: 


The new order will lower the mask mandate age from 10 to 5. Beginning on November 22, ABC will ask that guests and members 5 and older to wear mask. This is the only change that impacts ABC.


ABC will also continue with its plans to start a second service on November 22. The first service will occur at 9AM followed by a time a disinfecting and cleaning. The second service will start at 10:30AM. Both services will last 45-50 minutes.

   

ABC remains committed to worshiping the one true God, to praying for and submitting to our leaders as described in the Scriptures, and to caring for the wellbeing of both our members and our neighbors. We also remain committed to praying for the coronavirus crisis to end, joining the nation in its hopes for a vaccine.


The situation remains fluid. The elders of ABC will continue to share updates on the ABC website, Facebook Page, Twitter Handle, and Instagram account. If you have more questions, please message us. The links to the Executive Order and to the SBCV response to that letter are listed below.  


Sincerely, 

Peter, Mark, and Bill


Executive Order 67 SBCV Response

COVID-19 Phase 1 Reopening Plan: 6/21/2020

Dear ABC Family,


We praise God for the opportunity to discuss the reopening of Amissville Baptist Church. It will be good to join together as the people of God to worship the one true God!


Though worship is a beautiful thing, the Coronavirus guidelines still present some challenges. We understand that you may not like some of the guidelines. We are not fans of these things either and pray for God to deliver our nation from the curse of this virus. As a matter of conscience, we believe you have the Christian freedom to disagree with our assessment of and response to COVID19.


Yet for the sake of unity and for the sake of the most vulnerable among us, we ask you to follow the below guidelines. We know that more than 50% of our church are in high-risks categories. If the elders err in reopening, we want to err on the side of caution and safety. Were one person to contract the Coronavirus at ABC, that would be one person too many.


When approaching the reopening discussion, we encourage you to view it through the lens of Christian conscience. Wearing or not wearing a mask is not a sin issue. Mask wearing and social distancing does not aid or hinder one’s journey to heaven. But if wearing a mask or sitting six feet apart will express love to the most vulnerable among us and protect them from harm, we should be willing to forgo our freedoms for an hour for the sake of blessing our brothers and sisters. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer noted, “Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also the strong need cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship (95).” Like you, we want ABC to thrive!


We hope the message of Romans 14:19-20 will be ABC’s motto in the weeks ahead:


"So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. "


We also recognize that some of may think we have not been cautious enough. You may not come until the virus is gone or until a vaccine has been developed. We respect your conscience on this matter as well, recognizing you have the God given freedom to continue watching services online or to start listening to services on the radio. The need for health does not run contrary to the principles of the gospel.


Our heart is for peace. And we ask you to join the elders in committing to keep masks, Lysol, and social distancing from becoming points of contention that will destroy the work of God and cause others to stumble.


We believe ABC’s best days lie ahead. Though we have been separated from the communal means of grace for almost three months, the gospel has gone forward in the people of ABC. Brothers and sisters are meeting needs, building relationships, and growing in their understanding of the gospel. If God has worked during absence of our corporate worship services, how much greater will our witness be when we begin to make full use of God’s gifts to the church? In short, we can’t wait to get back together for we serve an amazing God who promises to do amazing things, masks or no masks!

ABC’s REOPENING PLAN: Phase 1


Overview:

ABC will reopen on June 28. Because of COVID19, setting must be limited. ABC asks members and guests to reserve their seat(s) on the ABC website prior to attending the service. Members and guests can also call the church office to reserve their seat (s). ABC asks all sick members and guest to not attend services. ABC also encourages all at-risk members and guest to watch from home or to listen to the service in their cars on the radio, 87.9 FM. The radio signal does not reach beyond ABC’s campus and parking lot. When members and guest arrive, those 10 and older must put on a mask. All members and guest should maintain a distance of at least six feet between families. If a member or guest does not have a mask, ABC will provide them with one. Ushers will seat members and the guests from the front of the sanctuary to the back of the sanctuary. At the end of the service, the ushers will dismiss the sanctuary back to front. ABC asks you to refrain from using the restrooms if possible. If you need to use the restroom, please exit through the closest door. After the restroom is used, an attendant will wipe down the restroom prior to its next use. You may place gifts in the offering box, mail them to ABC or give them online. ABC will not have a nursery or children’s church at this time. Choir and Sunday school will also not resume at this time.



