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Valley Regathers

We're Back Gathering Together at Valley Avon!

We are continuing limited in-person worship each weekend both indoors and outdoors.

As of August 18, here is our schedule of Worship Gatherings:

Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Parking Lot
Sunday at 10:25 a.m. Online
Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Parking Lot

regathering guide

in-person worship sign-ups

Upcoming Worship Weekend

Beginning at noon on Tuesday, you can reserve a place for your part for in-person worship. 

SATURDAY
In-person worship at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Reservation required.

SUNDAY
In-person worship at 9 a.m. in the Parking Lot. Reservation required.

Online worship at 10:25 a.m. on Facebook and our Church Online platform.

In-person worship at 11 a.m. in the Parking Lot. Reservation required

Top 10 Things You Need to Know for Indoors

For complete details, scroll down to the Rules and Guidelines section of this page. Guidelines may change from week to week, as we continue to open up as safely as possible for as many people as possible.

1. Each indoor service will be limited to 100 seats for    
    attendees and volunteers combined.

2. Each household MUST reserve its space ahead of time.
    Reservations are first-come first-served and will be
    available here beginning at noon on Tuesday.

3. Masks will be required any time you're in the building,
    except for staff and volunteers on the stage.

4. Singing will be encouraged!

5. These are "no-contact" worship services. There will not
    be any physical contact, nor will there be any paper
    handouts or pew materials available. Sermon  
    resources, including connect cards and prayer request  
    forms, will be available online.

6. There are no groups or communities meeting during
    worship times. There will be no nursery or kids classes,
    so all children in attendance must be included in your
    reservation total.

7. Restrooms will be open and cleaned between services;
    the Nursery will not be open. Valley's extra sanitizing
    efforts are detailed below.

8. Ushers and staff will direct you to your seating area, be
    available for questions, and dismiss the congregation
    in an orderly fashion afterward to ensure good physical
    distancing.

9. We strongly encourage seniors and the
    immunocompromised to continue worshipping online
    during the initial reopening.  According to the Center
    for Disease Control, senior citizens and those with
    underlying medical conditions are especially
    vulnerable. By attending a worship service, you
    voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to
    COVID-19.

10. Feel free to invite a friend or neighbor! 

Indoor Worship Rules and Details

UPDATED JUNE 19, 2020

Service Basics

Currently, our state is allowing gatherings of up to 100 people for indoor worship. When the limit is increased, we will adjust accordingly.

In-person attendance will be restricted to those making online reservations. One reservation per household. The latest registration form will be on the website.

Reservations can also be requested by calling the church at 860.673.6826 weekdays after the registration form is published each week.

All children and teens will sit with their parents during the service.

Seating in the sanctuary will be every other row, with at least six feet of spacing between parties.

The movement of people into and out of the sanctuary will be directed by the staff and ushers.

Childcare will not be provided during the reopening phase.

Children and Student Ministries will remain online during the reopening phase.

Sunday Adult Communities will remain online during the reopening phase.

Facility Sanitizing Measures

While we always seek to maintain high standards of cleanliness, extra measures have been taken to clean the facility. The entire building is being carefully cleaned throughout the week.

Over the last several months, we have deep-cleaned the facility by sanitizing the carpets, chairs, surfaces, and all points of contact.

Our goal is to make worship attendance as “contact-free” as possible; doors will be propped open; hand sanitizer will be available; water fountains will be closed.

All door handles and surfaces in bathrooms and common areas will be cleaned before, between, and after services.

Step-by-Step Worship Details

Before Entering the Sanctuary

  • Please stay home if you or anyone in your family is showing symptoms of illness.
  • Before you arrive, please take the temperature of family members attending.
  • Masks must be worn to enter the facilities.
  • Please observe signage throughout the building.
  • Coffee will not be available at the church. Please do not bring any food or drink into the building.
  • Please allow time to be seated, but do not enter the building earlier than 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the service.

Inside the Sanctuary

  • In the sanctuary we will sit every other row, with six feet between each party.
  • Please wait for ushers to seat you. Ushers will select a seat for you based on your group size.
  • Offering plates will not be passed. Please continue giving online, or you may use the offering boxes attached to the wall at the back of the sanctuary.
  • Worship Resources will be available online. Bring your smartphone: you will scan a QR code to access the worship materials.
  • To maintain physical distancing, there will be no greeting time during the service.
  • Please refrain from physical contact with those outside of your family.

