Dear UCBC Family,
It is finally time for us to begin our Regathering so that we may once again worship the Lord Jesus together! I know this has been a difficult time for many of you, just as it has for me. I am glad that we have the ability today
to do virtual worship, but it is just not the same as being together. A vital purpose of the church is missing when we cannot gather. Fellowship is one of the key purposes for which the Church exists, and I for one miss being able to have that with you all.
Churches have been considered “Non-essential” by the State of New Jersey throughout this long period. To
date, the state has not changed that classification, even though they are relaxing their restrictions upon
churches. It is my contention that the State is in error. Churches are obviously essential to the physical, mental, and most importantly, spiritual health and well-being of the communities where they are located. Those who
have suffered during this Pandemic have been denied access to the help and hope that can be found in a Church, yet at the same time, Liquor stores, abortion clinics, and cannabis dispensaries have all been classified as “Essential”. This is not right, especially since Churches are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment and all these others are not!
Churches are historically places where people in need come to and are welcomed. We have fed the hungry, clothed the poor, comforted the grieving, lifted the fallen, and cared for the sick. When people fled the cities during the Bubonic plague, Christians left the relative safety of their isolation at home or outside of the cities
and went in to those same cities to minister to the stricken. Out of such efforts, Hospitals first came into being. Yes, it was Christians who created hospitals, not Governments!
Believers realize how important Church is. We know that a local Church exists to provide opportunity for fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry, and evangelism. While I am thankful that we have been able to continue our services online throughout this time, we must recognize that it is difficult or even impossible to
fulfill those purposes through online means. Biblically, we are told to continue going to church in Heb. 10:25,
and the Greek word translated “Church” actually means a “Called out assembly”. It is obvious that God views gathering in Church as essential, and we should also!
We do need Church, but I do want to be very clear that no one should feel pressured to attend “in person” gatherings, nor should anyone look down on anyone who may not be comfortable doing so. We recognize that some people are at higher risk than others. We support their decisions to continue to isolate and pray that we
will be together soon. We want to see everyone stay safe during our transition. We also recognize that not everyone may agree with all of these guidelines or be able to follow them. If that is the case, we suggest that
you stay in protective isolation until we move into a further phases of reopening.
I also want to address any concerns that some of you may have about returning to “in person” worship.
This is not being done recklessly. We are following and even exceeding all guidelines to safeguard our people and our testimony in the community. Our goal is to make Church be the safest place you will go throughout
each week, and to return to worship in as safe, effective, and efficient way as possible.
We have a multi-phased plan to return to regular worship, which I will be including after this letter. Please help
us by following the plan.
Church Family Regathering
Safety Procedures and Guidelines
The following is a list of our Phase One church move-in guidelines. These guidelines are meant to help ensure that we present ourselves to the governor, local officials and law enforcement, general public, and our church family, as having done more than what is required to ensure the safety of our church family during Phase One.
It is very important that our church family follows the Phase One Safety Procedures and Guidelines. Those who choose to attend must understand that their compliance with Phase One guidelines is necessary for the safety of others and the testimony of Union County Baptist Church.
During Phase One, our church will not have nursery, children’s church, on-site Sunday school classes, or Praise Band.
1. We will clean and disinfect the facility.
2. We will observe social distancing guidelines.
3. Masks are required inside the building. We will have masks available at the door for those who need one.
4. Service leaders will wear masks when they are not on the platform.
5. The service will be shorter than what we have typically had before.
6. Temperature taken by a touchless temperature scan. According to CDC guidelines, anyone 100.4 degrees or higher will not be able to attend.
7. We will have limited entrance into our church. Everyone please enter through the Front entrance.
8. We will have a touchless entrance. Entrance and exit doors will be propped open using door stops.
9. We will have hand sanitizer throughout the building.
10. At present, we can have 50 people inside at a time
11. We will have socially distanced seating. Each seat will have 6’ space between Attendees. Families may sit
12. The restroom upstairs will be available, and disinfecting supplies will be available in the restroom.
13. Offerings may be placed in the designated containers by the exit, or online at UCBC.net
14. We will be having a shortened music schedule.
15. At the conclusion of the service, we will have an orderly dismissal; dismissal will be by row starting at the
back and moving forward to eliminate situations where we would not be socially distanced.
16. Please remain socially distanced while in the parking lot.
We encourage our senior saints, those with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health issues, to continue to enjoy our online services if they are not comfortable attending services onsite during Phase One.
Please pray for God to bless our regathering and to give safety to our entire church family each and every day.