June 1, 2020
As Northern Virginia has entered Phase I of resuming normal activities this past weekend with the proviso that houses of worship may gather at 50% of their seating capacity, I want to make the decision to reopen Mount Olive heavily weighted with caution. I understand the urge to gather and socialize is a dominant and irresistible human need. However, I feel that a rush to reopen for us would be an irrational and irresponsible decision because of the age of our congregation and the lack of universal testing which identifies the asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 who can potentially regenerate a new outbreak of the virus.
Therefore, Mount Olive will remain closed for another four weeks. We will re-examine the climate with a potential reentry date targeted for some time in July. This cushion of time will allow us to accomplish the following:
❖ Observe the data to ensure that any decision to reopen will afford us a re-entry plan that will mitigate possible harm to our parishioners and guests.
❖ Prepare for reopening after having assembled a team of professionals from our membership who can guide our decision-making with sound expertise.
❖ Perform a thorough cleaning of our facilities to disinfect the campus.
❖ Realign the sanctuary to conform to social distancing protocols.
❖ Re-conceptualize our rituals such as baptisms, offerings, and the welcoming of our guests.
❖ Develop signage to give worshipers clear guidance in navigating the building under new restrictions of mobility.
❖ Define a new maximum seating capacity regarding social distancing and a strategy to safeguard that number without exceeding the allowance
These are only a few of the considerations which must be hammered out before we can return to our normal rhythm of church life. Consequently, I and my staff will be thinking and working diligently about these matters over the next few weeks to guarantee a smooth, safe, and healthy resumption of activity. In the interim, I encourage you to continue to take full advantage of the innovations implemented in the past weeks to keep us connected to one another and grounded in the faith. Share with your extended family and friends the virtual Mount Olive experience in the hopes that soon we will be able to welcome them in person to a first-hand, live encounter with God and the good people of MOBC.
Finally, I want to personally thank each of you for your support, prayers, and unwavering commitment to the Mount Olive Baptist Church during these enormous days of difficulty. Your kind notes of encouragement to me and the staff have given
us a spiritual lift as we seek to serve both you and God in novel and innovative
ways. As you can imagine, the challenges are weighty, but we are enabled by the
grace of God and your aid to continue the work that the Lord has assigned our
hands. Because you have fortified us, let me strengthen you with these words from
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face
persecution. But take courage: I have conquered the world!
John 16: 33