UPDATES: GCC-STERLING

REOPENING FAQS

Expand the points for more information:

WHEN WILL WE HAVE OUR FIRST SUNDAY SERVICE?

We will have our first in-person service at 10:00am starting on August 2nd at Dominion High School. Due to limited seating, registration will be required for each in-person service - using this link. In the interest of safety, our Kid Builders Children’s Ministry and LFT Youth ministry will NOT be available in-person until further notice. However, children and youth are welcome to attend in-person service with their family, and we are also offering interactive virtual programs for both Kid Builders and LFT. Access the KB resources HERE, and email  to connect to our youth activities. We will also not have a separate Mother's and Babies room at this time. Additionally, our hospitality coffee and donut service has been temporarily suspended. 

HOW MANY WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND AND HOW WILL WE CONTROL THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE?

With the current social distancing guidelines, we are planning to seat 200 people in Main Gym, at any one time. To control the number of people, we will provide an online registration system to ensure an equitable distribution of seating. We will be offering multiple family seating areas. 

WHAT ENTRANCES AND EXITS SHOULD I USE WHEN I ARRIVE?

Please use the main front doors and enter to your right side; exit to your right. Directional signage will guide you; and our Ushers and Greeters will be positioned outside to assist you. 

WILL RESTROOMS BE AVAILABLE?

Yes, restrooms will be available and restroom occupancy will be limited to three persons at a time to maintain proper social distancing guidelines. Signs will be posted that indicate maximum restroom occupancy.

WHAT SAFETY MEASURES CAN I EXPECT TO SEE WHEN I ARRIVE?

Our reopening plan includes the following: cloth face covering requirement to enter the building and while inside the building for all individuals over the age of 2 years old; pre- and post-service disinfecting of the building spaces, including restrooms, that we will utilize; ample hand sanitizing stations throughout the building; organized seating and dismissal procedures; no pre- and post-service congregating inside or outside; and staff and key leaders in place to ensure a safe and enriching worship experience. All staff, greeters, and ushers will have on face masks; any individual distributing items, such as communion cups and bottled water, will be wearing gloves; and receptacles will be made available for individuals to dispose of these personal use items.

WHAT CLEANING AND PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF EVERYONE?

All areas will be sanitized before and after use, including restrooms, door handles, and hand contact surfaces. Ample hand sanitizing stations will also be placed throughout the building. In order to ensure best practices for safety, we have also revised our protocols for receiving offerings and for taking communion to a contact-free method.

HOW WILL WE MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING DURING SERVICES?

We have marked available seating in the Main Gym to allow proper social distancing for individuals and families. We will also have sections designated for families that wish to sit together. Our staff will assist in the seating and dismissing of rows to manage foot traffic in a manner that safely models social distancing.

ARE FACE MASKS REQUIRED TO BE WORN WHEN IN THE BUILDING?

In accordance with a state executive order issued by the Governor on May 29, as well as the guidelines set out by LCPS, cloth face coverings are required to be worn over the nose and mouth by anyone older than 2 years old at all times while in the building, including during worship time. Accordingly, we ask that you bring your own face covering and wear it at all times when in the building. We will have disposable face masks available for all attendees who request one.

HOW SHOULD WE GREET ONE ANOTHER?

While in the past, a hug or a handshake would have been a social norm for greeting one another, a wave and a smile will be the recommended approach at this time.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD WORSHIP FROM HOME?

We want you to feel the freedom to worship with us according to your measure of faith, grace, and personal circumstances, whether in-person or online. However, we realize that the current protocol for meeting in-person reduces the number of people who can worship with us at any given time. We encourage you to make a personal decision of whether you and your family will return to in-person service, and we will continue to offer a rich online presentation and experience.

WHAT ARE THE SERVICE TIMES?

For now, our service time will remain 10:00am. We encourage you to continue to join us for our livestream at the same time, if you are not able to attend in-person.  Join the 10:00am live service HERE!

HOW CAN I GIVE?

We will be implementing a contact-free offering method with an offering receptacle in the lobby by the registration desks, if you desire to give in person.  However, we also encourage you to continue to give your tithes and offerings online.

