Check this page regularly for the latest regarding GBC's plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reviewed and updated: March 7, 2021
Our desire as a church has been to wisely and practically approach our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our local and regional phased re-opening plans. First and foremost, we trust in our Lord who is sovereign and in complete control (Psalm 19:7-14, Psalm 46:1-3, James 1:5). Second, we will carefully approach our plans and practices to ensure appropriate compliance with local, state, and federal recommendations or requirements (Romans 13:1-7) and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in our church. God commands us to gather as the body of Christ to worship Him and to minister to and encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Our desire is to physically gather together for our times of corporate worship, though we understand that, in the present times, this requires modifications. We are grateful for the alternate means and technology that we can use to keep our body connected if some are observing stay-at-home measures.
We continue to monitor local, regional, and national news and reports regarding the COVID-19 pandemic including recent concerns raised regarding new viral strains that have been identified (links to Florida's COVID-19 page and the CDC's COVID-19 site). Our plans have accounted for Executive Order 2020-244 that Governor DeSantis issued on September 25th, which brought our state into Phase 3 of recovery. Alachua County's face covering ordinance still remains in effect. Here are the latest updates regarding church activities in light of COVID-19:
- In-person Sunday morning services at GACAR
- We are meeting for in-person Sunday morning worship services at GACAR (resumed since May 10, 2020). Our livestream broadcast remains available to those who are observing stay-at-home practices.
- In compliance with county ordinances (see Emergency Order 2020-50), we will continue to meet with our modified service format and practices.
- Our May 2020 update letter distributed when we restarted our in-person meetings provides details regarding our modified service format, room setup, and cleaning practices.
- If you are experiencing symptoms known to be associated with acute COVID-19 infection or have had recent concerning exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 along with symptoms, we ask that you stay at home and join our service via livestream.
- Masks or face coverings continue to be strongly encouraged and recommended when entering and walking around the GACAR building on Sunday mornings. Our church "mask policy" can be found here.
- As part of our efforts to facilitate physical distancing and clean hygiene practices, we have modified our coffee and refreshment services.
- Childcare/nursery for children 0-3 years is available. We ask that parents keep their children home if they have fevers, respiratory or gastrointestinal infectious symptoms, or any recent concerning exposure to people with COVID-19 or influenza.
- We are continuously assessing our practices, space and setup, group sizes, and volunteer/staff needs to ensure we provide a safe and clean environment for those attending our in-person gatherings.
- Men's, women's, and youth studies
- All studies have resumed in-person meetings with social distancing and hygiene practices instituted.
- Check the church events calendar or Sunday service bulletin for specific meeting dates and locations. For meetings where video-conferencing will be integrated, Google Meet meeting invitations will be sent out via email or BAND announcements.
- Lord's Table
- We are observing communion together during our worship services at GACAR on the first Sunday's of the month. Communion elements are packaged in self-serve kits that can be picked up at the welcome table upon entering the conference room.
- We encourage you to remain faithful in worship through your giving
- Please remember that your giving can be done on our website through the giving portal (paypal account required).
- You can also send your checks to our physical address: 5745 SW 75th Street, #221 Gainesville, FL 32608.
- Please let Phil or Ed know if you have mailed a check so that we can promptly deposit it.
- In-person giving remains available on Sunday mornings.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have an amazing opportunity to show that we are the church through how we manage these challenges. As we navigate this:
- Remain encouraged by reading and meditating on God’s word
- Pray for one another
- Stay connected with each other in fellowship and through practicing hospitality
- Join the congregation at GACAR on Sunday mornings or join via livestream if you are observing stay-at-home practices
- Write a note of encouragement to someone
- Stay connected and updated via BAND and church email announcements