Church and the Coronavirus

Peace be with you in these days. The coronavirus has disrupted all areas of our lives. We won't know the full extent of how this virus has impacted us for years to come. As a church, a crisis like this can serve to deepen our faith and our commitment to serving each other and our world. While our normal programming has shifted, the church has never "closed." We are grateful for technology that allows us to connect with each other and allows many of us to gather together.

Worship Online

Worship is available live on Sundays 10:30AM at our Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view the service, however you do need one to interact with the worship leaders and each other online. You can access that Sunday’s service anytime after it ends, right there on the BVUC Facebook page; you can scroll down the page to see past services and other posts. 


Our most recent service can also be found on the homepage this website. 

In addition, Andover TV is now rebroadcasting our worship services on their public channel (Verizon 47, Comcast 8) on the following Saturday at 3:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM.


Worship in Person

Thankfully, virus statistics in our area are at a point where we can cautiously gather once again in person for worship and other activities. If you choose to come to the sanctuary to worship in person, you must follow these precautions: 

  • using hand sanitizer upon entering the building
  • wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly to your face at all times, except for times when you are leading worship (e.g. serving as that week's liturgist or cantor).
  • observing socially distant seating placement
  • singing only when indicated 
  • providing your name and either a phone number in the unlikely event that contact tracing is needed
In addition, offering plates and microphones will not be passed around. Please place your offering in the plate upon entry or give online! The pastor will repeat spoken prayers so folks online can hear what was shared. On communion Sundays (generally the first Sunday of the month), you are invited to bring your own elements from home or you can celebrate using a prepackaged individual communion packets. 

Sanctuary windows and doors will be open to maximize airflow and minimize touch points. If it's cold outside, bundle up, if it's hot, grab a fan to wave!

Reservations
Reservations are currently not required.

Why masks and distancing? I thought the state and CDC said we don't need to do that anymore?

In public worship, we want to keep exposure risks limited. When we say, "no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here," we don't want it to be just words, we want to show it with our actions. A mask gives more protection not only to the one who wears it but also to those people who due to age or disability are not able to be vaccinated and are therefore at higher risk for a severe case of covid. Also, our air flow and exchange in our sanctuary, even with the windows open, is limited, so masks and distancing are recommended for our space more than some other spaces that can ensure better air quality. All in all, even though the pandemic's strength is waning in our area, it's still a pandemic!

Restrictions
As required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please worship from home and do not come to the church building if you:
  • are experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0ºF and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea;
  • have had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic; or
  • have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by your doctor or a local public health official.