During these times of uncertainty, the need for faith has never been more important. Instead of giving into the darkness of current events, the Hopewell Baptist Church is trying to keep its congregation safe while still allowing people to share space together. We’ll look at the Church’s response to COVID and how it’s taking proactive steps to protect its flock while still giving people the options they need to come together right now.
Hopewell Baptist Church has chosen to hold services outside during stay-at-home orders. Napa County is technically in the purple tier, meaning it has widespread transmission and a positivity rate of more than 8%. But while indoor operations for dining and gyms are closed, the state is still allowing outdoor church services during this time.
Where and When
Hopewell Baptist Church will hold services under a protective canopy on the property. Officials and staff have set up lights and outdoor heaters to keep people comfortable and to ensure everyone’s safety. Chairs have also been spread out to allow for social distancing between household members.
Regular church services will follow the below schedule:
Sunday Mornings at 11:00 AM
Sunday Evenings at 6:00 PM
Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 PM
Hopewell Baptist Church is also offering the following specialty services in-person:
RU Service on Friday Evenings at 7:00 PM
Sunday School and Adult Bible Classes at 10:00 AM
How Long Will Services Take Place Outdoors?
Currently, it’s unclear how long Hopewell Baptist Church will hold services outdoors. Napa has been in the Purple Tier since before Thanksgiving, and county officials are monitoring the situation to ensure that healthcare workers do not become overwhelmed by a heavy surge.
Being outdoors is one of the safer places to be to avoid catching coronavirus. The chances of catching it are far lower than being inside and this option also provides enough space for people to really spread out during this time. These precautions can help people focus on the Word when they attend services.
The church recommends that all congregants dress warmly if choosing to come in person. While congregants will be protected from precipitation from above and the space will be heated, it helps to have protective outerwear just in case. Wearing layers can make it easier to adjust to the temperature under the canopy.
Hopewell Baptist Church understands that not everyone will be able to attend indoors. Some people might have pre-existing health conditions. They might feel unsafe being in the same space for that long with different families. Some might be taking care of others or live with someone who’s more vulnerable to the virus.
This shouldn’t stand in the way of being able to celebrate your faith though. No matter what the reason is for a person choosing not to attend, the church has set up technology that can help congregants connect.
Live Streams for Services
The church is offering livestreams of every service they hold outdoors. Those who are infirmed may especially benefit from having a weekly church session to attend.
Ways to Get Involved
Hopewell Baptist Church is encouraging congregants to get involved however they can. For example, if you have a prayer request for yourself, a loved one, or an important cause, you can reach out on the website. Simply fill out your information and include a message as to why you’re requesting others to pray.
Congregants can also respond to the service by reaching out online. Maybe there was a particular part of the sermon that struck you. Maybe you’ve decided to get baptized. Or maybe you just have a general question about how services are conducted. The church is open to speaking with anyone who’s interested in learning more about what their congregation stands for. They can also make arrangements for congregants who have specific needs.
Why Reach Out?
The true effects of isolation during this time can often go unnoticed while it’s actually happening. When people are facing everything from financial worries to loneliness, the stressors can quickly compound on one another. People get caught up without really stopping to see the true emotional toll.
Sending a simple prayer request gives people a chance to tell their story and get some sense of support. So even if they can’t make it to the services, the congregation can still lend their strength to someone who needs to stay at home. This can help combat the worst that the pandemic has to offer.
For instance, if there were an elderly person nearby who lives alone during COVID and only receives a grocery delivery every week. They might ask the congregation for the patience they need to make it through this difficult period. Or they might ask for the courage needed to adapt to new ways of communicating with family and friends. It’s these actions that can give people newfound hope in the face of a pretty negative news cycle.
The Power of Prayer
There’s a lot to be said for focusing on our health right now. But true health doesn’t just mean avoiding illnesses. It also means having a fully formed understanding of what well-being really means. To do that, you need to include spiritual health as well.
The power of prayer is the power to let go of things that you can’t control. It’s the comfort of leaving so many unanswerable questions in the Lord’s hands where they belong. As politicians argue over the best course of action for our country, it allows everyone to rest in the midst of the chaos. Because that’s what religion offers us when anxiety and fear fight for control — a sense of beauty and calm even when threats surround us.
But prayer is also the power to think about the things that we can control in a new light. Seemingly impossible tasks may become far less challenging when people have the will and motivation to take charge.
Hopewell Baptist Church is there for its congregants during the good times and the bad. During the worst struggles, they encourage people to turn to wisdom from the Bible. These ancient truths are just as applicable today (if not more so). It’s in these pages that people can understand more about what their higher purpose is and how they can go about achieving it.
The Ripple Effect
The true ripple effect of prayer is that it extends so much further than most people ever realize. The congregation prays for an elderly person at home. That person is reminded of just how important they are in the world that others would find the time to devote to them. That elderly person goes on to volunteer with children. Those children grow up to be parents and pass down valuable lessons to their own children.
This is by no means a rarity either. Those who find support within a community and focus on the power of prayer tend to be happier and more fulfilled. It makes it easier for the disappointments in life to roll off the back rather than constantly struggling with injustice or even shame.
The Promise of Hopewell Baptist
While there will always be difficulties to face in life, Hopewell Baptist Church wants to give people a way to cope and even to come out stronger on the other side. As enduring as COVID can feel right now, it will end eventually. When it does, the church will be there to welcome everybody inside for fellowship.
Until then, being outside together or online apart can help not just survive but also thrive. You’re invited to learn more about the church and how it works with the community to improve lives and strengthen people from the inside out.