See below for updates from BVBC in reverse chronological order.
MAY 28, 2020
The last time Brandywine Valley Baptist Church had an in-person worship service was Sunday, March 8. Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the implementation of gathering restrictions, BVBC voluntarily suspended all in-person services and activities beginning the week of March 15.
Now, in the weeks and months ahead as gathering restrictions are being gradually lifted, the following is a plan concerning how BVBC may safely begin meeting in-person again in accordance with the State of Delaware and CDC guidelines.
BVBC leaders are committed to conducting each service with excellence while still submitting to our governmental leaders with regard to in-person gatherings. We have been working on a phased plan to reopen our campus based on the best available information. This plan prioritizes love for our neighbors by keeping people safe (Matthew 22:39), showing proper biblical respect for our government officials (Romans 13:1), and demonstrating that we trust our church family to make wise decisions.
Starting on Sunday, June 7 we will host an in-person service at 11:00 a.m. This service will be in the sanctuary, and will be able to accommodate approximately 170 people (with social distancing guidelines taken into account). It’s important to note that during this time our online service will remain as our main service.
We ask that you pre-register at www.brandywine.church/re-entry in advance for this service. If you need assistance please contact the church office. Please register only if you know for sure you will be attending so we can plan accordingly.
We love you all and look forward to worshiping in-person soon.
-Ministry Leadership Team and the Board of Deacons
MAY 8, 2020
In accordance with the Governor Carney’s May 8 extension of the stay-at-home order until June 1, 2020, the church building will remain closed until that date. We will continue to meet online for Sunday services, student activities, weekday Bible study and more.
APRIL 13, 2020
Brandywine Students Live – This activity has moved to one day a week: Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and has changed platforms to Instagram. Melissa, Elijah and Pastor McNutt in front of a camera! We’ll do a short devo, play some games, and give away some prizes. You can find the show live on Instagram or after the fact on our YouTube channel!
Insta Devos – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We will be posting on Instagram. Insta devos are short devotionals filmed by students and posted to our Instagram account. It’s easy for students to participate. Film a short devotional thought; a favorite verse and why, something God has taught them, a devotional they read and want to share. It can be 30 seconds … it can be five minutes. Send multiple ideas! Email the video(s) to Pastor Matthew and we’ll post it to the account to bless the rest of the student ministry.
Facebook Live Sermon Discussions – This has been moved from Sundays to Monday at 10:00 a.m. Join us on Facebook on Mondays for a discussion about the sermon, ways to apply it to our lives and a time of prayer.
MARCH 23, 2020
In light of Governor Carney’s announcement on March 22, 2020 ordering Delawareans to stay at home whenever possible and closing all non-essential businesses, we are closing the church to the public as of 2 p.m. today (March 23). Although churches are exempt from the mandate to close, we believe it is the best course of action for the foreseeable future. All visitors are by appointment/scheduled only. Please contact the office if you need to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment, call the church office at 302-478-4255. You can also email staff members (send an email from the staff web page).
Governor Carney’s announcement states this will be in effect until May 15 or until the public health threat is eliminated. We will not be meeting in our building until the state deems it safe.
MARCH 17, 2020
Through March 31, we will not be holding any activities within the church building. Some of the events have moved online and others are postponed until a future date. During this time, the church office will be open by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. To schedule an appointment, call the church office at 302-478-4255. You can also email staff members (send an email from the staff web page).
- Sunday Worship Service: Sundays at 10:00 a.m. on our website or Facebook. At 10:45 a.m. we will host a Facebook Live Discussion about the sermon and share prayer requests.
- Weekday Bible Study: Monday through Friday 10:00-10:20 a.m. Join us on Facebook for a short online Bible Study led by a member of the Ministry Leadership Team. We’ll be doing this until social distancing requirements are lifted. Kids are welcome to join too. This is a family-friendly activity.
- Brandywine Students Live: Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. for students in grades 6-12. Join Pastor Matthew, Melissa and Elijah for a YouTube live show! We’ll have a brief devotional, games, prizes (we’ll mail them!), kids can call in, and cooking lessons from Elijah. You can also watch after the live show. Watch Brandywine Students YouTube channel. (See the April 9 update)
- Student Small Groups: Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 p.m. for students in grades 6-12. Read these instructions to learn how to participate. When registering through Zoom.us, students should include first and last name plus grade.
- Awana: While is this not an online event, Bible verse memorization and reciting can still continue. Parents MAY sign handbooks as your child memorizes and recites verses. Normally, we ask that family members to not sign off on handbooks. We’re making an exception during this at-home time. Kids must recite a section with no more than two (2) “helps” to pass the section. Your child’s Awana handbook is another fantastic resource to use, read, and discuss as a family at home!
MARCH 13, 2020 Update*
In consideration of the public health concerns related to COVID-19, social distancing strategies, and the State of Delaware’s recommendation to postpone gatherings of over 100, we will NOT be hosting on-site services at the church this Sunday, March 15. We will communicate about future weeks as more information is available.
Instead of gathering in person, we will gather virtually online for worship this Sunday. We are asking each of you to watch the worship service at 10am on Sunday at www.brandywine.church. The service will include a time of worship through music, prayer, and a sermon entitled, “Faith Greater Than Fear.” I believe this will be clarifying, comforting and inspire us to be people of “Salt and Light” for our community. After the service, at 10:45am on Facebook Live, we will host a of prayer, Q&A and discussion about how to serve the vulnerable.
In addition to the cancellation of on-site services, we will also be cancelling all events, groups and programs in the building during the week. Our Leadership Team will be meeting this week to discuss creative ways to KNOW, GROW and GO through our various ministries.
If someone asks why we chose to respond in this way, here’s my response:
- We are loving and serving our neighbors by protecting our neighbors.
- We are not acting in fear but rather heeding wisdom (Proverbs 22:3).
- We will seek ways to serve the vulnerable during this season.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Continue to pray and stay connected as we communicate with you in the coming days.
Pastor Nate Keeler
*Update: The Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool is closed March 15-27, 2020. The Preschool follows the Brandywine School District (and the State of Delaware) regarding school closings.
MARCH 12, 2020
In an abundance of caution to help protect our community, the following changes to our schedule have occurred:
- Brandywine’s Got Talent on Friday, March 13 – Canceled
- Awana Olympics on Saturday, March 14 – Postponed, no new date is available at this time
- Sunday morning Java – Temporarily closed
MARCH 11, 2020
As concerns about the transmission of viruses increases, we want to help keep our community at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church as healthy as possible. We need to be responsible and continue to love to our neighbors, both within our church family and in our local community.
If you are or have been sick, please stay home – do NOT come to church. You can watch or listen to the Sunday sermon online on the next day.
As part of our regular procedures we will continue to:
- Wipe down tables in the Children’s classroom at the end of each class
- Wipe down hard surfaces that are high touch points
- Restrict children from attending activities if they have a fever. Children must be fever free for 24 hours before attending an activity. This rule should also be followed by adults.
In addition, we will:
- Increase the frequency of hard surface cleanings
- Add more hand sanitizer stations in the building
Please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website for updates about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The CDC recommends these methods to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
We also need to consider how we spiritually respond to this situation. Pastor Todd Wagner from Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX, wrote a helpful article about how to respond from a solidly Christian worldview. Read it now. May we, as Christians, remember our long lineage of faith in the midst of crisis and take the mantle of faith in our day.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as required. At this time, there is no change to our calendar and we will continue to hold all of our regular activities and services. For the most up-to-date information on our plans and how we are responding, please check this web page for updates.