We’re keeping up-to-date information about in-person activities on this page. Click here for further updates, resources, and encouragement for your day from your Swift Creek staff.
First, let me say thanks for praying for us as we have made critical, difficult decisions about reopening the church. I am grateful for you and your faithfulness to Christ and the church. Also, let me assure you that we, as your pastors, have not made these decisions lightly, but have truly sought God’s wisdom and guidance. There are many factors that have played into the decisions we have made. We appreciate your understanding of these factors, that are rather complicated, and your patience and understanding of the decisions that have been made.
The first, most important factor is your safety. As we reopen, we sincerely want to do everything we can to keep all of you safe. Therefore, we will follow the recommended reopening guidelines given by health and government officials. Please read the below guidelines closely. We strongly ask you to follow these guidelines as we reopen. When we gather again for worship, we are all in this together! We’re on the same team (Jesus’ church), and we must all do what is best for one another. So, I’m asking you, as followers of Christ, to abide by these precautions out of love for Jesus and His people. So, whether it’s social distancing, or not hugging and shaking hands, I ask you to follow the guidelines out of love and respect for others.
Exercise Humility and Patience
Secondly, speaking of being on the same team, I want to remind you to exercise humility and patience in all things as we reopen. To make my point, let me quote from an article from The Gospel Coalition by Brett McCracken. He said “someone might find it personally difficult—even maddening—to have to wear a mask during church and stay six feet away from everyone at all times.”
You might think these precautions are a needless overreaction. But here’s the thing: even if it turns out you’re right, can you not sacrifice your ideal for a season, out of love for others who believe the precautions are necessary? Even if you personally think it is silly, or even cowardly, for someone to stay home even after the church is open again on Sundays, can you not heed Paul’s wisdom in Romans 14: “Let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother”? Or 1 Corinthians 8:9: “Be careful, however, that your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
Likewise, those who think the lockdowns should continue should not pass judgment on those who question the wisdom of the government’s ongoing restrictions. Churches should strive to honor people on both sides of the spectrum. Yes, it will be costly for churches to keep offering online services for those who don’t feel comfortable attending physical gatherings. Yes, it will be a sacrifice for church members who are sick of masks, social distancing, and Zoom to continue to use these for the sake of others. But little is more Christian than a posture of sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). We should embrace it with gladness.”
Phase 1 and 2: Distanced In-Person Services and Live Streaming
Thirdly, the reopening survey that many of you filled out (thank you for doing that, by the way), indicated that 210 family units (representing a total of 621 people) would choose to worship in person at the first opportunity or immediately with concerns and precautions. As you know, the governor has given churches freedom to worship at 50% capacity. However, this does not mean we can have 50% of our worship center filled because we must incorporate the six-feet social distancing guideline. Factoring in this six-feet rule, our worship center could only hold approximately 120 people. Therefore, we would need to offer 5-6 worship services, which is impractical for many reasons. Having said that, we would also like to continue offering our worship services online, even after the pandemic.
We will have in-person worship services that in two spaces simultaneously, one in the Worship Center and live streaming in the Fellowship Hall, thereby doubling the number who can attend at one service time. In addition, we will livestream on Facebook or YouTube to meet the needs of those who may not be comfortable returning right away. This way we can accommodate all those ready to return in three time slots for worship rather than six, and provide a quality livestream of the service which can be watched live or at a later time. We are installing our new live stream equipment as fast as we can in order to reopen by the end of May.
WORSHIP SERVICES WILL BEGIN MAY 30 + 31
Please carefully read the guidelines below!
Saturday at 6:30 PM
Sunday at 9 AM
Sunday at 11 AM
Please note that the current plan for reopening is for worship gatherings only. There will be no student, children’s, or preschool activities during the government’s Phase 1 and 2 reopening plan; also, for the time being, our Connect Groups will continue to meet virtually.
Please RSVP to attend a service. sign-up will be up the Monday before that weekend’s worship services.
The reopening of businesses and churches has been described as slowly turning up a dimmer switch rather than flipping a light switch and this is true. Swift Creek’s reopening will not look like our pre-pandemic normal. Below are our Guidelines and what you can expect when you return to church beginning with Phase I.
- Phase I is not for everybody. If you are elderly (we will let you define that for yourself), have underlying health issues or a compromised immune system – please stay home. We will continue to offer online worship for those that should not return yet or have decided not to return right away.
- If you do plan to return, we ask that each Sunday morning you take everyone’s temperature before leaving for church. Additionally, if anyone in your family has experienced any of the following symptoms within the last week: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Chills, Muscle pain, Sore throat or New loss of taste or smell– PLEASE STAY HOME!