Detailed Plan:

1. ABC encourages all sick members to watch the worship service at home or to remain in their car in the ABC parking lot so that they can listen to the service on the radio, 87.9FM.


2. If you have had the following symptoms within the last 24 hours, please do not attend services:

    a. Fever or chills

   b. Cough

   c. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

   d. Fatigue

   e. Muscle or body aches

   f. Headache

   g. New loss of taste or smell

   h. Sore throat

   i. Congestion or runny nose

   j. Nausea or vomiting

   k. Diarrhea


3. ABC encourages all at-risk members and guests to watch the worship service at home or to remain in their car in the ABC parking lot so that they can listen to the service on 87.9FM. The transmitter will not reach beyond ABC’s physical campus.


4. According to the CDC the following groups are at high risk:

   a. People 65 years and older

   b. People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

   c. People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

   i. People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

   ii. People who have serious heart conditions

   d. People who are immunocompromised

   i. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

   e. People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)

   f. People with diabetes

   g. People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

   h. People with liver disease


5. Prior to attending, ABC asks members and guests to reserve their seat(s) for the service by going to AmissvilleBaptistChurch.com or by calling the church office at 540-937-6159. If ABC reaches capacity of 36 congregants, those unable to attend this week’s service will receive priority for the following week’s service.


6. When members and guests arrive and leave their vehicle, they should put on a mask. If they do not have a mask ABC will provide one.


7. Members and guests should enter through the front double doors, keeping a distance of six feet between households.


8. Using an infrared thermometer, ushers will take members and guests’ temperatures prior to seating them. If someone has a temperature of 101.1, we will be ask them to listen to their service from the car.


9. Ushers will seat members and guests by rows from the front of the sanctuary to the back of the sanctuary. A handicapped person may be seated on the back row of chairs, but he/she must maintain a distance of at least six feet from the next nearest person.


10. Members and guests will sit every other row rotating alternating the pew sides and used pews will be taped off to prevent their usage.


11. The pews will be covered with light plastic. After the service, the plastic will be thrown away to prevent the spread of germs.


12. ABC will not have bulletins or children’s bulletins.


13. ABC will not offer childcare or nursery at this time. Kids are welcome to bring coloring sheets and other supplies. ABC will email out children’s bulletins that you can print at home.


14. During the service, ABC asks all guest and members to remain in their seats and to refrain from using the restrooms if possible. If you need to use the restroom, please keep as much distance as possible between you and other people. See the ushers, they will point you to the restroom. They will also disinfect the restroom between uses.


15. ABC also asks all members and guests to refrain from going into the Fellowship Hall, Upstairs Classrooms, Lightbearer’s room, Basement, and Trailers.


16. The service will last 45 minutes or less and will not include a meet and greet time, an offertory, or choir.


17. Gifts and tithes may be placed in the offering box before, during, or after the service, mailed to the church, or given online.


18. ABC will sing during the service. We ask members and guests to keep their masks on while singing.


19. When Pastor Peter preaches, he will preach from behind a plexiglass shield fitted for the pulpit.


20. ABC will keep the windows open for the duration of the service unless weather conditions make the practice unsafe.


21. ABC will have hand sanitizing dispensers available in the church entrance to help prevent the spread of germs.


22. Were someone to get sick while at a service, ABC will ask that person to leave ABC immediately. If they are too weak to leave, the ushers will escort him or her to the Lightbearers Room, contact family members or will contact EMS, and will wait for help to arrive.


23. Were an attendee to accidentally expose the congregation to COVID19, ABC will make every effort to contact everyone who was exposed.


24. ABC will disinfect all surfaces after each service.


25. Sunday School, AWANA, Choir, and other activities will resume once Virginia enters phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan.


Sincerely,

Peter, Mark And Bill


COVID-19 Update 5/24/2020

Dear ABC Family,


The elders have decided to resume on campus worship services on Sunday, June 28 at 10:30AM.


ABC’s ability to reassemble has been slowed by ABC’s inability to quickly procure the supplies needed to ensure a safe and sanitary worship experience. ABC has been working to secure those resources for more than a month. ABC has also explored a host of other options including a range of outdoor services. None of these options can be implemented before the middle to end of June.


The elders do not want to risk the consequences of reopening the church without sufficient safety measures in place. More than 50% of our Sunday morning attenders reside in at risks categories because of their age, weight, or health (cancer, heart health, lung conditions, etc). A quick opening could bring harm to our church family. The loss of one life is one life too many.


