Coronavirus Update

June 5, Update

Please tune in to online services this Sunday, June 7 to for an announcement about our reopening plans.

May 29, Update

We’d like to give you some important information about how we are approaching plans for safely reopening our campuses. Also, if you call BridgePoint your home church, we’re asking for your help with our plans. Watch this video, then click this link to fill out the survey: https://bit.ly/2BcTB0L

May 10, 9:00AM Update

We will continue to meet online only for all worship and group gatherings for the remainder of May, including all gatherings related to KidsPoint and SPIN. The possibility and logistics of a phased reopening is currently being discussed among our leadership team, however specific dates are not yet clear and are dependent upon local, state, and federal guidelines, and the spread of the virus. BridgePoint will continue to utilize and follow local, state, and federal guidelines, ordinances, and orders so that we can remain helpful in the fight against COVID-19.

When we have more updates we'll utilize web, email, and social media methods to keep everyone informed.


April 10, 9:00AM Update

We will continue to meet online only for all worship and group gatherings for the remainder of May, including all gatherings related to KidsPoint and SPIN. The possibility and logistics of a phased reopening is currently being discussed among our leadership team, however specific dates are not yet clear and are dependent upon local, state, and federal guidelines, and the spread of the virus. BridgePoint will continue to utilize and follow local, state, and federal guidelines, ordinances, and orders so that we can remain helpful in the fight against COVID-19.

When we have more updates we'll continue to utilize web, email, and social media methods to keep everyone informed.

April 3, 5:30PM Update

We realize the difficulty of governing during these unprecedented times and understand Gov. DeSantis decision to classify churches as “essential.” However, health professionals tell us these next two weeks will be very critical, there will be a significant rise in people becoming infected, and potentially more deaths. Because many people who are infected may not have any symptoms, the best way to mitigate risk is to continue to practice social isolation and distancing.

After careful consideration and much prayer, our BridgePoint leadership has determined it would not be prudent for us to plan any activity that would encourage people to leave their homes at this time. While we agree with the Governor that churches are essential and believe that gathering together is vital, we also realize that “church” is not a building, an address, or even a public gathering. We are the church!  Merely attending church doesn’t make a church, and being the church has everything to do with living our lives for Christ, demonstrating God’s love by serving others, and sharing that love and faith with others.

This Easter we have chosen to be the loving and caring neighbors Christ commanded us to be. We believe, at this time, that it is best expressed in keeping our campuses closed and inviting people to continue to join us online as we celebrate the victory of Easter and the hope it brings to our world.

We long for the day we can gather together again but until then we encourage you to join us in going and being the church God has called us to be.

To view online Easter service times, click here.

----- end April 3, 5:30PM update -----

March 29, 11:30AM Update

As COVID-19 is impacting us all in various ways, BridgePoint Church remains committed to being part of the solution that slows down the spread of this virus. Our offices and campuses remain closed to all but essential personnel. Most of our staff have been working remotely and have been directed to abide by Pinellas County’s “Safer at Home” order. Any essential personnel that work at our broadcast location have been directed to abide by both Pinellas County’s “Safer at Home” directive as well as the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing in the workplace. As recommendations and directives by our national, state, and local authorities change, we will continue to comply in order to ensure the safety of our employees as well as the larger community.

We ask you to join us in evaluating your own personal activities to ensure that we are all being good neighbors and citizens in order to mitigate the spread of this virus. Additionally, we encourage you to continue to look for ways you can serve our community during this difficult time.

----- end March 29, 11:30AM update -----

March 22, 12:30PM Update
 

BridgePoint continues to comply with the CDC and local authorities regarding large group gatherings by moving services and all gatherings to online only. This includes Sunday services at campuses and small group gatherings for adults and students. 

----- end March 22, 12:30PM update -----

March 16, 3:40PM Update 

Due to recent recommendations made today by the CDC and the March 16 Executive Order of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman regarding public gatherings and venues, small group meetings, which includes Life Groups, Learning Groups, Journey Groups, and Crews, will not meet in person at BridgePoint buildings, nor should they meet in homes or public areas. These groups should only meet virtually, via Zoom (video conferencing) or a social media platform such as Facebook Groups.

If you lead a group,  please reach out to your campus pastor or ministry area leader for interim guidance and questions. 

----- end March 16, 3:43PM update -----



March 14, 11:39AM Update
 

Online-only services this weekend: One church in many, many locations

While we won’t be gathering at our campuses tomorrow in consideration of the public health concerns related to COVID-19, we are grateful to still be able to worship together. This weekend, we will be utilizing an enhanced experience to broadcast services that includes live chat and prayer requests.

