Riverside Baptist Church Reopening Plan

Riverside Baptist Church Reopening Plan

DATE : JUNE 7, 2020

On April 16th, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force announced a three-phase plan, Opening Up America Again, with guidelines for how states can begin scaling back restrictions on movement and meetings as they reopen society and restart their economies as the threat of the Coronavirus begins to subside.
Our pastoral team and staff have spent time in prayer and putting in place plans to reopen our ministry according to the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and our Local Officials. Listed below are the action steps we are taking. There are III Phases to the Governors reopening plan. We are currently in Phase I.
Here are the steps we have adopted prior to our reopening on Sunday, June 7th. Please note that should you desire to join us in the Worship Center on Sunday, June 7th, you are coming at your own risk.

A. Before Arriving at Riverside
  1. It is important to us that you feel comfortable returning during our reopening Phase. We fully support those that would like to continue worshiping with us online. Whether you are online or with us in person, you are part of the Riverside family, and we love you.
  2. If you do not feel well or have a temperature of 99.0 degrees or higher, we ask that you stay at home.
  3. If you have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, show any symptoms listed below, we ask that you remain home.
COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.
Symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
If you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get emergency medical attention immediately:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
1.  Individuals older than 65 and individuals with a serious underlying medical condition (such as chronic lung disease, moderate-to-severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immune-compromised status, cancer, diabetes, severe obesity, renal failure, and liver disease) should continue to stay at home. When leaving home, these individuals should follow social distancing and other general mitigation guidance. Those living with vulnerable individuals should be aware of the exposure risk that they could carry the virus back home after returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical.
2.  We also recommend families with children under the age of 5 to continue joining us online at riversideonline.org and/or Facebook.
B. When Arriving at Riverside

Worship Center doors will open at 10:40 a.m.

All guests will be required to wear face masks. Should you not have a face mask, we will provide one for you at the door.

  1. All guests will enter as usual through the front doors. A greeter will be present to open the door and check your temperature.
  2. Hand sanitizers will be available as you enter the Foyer.
  3. Upon arrival and after your temperature check, all guests are asked to proceed directly to the worship center, where a greeter will direct you to your seat. Please do not linger in the Foyer.
  4.   Through Phase I, our common areas will remain closed.
C. Preparing the Worship Center
  1. By using every other pew, we have reduced our seating capacity by 50%, opening up the balcony and using the Fellowship Hall for any overflow. This provides a buffer of 6ft between rows in front and in back of you.
  2. We have removed all communication materials, offering envelopes and pens, from the pews.
  3. At the end of our service, our ushers will assist you in exiting the Worship Center using the side and center doors. Our common areas will be closed.
  4. Offering containers will be at the exit doors for those that have prepared to give by cash or check. We encourage you to continue to give online or by mailing in your offerings.
  5. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, on June 14th and after, we will be using prepackaged wafers and juice. As you arrive, pick up a container and proceed to your seat. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at the end of our service. As you leave, we ask you to bring the empty cup and packaging with you as you exit and toss in the trash bins. Please be careful opening your containers as the juice can stain. For those joining us online, please have crackers (preferably unsalted) and juice handy so you can celebrate the Lord’s Supper with us.
  6. Our restroom facilities are open. Please practice washing your hands for 20 seconds.
D. Seating
  1. Guests will be ushered to a designated row and seated. Once seated, we ask that you remain seated until the end of the service. We ask all family groups attending sit together.
  2. Seating will be on a first-come basis.
  3.  At any time you feel uncomfortable during the worship service, we ask that you quietly exit through the Foyer.
  4.   All seats have been sanitized prior to your arrival.
E. Communication
  1. All communications to the church body will be handled through social media, riversideonline.org, and Text-in-Church.
  2. Our regularly printed bulletins and guest materials have been suspended. The Sermon Outline and announcements will be sent via Constant Contact, as well as, including it on our web page.
  3. If you know of someone who is not receiving our communication through social media, please have them call the church office (305.595.0542) or email Carol Drake (carol@riversideonline.org).
  4. We will ask our Guests to use Text-in-Church to register their attendance. Text the word “Welcome” to 786-610-5226.


F. Children and Youth Programming

  1. Students grades 6th – 12th are asked to sit with their families. We will continue to offer student services online by way of Zoom every Sunday morning and Friday night during Phase I.
  2. Children’s Connect Group and Extended Care services for Nursery – 5th Grade will not be open through Phase I. Our goal is to reopen our Kid’s Park at the beginning of Phase III. Online children’s events will continue to happen on Fridays or Saturdays.
  3. Tentatively, we have scheduled a virtual VBS to be held on July 13th-15th, 2020. Additional information will be forthcoming.


H. Cleaning
1.  Our facilities have been cleaned and sanitized. We will restrict building usage to designated areas and ask that no outside food or drink be brought in.
I. Connect Groups
1.  Connect groups will continue to meet, during Phase I, via Zoom. If you do not belong to a Connect Group, we encourage you to join one. A list of meetings can be found on our web page.
J. Join us in Praying
  1.  Pray for God to grant our church wisdom as we navigate uncharted waters. We love what God loves, and that is the church, that is you! Not a building, not a specific day or time to gather, but you. We are here to walk with you through COVID-19. If you need prayer, food, or know someone in need? Please let us know by calling 305.595.0542.
  2. We will continue using Zoom for our Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings. We invite you to join us at 7:00 p.m. as we corporately pray for our nation, community, and church; log-on to Zoom using Meeting ID: 767-327-664.


Of course, this is not fully exhaustive, and we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and our Local Officials.
We will continue to keep you informed of any changes, and as we together move through each Phase of our states reopening. May God continue to bless each of you as you bless those around you.
The Pastors and Staff of Riverside Baptist Church

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