COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS
(Updated 4/08/2021 - 4:20 pm)
COVID-19 Update 4/11/21
Just over a year ago, March 2020, the leadership of our church made the decision to suspend weekly in-person services. After a few weeks of online services, the leadership decided to move to Drive-In services on campus, as well as continuing the online worship services. In June, the leadership decided to hold in-person services while following the mask and social distancing guidelines, as set forth by the governor of Alabama. In August of 2020, the leadership made the decision to launch small groups for all ages, while maintaining social distancing and following the mask ordinance. In February 2021, the staff moved from a hybrid of working in the office and from home, to working in the office as normal, submitting the social distancing and continuing to be safe. As the Governor of Alabama lifts the mask ordinance on April 9, 2021, it is our goal to continue to follow her lead and lift the enforcement of masks as well. We will continue to encourage those who feel the need to wear masks and we will continue to encourage distancing in our main worship gatherings.
Our goal from the beginning was to follow these biblical principles: Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to life and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Romans 13:1 says “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” And lastly, Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We are excited about the opportunity to gather together again one day without restrictions, but we want to make sure that as we do, it is the way that honors Romans 13:1 and Mark 12:30-31. Our phased reopening plan has been our humble approach to do all of those things. We pray that it is helpful and informative. As of April 11, 2021, we will officially begin Phase 4.
One final thought, we realize there are many opinions about what should and shouldn’t be done. And we will be the first to admit that we don’t have all the answers. However, there is a passage in Philippians that we believe can help guide us through the various opinions, preferences and thoughts that are out there. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interested but also to the interests of others.”
So, regardless of where you may be in terms of approach and opinion on COVID-19 we ask only this, that you humbly consider others more significant than yourself. As we continue to work together with this mindset, we will continue to worship together in a safe and healthy way.
From the Lead Pastors and Ministry Staff of Dayspring
COVID-19 Update 1/7/2021
As we enter into a new year and try to discover the safest and wisest way to continue to lead our church, the leadership of Dayspring has prayerfully considered all angles and have made the following decisions. Let us first remember that we are navigating a situation where there are no “how to” books or historical precedence. There are experts on all sides of the situation and very Godly people that have differing views. We are doing our best to make God honoring decisions that is best for the people of Dayspring.
Since July, we have provided an 8:00 service that is mask required and primarily established for the elderly and at-risk individuals. We are moving the 8:00 service to the main room, which will still accommodate sufficient spacing, but allow more individuals to attend. This third service may help alleviate space issues for the other two services, without compromising the safety of the environment. In August, we made a slight change to the 9:00 and 10:30 services regarding masks and moved from “required” to “strongly encourage”. We will continue to follow the governor’s ordinance that strongly encourages individuals to wear masks when attending religious services. Our mask policy remains unchanged and will continue to follow these established practices.
Sunday Services/Seating and Registration:
Many of our people have stopped registering for services. We believe we have enough history to know approximately who is coming and how to accommodate. So, we will no longer be requiring registration for our services or small groups. We will still have staff and seating hosts available to help with seating, but we are going to ask families to keep a minimum of 2 seats open between households. We are also asking that you continue to not sit directly in front or behind others. We are still asking folks to keep separation once they are seated to keep everyone feeling safe and protected.
We are offering small groups from Preschool through Adults in both hours. We believe this will offer additional service options for families instead of just the 10:30 service. We are still asking kids and students to wear masks when social distancing is not an option. Our preschool will be using half of the rooms at 9:00 and the other half at 10:30. We are still working to ensure that areas are clean and safe. We will continue to ask our adult groups to sit as separated as possible and will not be sitting around tables.
We will do our best to make sure our Wednesday night groups are set up where households can be separated in the adult bible study room. We will serve food with masks and gloves and ask families to sit at a table and then move as others need space and they are finished eating. Again, the meal is simply to remove any hurdles that families may have trying to get from work and school to church. We feel it is best that the entire family have opportunities on Wednesday nights to grow in becoming better disciples.
