Last evening, May 5, 2020, the executive committee and pastors held a virtual meeting to discuss the provincial government restrictions update of May 1st, which includes an option for drive in religious services.
The discussion centered around three main points:
1. Bedford Baptist's current online services (also available via radio) are going very well and reaching huge numbers of people near and far. Continuing our services via this format is both safe and effective, so it remains a priority.
2. The time required for our pastors to organize, create and produce the content for our online service format is substantial. The work that would go into doing two types of services (online and drive in) would be very time consuming.
3. The government social distancing requirements and restrictions that would apply to drive in services are heavy.
Religious groups should consider holding services virtually (online or through community TV). They can also hold outdoor “drive-in” services if they follow social distancing requirements, including:
• staff must be present to make sure everyone is following the restrictions
• vehicles must be parked 2 metres (6 feet) apart in the parking lot, with the engine turned off
• only people from 1 household unit should be in each car
• everyone must stay in their car through the entire service
• the building, including washrooms, must stay closed to the congregation
• microphones cannot be shared between staff
• nothing can be passed out to the congregation (like books, programs, food, beverages and collection plates)
• people cannot exchange items between cars
After careful consideration and prayer, the members of the Executive Committee with our pastors have decided that this is not the time to embark on drive in services. The health and safety of our church community and our staff remain our top priority.
Your feedback is welcome (and so are your prayers) as we continue to navigate this time of being apart. It will indeed be a happy day when we can all come together again.
Until then, be reassured that we will continue to work together to minister, serve and love our church family and our greater community; trusting that God is with us, guiding us and blessing all efforts made in His name.
Below are links to the Nova Scotia government regarding COVID-19 restriction updates (May 1) and current public health directives.