Planning for the Coronavirus
Dear Bible Center Church family,
Since there are growing concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how Bible Center Church is responding.
As we make our own plans, we encourage you to heed the advice of the CDC and US State Departments’ travel watches, alerts, and warnings, and to take common-sense precautions in daily life.
While there have been no reports of positive test results in West Virginia, your church staff is carefully watching this situation. As information continues to evolve, this webpage is the primary place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions.
We are committed to doing everything we can to continue to provide a safe and sanctifying place for our church family and community.
SHOULD PEOPLE COME TO BIBLE CENTER CHURCH IF THEY ARE FEELING SICK?
If you are well, come worship with us! This is an exciting season in the life of our church family, and we’re looking forward to the weeks leading up to Easter weekend as well.
All weekly activities, Groups, and other gatherings are continuing as scheduled at this time.
We always want you to feel welcome at Bible Center Church, but if you or someone in your home is feeling sick or running a fever, the best way that you can love your neighbor is by staying home. If you need to stay home instead of coming to a worship gathering, we encourage you to worship online with us on Sunday mornings at 9:00 and 11:00 AM at BibleCenterChurch.com.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY COME TO BIBLE CENTER CHURCH BUILDINGS?
We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
- Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home if you are sick
- Covering your cough or sneeze
- Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly
WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS BIBLE CENTER CHURCH STAFF TAKING TO MAKE WORSHIP GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?
Bible Center Church staff is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
- Wiping down all common areas (doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day.
- Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
- Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. These deep cleans could involve closing Bible Center Church buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage and communicate in our church-wide email.
- In all of our preschool and children’s areas, staff and volunteers will sterilize various surfaces used by our kids. A child must also be fever free for 24 hours before coming to preschool and children’s programming. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns.
- The Kid’s ministry is currently taking the following precautions:
- Every person must use hand sanitizer before entering kids ministry
- We use hand sanitizer on every child and leader in between services on Sunday mornings and during rotations.
- Teachers and students wipe down their tables and chairs with disinfectant every Wednesday and Sunday
- The kid’s worship room is cleaned with disinfectant spray and wipes by children and volunteers after kids worship each week
- In addition, we encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow bumping instead of handshaking!).
WHAT ABOUT BIBLE CENTER CHURCH SHORT-TERM MISSION TRIPS?
Pastor Ted Tanzey and the missions team will continue to evaluate various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. We are also leaning on the mission boards and global partners for information.
At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate. For more detailed, up-to-date information on short-term mission trips in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), contact Pastor Ted Tanzey.
HOW CAN I SERVE THE COMMUNITY?
One of the best ways to help us love our community during the spread of illness is simply to be a good neighbor. If you live beside or are in close contact with families who have high-risk individuals in their homes, reach out to see if they need anything. Simply look for ways that you can be salt and light in the coming weeks, and commit to praying for our community and leaders.
Another great way to help your neighbors is practicing common-sense health routines yourself. Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer after you touch shared surfaces, and stay home if you’re sick.
HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness—an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is another reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death.
Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
In addition to trusting Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here are some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Trust in God. He is good and sovereign. He is the Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
- Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
- Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
- Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. Guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
- Continue to faithfully give financially online here or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
- Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.
- Finally, remember that we serve a sovereign God who instructs us not to live in a spirit of fear. God is good, He’s faithful, and we know that He’s still at work all around us.
Let’s continue to be the Church and walk with God together in the days ahead. We will keep you updated should our schedules and plans change in the coming weeks.