Please make plans to join us at www.bridgepointfl.com/live at any of the following times: 9am, 10:30am, 12pm, 5pm, 6:30pm

We’re also excited to offer a complete online KidsPoint experience for ages 2 and up, including worship videos, Bible Stories and Big Ideas, games, and downloadable crafts. Starting tomorrow, head over to www.bridgepointfl.com/kidspoint. These resources are available on demand, so there’s no need to compromise those nap times.

We believe this season is a unique opportunity to be the church God has called us to be. We can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow through our online services. If you have additional questions, read our FAQ below.

FAQ

Why have you cancelled services?
This is not a decision we made out of fear, but out of faith. We are required and commanded by scripture to be good citizens and submit to our authorities. Our Governor and the CDC has asked us to suspend all mass gatherings in consideration of public health concerns related to COVID-19, and we are willingly complying with this request. We also believe this is a unique opportunity to be the church God has called us to be. We are more fearful of missing opportunities than we are fearful of failure.

When will the cancellations end?
On Thursday, March 13 the Governor of Florida and the CDC asked that mass gatherings (more than 250 people) in the state of Florida be cancelled for 30 days. The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, so we are remaining flexible and hopeful that conditions improve so that we can resume our live gatherings as soon as possible. Fortunately, God has blessed us with the resources to share our worship experiences to anyone with an internet connection. While we can’t gather in person, we can thank God that we can still worship together.

My friend/family member/neighbor doesn’t have a way to watch online services. How can they connect?
We have arranged for a dial-in phone number for people to listen to the service. Users can call the number below on Sunday at our regular service times (9am, 10:30am, 12pm, 5pm, 6:30pm) to listen to the worship experience:
Dial 408-638-0968
When prompted, enter meeting ID 2872705019#

What about Easter?
We will post news and updates about upcoming services, including Palm Sunday and Easter, as soon as we possibly can. Be assured we will use all of our usual methods of communication to keep you informed: email, social media, web site and the BridgePoint Church app.

----- end March 14, 11:39AM update -----

March 12, 02:53PM Update
Due to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement regarding limiting or postponing mass gatherings, BridgePoint's live Sunday services and other gatherings are cancelled for the time being. Mass gatherings are defined as gatherings of more than 250 people. 

During this time we have an opportunity to love and trust God well and we will always default to his sovereignty and direction. But, we are also required and commanded by scripture to be good citizens and submit to our authorities. Because our Governor has asked us to suspend all mass gatherings we will love our neighbors well by submitting to our authorities. The world is watching the church and we want to be an example of, as Jesus taught us, loving them as we love ourselves. This crisis is an awesome opportunity to be the church Jesus called us to be. 

The cancellations include the following:

  • Sunday, March 15 live services and KidsPoint at Clearwater, Downtown St. Pete, Seminole, and Tyrone campuses.
  • Other ministry events postponed or cancelled:* 
    • Thursday, March 12 MyLocal Episode at BridgePoint Church Downtown Campus
    • Saturday, March 14 “Super Saturday” SPIN event at All Star Gym for middle school students
    • Monday, March 16 Night of Worship and Communion at Tyrone and Downtown St. Pete campuses.
    • Saturday, March 21 “Invert” SPIN event with Building Beds for middle and high school students
    • * We are aware that these gatherings may not assemble 250 people, however, we feel it’s wise to apply an abundance of caution especially with gatherings that involve young adults, students and children. 
  • Sunday, March 22 live services and KidsPoint at Clearwater, Downtown St. Pete, Seminole, and Tyrone campuses.
  • We will continue to post updates regarding future cancellations, including subsequent Sunday services: March 29, Palm Sunday April 5, and Easter services April 12 at all campuses.

 Regarding small group meetings, such as Life Groups, Learning Groups, and Journey Groups:

  • Because small groups fall below the threshold of 250 people and are not considered a mass gathering, groups may still meet at the group leaders’ discretion. If they meet, group leaders and attendees are required to abide by the following guidelines:
    • Anyone that falls within a high-risk category abstains from attending the group meeting
      • Older adults (age 65 and over)
      • People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease
  • Anyone that feels sick or thinks they may be sick abstains from attending the group meeting

Resources
We encourage you to remain calm, trust only reliable information sources, and take time to understand the  proper prevention measures to avoid spreading the virus. We have utilized the following resources to compile information, recommendations, and guidelines:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
Florida Department of Health

----- end March 12, 02:53PM update -----

 

March 12, 2020 12:42PM Update

We will be posting updates and instructions shortly based on the latest information from today’s press conference with the Florida Governor: 

“Cities and counties should postpone or cancel any mass gatherings over the next 30 days in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus in Florida,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday.