When the plague of 1527 struck Germany, the reformer Martin Luther noted,


"It is even more shameful for a person to pay no heed to his own body and to fail to protect it against the plague the best his is able, and then to infect and poison others who might have remained alive if he had taken care of his body as he should have. He is thus responsible before God for his neighbor’s death."


We concur and will do all that we can to make sure ABC’s reopening is a blessing to all involved.


Because ABC has invested in live-streaming and online giving, we are well positioned to survive this interim period, making use of our online platforms.

When ABC does reopen, we will face new challenges including limited seating capacity. We will discuss how ABC will navigate those challenges on Sunday June 21. 


When ABC resumes on campus worship services, it will also begin broadcasting its service through a short-range FM transmitter so that members who cannot come inside or who choose not to come inside my listen to the service in the parking lot. ABC will also continue to livestream all services. We desire that as many people as possible have the opportunity as Luther said to “attend church and listen to the sermon so that they learn through God’s word how to live and how to die.”


While Sunday morning worships services will resume on June 28, other church activities will remain suspended until Virginia enters the third phase of its reopening. Until that time, ABC will continue to postpone all Sunday school classes, choir practices, children’s ministry activities (including: nursery, AWANA, and VBS) all on campus Bible Studies, and all special events. Once Virginia overcomes the virus, ABC will implement a path to a full reopening.


Sustained By Faith and Grace,


Peter, Bill and Mark.


COVID-19 Update 3/31/2020

Dear ABC,


Amissville Baptist Church has decided to cancel all Sunday morning Worship Services and all activities through April 30. On Sunday night, March 29, President Trump extended the national social distancing guidelines to April 30. Moreover, on Monday March 30, Governor Northam issued an order prohibiting “All public and private in-person gatherings of more than ten individuals are prohibited.” That includes all indoor and outdoor “parties, celebrations, religious, or other social events.” Desiring to love our God, you, and our neighbors well, the elders have decided to suspended services for an additional four weeks.


Because of this needed precaution, ABC will not be able to host any of its usual Easter events. Thankfully, the good news of the resurrection has not be permanently glued to square on the church calendar. Every time the church comes together, she assembles to praise the risen savior. Every service celebrates the truth that we all have been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through faith.


Though we will not be able to celebrate Easter on its usual date, the elders of ABC remain fully committed to gospel of the resurrection. Once the guidelines expire, we will organize a special service to celebrate the empty tomb. On that Sunday in May or June, we will sing Easter hymns; Pastor Peter will preach from John’s passion narrative; and, we will host a special celebration. We look forward to seeing ABC assembled together again to sing the praises of our creator and king.


As we wait for that joyous assembly of God’s people, please continue to stay connected with your ABC family through letters, phone calls, and social media. Pastor Peter will continue to lead the 10:30AM Sunday morning Bible Study and the 6:00PM Wednesday night Bible Study. You can watch both events on Facebook. Click here to access the materials for the Wednesday night Bible Study.


The elders and deacons will continue to call the members of ABC. If you know of needs or desire to reach out to us, please give us a call. We would love to hear from you and learn more about how we can serve you and pray for you.


If you need access to the internet, please log onto the church guest Wi-Fi account from your car. The password is: WorshipJesus1


If you want to give to ABC, please mail your envelopes to P.O. Box 158 Amissville, VA 20106 or click here to give online.


To date, the men and women of ABC have modeled the love of God with compassionate beauty. You have been an encouragement to our souls. May the world continual know we are Christians by our love.


God Bless,

Peter, Mark, and Bill


COVID-19 Update 3/29/2020

Dear ABC,


The elders of ABC have decided to cancel all April church events, desiring to glorify God through promoting the wellbeing of our community. The following activities have been canceled: The Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4th; The Maunday Thursday Service on Thursday April 9th, The Easter Morning Breakfast on Sunday April 12th, and the Ladies Retreat scheduled for April 24-25. All planning events associated with these activities have been canceled. The Easter Events will not be rescheduled as they are calendar specific. Once the virus subsides, ABC will attempt to reschedule the ladies’ retreat. If you have paid for the women’s retreat, please contact the church office for a refund; ABC will be happy to return your money. If you have brought items to the church for the now canceled Easter events you are welcome to take them home.


Choir, Bible Studies, and the Women’s Mission meetings are also suspended until May 1.

