COVID-19 RESPONSE AND MINISTRY

Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how HBC is responding.

Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. As information evolves, this page is the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions.

We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.

Online services will begin broadcasting on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance or Volunteer request

If you are in need of any assistance we hope that you would let us know by filling out this form below. If you need immediate assistance, please call us at 904-529-8944. If you are willing to volunteer your time and energy, please select the services you would be willing to provide and we will get you connected with those in need.


Frequently asked questions

IS HBC GATHERING THIS SUNDAY?
We will not be gathering as a church in our building, we will be gathering online for a broadcast stream beginning at 9:30 a.m.

ARE HBC BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?
*Please tune in at 7 p.m. Wednesday night for a time of worship in your home with your family, groups, friends and neighbors.

SHOULD PEOPLE COME TO HBC IF THEY ARE FEELING SICK?
While we place a high priority on gathering together as the church for worship and other activities, and we always want you to feel welcome at HBC, if you are feeling sick or running a fever, the best way that you can love your neighbor is by staying home! If you need to stay home instead of coming to a worship gathering, we encourage you to connect with us using the online video stream.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY COME CHURCH?
We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
  • Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • Staying home if you are sick;
  • Covering your cough or sneeze;
  • Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS HBC TAKING TO MAKE GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?
HBC is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
  • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with an EPA certified disinfectant.
  • Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
  • Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. These deep cleans will likely involve closing HBC buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are HBC buildings open on weekdays?”).
  • After each gathering, our volunteers sterilize various surfaces used by our children. We will continue to follow our standard health protocols, not admitting any child with an elevated temperature (above 99.6 F). A child must also be fever free for 24 hours. You can help us by closely monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns.
  • During our worship gatherings, we will continue using a safer way to serve communion. We will also continue to baptize people in pools filled with sanitized water. In addition, we encourage everyone to take commonsense precautions and consider creative interactions (like elbow bumping instead of hand shaking!).

WHAT ABOUT HBC SHORT-TERM MISSION TRIPS?
Our staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Based upon this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate.

HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.  Much people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update this status regularly on their website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So, let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
  • Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
  • Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
  • Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
  • Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community.  Some of our church family (and some of our community) is Asian-American, and we want every Asian-American (as well as Asians around the world) to feel and know the love of Christ. So just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
  • Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups, as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
  • Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
  • Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.