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COVID LETTER FROM PASTOR

January 27, 2021

Dear Welcome Family,

I am so excited for us to gather together once again in our building this Sunday!  This past month has been very difficult as so many of our members have battled COVID-19, and as we have grieved the loss of one to this horrible virus.  We know gathering together as a church is important and we know how anxious many of you are to return; however, we also know how severe this virus can be for some people and how quickly it can spread to the majority of our congregation. 

The deacons and I, in cooperation with input from other church leaders, have been making difficult decisions about the safest way for us to move forward with regathering.  At this time, we will only have Sunday morning services at the building and will continue with on-line services on Wednesdays.  There will be a nursery available on Sundays for babies-5 year olds.   We will resume Wednesdays in the Word at the building on March 3rd (this will include Treehouse Children’s Ministry and Summit Youth Group).  Sunday School and Children’s Church will both resume on March 7th .  

We are grateful for technology that enables us to meet virtually when necessary.  You can watch our services on our Facebook page.  This can be watched even without a Facebook account by simply typing “Welcome Baptist Facebook” into a search engine such as Google.  When the results come up, click on the link for it and it should take you right to the Facebook page.  We also post the sermons on the church website (welcomebaptist.com).  On the website menu, click on “Messages” and it will bring up sermon videos. 

One thing we’ve seen from this virus, is how differently it affects people.  For some people, symptoms are very mild, while others suffer greatly and deal with pneumonia and hospitalization.  For this reason, we are asking all of you to work together in an effort to protect those whose bodies may not respond well to this virus.  We are asking that you look out for the well-being of others by:

  1.  Maintaining physical distance.  Please be mindful of this when socializing with one another before or after service.  We have roped off pews to provide the 6 feet of space needed.  Please sit only in the pews that are open.  Please greet one another without hand-shaking or hugging.
  2. Joining us virtually online rather than in-person if you have ANY symptoms.  Many people who have COVID have nothing more than a tickle in their throat or fatigue.  Please do not assume that it is just a cold, or allergies, or sinus infection.  If you feel unwell at all, please stay home and join us online.  If you have had ANY symptoms, please do not return to the building until it has been 14 days.  Please utilize COVID testing as well, so we can notify others who may have been in close contact.  There are many free DHEC testing sites available so there will be no cost to you.
  3. Quarantining for 20 days if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  A person with COVID actively sheds the virus for at least 10 days, so if you become infected on day 10 of their illness, you will be contagious another 10 days.  Please join us virtually online during that time.  In spite of how you feel, waiting the full 20 days is extremely important because some people may be asymptomatic and not realize they are contagious.
  4. Wearing a mask.
  5. Utilizing hand sanitizing stations throughout the building.

I realize that we are all weary of the changes this virus has caused in our lives.  I understand.  I also am ready for normalcy, hugs, and potluck fellowship meals!  It is my prayer that time will come very soon!  In the meantime, we will remain dependent on the Lord and seek to learn the lessons He wants to teach us through this.  We will make sacrifices to care for others, and pray for and encourage one another.  And through all of this…may God be glorified through Welcome Baptist Church!

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Dusty