Lead Pastors of Dayspring
COVID-19 Update 07/31/2020
Many of you have seen the extension of the state wide mask ordinance to August 31 that Governor Ivey released earlier this week. Of course, that affects us at Dayspring.
It is very important for us to remember three primary points:
- Hebrews 10:25 says – “let us not neglect our meeting together…”; we believe it is essential that The Church meet together. In this day and time, we are offering that in multiple formats because we understand this is a complex situation. We are going to do our best to continue in person gatherings, even if that means we have to make some sacrifices along the way.
- Romans 13 and Hebrews 13 both teach to follow and submit to leadership and governing authorities. We are trying to balance information from city, state and national leaders, as well as medical counsel that we personally trust. There is no easy solution, but we continue to ask you to join us in praying for wisdom to do what is best for the people of Dayspring.
- Mark 12:31 – “love your neighbor”; we are trying to lead the people of Dayspring to understand in a fresh and new way how to love our neighbors. In today’s society, we make decisions everyday that affect others and not just ourselves. As a believer, we are called to love others as we love ourselves. Whether it is a social issue or a health issue, how we respond will either point people to Jesus or push them away.
As the leadership of Dayspring and as we have reflected on the three primary points above, we are implementing the following procedure.
Effective Immediately:Governor Ivey’s ordinance allows for some flexibility with religious institutions. So, we are going to strongly encourage the people of Dayspring to wear masks upon entry and exit through the lobby; however, while you are seated and are able to maintain 6’ of social distance between households, masks will be optional and can be removed during the worship service.
Effective August 16:We are going to begin hosting adult small groups on campus, as well as preschool, kids and students. August 16 will be our Launch day and kickoff to the new year. Pastor Roy is working with on campus adult small group leaders to determine which groups are interested in returning to on campus, in person gatherings. We will also be offering kids and student services at 10:30 only. The students will meet as a large group in The Shack worship room and the kids will meet in Kids Central for a large group time. At this time, these ministry areas will meet in large group settings only and will be following school guidelines. They will not be required to maintain 6’ of social distance; however, they will be required to wear masks and maintain healthy interaction. Our preschool ministry will be offering small groups only for birth through 5 year olds at the 10:30 hour as well. This ministry will follow the day care guidelines which require adult volunteers to wear masks, but kids under 6 years old are not required. We will limit each preschool room to 10 kids only so registration will be required. Please be on the lookout for more detailed information to come.
We would like to say thank you to each and every person that has reached out with words of encouragement throughout the past 5 months. We are blessed to be a part of Dayspring and love the opportunity to lead with such an amazing staff and to serve the best church ever.
The Lead Pastors of Dayspring
COVID-19 Update 07/3/2020
By now, many of you have seen the mandatory mask ordinance that was adopted by the City of Mobile and extended to the unincorporated areas of the county by Mobile County Health Department, that begins today. This ordinance DOES include Dayspring. We will be submitting to our governing authorities and requiring masks for all 3 services, as spelled out by the official ordinance. We understand this is inconvenient for many; however, in an effort to be able to continue in person gatherings, we will be submitting to the ordinance.
We will also continue our online services through FB live at 10:30 and on our website, mobile app and YouTube by Sunday afternoon. Please continue to register for in-person services. Also, we ask that you continue to pray for wisdom for our church leadership, as well as city, county, state and national officials.
From the Lead Pastors
COVID-19 Update 07/2/2020:
Dear Dayspring Family,
As we reopen our indoor worship services, we are taking a number of precautions to ensure the well-being and safety of all of our Dayspring families. Please read the following guidelines and come prepared to worship as we gather together.
