Ministers, Educators, Administrators and Clerks, please share this information with your congregation. 
Nov. 19, 2020
Virginia Updates COVID-19 Guidelines
Message from the Interim General Presbyter
Grace to you and peace in the name of Jesus Christ!

Many of you are asking what churches should do in the face of this new surge in the coronavirus. The Communications and Coordination Team and I have this guidance to share. Once again, I am not a bishop and I cannot tell you what you must do. But this information is shared following Governor Northam’s most recent executive order.

One source summarized seven requirements for churches (see below) that should be implemented immediately. If churches can’t comply with these requirements, Gov. Northam’s order says they may not be held in person. The new COVID-19 restrictions limit gatherings to just 25 people. Though that number does not apply to churches in the POJ holding “religious services” (e.g., gatherings for worship), there cannot be gatherings of more than 25 people for any other church activities (e.g., Bible studies, meals, etc.).

According to most recent Virginia’s Phase Three Executive Order, people may attend in-person church services of more than 25 people with the following requirements:
  • Those in attendance must be at least six feet apart when seated and must practice proper physical distancing at all times. However, family members can be seated together.
  • Church workers need to post signage at the entrance that states that those with a fever or any symptoms of COVID-19 can’t participate during in-person religious service.
  • Churches must mark seating and common areas where attendees can congregate in six-foot increments to follow physical distancing guidelines between those who aren’t family members.
  • Churches need to post signage to provide public health reminders regarding physical distancing, gatherings, options for high-risk individuals and staying home if sick.
  • Items that are used to distribute food or beverages must be disposable, used only once and discarded after.
  • Cloth face coverings must be worn during religious services.
  • Routine cleaning and disinfection of high-contact surfaces must be done before and after any religious service.
The Sessions of our churches make the decisions together with the pastors and other staff. Many of you are already practicing these requirements. Thank you all for implementing these prior to this weekend and, if you are unable to gather for worship safely, please gather virtually until safety requirements can be followed.

May God bless you all! Please stay safe!
In Christ’s Service,
Fred A. Holbrook
Interim General Presbyter and Stated Clerk
Register and Review for Saturday's Called Meeting
A virtual called meeting of the presbytery will be held Saturday, November 21, at 9:30 a.m. The Zoom event opens at 9:00 and an orientation will occur at 9:20.


  • Register by Friday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m.

  • Churches: Send the name(s) of your ruling elder commissioner(s) to Barbara Espigh


  • Review the meeting materials in advance:

Agenda PDF (5 pages, 224 KB)
Reports PDF (15 pages, 368 KB)
Supplemental Report PDF (6 pages, 277 KB)
Wilson Kennedy
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Check our online bulletin board to be reminded of events mentioned in recent issues of FYI.
Stated Meetings
November 21
Called Meeting
Online, via Zoom

February 20, 2021
107th Stated Meeting
Second PC, Richmond
Overture deadline: Dec 17 at noon
Packet online: February 4
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