With regards to Sunday morning worship, ABC anticipates having to suspend services for at least two more weeks. The Presidential task force will provide the nation with Coronavirus Update on Monday, March 30. The elders will release a statement regarding the status of our upcoming services after they hear the latest updates from President Trump and Governor Northam. With appreciate your patient understanding and continue to covet your prayers for heavenly wisdom.


If you visit and subsequently come inside the ABC building, please call the church office after your visit so that we may clean/disinfect all surfaces (such as doorknobs, counters, and light switches that were used). We also ask those with keys who do not currently serve as elders, deacons, or committee-chairs to return their keys to the church office.


Online giving (using your debit/credit card or from your bank account/echeck) is now available on the ABC website. At the present time all such online donations can only be made to the General Fund; in the near future we will be adding options for designated donations such as the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, the Building Fund, the Cemetery Fund, AWANA, etc. We will announce those additions as they become available. Please click the link here to tithe.

COVID-19 Update 3/19/2020

Dear ABC Family,

 

After much prayer and careful thought, the elders have decided to cancel ALL church services and ABC activities through the end of March. We have canceled the March 22 and March 29 Sunday worship services and all choir practices, Bible studies, women’s mission meetings, AWANA meetings, and special events in March. We grieve the necessity of this decision, but we also know this step is the correct one to take. By suspending our usual worship times, we will protect the vulnerable, express love for our neighbors, and glorify God. We believe we the advancement of the gospel and the care of our fellow human beings should go hand-in-in. Therefore, to promote the health of our ABC brothers and sisters and of our community, ABC will comply with the Presidential Guidelines released on March 16th which ask all Americans to “avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.”


However, we will not stop being the church. We will continue to love one another through prayer and through meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters. We long for the day when we can all worship together again at ABC. But for at least the next two Sundays ABC will host an internet-based prayer meeting from 10:30-11:30AM. 


You are invited to participate through the church website, our boxcast channel, and our Facebook page. Pastor Peter will lead us in a devotion and then will guide our prayer time. Together we will lift up the needs of our nation, our church, and our families to the Lord. We believe that the best way to bring our church together again is to appeal to our all-powerful God for deliverance. Indeed, the prayer of the righteous accomplishes much (James 5:15).


Please make plans to join us online this Sunday at 10:30AM. If you do not have access to the internet, we invite you to access the church’s Wi-Fi from the church parking lot, watching from the confines of your car. The password for the guest Wi-Fi is: WorshipGod1


We will also be launching a new online Wednesday night Bible study. We will prepare our hearts for Easter by thinking about why Jesus had to die. We will be working through John Piper’s book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. We will post the 4-5 chapters that we will discuss on the ABC website with a study guide at least a week prior to the online discussion. Download the week’s reading, read the chapters, answer the questions, and then join ABC on Facebook every Wednesday night at 6PM. The study will last about an hour. We will begin the study on Wednesday night March 25 at 6PM!


We also will continue to minister to one-another. The church office will remain open at this time. If you have prayer concerns or needs, please call the office or reach out to our remote office number at 540.860.0163. The elders and the deacons have begun checking on the members of ABC and will continue to stay in contact with you. We also encourage you to stay in contact with each other: check on the members of your Sunday school class, send cards, and communicate with your brothers and sisters on social media. 


We have several church members who stand at the ready to grab groceries and to help with errands. The deacons also stand ready to help with benevolence needs. If you need help with errands or with financial obligations or know of people who need assistance, please reach out to your church family. ABC exists to be the hands and feet of Jesus.


Though the bounds of space may separate us, the love of Christ ties us together with cords that cannot be broken.


With Hearts Full of Hope,


Peter, Bill, and Mark


COVID-19 Update:  3/15/2020

Dear ABC Family,

 

After more prayer and discussion, the elders have decided to cancel all of ABC’s midweek activities for the week of March 15-21, including the men’s Tuesday Night Bible Study, the Wednesday Night Choir Practice, and the Saturday Women’s Mission meeting. The elders encourage you to heed the direction of the local, state, and federal authorities. We will continue to monitor the situation and will make determinations about upcoming services and events in the days and weeks ahead.


