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We long to gather again in the sanctuary of Seventh Street Christian Church to share in worship and join in fellowship. However, as the past months have revealed, COVID-19 is a serious threat to the well-being of our church and its members. Because of the severity of this threat, the Board of Seventh Street Christian Church has decided that our worship services and education will be held online and not in person for the foreseeable future. We anticipate this will be our practice through the summer. We have several reasons for making this decision.  

Governor Northam has announced the opening of some non-essential businesses when we see a 14-day decline in the number of COVID cases. While we have not seen a 14-day decline in cases (at least not in Richmond), Phase I of the “Forward Virginia” plan has begun in most of the Commonwealth. However, Mayor Stoney did receive a delay to reopen Richmond until May 29. 

We understand that it is tempting to rush forward and gather as soon as it is legally possible. However, the spread of COVID-19 is a very fluid public health situation. Many experts predict that the opening of non-essential businesses and increased interactions among people may lead to an even wider spread of the virus in our community. This could trigger a second Stay-at-Home order. 

Phase I of the “Forward Virginia” plan, includes some inconsistent recommendations.  On one hand it says that gatherings should be no larger than ten people yet does allow for faith communities to worship together at 50% capacity. The plan does provide further guidelines for faith communities to gather. These guidelines are strict and complying with these restrictions make it impractical for our church to gather in worship at this time. 

Regardless of any “official opening date,” churches should expect to resume in-person worship gradually, and to return to pre-COVID practices only in phases. The current consensus among faith communities informed by Public Health research is that the best practice is to initially limit gatherings to 50 people, and even then, there are a number of changes to take into consideration.

Best Practices 
When we enter Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan as it is currently outlined, we will move forward in the following ways: The state of Virginia has not provided additional guidelines beyond Phase I at this time. However, a consensus among experts leads us to put the following guidelines in place once we move beyond Phase I and ultimately return to worship together.  

We will need to limit attendance to 50 people in the sanctuary at one time and those people must:  In addition, we will need to do the following:  For those who rent our space, we will implement the following:  Modeling Faithfulness 
As Christians, we believe every person reflects the image of God. To be faithful in the time of COVID is to honor all guidelines and protect the lives and wellbeing of our neighbors. While we know it is tempting to gather as soon as possible, this does not honor the worth and dignity of our larger community. In order to model what it means to love God and one another during this difficult season, we will move cautiously and with great care and take each step in love and trust. Please know that we long to be together but we can only gather when it is faithful and right to do so. 

Even though things look a bit different, we are still Seventh Street Christian Church, we are still community and we still love one another. We will get through this and we will get through it together. 

With Love, 
The Board of Seventh Street Christian Church and Pastor Hollie

Spiritual Education 9:30am | Worship 11am

Where to find Us

4101 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221

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