We are going to have limited seating available for our 9:00 and 10:30 services, as well as our 8:00 service in the Shack (details for this service are below). Our services will be 50-60 minutes long and will be family friendly. We will sit families together with a safe 6’ distance between families. For this reason, we are asking that you register for a specific service time. Click here to register for our services. For those that do not register, we will have limited overflow seating available in Kids Central.
8:00 Shack Service:
This service will be a Kid Free service and is primarily set aside for the older age group that falls in the At Risk category as defined by the CDC. You will park in the parking lot behind the Shack and enter through the downstairs, rear exterior door. This will be a replicated service to the main room with live worship and live teaching. This is NOT a video venue. We will have pairs of chairs set up with a 6’ perimeter around each set. This service will have less than 60 people, be less than 60 minutes long and will be the only service in the Shack worship room. So, while we are doing everything we can to make this service a safe environment for At Risk individuals, there is no way we can absolutely ensure your safety. Therefore, we echo the CDC and recommend that the most vulnerable individuals stay at home and engage in our online livestream service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook.
We are going to ask everyone to remain in your car until 15 minutes prior to the service time. This allows us to properly prepare the lobby and worship center prior to your arrival. This will also help maintain safe social distancing by keeping groups from congregating in the lobby.
We will have the worship center set up in 8 sections of seats. We will have a host for each section. We will be enforcing 6’ of social distancing by using every other row and having 4 empty seats between families. For the first service, we will use odd numbered rows and then for the second service, we will use even numbered rows. We will rope off the rows that are not available for that particular service. Once you are seated, the host will put a red piece of paper in the immediate 4 seats beside your family. If you see a red piece of paper, that means “stop”, this seat is not available.
We are programming our services to be family friendly, except the 8:00 service in the Shack. Therefore, we will make sure the service last less than 1 hour and will have kid friendly elements to help keep their attention. You will hear more about this process in the future.
We will continue to offer digital bulletins for the foreseeable future. We believe it is best to limit the handling of paper bulletins and will not be passing those out. But, the information is extremely valuable, so please visit our mobile app or dayspring.church/weekly-resources to download the digital bulletin weekly.
We will continue to encourage families to give online through Realm. If you have not set up an online contribution, please visit the mobile app or dayspring.church/giving. We will not pass the offering plates. We will have offering boxes beside each door for your convenience.
We will be opening our bathrooms for your convenience; however, they will be under the premise of “use at your own discretion.” Please exercise extreme cleanliness when using the restrooms.
We are going to ask everyone to leave the facility without congregating in the lobbies and hallways. If you choose to catch up in the parking lot, feel free, but we need to ensure safety and cleanliness for the next service as well.
Our staff is most disappointed that we are not able to hug necks and shake hands. That is quite possibly the toughest thing we are having to deal with. However, many of our staff have family members that have compromised immune systems and family who are at risk. So, we are going to be a “No Touch” staff for the foreseeable future.
We will be bringing in an outside cleaning company each weekend to help ensure the cleanliness and safety of our facility. We will be handling our normal cleaning throughout the campus during the week, but as an added layer of precaution, we will be following additional cleaning procedures and preparing the facility for everyone’s well-being.
We will make sure the exterior doors and the doors to the worship room are open and closed by members of our staff and will not be handled by Dayspring attendees.
Coffee/Water and Doughnuts:
We recognize that the coffee/water and doughnut tent is very important to all of Dayspring. For the time being, we will NOT be serving coffee/water or doughnuts. We feel it is best to not have a self-serve area or a full service area. So, feel free to bring your own coffee and water as you see fit.
We will continue to livestream the 10:30 service on the Dayspring Baptist Church facebook page. By Sunday afternoon, the service will also be uploaded to YouTube, the mobile app and the website.
Our staff and volunteers will be wearing masks. As of 7/3/2020, the wearing of masks in close-quarters is now mandated both by a new City of Mobile ordinance and the unincorporated county by order of the MCHD. See our most recent update at the top of this page.
Your Lead Pastors,
Chase Alford, Mike Hall and Kris Nelson
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