Updated last March 26 at 6:28 PM
As many of us are aware, organizations and governments are taking steps to reduce the quick spread of the COVID-19 Virus. Here at The Church at Severn Run, we are monitoring the situation and taking precautionary measures to ensure that we are best stewarding faithful community responsibility.
UPDATE TO THE CHURCH AT SEVERN RUN SCHEDULE:
Due to the statewide State of Emergency and Governor issued executive order that states, “Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events (“large gatherings and events”) of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.”
- We will not be holding any on-campus worship services on Sunday, March 29, 2020.
- Instead we will hold a service via Facebook Live stream at 9:30 AM on Sunday, March 29. It will be accessible to anyone, even those without a Facebook account at facebook.com/severnrun.
- We will host our first Kid's At Severn Run Live service on Sunday, March 29 at 10:45 AM so parents be sure you stay tuned to our Facebook page after our service live stream is finished.
- Our Community Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for April 11, 2020 will no longer happen. Instead we are working on ways to actively repurpose the eggs we have collected so far.
- All small groups and Bible studies, are shifting to meet online. We will post a new category of open online groups on our group finder page.
- Severn Run Student Ministry Mid-Week Worship will not meet between March 25 and April 24 in accordance with school closures.
- The Mission Trip to The Dominican Republic Scheduled for May 23-30, 2020 is canceled.
Ministry Updates to Keep You Informed
- Collide Student Ministry is online! Check out our Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to stay connected. Wednesdays, starting at 7 PM we will begin virtual worship on Instagram Live and host virtual small groups too.
- Our Kids Ministry is keeping you busy while school is out! Check out fun moments with Ms. Paula, resources, and a chance to share your “kids are home” experiences on the Parents at Severn Run Facebook Group. Join our "Stuck at Home Challenge" on our all new Kids at Severn Run YouTube Page!
- Since our Connect Groups can't meet in person, we are going digital! Monday we will release our new list of digital groups to join. If you'd like to start one too, click here.
Let’s chat as Christ-Followers.
This outbreak can feel very scary right now! News reports, event cancellations, and public reaction can cause fear to rise to new levels in our own lives, no matter how strong our faith-walk was before we ever heard the words “Coronavirus.” As you examine how you will personally respond in these unprecedented times, we want to encourage you to put faith over fear. Let’s start by saying that faith does not equal outright denial! It’s very possible, and responsible to take note of instructions passed to us by those who lead our organizations and communities with a faith-filled approach. However, let’s not allow fear to take over and sensationalize our responses.
This is the approach we plan to take at Severn Run when it comes to COVID-19. We will faithfully and proactively respond in order to ensure the safety of Severn Runners and the guests who visit our campus, while not allowing fear to stop the important work that God does through our ministry.
The Importance Of Ministry In This Time
Our mission is to make as many disciples as possible by creatively revealing the love of the Father through the life of the Son in the power of the Spirit, and we will faithfully continue this mission even in the midst of this pandemic. We know it will call for us to emphasize our creativity, but we also recognize that the practical needs of our community will only increase during this time. We have no prolonged plans to scale back ministry, as a matter of fact, we may see an increase in our ministry!
We understand that giving and serving may feel like the lowest of priorities in times like these, however, we want to encourage Severn Runners to keep up and even step up our generosity and involvement in these times so that we can continue to love well organizationally in this time.
We recognize that some of the people who will be most greatly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are those who live on the lowest incomes. The low-income community makes up a majority of the hourly workers who will not receive paid time-off as events are canceled and schools and businesses close. Here at Severn Run, we work closely with partner ministries who care for these communities, and we directly help dozens of families every month who are facing eviction or unable to keep the electricity running in their homes. We only expect to see this need increase in this time, so as we take faithful steps as a ministry to preserve the safety and security of others, there are some specific challenges we are anticipating in this season and there are ways that you can be both safe and supportive of the ministry we get do.
In order to help us stay well-equipped for ministry in this time, here are some things you can do as a Severn Runner to help:
- We are at risk to see decreased giving in this season. Out of sight, out of mind is often a reality when it comes to giving to the local church anywhere. Because we want to avoid having to cut back on our ministry efforts in this time as much as we can, we would encourage Severn Runners who give to consider setting up an online recurring gift today. Your faithfulness in giving will allow us to continue to serve the “least of these” (Matthew 25) during a time when it is most needed.
- Stay home if you’re sick or at high risk of infection. We want to encourage you to join us online or call in to your groups during your downtime.