Leaving the Sanctuary

  • During dismissal, please maintain physical distancing and avoid congregating near doors and aisles.
  • Please wait for ushers to dismiss your row.
  • Please avoid crowding in the Welcome Area and restroom areas.
  • After dismissal, please exit the building so that we can reset for the next service. We invite you to continue any conversations outdoors.

Your Decision, Your Risk

Thank you for understanding the need for these guidelines. As we begin regathering, we each assume a certain level of risk and responsibility. Please only assume that risk when you are comfortable doing so in relation to your personal vulnerability.

No Valley attendee should feel pressured to either attend in person or stay at home. That acknowledged, it is safest for seniors and the immunocompromised to avoid crowds for now. If that's you, we strongly encourage you to continue worshipping online during the initial reopening.

While extra safety measures are being taken by Valley Community Baptist Church, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Center for Disease Control, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting Valley, you voluntarily assume all risks related to possible COVID-19 exposure.

Questions You Might Have

What time should I arrive?

We encourage you to manage your drive-up time according to your own comfort level. However, we ask that you remain in your vehicle and not enter the building until 20 minutes before the worship service you are attending. This will allow us to complete the cleaning process. We ask that you not wait until the last minute to enter to ensure ushers have ample time to seat you before the service begins.

What will I encounter when I come to church?

  1. You will be asked to remain in your vehicle until 20 minutes before the worship service.
  2. Please put on your face mask before you exit your vehicle to help us provide a safe environment.
  3. The external doors and sanctuary doors will be propped open as you arrive.
  4. Our team will guide you to enter the sanctuary.
  5. As you wait to be seated, please continue to wear your mask and maintain physical distancing.
  6. Ushers will seat you.
  7. We encourage all attenders to refrain from moving about the room once you are seated. This helps minimize the opportunities for contact.
  8. Ushers will dismiss the sanctuary one row at a time (beginning in the rear).
  9. If you want to give a contribution as part of your worship, there will be two boxes for your offering along the back walls.
  10. Our helpful volunteers will guide you as you exit the building.

 

Will physical distancing protocols be followed?

Yes. We will observe the recommended physical distancing guidelines. We will ask all who attend services to maintain a six-foot distance from others who are not part of their household. Restroom capacity will be limited for physical distancing.  

Will I be required to wear a face mask?

Yes. In following the recommendations of the CDC and the State of Connecticut, we currently require those attending worship to wear face masks for the entire service.

 Will there be coffee available? Can I bring my own?

For the foreseeable future, we will not be serving or allowing food or drinks in the building.

When should I NOT come to in-person worship?

We ask that you follow the recommendations of the CDC and the State of Connecticut. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please worship with us online from home:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Contact with a person who has COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

 Will there be activities for children?

For now, your students and children will be with you throughout your time on campus and will sit with you during worship. For now, the Nursery room will not be available. Stay tuned for more updates in these areas.

Can I volunteer to help?

Yes! There are two distinct areas where help is needed to make regathering happen along with online worship.

Serving Team for in-person worship: We're looking for friendly folks to help those attending enjoy a safe and engaging worship experience. Email Susan Gaston at  . Training will be required.

Technical Team for in-person and online worship: We need people with video, sound, streaming, and similar technical knowledge. Email Susan Hart at  . Training will be required.

You can also call the church at 860.673.6826 to volunteer.

When will Sunday Children, Student and Adult Communities gather again?

For now, Sunday Communities will continue to meet online via Zoom and other software tools as we continue to seek the safest and healthiest environments. Community and small groups are encouraged to be creative and organic in their approach to gathering for ministry. Examples include  outdoor meals, park gatherings, picnics, and play dates.

What if the rate of occurrence of the virus increases in our area?

Our leadership team will continue to track data provided by local officials related to the virus. It is our heart to provide an environment for worship that is safe. You might see us adjust course. We are trusting God to lead us in all wisdom as we navigate these days.

Let's Be "FIT" for Regathering

Senior Pastor Rob O'Neal challenges Valley to be "FIT" as we move into our regathering phase: We must be Flexible. We must be Innovative. And we must be Thoughtful. One minute of FIT: