A Fellowship Group is a formal group of PBC members who commit to meet together regularly to cultivate gospel community with one another (Acts 2:42-47). We believe that being a part of a church consists of more than weekly attendance at corporate worship. The church is a family that lives life together by caring for one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and helping each other grow in conformity to Christ.
In order to achieve this, we’ll deliberately work to create a culture in our Fellowship Groups that prioritizes fellowship. Over the course of a three-month commitment, groups will meet weekly to fellowship together. Since we want the relationships with Fellowship Group members to be deeper than just the superficial things that usually unite our relationships, every group will spend a portion of their time in prayer and sermon discussion from the previous week’s sermon. Since we often grow closest to one another when we’re serving alongside one another, each group will schedule one service project every semester. Since we often grow close when we share fun experiences together, each group will schedule one “party” each semester.
How can we continue with fellowship groups given the governor's recent executive order (EO72) limiting gatherings to 10 people or less?
In September the governor's office settled a case against a group of churches in Madison County (Brian Hermsmeier et al. v. Hon. Ralph S. Northam, Case No. 2000484400). Among other things, the settlement declared that none of Governor Northam’s COVID-19 Orders apply to churches which have less than 250 attendees. To read more about this decision click here.
This decision means that any religious service or activity at Poquoson Baptist Church is exempt from executive orders related to Covid-19. Nevertheless, the elders have sought to continue responding to the Covid-19 pandemic with a spirit of submission and caution. We've continued to distance in our building, continued wearing masks during public services, and continued to livestream services for those desiring to quarantine.Given that Fellowship Groups are a significant act of worship in the life of the PBC family, we believe it is right and best to continue meeting. For those concerned about meeting in person we will continue to offer Fellowship Groups over Zoom.
But for those willing to meet in person, we will continue offering in-person meetings.However, we're also concerned about our reputation in the community and the witness to our neighbors. What would it say to your neighbors if a dozen cars were parked outside your home for a weekly Fellowship Group meeting while we remain under an executive order limiting gatherings to 10 people or less? We believe this would be a poor witness for you personally and for our church corporately.
Therefore, all our in-person Fellowship Groups will begin meeting in the church building until the gathering limits allow us to meet in homes without tarnishing our witness in the community.
As soon as the private gathering limits expand to 25 people or more, we will allow in-person Fellowship Groups to resume meeting in homes. Until then, the PBC staff will be hard at work ensuring a meaningful Fellowship Group experience on the PBC campus. As always, we thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.