Corona Virus Update

On this page, we will be updating the church on decisions made in response to the spreading Corona Virus event.  Please refer to this page for the latest church information.

June 4, 2021

ELDER’S COVID UPDATE: Even though we know the Covid pandemic is not over by any stretch of the imagination, it appears that here in the US where more than 50% of all adults have been vaccinated, it is moving in the right direction. Single day case volumes and deaths support this notion.
As we see now in public venues such as shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants, etc., things are beginning to normalize to pre-Covid behaviors, especially for those who have been vaccinated.
The Eldership is trying to retain a gentle balance between those who are ready to return to pre-Covid social rules where masks and social distancing are no longer necessary and those who are not ready for that just yet. We appreciate respect, and understand both opinions.
In a recent survey of our church we asked for your comfort levels. Boiling down the responses, we get these stats:
  • It appears almost all of our adults over 40 have been vaccinated with just a few exceptions due to personal choice, antibodies, and health concerns.
  • About 3/4 of members are in support of full freedom from masks and social distancing, but respect the needs of others.
  • About 1/4, although vaccinated, still feel there is a need for social distancing and masks when in each others close company.
In line with our evolving plan for returning to normal, we will be taking baby steps back towards normalcy while protecting those who wish to move at a slower pace.
Beginning with this coming Sunday, we will slowly begin the move towards greater personal freedoms.
Early worship: Until now, our early worship service has been mask required at all times with social distancing via chair placement in the Fellowship Hall.
Beginning immediately (June 6), the early service will be mask required for entry and exit, but not required while seated for worship. Social distancing will still be facilitated through chair spacing. All pre and post worship socializing will be done in the parking lot.
As we continue to watch the pandemic, these rules will evolve to greater levels of freedom, but only as things improve.
10:30 Service: This service is mask optional for entry, exit and seating. Social distance seating will only be done in the 2 sections of pews on the right side of the auditorium as you enter the room. The pews with the lanyards on them are open for seating. The 2 sections of pews on the left side of the auditorium are open seating in all pews with no social distancing required. The lanyards have been removed. Attenders of this service may socialize in the building based on their own comfort levels.
Other Decisions
Song Leading: As you are all aware, we have utilized a “Praise Team” approach to song leading in the 10:30 service. Although originally designed to provide a better Facebook Live streaming experience, the Church Leadership team (Elders, Deacons and Minister) agree unanimously that it also adds great value to the 10:30 song service. The leadership team has decided to continue the Praise team approach indefinitely in this service.
For those who have a preference for a single song leader in the more traditional style, the Early Service will remain this way to accommodate you.
Sunday School: Due to children not being vaccinated and the pandemic still being active, the Elders do not see Sunday School restarting until the Fall at the earliest. More to come on this through the Summer months.
Final Thoughts: We are trying very hard to provide each of you with a worship environment you feel best in attending. Whether it be the Facebook Live streaming, Early Service with Mask and Social distancing rules and a single song leader, or it be the 10:30 Service where masks and social distancing are optional and the song service is led by a Praise Team, you are welcome to any and all of them based on your tolerances and preferences.
We do ask that you respect the tolerances and preferences of others in the formats we have created; worshipping in Love for the Lord and one another as your primary concern. Thank you.
Questions: If you have any questions regarding these decisions, please reach out to Chuck, Wes or Kevin and we will address them with you.

MARCH 21, 2021:

At the 10:30 service, as you are looking at the stage, the far left section will be available to those who do not desire/require social distancing. In the other three sections we will continue to use every other pew.

MARCH, 2021:

Children’s Bible Time has been expanded to include ages 3 through 5th grade; teens are also meeting at 10:30 in the teen room.

Beginning January 24, 2021:

Children’s Bible Time for ages 3 – 2nd grade will resume on Sundays during the 10:30 a.m. service and meet in the Fellowship Center to allow for more spacing out of participants. In fact, CBT will take place during the entire service instead of the last half of service. Parents can drop their children off for CBT before entering the Worship Center. CBT Director Gina Gordon says, “We will wash hands, practice social distancing, and provide individually wrapped snacks and separate cups for drinks.”

The nursery will reopen in January during the 10:30 a.m. service. According to Nursery Coordinator Rachael Greer, nursery volunteers will wear masks at all times, the nursery will be sanitized before and after service, and there will be books but no toys in the nursery; children can bring a toy from home to play with and then take back home.

Sunday, October 25:

Two things have led us to make minor changes to our Sunday service schedule. One, the combined average of attendees to our two services was 100 since we reopened in June, meaning each service was at 12.5% of building capacity while people were seated 9-feet apart. This led us to ask, “Do we really need two services?” (Most who attended wore their masks into the building but removed them during the service.) Two, the pocket of members who said they would return to in-person church attendance if attendees kept their masks on during the entire service. This led us to ask, “Is there a way to serve them?”

