Reopening Protocol For Attending Our Services

Sunday Livestream (10:00 AM)

Pastor Mark's Video Devotionals

Corona Virus

REOPENING CHURCH PROTOCOL (June 4, 2020)

Because gathering in person is an essential part of how the Bible calls us to do life together, we are excited about reopening church. We believe it is possible and safe to do so while meeting the safety standards put forth by the governor and protecting the most vulnerable among us. However, if you are not comfortable gathering for worship yet, please do not feel pressure to attend. We encourage those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 to stay home. We will continue our livestream. We also urge you not to come if you have any cold or flu symptoms.

We are aware that there are varying opinions on the necessity for certain precautions. We are asking that everyone in attendance observe the following guidelines in an act of Christian charity and submission to the authorities over us. If someone refuses to do so, we are forced to ask that individual to leave the premises.

Before the service

Make sure you have RSVP'd (office@nlbcma.org). The service will start promptly at 10 AM. Please arrive 15 minutes early for orderly seating. The front door will be our only point of entrance. You need to wear a facemask. Maintain social distancing while standing in line. Please use the hand sanitizer that is provided for you at the entrance. Seating will be individually or by family group. The seating arrangement will remain the same week by week to minimize risk. 

During the service

Everyone, except family groups, must maintain a space of 6 feet at all times. This applies for seating in the sanctuary and all interactions during and after the service. Everyone over the age of 5 must wear a facemask for the entire duration of the service. Children under 2 should not wear a mask and those between 2-5 are at the parents discretion. Your children must sit with you during the entire service. We will not be passing out bulletins, nor will we use hymnals or pew Bibles. We will also not be passing around the offering plates during the service. There will be a basket in the back of church for your donations. You can also give online or through the mail. For Communion we will be using prepackaged elements that are individually wrapped. To ensure maximum safety the sanctuary, hallways and bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected before each service.

After the service

Upon completion of the service there will be row by row dismissal. Please again utilize the hand sanitizer at the door on your way out. For those who want to stay we will have a fellowship time outside in a designated area in the parking lot. We strongly recommend that you do not shake hands or hug and make sure you maintain six feet of distance.

We admit that it feels strange to regulate church attendance like this. But we don’t think it is right to wait until life returns to normal. That can take months, perhaps even a full year. And we believe that the joy of meeting again will be stronger than the uncomfortableness of the restrictions. While we need to be cautious and follow the guidelines handed down to us, we should not live in fear because we know God is in control over all, including virus molecules. We thank God for each one of you and will continue to uphold you in prayer. Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything else we can help you with.

In Christ,   

The Elders

 

Update May 21, 2020

We are excited about the reopening of churches in Massachusetts, and looking forward to meeting again in person to worship! Praise God! We are thankful for God's provision throughout this unprecedented time in the life of our church through His sovereign care directly and through our church family.

We are moving forward in Phase 1 of the state's reopening according to the
Mass.gov website page for 'Places of Worship' as well as any other general regulations that would apply to us. We feel that in complying with these guidelines it is safe to reopen. We have begun the task of processing the regulations put forth by the state and how we will accommodate all these regulations specifically for our church.

Because of the weightiness of implementing all of these guidelines, and because we are committed to making sure the groundwork we lay is thorough, we have decided to wait until Sunday June 7 to resume regular services (along with livestreaming). Until then we will continue with our livestream services.

We will be sending out more information soon regarding the protocol and procedures being implemented. Please be sure to check the NLBC website for updates, and feel free to call and leave a message at the church.

Also please feel free to contact one of your Elders. Finally, let us not forget in this fear filled world that we serve a God who is sovereign over all. Let us as a church be an encouragement to our friends and our neighbors and an example of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Mark is due back this Sunday. We are continuing to uphold his family in prayer though this difficult time, trusting in God's sovereignty and loving kindness.

Thank you!


Pastor Mark
Derek Postema (413-768-0120)
Dan Sargent (413-325-5520)
Mike Stafford (413-237-1204)
Dan Leonovich (201-563-1677)
Bob Jablonski (413-695-7883)

 

 

Update March 18, 2020

Cancellation of all church events

The decision to suspend all church activities is not made out of fear but out of love for our neighbors and the most vulnerable in our congregation and in compliance with the authorities. We look forward to the day we can meet each other again face to face!

