What's Happening & COVID-19 UPDATES
To the members of Crosby New Hope Baptist Church.
Congregational Worship Services in the church building begins again on May 3, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. with restrictions. There will be no Sunday School, children’s services or Nursery services at this time.
On Monday April 27, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced the COVID-19 stay at home order would be allowed to expire at the end of April and the State would expand its phase 1 re-opening of Texas businesses as of Friday, May 1st. Certain designated non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen and admit up to 25% of the maximum mandated customer service or seating capacities at any one time. Our church mandated maximum capacity is 120 persons. Our average attendance most Sunday’s falls under the 25% of maximum allowable attendance.
You must decide for yourself and/or your family if you feel it is safe enough to attend worship services at this time. There are already doctors and other officials coming out stating they don’t agree with the Governors’ or the States’ doctors’ risk assessment.
BE ADVISED: When quarantining began in March 2020 it was, and still is, recommended for people in the most susceptible age group of 60 years or older, to refrain from social gatherings. Also, for those of any age group IF YOU HAVE any type of medical issues, immune deficiency issues, or chronic illnesses like asthma and other breathing disorders that may make YOU more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 virus, YOU SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY SOCIAL GTHERINGS..
If you have concern of having encountered someone with COVID-19 even though you do not show symptoms yourself, or if you suspect you might have signs of being infected, please refrain from all social gatherings until you have been tested and results are received verifying you are not infected.
During Worship Services the following rules will be observed at all times.
1. Please use provided hand sanitizer when entering the church.
2. Wear your mask at all times as much as possible.
3. Social Distancing will be observed at all times. 6 feet apart.
4. Families will sit together, children must sit with their parents and social distancing will be observed between families.
5. Please refrain from hand-shaking or hugging.
6. Chairs will be covered with plastic bags that must remain in place until we end services. A designated individual will collect bags after services are over for disposal. Chairs will receive new bags each week prior to service until such time as the Governor declares COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
7. Kitchen and the coffee & donut bar will not be operated at this time.
8. Record of Attendance: For the sake of tracing contacts should an occurrence of COVID-19 be experienced by one of our church members who has attended one of our services, we will compile a list names of all people who attend each service each week.
End of notice.
4/26/20 Governor Abbot has added churches to the list classification of "essential businesses." This means churches will be able to reopen soon with the understanding that social distancing is still the order of the day. The Union Baptist Association to which our church belongs, along with several other different denominational organizations in Houston, conferenced by phone with medical and government leaders, land have signed a co-operative statement indicating that they believe that the churches they represent (especially those that are larger than 50 in membership) should remain closed until the end of May. This action is recommeded because the COVID-19 virus is still continuing to increase in number of people infected in Houston and Harris County. It has not begun to plateau. How long before we see a decline is still up in the air. We all want to get back to church but we must be responsible in how we do it not only for our sakes but the for our friends, neighbors and community. I will continue to keep you advised regarding re-opening. For the present time I ask you to continue to look to the church webb site and facebook site for updates and other information, Bible teaching and encouragement.
In compliance with the orders of the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Texas, and the Harris County Judge's Office in cooperation with the Mayor of the City of Houston:
1. for the greater good, the health and welfare of our community at large and in the attempt to help reduce the spread of and ultimately stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus pandemic;
2. for the safety of the members of our own families;
3. for the safety of the members, supporters and visitors of our church body;
ALL CHURCH MEETINGS AND GATHERINGS ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
As we have been told by authorities about the increasing spread of the virus pandemic throughout the community, and having proven to be true and factual and not just conjecture that its primary medium of transfer from person to person seems to be by direct contact with infected people we have no other recourse but discontinue corporate worship, prayer meetings, and Bible studies at this time.
Unfortunately many infected people are "unidentifiable" carriers for several days before they show any symptoms of the disease. It is imperative that all people follow directives of our national, state and local government officials and health department officials to most effectively combat this disease. Please do your part in helping to save your life, the lives of those most precious and literally "near-to-you" and the lives of those in your community by following the procedures and guidelines that are at this time considered to be the most effective way to combat this pandemic.
1. Practice social distancing--keep at least 6 feet between you and other people when you are out in public.
2. If you know or suspect that you: (a) have come in contact with someone who is infected or (b) believe you are showing signs of having contracted the disease SELF-QUARENTINE YOURSELF AWAY FROM OTHERS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD FOR THEIR PROTECTION. IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR SO YOU CAN GET TESTED TO DETERMINE YOU ARE INFACT INFECTED AND RECEIVE PROPER TREATMENT AND GUIDANCE.
3. Wash your hands frequently--for at least 20 seconds. Refrain from touching your face, mouth, eyes as much as possible. Do not shake hands. Do not hug. No more elbow touching.