Here is our attempt to answer each question: Beginning Sunday, October 25 we will offer two services. The 9:00 a.m. service will take place in the Fellowship Center and be for people who keep their masks on the entire time. Singing will be led by a single song leader. The 10:30 a.m. service will take place in the Worship Center where attendees will be seated on every other pew, 6-feet apart. Singing will be led by a team of singers. This service will be aired on FACEBOOK LIVE.

Sunday, July 12:

Since reopening four weeks ago, our three Sunday services each average 10% of building capacity.  Beginning Sunday, July 12, we will only offer two worship services: 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Sunday May 24, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Be aware…there is an elephant in the room…

This Sunday, June 7, 2020, the Grand Strand Church of Christ will reopen its doors for congregational worship services.  There will be three (3) Worship Service times and Facebook Video Church as discussed in our last message to you.  The times and places are listed below:

8:15      Fellowship Center

9:30      Worship Center

10:30    Worship Center

Facebook Video Church will be shown live from the 9:30 am Service

After polling everyone, we have a nice distribution of folks who will be in each service.  The church leaders thank each of you for you fast responses letting us know what service you and your family will attend.

In preparation for returning, we wanted to go over again how it will work and a few more items that have come up since our last communication.  Please read these carefully.

  • Here is the elephant…no matter what we do and no matter what we intend, there is no way for us to insure with 100% certainty that the church building will be Corona Virus free.
    • We will take appropriate precautions to make it as safe as we can via social distancing and disinfection after each service.
    • Coming to the church building to worship will be your decision, knowing there is some level of risk.
      • If for any reason you are not comfortable attending, DON’T.
      • If you do not feel well for any reason, please do not come.
    • Masks are NOT required but are recommended. The church will NOT be providing masks. If you wish to wear one, bring it with you.
    • When you get to the church building, remember the following…Grace and Mercy, Understanding and Respecting, and finally Social Distancing
      • Give everyone Grace and Mercy if somebody does something that violates your comfort zones.
      • Understand that others have their fear even if you do not…Respect them and Understand their levels of caution are important to them.
      • Smile, wave, and talk to each other from an acceptable distance (6 ft). This will make everyone feel safer and loved.

Now, for what you can expect.  Much of this is a repeat from the previous email message, but some is different.

  • When you arrive at the church building, please keep your social distances from everyone while in the parking lot and the Worship Center foyer.
  • All doors will be open until services begin as we will try to minimize touch points for everyone.
  • Come into the foyer and keeping your social distances, pick up your individual communion packets from the table and wait for an usher at one of the doors to the Worship Center to seat you.
    • You will be seated in the open pew closest to the front. This is designed to minimize people traffic crossing by each other.
    • You will not be able to move from your assigned seat, so please do not ask the usher to do seat you elsewhere.
    • When the worship service is done, the Elder who has prayed the final prayer will dismiss the congregation, row by row beginning with the back pews and moving forward to the front pews.
    • Families will be seated in the same pew without social distancing in the pew.
    • A family is anyone (family or friends) who wants to sit with each other in a pew.
    • If during the 40-minute service you need to use the bathroom facilities, please feel free to do so. Otherwise, we ask that you remain seated through the service.
      • Only the bathrooms in the foyer of the Worship Center will be available for use to minimize clean up and disinfection.
    • Upon dismissal, we ask that you leave the building immediately and fellowship in the parking lot as you want, keeping appropriate distancing.
      • Do not venture into the other parts of the building
    • Although the Nursery will be open, it will not be attended. If you need to use the nursery for private infant matters, you are welcome to do so.  Please clean up appropriately after.
    • There will not be an invitation at the end of services. If you need prayer, please let one of the elders know before or after services.
    • Singing – We will allow congregational singing for worship.
    • Church services will be just like what you have seen on Facebook Live. We are trying to keep them to 40 Minutes in length.  It will be:  Song, Welcome, Song, Jay’s message, Song, Communion, Song, Closing Prayer, Dismissal.
    • Communion:
      • When you enter the Worship Center, each person will be given a communion packet. That packet has both the bread and the grape juice.
        • There is a clear peel back cellophane covering for the round white “bread”.
        • There is a second purple peel back foil that opens for the juice.
      • It will take a bit of practice for some to figure this out without spillage. We recommend coming prepared with a paper towel or napkin.
        • An instructional video is on the church Facebook page.
      • Place the empty packet trash in the Styrofoam Cup in the seat back in front of you.
    • Contribution:
      • Contribution will be done as you leave the Worship Center. Boxes will be at the door for you to drop your contribution into as you leave.
    • Finally, if you are at the 9:30 worship service, please understand that we will be broadcasting live from it. This means the Singers you have seen in Video Church will be on stage facing the camera, there will be extra lighting, and there will be a small camera and microphone in the center aisle near the front.

We look forward to seeing everyone back when it is right for you to be there.  It will be a great joy to see your smiling faces once more.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You!

