regathering delayed — CONTINUE SCROLLING
The regathering of our congregation scheduled for Sunday, June 14, has been delayed. Because of the dramatic rise of Coronavirus cases in South Carolina, and the recent designation of Greenville as a “hotspot” for the virus, the staff and Deacons have decided that it would not be wise for us proceed with our plans to regather at this time. The Deacons will continue to monitor the situation and reevaluate our plans to regather at the end of June.
All the equipment had been ordered and arrived (roping systems, hand sanitizer stations, signage, etc.), the technology for livestreaming audio and video was ready to go, the building had been prepared (signage installed, furniture moved, sections roped off, etc.), activity bags for preschoolers and children had been prepared and delivered, volunteers had been trained, procedures had been established, the service had been planned, and we were excited about our congregation regathering for the first time in fourteen weeks. But because of recent trends, and serious concerns for the health of the congregation, some of our volunteers and leaders no longer felt comfortable proceeding as planned. Our new way of gathering will require a lot of volunteers, and it became clear this week that, as much as we want to regather, it is not time yet.
All along, we had said that we were going to watch the trends and wait to regather until the number of cases had plateaued or declined for a fourteen-day period. When we announced our plan to regather on June 14, we said that we would follow that plan unless circumstances warranted a change in plans. The staff and Deacons believe that the current circumstances warrant a change in plans. Not only has there been no sustained plateau or decline in the number of positive cases or hospitalizations due to the virus, but actually the spread of the virus has reached its highest level in Greenville County by any measurement.
So because of public health concerns (the spread of the virus) and practical concerns as well (the uneasiness and lack of volunteers and participants), the staff and Deacons believe we should delay our regathering.
While we are disappointed that we cannot regather as planned, we will continue to provide our on-line worship videos and mid-week devotional videos, as well as printed newsletters and sermons for people without internet access. We encourage you to continue to be engaged with our church, and we appeal to you for your continued prayers, patience, faithfulness, generosity, and support during these unsettling times.
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If you have not found a way to stay connected to the mission and ministry of ESBC, please consider joining one of our virtual small group classes.