 

HOW TO WATCH OUR SERVICE ONLINE

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the online church experience:

Join us for Church Online Sundays at 10am!

Church Online

On our Church Online page, we have a video dedicated to everything you need for church online -- giving, how to get connected, prayer, and more. This is also where the livestream will be hosted each Sunday at 10am.

You can also select 'Watch Live Service' at the top of our website homepage menu to access the Sunday service.

With Church Online, you’ll enjoy a service just like any Sunday. You’ll also be greeted in the live chat by our hosts who would love to connect with you! They’ll be available to pray with you, chat about the service, and answer any questions you may have. 

Service will begin with worship, followed by a special message by Pastor Eddy Barnes. And, you can still give by following this link, using the GCC app (select 'Sterling' from the menu), or mailing a check made out to Grace Covenant Church-Sterling to: 21631 Ridgetop Cir, Suite 200, Sterling, VA 20166. 

You can also watch our services on YouTube or Facebook Live, and through the GCC app (download in your app store and select 'Sterling' from the menu). 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR CHURCH ONLINE

  • Invite your friends and family. Text or email the link below to family and friends and plan to watch at the same time: 

https://www.gracecov.org/sterling/live/

  • Limit your distractions. Avoid doing other things while you watch, so you can keep the main thing - the main thing.
  • Prepare to give. There are 3 ways to give: follow this link, access 'Sterling' in the GCC app, or mail a check made out to Grace Covenant Church-Sterling to: 21631 Ridgetop Cir, Suite 200, Sterling, VA 20166. 
  • Take notes. Grab a journal or use a notes app on your phone - so you can write down sermon notes and what God is speaking to you.
  • Reflect and share. Share your favorite verses & notes from the service, a photo of how you're engaging with the service, & our social media posts on your own channels. Tag us so we can repost you. [Instagram: @gracecovste / Facebook: Grace Covenant Church-Sterling]

Follow @gracecovste on Instagram and TwitterGrace Covenant Church-Sterling on Facebook, and subscribe to the Grace Covenant Church Sterling channel on YouTube for encouraging content that we've created just for you!

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Text OUTREACH to 474747 for the latest outreach information and how you can serve. YOU CAN ALSO DONATE TO OUR WEEKLY FOOD DRIVES
 

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED AND ENCOURAGED?

Stay Connected:
small groups:

Small Groups are a great way to stay connected and keep from being isolated during this season! Our Small Groups are meeting virtually at this time. Check out our Small Groups page to get connected to a group.

social media:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Our social media will be the best place to get up-to-date information about upcoming events, encouraging content, and updates during this time. Also, subscribe to us on YouTube to get notified when we upload new content!

realm:

Email us at if you'd like to join our Realm community - to get updates emailed straight to your inbox.

OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION

Is the church office still open?

Our church office is not open during our regular business hours, in accordance with the CDC guidelines. However, you can email us at or text us at 703-215-9482 at any time to get information, or if you have a prayer need.   

Can I still give?

Though we aren't meeting in person for services, use this link for your tithes and offerings, as well as to give to our Benevolence Fund -- for those within our congregation and the wider community who are in need in this time. This will allow your worshipful giving and our care for our community to continue uninterrupted. 

What if I need help?

Please contact our church office by emailing us at  or texting 703-215-9482 for prayer and resources.

Also, here's a list of resources for you & your family:

HOW CAN I PRAY?

Join us as we pray with believers around the world through the UNITE714 movement: https://www.unite714.com/. You can also pray these points with us as a church:
  • Pray for PROTECTION (Psalm 91) - for self, family, church, coworkers, and anyone on the frontlines to be kept safe from infection
  • Pray for PROVISION (Psalm 37:25) - that God will provide
  • Pray for PEACE (John 14:27)
 

MORE RESOURCES:

Other resources to help you stay healthy and informed:

We encourage you to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines on preventing the spread of germs and respiratory diseases. 

Additional recommendations include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home if possible if you are ill, especially if you have a fever or cough.