The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for businesses and organizations of all sizes and types. However, churches face a unique conundrum, whether to keep church doors open during a time when so many members of the community need assistance or close the doors to protect worshippers from the virus. While churches are exempt from the State of California’s restrictions on gatherings, it’s difficult to know where that fine line exists between encouraging hope and worship and keeping people safe from the virus. It’s a challenge that Hopewell Baptist Church in Napa, CA is facing with a variety of new programs and a revamping of their usual services
How Hopewell Baptist Church stepped up in the time of the pandemic
1. Hosting outdoor services. Hopewell has taken its traditional indoors worship outdoors, where it’s safer to congregate. The outdoor services are held under a canopy with outdoor heating lamps and ample lighting. Chairs are spread out to encourage and facilitate social distancing. Church members and visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.
2. Live-streaming services. All of the services at Hopewell Baptist Church are live-streamed for those who are unable to attend in person. The services are available in English and in Spanish and are accessible via the church’s website, hopewellbc.com.
3. Masks. Masks are strongly encourage for anyone over the age of five attending a live service. Worshippers are allowed to remove their masks once seated, but asked to put them on when they leave their seats. Masks are available at the entrance for those we may have forgotten theirs.
4. Hand sanitizing stations. Hand sanitizing stations have been set up at key points around the outdoor tabernacle.
5. New cleaning protocol. The church’s cleaning team will clean and sanitize seats after each service. Bathrooms are available for emergency use only and the cleaning team will sanitize them after each use.
6. Discouraging those who have symptoms or have had them in the past 14 days from attending live services. Although the church wants to be available to all worshippers, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are stronging discouraging those with flu-like symptom or a temperature that is greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit from attending live services. The same caveat applies to those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Worshippers will be asked about the above before being seated. The usher may also take worshippers temperatures using a no-touch thermometer.
Hopewell Baptist Church offers five worship services each week, on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. and a RU Recovery service on Fridays at 7:00 p.m. There is also Sunday school and adult Bible study on Sundays, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All of these services and events are held outside in the church’s outdoor tabernacle. Child care is available for infants and toddlers durng all of the services.
Prayer requests at Hopewell Baptist Church
The congregation at Hopewell Baptist Church strongly believes in the power of prayer. Church members are encouraged to request prayers for the people in their lives as well as share stories about the power of prayer and how God is working in their lives.
About Hopewell Baptist Church
Hopewell Baptist Church, located in the Town of Napa in Northern California, is a congregation of several hundred Christians. The church, located at 3755 Linda Vista Ave in Napa, was established in 1972. Church ministries include programs for children and teens like Sunday school, junior church, the children’s choir and junior camp, as well as an RU recovery weekly meeting and prayer service and a Spanish language Bible study and ministry. The church’s adult discipleship program is a one-on-one program that seeks to augment one’s walk with God through discussions, workshops and reading. The church’s bus ministry provides free transportation to worshippers in the Napa, Calistoga, Vallejo, Fairfield, Benecia, Rodeo, and Susuin areas. Advance reservations are requested. Anyone interested in this service can make arrangements by calling the church office. Hopewell Baptist Christian Academy is a K-12 school open to the children of all members in good standing of the church. The academy combines traditional learning with Christian teachings.
The congregation at Hopewell Baptist Church welcomes visitors to join them at any or all of their worship services and events. To learn more about the church, visit hopewellbc.com or through their Facebook Page and Hopewell Baptist Church’s Instagram.