4. Clean and sanitize surfaces you and others touch frequently, especially those in common areas shared by everyone in the house like handles and push buttons on refrigerators, cook stoves, microwaves, clothes washers and dryers, computers, phones, automobile steering wheels, handles, vacuum cleaners, toilet handles and seats, shower/tub and sink handles, etc.
Check out web sites that have been set up by local, state and national governtment officials and health agencies for more exhaustive list of protective steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. These sights are plentiful and can often be found by searching "COVID-19" or "CORONAVIRUS." Check out the web sites of our local Houston TV channels like ABC-13, CBS-11, NBC-2, & FOX-26, as well as their respective cable news stations. This is a situation where ignorance will kill. Take time to be informed. Thanks.
What about Live Streaming services?
Another option we are exploring for the near future is the use of a Zoom Conference via computer and or smartphone. This can be done free with a 40 minute time limit. The pastor would set up a teleconference and send an invitation to join in on the conference. Those who receive the invitation (we will verify if you want and invitation) would click on the link and input the ID code # of the conference and the password code # to join the conference. I did this last Friday night with my family and it wasn't that hard to do.
This service allows for you to be seen and heard by all participants. You do have an option to mute so you can't be heard as well as noise from other people in the house watching TV or doing other things, the dog barking etc. It will important to control sound where you are and be sure about the view around you and behind you as it will be visible to everyone on the call. Don't show up in your "pajamas." Think of it like a restaurant, "No shirt, No shoes, No service." It's a church service.
This will not be an open invitation to anyone in the community who wants to join in. Although we want to reach the unchurched in our community I read reports of several churches using that method last week and were hacked by people who interrupted the on line service with vulgar language, hate speech and pornographic images. If you know someone you feel confident would not abuse the privilege, you can get their information to me and we can send them an invitation. Invitations will go out to our regularly attending members and supporters first then to others until we reach the max participation limit allowed.
I will also be planning on using this method to reconnect for our Wednesday Night prayer meeting. Can't do anything about the pizza though, but you can bring your own.
In the meanwhile, let me encourage you to be connecting with each other via phone calls, emails, text messaging and social media like Facebook, etc. We all need to hear from each other to encourage and be encouraged during these tough but manageable days. Remember God is in charge and He will see us through.
What about tithes and offerings?
As I stated in the letter to the church members mailed out Saturday April 4, you can only do what you can do. Some families have already begun mailing their tithes and offerings and some have dropped them off at my home. If you are still in a place economically where you can financially support the church please drop your gifts in the mail to Crosby New Hope Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1767, Crosby, TX 77532. DO NOT MAIL THEM TO CHURCH PHYSICAL ADDRESS. THE POST OFFICE DOES NOT DELIVER TO OUR CHURCH BUILDING. If you would rather drop them by my home give me a call 281-650-3465 so I will be able to come outside and get them from you and hopefully have an opportunity to visit with you.
I don't know of any family that has not in some way been affected financially by this pandemic disaster. If you have not been, praise the Lord. However, those who have not endured pay cuts, layoffs, furloughs or firings, are all saying they have been forewarned about the possibility. It's just a matter of time and it will be sooner than later. The reality though is that there are still some of us who will be able to continue to support their church, even if not at the level they have done it in the past. I encourage you to send what you can to help the church meet its obligations.
Some have suggested we add "on line giving" to our web site so they can pay their tithes by credit or debit cards. I will be researching this to see what the cost would be. I know there is usually a charge of 3% of the offerings processed retained by the servicer with a minimum set fee charged if there are not enough usage charges to reach the minimum required service charge per month for the service. We'll let you know what we find out.
What about the Land Sale Contract?
4/26/20 Update: The new contract has been signed and turned over to the title company for processing. The title company has received the required escrow money deposit from the buyer and has generated the titile insurance policy and begun to collect the legal documents needed for the title insuarance and sale of the land. Closing is projected to be the end of October. May God make it so.
The last contract was cancelled because the Newport MUD and the home builder were unable to work out the sewer and water development necessary for the builder to develop the new subdivision. We now have another contract that is in the process of being signed by a large home builder who is wanting to develop a new neighborhood on our land and two other large pieces of land adjacent to our property. Our contract will be contingent on the builder being able to close on our property as well as the other two pieces of property. It is also contingent on being able to reach agreement with Newport MUD for the water & sewer development of the property. We need to be praying that God will see that all these issues are worked out and the land is purchased by this builder. Pray the economic pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't delay the sale or cause it to be cancelled. God can make it happen.
If you have a question email it to me using the email
"Contact Us" page. Thank you, Pastor Vance