COVID-19 Updates

Updated March 24, 2020

Dear Grace Community,

The Session and Pastoral Staff have been following the updates on the COVID-19 virus and the calls for social distancing, especially after multiple churches in our area ceased activities for the next few weeks.

At this time, the Grace Session and Pastors have unanimously agreed to cancel in-person worship and all other in-person gatherings through Monday, April 13. Grace's Sunday services will continue to be entirely online.

  • Join us online! On Sunday at 10:30am, pastors, music staff, and AV team will be recording and livestreaming a service at Grace.
  • We hope that you and your family will join the service on Facebook Live or Youtube. You can tune in at the regular time or re-visit the recording later. Instructions for accessing the service in this manner are below, and should work from any computer or smartphone.
  • Plans are in the works to continue as many activities as possible, through virtual means: Sunday School classes, Bible studies, meetings, youth groups, etc. If you have an upcoming gathering scheduled at the church, reach out to the leader to find out about possible plans for telephone or online modes of meeting.
  • All outside groups using Grace's space have been cancelled at this time, with the exception of AA/NA groups which may meet at their own discretion, with social distancing practices encouraged and extra cleaning protocols in place.
  • The church office remains open and at the ready to help with congregational and community needs. We encourage you to use the phone and email for as much business as possible. Visiting the church in person is strongly discouraged.

These have been difficult decisions, but we believe we have a responsibility to prioritize the well-being of our community. According to experts, social distancing and the suspension of large gatherings are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, so that hospitals and medical centers may not be overwhelmed with such a volume of cases. This also helps prevent the spread to more vulnerable populations for whom the disease may be more severe.

While this move is disappointing, we are committed to thinking creatively about what it means to be the church. Should in-person gatherings be suspended for more than just this week, we hope to provide virtual opportunities for not only worship but also prayer and study, fellowship and connection. In addition, we hope to think about ways to support our community: those who are sick, or families for whom closures and cancellations may have a real economic effect.

For the time being, the building remains open and staff will be present. Please call the office and stay in touch with pastors and leadership about ways we can support you physically and spiritually during this uncertain time. And call your neighbors, friends, and those who may be needing that check-in and reminder of the love of Christ!

There is no better time than the present to stay centered in prayer, and to pray for those who have already been affected by COVID-19. In this time of uncertainty, may we all continue to stay grounded in the hope we have in Christ.

In hope and gratitude for this community,

Pastor Ben and Pastor Katie

Instructions for accessing online worship:

Please call the office if you need someone to walk you through this!

  • Even if you’re not a “Facebook member,”  you can access the livestream which is available to the public. There are two ways to do so:
    1. Click on the Facebook link below and select 3/22/20 video: https://www.facebook.com/pg/GraceSpringfield/videos/
    2. Log in to Facebook, search for “Grace Presbyterian, Springfield Va,” and then click on the main page,
  • Youtube
    1. Click on the Youtube link below and select the 3/22/20 video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkHqMYsQzGeR-kczuMDmToQ/videos
    2. Go to youtube.com and search for “Grace Presby.” Select the Grace Presby channel and click on “videos” to find the 3/15/20 video.

Instructions for accessing Zoom meetings:

Some church groups are meeting via Zoom video conferencing. If you're not sure about how to do that, here are some step-by-step instructions that may help. Note: don't be overwhelmed with the instructions! For most people, clicking on the link you are given will allow you to walk through the process without even needing these instructions.

1. In order to participate in a Zoom meeting, your computer must have a microphone and speakers. If it does not, you can purchase headphones with these. Alternatively, you can use a smart phone, which automatically has sound capability!

2. If using a computer, you don't need to download any thing ahead of time. If using a smartphone, you need to download "Zoom Cloud" from your app store.

3. Prior to your Zoom meeting or Bible study, the host should send you an email containing a direct link to the meeting.

4. At the time of the meeting, click on that link from your computer or phone.

  • If this the first time using Zoom, your browser will automatically download the app. (If it does not, check the popup blocker and allow an exception for Zoom). Follow all the prompts to install it (just click where it tells you to click). If it asks you to "Run" a file, click YES or RUN. All this should only take a few seconds.
  • If the software is already on the computer, you will be asked to "launch" the Zoom app.

5. Before entering the meeting you will be asked to join audio. Click "Join with Computer Audio."

6. If your computer or smartphone has video capabilities, you may also be asked if you want to join with video. Click "Join with video."

7. Your meeting host will spend a few minutes at the beginning of every meeting, making sure everyone can hear and participate, and troubleshooting any tech issues.

8. If you don't have internet access and want to join via phone, a phone number and access code can be provided to allow you to call into the meeting on your phone.