  • Church Elders, Deacons and Jay

Sunday May 24, 2020

To all Members of the Grand Strand Church of Christ Family,

The Elders and Jay have been working on a reopen plan for church activities including worship, Sunday School and Wednesday Night class.  Working through the logistics has been a interesting process as everyone on the leadership team brought their own ideas of what they thought would work and what they thought was in the best interests of both the church as a whole and for each individual.  Gaining a consensus was a series of compromises based on each one’s perspective and toleration for risk.  The good news is we were able to do it by giving each other grace and mercy, understanding that there was no perfect answer that will satisfy everyone.

As we move forward, we ask that you all do the same…give each other grace and mercy through this process, understanding that one person’s freedom is another’s caution.  If we are all good at that, Love will prevail, order will happen, and God will be glorified.

As a beginning point, all the leaders agreed upon these as  guiding principle:

If for any reason you do not feel comfortable coming to church until things change, please stay home and enjoy fellowship through video church.

If you are not comfortable with the restraints we are considering, please stay home and fellowship through video church until you do feel like you can join us in person.

There is NO pressure from the church leadership at this time to come back in personal fellowship.  The decision to come back is fully your decision and the leadership team will support your decision completely.

It should go without saying, but if you have a cough, or are sneezing, or carrying a fever, or your throat feels scratchy, or you feel achy or tired…STAY HOME and watch video church.

You need to be aware that what is about to be written is very fluid.  It will change as conditions surrounding the Corona virus change.  As such, it is VERY important for you to watch Facebook for announcements and for you to put your name in the comments section of that announcement so that the leadership team knows you have read it.

  • Currently, we plan to reopen the church building for services on June 7
  • There will not be Sunday School or Wednesday night classes during this initial phase.
  • There will be 3 Sunday Worship Services, 8:15, 9;30 and 10:30 am
  • The 8:15 Service will be in the Fellowship Center.
  • The 9:30 and 10:30 Services will be in the Worship Center.  Only the 9:30 Service will be broadcast live on Facebook.
  • There will not be an attended nursery or Children’s Bible Time for any service time during this initial phase.
  • Exterior doors to the lobby and interior doors to the worship center will be left open so you can enter without touching handles. Hand sanitizer will be provided after you enter but bring your own for personal use if possible. If someone is ahead of you as you enter, please give 6 feet minimum space between you and them.
  • We will have singing.  The team of singers you have seen on FACEBOOK Live will lead during the 9:30 service. The 8:15 and 10:30 service will be led by a song leader.
  • We will not require masks, but we do request that each person wear one for the safety of others.
  • Once you enter the building an usher will seat you on designated pews which allow for 8+ feet of separation between participants. Once seated, we ask that you remain seated unless you must use the “facilities”.   There will not be a choice of where you will sit, so please do not ask the ushers to seat you elsewhere.
  • Upon entering the building each person will be given a self-contained Communion packet.  You will be able to open it during communion and partake.  Trash bins will be stationed at the doors for you to throw away the remnants.
  • The collection will be done as you leave as there will be boxes at the door for you to drop your contribution into.
  • At the conclusion of each service, you will be dismissed by an elder to prevent clusters of people from exiting at the same time. Once you exit the lobby and enter the parking lot, please observe social distancing guidelines.

We as your leaders would be surprised to hear that you agree with all our thoughts on reopening.  For some we will be too loose and for others too rigid.  It is the way of human-kind.  We do hope to see each and every one of you soon but do what you feel is right with regard to attendance through this event.

Since we are seeking to keep capacity at each service to 25% (80 people), please respond to the church secretary at to share your preferred worship service times, ranking them 1 and 2 so we can prevent overcrowding at each service. If you are planning to continue to participate at home for the time being, just respond with “FACEBOOK LIVE FOR NOW”

Example responses:

  • Kevin and Crystal Lemmons – two family members, 1-9:30 and 2-10:30
  • Wes and Gina Gordon – two family members, 1-10:30 and 2-8:15
  • John and Mary Kravats – 5 family members, FB live for now.
  • Donna Doe – 1 family member 1 – 8:15 (no other option due to work schedule)

May the Lord bless each of you with health and contentment,

The Elders

Grand Strand Church of Christ

Contribution Options:

Even though we are not meeting together, there are still expenses for the church to cover, including salaries, utility bills, contracted services, missions obligations, etc.  Please use one of these services to make your regular donation to church:

  • VENMO – Open a VENMO account, find the church name (“grandstrand-churchofchrist”) and submit your donation.  Make sure you change the payment from Public to Private.
  • FaceBook – On our church group page, using a browser, not a phone or tablet app, you will see a donate button just under the church picture on the right side of your screen.  Click on it and it will take you to a payment page.
  • Online Banking – Go to your bank’s online banking site and enter the church as one of your personal payee accounts.  Then make your payment using the web site’s instructions.
  • Checks – mail in a personal check to the church address.  2212 Glenns Bay Road, Surfside Beach, SC 29575
  • Cash – if cash is the only way for you, please drop it by the church when Jay is there.  Call ahead to insure he is there or call Crystal Lemmons for other instructions.

Surfside Beach, SC