---- End update March 12, 2020, 12:42PM ---

 

March 12, 2020, 08:51AM

We’ve been closely monitoring and tracking the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) both locally and globally. As of today there are 2 confirmed cases in Pinellas County. However, the risk remains relatively low for the general public and because of this, BridgePoint does not plan to close or cancel worship gatherings at this time. Check your email and/or this page regularly for updated information.

We have a staff team that is monitoring updates and is basing our response plan on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health. Given the fluidity of the situation, we are prepared to change course quickly. In the meantime, we are taking the following precautionary measures to create and sustain a safe and healthy environment for us all to gather and worship.

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Our restrooms and public areas will continue to be stocked with antibacterial soap to encourage frequent hand washing. We have made hand sanitizer readily available throughout our buildings. 

Our facilities staff and volunteers are being instructed to wipe down areas that are frequently touched, and to the extent possible, minimize the need for attendees to touch these types of surfaces.

We have assessed our cleaning and sanitizing protocols and products used for our facilities and made adjustments to continue providing safe and healthy environments. 

COMMUNION
For our Night of Worship and Communion on March 16, and for Communion as part of our services on April 5, we have modified our usual process. We will not gather at tables and pass baskets of bread or cups of juice. Instead, we will provide prepackaged, individually wrapped Communion elements that each participant will pick up at a table in our auditoriums.

POINT CAFÉS AT CAMPUSES
There’s no evidence yet that Coronavirus is spread through food. However, we are suspending foodservice and offering drinks only. We are also addressing the frequently touched surfaces in our café environments: coffee container spigots, touch screen point of sale screens, and refrigerator and cabinet door handles. We are asking our café volunteers to wear plastic gloves at all times and frequently wipe down touch areas with disinfectant wipes.

OFFERING
We will observe offering in our services as usual, however we will not pass offering buckets during the service. Instead, we will direct offerings to the containers placed at the auditorium exits. If you don't already do so, we highly encourage you to regularly give your tithe or offering online through our safe, convenient online giving portal.

DOORS
To minimize your need to touch door handles, our volunteer teams will hold exterior doors open to greet you.

GREETING
When we have a time of greeting during services, we will greet each other with smiles and waves instead of handshakes or high-fives.

KIDSPOINT 
Volunteers are committed to wiping down check-in surfaces between all services with disinfectant wipes. Our facilities staff have reviewed and assessed our cleaning and sanitizing protocols and products and will continue to do so on a regular basis.

PORTABLE CAMPUSES (Clearwater, Seminole)
We have reviewed and are actively monitoring the SPC Clearwater and Seminole campuses response, updates, and facility protocols as it relates to our church's use of their facilities on Sundays. As of now, the College has no plans to close or cancel events at this time, nor has SPC had any cases of coronavirus on its campuses or sites. The College's leadership is in communication with health officials, the state college system, area colleges and Pinellas County Schools and will make any decisions with guidance from the Florida Department of Health, the Pinellas County Health Department and/or the CDC. 

SUNDAY VOLUNTEERS
Please look for an email from your Campus Pastor or team lead regarding specific instructions for your serving area.

GENERAL GUIDELINES
If you find yourself feeling sick, we encourage you to stay home and on Sunday, join us online at bridgepointfl.com/live, or download the BridgePoint Church FL app to watch from your mobile device. We stream live at 9am, 10:30am, and 12pm each Sunday.

We encourage you to remain calm, trust only reliable information sources, and take time to understand the  proper prevention measures to avoid spreading the virus by reading through the CDC recommendations

Here are some of the basic measures listed on the CDC website:

  • Stay home if you think you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

We will provide necessary updates to you via email and post them to this page. We ask that you be prayerful for our world and community, specifically for those who are directly impacted by this virus.

Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
Florida Department of Health

 

FAQ

What does our cleaning/sanitation processes at your facilities currently look like? Are they being modified?
Our Facilities staff have thoroughly reviewed their current protocols and products, and found them to be more than adequate and sufficient at this time. However, they have increased their supply of cleaning and antibacterial items in preparation for increased consumption and more frequent usage. 

What changes have you made around service elements that involve personal contact?
We have made modifications to several service elements (offering, greeting, communion) and have outlined those modifications in the previous section of this page. 

What changes have you made regarding other public environments?
We have made changes to cafe, kids, and other volunteer areas and have communicated those to our staff. They are outlined in the previous section on this page.

What circumstances necessitate cancelling all or parts of your gatherings and/or services?
We are relying on up-to-date information and guidelines from the CDC and FDH. When the severity of the conditions in our area align with the recommendation or directive to cancel our gatherings, we are prepared to do so. In the event of this, we will move to an online-only worship gathering, and will communicate this to our congregation as promptly as possible.

---- End update March 12, 2020, 08:51AM ---