If you need help or can offer to help those in need please call the church office at: 540.937.6159 or call or text ABC anytime at: 540.860.0163

 

God Bless

COVID-19: 3/14/2020 Update

The elders of ABC have continued to listen to federal, state, and denominational officials as the weekend unfolded. As of the writing of this letter, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in our tri-county area (Rappahannock County, Culpeper County, and Fauquier County) and the Virginia Health Department has not recommended that we cancel services. However, we still wish to proceed with wisdom, love, and care. Therefore, we have made to following changes to our normal Sunday activities to promote health and worship:


Schedule For 3/15/2020

  • Sunday School: Canceled
  • Fellowship Time: Canceled
  • Worship Service: 10:30 AM
  • AWANA/Adult Bible Study Canceled


Things to Remember Prior to Coming to ABC

  • We believe those who are sick and those who have come in contact with COVID-19 patients should seek medical care and refrain from attending church.
  • We encourage “older adults (>60 years) and/or people who have serious chronic medical conditions like: Heart disease: Diabetes: Lung disease: Weakened immune systems” to not attend the services.
  • We encourage all who cannot attend tomorrow to watch our services online via facebook, the ABC website, or the Boxcast app.  ABC has invested in her visual and audio systems precisely for days like this.  


Things to Remember When Attending The Worship Service:

  • We will have hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes by the front doors and ask you to regularly wash and disinfect your hands.
  • We ask people to follow CDC’s social distancing recommendations, placing a six-foot distance between others while worshiping at ABC.
  • We will not have nursery this Sunday and encourage children to attend the service with their parents.
  • We will not have choir this Sunday.
  • We will suspend the greeting time and ask you to not shake hands or give hugs.
  • We will defer the Lord’s Supper until April.
  • We will change the offering procedure. During the offertory, we will not pass the offering plates, Instead, we will leave one plate on the chairs by the altar and one plate on the chair at the back of the church. We ask people to place their tithe in the plate during the offering time.  
  • If you need assistance with virus related concerns or can help those affected by the virus please contact the church office 540.937.6159, text us at 540.860.0163, or email at amissvillebc@comcast.net to request or offer help.
  • If you to become sick while at ABC, we ask you to notify Mark Hockensmith and to go the Lightbearers Room to await further instruction and help.

If you have questions, please to send them our way. 

COVID-19 ABC Update

Dear ABC Family

7:15AM 3/13/2020


Dear ABC Family, 


The coronavirus has captured the imagination of our nation. Its tremors of fear have been felt around the globe. The elders of ABC are aware of the virus and continue to monitor this fluid situation. We are listening to federal, state, and denominational leaders as we chart ABC’s path forward.  


After much prayer and careful analysis, the elders have decided to keep ABC’s doors open. Sunday School and Sunday Morning Worship will occur at the normal times. But we have decided to cancel the AWANA roller skating party and the Sunday night Bible Study. ABC will continue to monitor the situation and make determinations about future events next week.


We value the gathered assembly of God’s people. However, if you feel sick or are running a fever or have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient, we recommend that you worship with ABC from home, watching our service online. If you are 60 or older and/or have a weakened immune system, you should not feel bound to attend church during the outbreak. ABC live streams its 10:30AM service on Facebook, at AmissvilleBaptistChurch.com, and on its Boxcast channel. 


If you need help accessing the live feed, please text us at 540.860.0163 or call the church office at 540.937.6159.  The elders will be looking to expand ABC’s digital footprint in the weeks ahead to better facilitate future ministry.


When attending Sunday school and the worship service, we ask you to take the following precautions:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home if you or someone in your family is sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze;
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces regularly.

We also encourage those who come to ABC to replace hugs and handshakes with nods and “air handshakes.”


ABC values cleanliness and will continue to disinfect all common touch points (doors, pews, light switches, stair railings etc.) and all toys and surfaces used by children.

We will continue to communicate with you through the ABC website and our text-alert-service. 


We will make determinations about future activities such as Choir, the Men’s Bible study, and the Easter Egg hunt in the days ahead. If you have not signed up to receive text-alerts from ABC, please text your name, cell number, and email address to 540.860.0163, or email ABC at amissvillebc@comcast.net, or call the church office at 540.937.6159.


Though the future remains uncertain, the power and love of our God remains ever certain. The words of Psalm 121:1-4 ring beautifully true today: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Rest in the Lord. Let’s continue to pray fervently for the sick and for our leaders, knowing that the prayer of the righteous produces amazing results. And let’s continue to live by faith, allowing God’s love of us to give us a deep love for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for the world. To paraphrase the famous hymn, “God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,” will guide us throw this stormy blast. Let’s rest in the Lord.

God Bless!