(Updated May 28, 2020 5:00pm)
We invite you to join us at services again this weekend on Saturday (5 pm) and Sunday (9:30 am). It’s been such a blessing to see some believers begin to fellowship and worship together during this time. We now have space for 185 people at each service and registration will be open to those numbers. Please note that we still encourage members who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or health issues, or who live with those with such limitations to stay home. We support whatever decision each member makes about attendance and will continue to make a recording available for worship at home on Sunday.
We must communicate one major change to our services, however. The governor of Virginia has announced that facemasks are required for people 10 years old and over at any indoor place shared by groups of people in close proximity to each other. To comply with this restriction, we are now requiring facemasks for those 10 years old and over who attend our services. Among other exceptions, the governor states that facemasks are not required in the following cases:
Persons who have trouble breathing
Persons with health conditions that prohibit wearing a face covering
The governor also states that facemasks may be removed for people to participate in religious ritual. In accordance with this exception, we will leave the decision about wearing a mask during congregational singing up to each individual participant. At other times, we ask you to obey the governor’s orders while attending services at Colonial. While this change is restrictive, we can still be grateful for the freedom to worship Christ together. For a link to the governor’s orders, you can click here.
If you are unable to secure a mask before this weekend, we have a limited amount of masks available to those who desire to attend. If you need a mask, please contact Pastor James (757.287.0738) to reserve one while supplies last.
To register for the Saturday evening service, click here.
To register for the Sunday morning service, click here.
(Updated May 19, 2020 3:00pm)
Please continue to register if you plan to attend the Saturday evening or Sunday morning service. Seating is limited to 175 registrations per service. If you have difficulty registering, please contact the church staff at (757)-479-0755 or email@example.com, and we will be happy to register you. If you do register for a service and discover that you are unable to attend, please notify the church office. This will enable someone else to register if we are bumping up against the registration limit and helps the church staff as we plan services.
If you have been to one of our services and later become ill with COVID-19, please notify the church staff at (757)-479-0755 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have developed an action plan for what we will do if this happens.
(Updated May 14, 2020 2:00pm)
It is with excitement and prayer that I send you these guidelines for our upcoming weekend services at Colonial! In these days, each assembly faces the unique challenge of weighing the privilege and calling of the church to meet together weekly (cf. Heb 10:24–25) with the concern to protect each other from unhealthy or unsafe conditions.
Weighing these challenges and choosing a wise course of action, however, is possible for each of us because we serve a faithful, caring, and wise God who leads us in the choices that we make. With these realities in mind, we look forward to making available the preaching and public reading of scripture and worshiping together in song and prayer. Please note that we encourage members who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or health issues, or who live with those with such limitations to stay home. We will continue to make a recording available for worship at home on Sunday.
After much prayer and discussion, we are planning to offer two identical worship services this weekend (Saturday night at 5 and Sunday morning at 9:30) if the governor follows through with lifting the stay at home orders for Virginia on Friday. Registration is required because seating is limited. More information about registration is available near the end of this document.
These services will be abbreviated, lasting only 50–60 minutes, and we are limiting registrations to 150 people per service.
In the following section, we summarize guidelines and important information for services during Phase 1 of the governor’s orders:
We will not have Adult or Children’s Bible Studies on campus.
The seminary building, children’s ministry building, and the back hallways, gymnasium, youth rooms, and nursery wing of the main church building are closed.
Bathrooms are available in the front hallway and off the Welcome Center, but we encourage you to use them only if it’s an emergency.
There will be no nursery or child-care during services. We ask that parents always keep their children with them, including in the auditorium, Welcome Center, hallways, and parking lot.
We will not distribute any paper bulletins or sermon handouts to limit spreading of germs.
We will not take a collection during the service. We encourage you to give as you have been recently or use the mail slot in the front hallway next to the office area.
We will prop open doors for you to use to enter and exit the building. The main doors at the front of the church building and the glass doors into the Welcome Center area will be open. All other exterior doors will be locked.
No greeters will stand in doorways and all volunteer and Colonial staff will maintain a six-foot social distance from others in the assembly. We ask that you maintain this distancing as well both inside the building and in the parking lot. While it’s our natural impulse to greet one another with handshakes and appropriate gestures of kindness, we ask you to avoid physical contact with others at this time.
We are working through a safe solution for the Lord’s Table that will not include row-by-row distribution of the elements. More information about when and how we celebrate the Lord’s Table will be forthcoming. Please note that we are not planning on celebrating the Lord’s Table this first weekend.
The governor’s guidance for churches recommends that attendees wear face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times. We encourage you to follow the governor’s guidance regarding masks.
Hand sanitizer is available in the Welcome Center for when you enter and exit the building.
Seating in the auditorium is restricted to facilitate 6-foot social distancing in compliance with the governor’s restrictions.
We have closed off every other row in the auditorium.
We ask families of 4 or more to sit in the left and right wings.
We ask families of 1–3 to sit in the center aisles, keeping 4 empty chairs or an aisle between them and other attenders in their row.
Staff will be available in the auditorium before the service to assist with seating and to help us achieve proper distancing.
We will dismiss you after the service row-by-row and ask that you make your way out of the church facilities through the open glass doors.
As soon as the facilities are clear, we will disinfect all hard surfaces, door handles, doorways, bathrooms, etc. to promote safety.
The governor restricts people who have recently experienced or are currently experiencing sickness from attending.
To register for a service, click the appropriate link and follow the instructions:
You can also register on the church center app under events. If you have any questions about registration, you can call Pastor James Varner (757.287.0738) or Thomas Swope (757.418.2521) directly for assistance.