- Seating will be limited in the Worship Center/Fellowship Hall to allow for 6 feet of social distancing. You will need to register your attendance in advance to reserve a spot for yourself and any family members.
- The doors will open 15 minutes before the beginning of each service. This will likely mean people will need to either wait in their cars or line up outside on the sidewalk. If you line up you must maintain 6 feet of social distancing between family units.
- Once the doors open please move directly to the Worship Center or Fellowship Hall and find a seat. Please know that some seats will be marked off and not available. We are asking that you sit together with those in your home and not with others outside of your family unit.
- All attendees will be asked to wear a mask. We recognize this is somewhat controversial but ask that everyone please wear a mask for the protection of yourself and those around you. Please bring your own mask if you can but a supply of disposable masks will be available as needed.
- Never thought we would be giving instructions on bathroom usage but please go before you come to church. The bathrooms will be open but will need to be cleaned and disinfected after each usage. The service will be shorter than in the old days – you can make it through!
- The Worship Service will be the only on campus activity in Phase I. There will be no Children’s Church or Preschool, Children or Student Ministries. Adult Connect Groups in Phase I will continue to meet virtually.
- Parents – please closely supervise your children. We know they will want to run and see their friends or grandparents but under the current situation we ask that they stay with you at all times.
- Parents – there will be no Children’s Bulletins or Crayons so please bring activities for your children as needed.
- At the conclusion of the service please promptly exit the building. We will be cleaning and disinfecting the building after each service. This includes wiping down all flat surfaces, door handles and spraying down the chairs with a quick drying disinfectant.
- If after attending one of our services you are diagnosed with Covid-19, please contact the church immediately. 804-739-3001
Some other Do’s and Don’ts
- Greet each other but practice social distancing
- Sit together with your family unit only
- Leave three seats between you and the individual/family on the same row
- Utilize Hand Sanitizer that will be available
- Sing out in praise to our Lord – yes even through a mask
- Listen to instruction from Swift Creek Staff and Safety Team
- Drop your tithes and offerings in the new offering boxes as you exit
- Email Pastor Monty with any decision God is leading you to make in the service
- Invite Guests to attend our services – we will reserve some seating for guests
- Bring your coffee from home – we will not be providing coffee
- Shake Hands – I know this is difficult but let’s be safe during this Phase
- Invade other people’s personal space – maintain six feet of distance
ALL ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES ARE CURRENTLY CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
(with the exception of Sunday Morning Worship, see above)
Our blended worship service includes a time of praise through song and a powerful message from Senior Pastor Monty Guice.
We invite you to join us for a time of Bible study and fellowship on Sunday Mornings. Classes are available for every age and stage of life. Look for our Connect Group Directory under the visitor tab.
Wednesday Night Activities (September-May)
Equipping Classes: Wednesday Nights at 6:30pm. New classes are offered every few weeks. Take a gander at our Equipping brochure under the visitor tab for the latest offerings for men’s, women’s, and co-ed classes.
Students and Children: Wednesday Nights, children (2yrs-5th) are invited to participate in our AWANA program where they will hear Bible stories, memorize scripture, and play games. Students (6th-12th) meet in our Refuge Student Center for a time of large group worship and discipleship.Younger children can be dropped off in the nursery.
Music: Choirs for adults, students, and children have rehearsal at various times on Wednesday nights. Check out our worship ministry page for times and locations.
Thursday Night Activities (September-May)
English as a Second Language
Thursdays | 6-8pm
Swift Creek offers ESL classes to the community once a week during the school year. Classes and childcare are free, and participants do not need to register ahead of time. If you are interested in volunteering with ESL, email David Peat Sr. at email@example.com.
Crenshaw Elementary Backpack Program (September-May)
Help us feed hungry kids in our community. Non-perishable foods and snacks may be placed in the large box in the Main Hallway by the Fellowship Hall entrance. If you are not already contributing through your Connect Group Class, you may pick up a list of suggested food items at the donation bin. For more information, call Donnie Dalton, 804-690-5507
Chesterfield Food Bank- Second Saturdays
Swift Creek is excited to be serving with the Chesterfield Food Bank. We will be helping with the food distribution at A.M. Davis Elementary school on the second Saturday of each month. This is a great opportunity to serve with your entire family! What to Expect
Ongoing for Women:
Free Resources from Right Now Media
Swift Creek is offering free access to a huge, streaming, online, access-on-any-device library of over 10,000 video Bible studies, leadership videos, kids shows and more. Its like the Netflix of Bible Study videos! Contact the church office to receive your emailed invitation.