Sunday Service 

We invite you to worship online this Sunday at NLBC. We will either prerecord or livestream our worship gathering. Check our website later this week for more information.

How Can We help?

These days are difficult. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help. Perhaps you have a shortage of food or supplies and don’t feel comfortable leaving your house. Your church family can help. Prayer requests are welcome as well. You can leave a message on the church answering machine (413-367-2619) or send an email to office@nlbcma.org.

Reach Out

We can’t meet together, but we can still be church, albeit in a different form. In fact, we need each other during this trial. How can we help one another? Top of the list of course should be prayer. Pray for the most vulnerable in our congregation and for those who work in the medical field. Next, we’re asking you to reach out. Call or text someone just to check in. Find out if there is something you can do to help. Perhaps you like to meet with a few people for prayer and encouragement. We leave that at your own discretion as long as you follow these guidelines:

  • Stay home if you’re sick or if you have been exposed to those who might have the coronavirus
  • Wash your hands before and after your gathering
  • Practice social distancing, sitting at least 6 feet from each other
  • Clean frequently used surfaces afterwards

Resources on COVID-19

For more information on the coronavirus check out:

www.mass.gov

www.cdc.org

For a Christian perspective on the coronavirus:

www.thegospelcoalition.org

Encouragement

You can watch Pastor Mark’s daily video message on our Facebook page. If you don’t have Facebook you can find links to the videos on this page. Here is the link to today's devotional.

Gina and Hannah started a blog for the women in the church as a way to encourage one another. You can just read along or share through commenting: https://letsholdfast.blogspot.com/

From Your Treasurer

In the interest of the public health, our church is responsibly following the recommendations and orders from our governmental authorities not to gather together.  Even so, the needs of our church are still present.  We still have financial commitments to make whether or not we are in fellowship together.  Pastor Mark continues to minister to us, and we need to continue to properly provide for him and the other ministries of our church.  We have had very consistent and generous giving all year, but even so we rely on our weekly offerings to sustain the church.  As it stands now, without any new gifts coming in, with our current commitments the church would run out of funds in about three months.  There are many reputable health and science sources suggesting that the current restrictions being imposed should remain in place for at least the next two months.  While we hope, pray, and trust in God and His plans for us in the midst of all the uncertainty of our present time, we humbly ask for your continued support to our church even while we are not meeting together. We do so realizing that some of you face financial hardships yourselves. Gifts can be given online through the church website and PayPal, or they can be mailed to the church at 70 North Leverett Rd., Leverett MA 01054.  If you are not comfortable with online giving or mailing in a gift, please reach out to me and I will be happy to accept your offering directly.  It is a blessing to be part of this fellowship with you all, and I thank you for your continued support of our church.      

Mark Williams (treasurer@nlbcma.org or 413-522-0009)

In Closing

The leadership of the church is thankful for what God is doing in our midst despite the challenges. We pray that he will grow our church in depth and that Jesus Christ will be glorified! Let us seek mercy from the God who is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Thank you,

The Elders

Pastor Mark (413-367-4331)
Derek Postema (413-768-0120)
Dan Sargent (413-325-5520)
Mike Stafford (413-237-1204)
Dan Leonovich (201-563-1677)
Bob Jablonski (413-695-7883)

 

Update March 14, 2020

Over the past week we have seen the global concern over the spread of the Corona virus. The Elders are responsible for the well being of the church and are taking measures to be proactive in dealing with this issue. Our decision to cancel all church activities has been made in consultation with town officials as well as medical professionals within the church and outside sources.

The decision is not made out of fear, for we know that our hope is in our good and sovereign God. This week we will prepare necessary policies and procedures to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable among us. It is our desire and intent to continue to meet, in one way or another, as a body because worship and fellowship with one another is vital in this time of need.

As this week progresses we will be sure to keep the church informed of any changes that may come up. Please be sure to check the NLBC website for updates or call the church which will have information on its voicemail. There will be a special video message from Pastor Mark online by tomorrow morning on the website.  

If you have questions or concerns about these decisions, please feel free to contact one of your Elders. Finally, let us not forget in this fear filled world that we serve a God who is sovereign over all. Let us as a church be an encouragement to our friends and our neighbors and an example of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.