You can find a copy of our guidelines here. For a copy of the governor’s guidance for religious services click here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the office during normal business hours or call James Varner (757.287.0738) or John Foldberg (805.610.8102) directly.
With love and prayer,
On behalf of the staff and leadership of CBC
(Updated May 8, 2020 4:00pm)
(Updated April 21, 2020 6:00pm)
Click here for more information on the Crisis Pregnency Center's Walk for Life
Click here to sign up for Secret Church 20: God, Government, and the Gospel
Make sure you check out our resources if you need financial assistance or counseling right now.
(Updated April 8, 2020 6:00pm)
(Updated April 1, 2020 5:00pm)
In this short video, Pastor James encourages parents with some practical ways to disciple their children during this time.
(Updated March 31, 2020 5:30pm)
In the first half of this video, Pastor Brent shares some encouragement from Scripture. In the second half, the pastoral staff share some important updates for us to know.
(Updated March 18, 2020 4:30pm)
Announcement about Services
We have decided to cancel all corporate services at Colonial Baptist Church and activities of more than 10 people until further notice. We continue to monitor the situation regularly by staying aware of recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, the President’s office, and the Governor of Virginia.
Important Updates and Information
Our church staff has been laboring together for the best ways to minister to our church family at this time. The church continues even though we cannot gather together weekly. We want to encourage you to minister to one another through email, texts, and other creative ways during this time. With that in mind, we want to make you aware of a few things:
Sunday Sermon, Devotion, and Worship Materials
We are producing materials to help you worship at your home this coming Sunday. Pastor Brent will record a sermon on Hebrews 8:7–13 and create a devotional to be used for small group discussion from that text. Last week the sermon was viewed 462 times, including views in 15 states and 4 countries.
This week our musicians are recording a video of worship much for you to sing along with. These resources should be available for you by Saturday afternoon.
We are working on other resources to be of an encouragement to you at this time as well. For instance, we are recording audio podcasts of the pastoral staff talking through the Essentials of a Grace church. More information about these weekly podcasts will be coming in future correspondence. We will also produce weekly video updates of Pastor Brent interviewing Colonial members about what God is currently doing in their lives.
This time out of the normal routine might reveal some counseling needs to you at this time. If that is the case for you or your family, we encourage you to reach out to another brother or sister in your ABS group for encouragement, prayer, and perspective. You might also desire to make the church staff aware of challenges that you are facing. If so, we have produced a special form to report your counseling needs. The form will be kept confidential and will be initially seen by the pastors and John Foldberg, our director of counseling, so that we can assist you. You can also call John Foldberg at the church office during normal business hours.
While we encourage members to help and care for each other, Pastor James Varner is overseeing our ministry to the sick and elderly and those with practical needs. If you are aware of needs in our church family, you can report those to us through this form or call Pastor James at the church office during normal business hours. We have also created a financial hardships form that will allow you to request help from the pastoral staff and deacon fellowship.
We have prepared a special update about how you can give to CBC during this time. Click here for more information.
(Updated March 12, 2020 6:00pm)
After discussion with our church staff (James Varner, John Foldberg, Ben Kilcup, Thomas Swope, Ben Armstrong, John Nelson, Shannon Litchfield), Bob Burton (the chairman of our deacon fellowship), and VBTS administration about government health department suggestions for dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we developed the following plan for our church. This plan will guide our interactions for the next week on campus at CBC.
All CBC services and activities scheduled for this Sunday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 18 are canceled. All activities on-campus between March 13–18 for groups of 20 or more are canceled. In addition, we are postponing the Church Essentials Conference that was originally scheduled for March 27–29.
Our rationale for these decisions is twofold. We want to demonstrate care for one another, including the most vulnerable among us—the sick and elderly. We also desire to demonstrate wisdom. Canceling the corporate services this coming week reduces the likelihood of one person affecting many at larger gatherings. Postponing the Church Essentials Conference will allow more of our membership to participate in its teaching and fellowship. We do not make these decisions out of fear. Rather, we trust the sovereign God who “sits enthroned as King forever” (Psa 29:10). “His kingdom is an everlasting dominion” (Psa 145:13). With such an omnipotent God, we have nothing now to fear.
Although our corporate services are canceled for this Sunday and Wednesday, we still desire to minister to you this week. So, we encourage you to worship this Sunday at home, individually, with your family, or another family (note: please do not risk meeting with others if you feel symptoms of sickness). To assist you in worshiping at home this week, I will prepare a written devotional for you from Hebrews 8 and will record my sermon. The sermon will be recorded in audio and video formats and made available to you on our website and our church Vimeo page. Our church staff will also maintain regular office hours from Monday through Friday, so we will be available if you call or stop by during the week with any needs that you may have.
Although we should demonstrate caution in our response to this virus, let me encourage you to think of ways that you can pursue new opportunities to reach neighbors, friends, and family with the gospel of Christ. God can use our profound confidence in Him and the gospel to impact others at this time. I am reminded of Psalm 34:4–5. It says, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” In this passage, the psalmist echoes Moses’ encounter with God. The writer’s point is that it is obvious when one trusts in the Creator God. This sort of person is radiant and will never be ashamed. May God give you grace to demonstrate clearly to others that you trust in the true and living God!
I will be in touch with you regularly during this time to encourage you and to give you up-to-date information about our church through email, video, and our church website and social media platforms. I anticipate sending another message early next week with more information.
If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch with me or the following members of our leadership team through email:
Pastor Brent – email@example.com
John Foldberg – firstname.lastname@example.org
James Varner – email@example.com
Bob Burton – firstname.lastname@example.org