- Stay connected. We will work to keep updates fresh and up to date for you in this time. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or sign up for our church-wide email list here to stay in the know.
Cleanliness Standards and Increased Practices On The Severn Run Campus
*Because many of our on campus events have had to cancel, you may not be concerned about this information too much right now, but as we are allowed to begin gathering again, we plan to maintain these cleanliness standards to continue fighting the spread of this virus.
Here at Severn Run, we are blessed to have an incredibly professional staff who exercise the highest industry standards at all times. For the last two years, our Facilities team has made a switch to a higher standard of cleaning materials to ensure that our building is continuously a safe gathering space. We also installed 20 hand sanitizing stations that use the most effective and safe form of sanitizing solution, and these stations have been in use throughout this season. Our building is cleaned on a more than weekly basis, and surfaces are sanitized by industry standards (30-90 second dwell time of cleaning solution before wiping) in any season.
During this time of heightened safety, we have worked to install more sanitizing stations, as well as installing eye catching signage to draw more attention to the stations for increased use. Because research is still developing on COVID-19, our Facilities team has changed cleaning procedure to include leaving the cleaning solution to dwell for 10 minutes before wiping and cleaning surfaces. Studies have shown that no previous virus or bacteria are able to survive the 10 minute dwell time of these solutions. Our Facilities team is taking extra care to revisit doorknobs, handles, buttons, and other common area surfaces regularly during and after gatherings.
Sean DeLair, our Facilities Leader, is in contact with the distributor of our cleaning supplies and this company is providing us with realtime updates on the most effective cleaning tactics against the COVID-19 virus. If you’d like to see the scientific and EPA materials that support the effectiveness of our cleaning methods, you can download the guides here:
- EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19
- Center for Biocide Chemistries Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Fighting Products
*The products used on our campus are highlighted in yellow.
Increased Practices In Kids Ministry
Our Kids Ministry works regularly to clean and sanitize rooms and toys to the same standard as our campus-wide practices.
Our Kid Ministry team has also removed some of our smaller toys (like play kitchen materials, cars, etc) to help us keep everything to the highest level of cleanliness.
Increased Recommendations for Small Groups
Our Small Group leaders have been trained to make some adjustments during this time as well which include sanitizing spaces where groups are hosted, cutting back on shared meals and snacks, making hand sanitizer and soap easily accessible in spaces, and limiting person-to-person physical contact as much as possible.
Small Group leaders with further concerns can reach out to Connect Leader, Amber Sanders for additional and online meeting resources.
Questions You May Have
How long will services be cancelled on-campus?
We will make the call week-by-week. We plan to have some creative solutions for you as staff gathers for our work week.
What can I do instead of come to on-campus worship?
Tune into our Live Stream on facebook.com/severnrun on Sunday, March 29 at 9:30 AM.
What if I don’t have a Facebook account?
Don’t worry, our live stream on Facebook is accessible to those without an account. Facebook will offer prompts for you to create an account while you view, simply ignore these while you watch. The only limitations you will experience without a Facebook account is the in ability to comment on the feed and interact with our hosts.
What if I prefer the 11 AM or 12:30 PM Service?
We will be sure the video is posted so that you can watch it at your convenience!
What about Easter?
Here in Maryland, we aren’t sure how long restrictions will last. We’re choosing to believe big and move forward with most of our plans to gather this Easter. Since our public schools have decided to remain closed through the end of April, we will not be hosting our Community Egg Hunt at this time. No changes have been made to our scheduled worship services at this time. No matter what happens, we will host Online Easter Services live streamed! You can keep inviting and keep sharing Easter at Severn Run, and because of you’re initiative, thousands of people will learn that they are deeply loved by God.
Are other events on Severn Run’s campus affected?
Yes. Since our state has now restricted gatherings of 10 or more, most of our events have had to reschedule or campus during the state of emergency. Many groups are choosing to continue meeting online using fun video call programs like Google Meet or Zoom.
What about Students?
Our Student Ministry schedule is taking cues from the Public School Systems at this time. We will keep you posted with updates for our student schedules as well.
Will offices be closed?
As of Tuesday, March 24 we have closed our physical office space. However, our staff is continuing to work normal office hours offsite and we can still be reached by phone or email during those times.
How can I help?
Stay home if you’re sick or at risk. Share updates and invites to our online messages. Serve as you can. Set up online giving so we can continue ministering to our community during the outbreak.
How can I stay up to date?
Check back to this page regularly, sign up for our church-wide email list, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.