To all our Yates friends and family —
The ministry staff are watching the ongoing development of Hurricane Florence just as you are, and we are very cognizant of all the potential effects. Regarding plans for Yates specifically, we want to lay out for you our thoughts in advance of the coming storm in regards to potential schedule changes.
As of this writing, Thursday, September 13, Florence has been downgraded to a category 2 storm that still possesses the potential for devastating effects across our state. Concerning our schedule for Sunday, September 16, given that the effect on our area specifically is still very much in doubt, we may take any one of three options in response:
1. Proceed normally. If effects in our area are minimal because the path of the storm or its intensity has changed significantly, we will proceed with our normal schedule, including both worship services at 8:30 and 11:00 am and Sunday School at 9:45 am. In such a case, there is likely to be no TV or social media announcement.
2. Reduce our schedule to 11:00 am worship only. If the effect on our area allows for travel safely to the church – regardless of other conditions, for example even if the church is without electricity – we will meet for worship at 11:00 am with those who are able to safely gather together. We will make an announcement via media channels (WRAL and WTVD), via social media and via our website. Please note that our announcement of 11:00 am worship only is also an announcement of the cancelation of Sunday School and all afternoon activities for the day. Our decision to move to this schedule will be made in consultation with our Severe Weather Policy and with our value that the gathering for worship of those who are able is a valuable part of our identity as a community of faith, especially in response to storms such as Florence.
3. Cancel all activities. If circumstances dictate this to be the most prudent response, i.e., for reasons of flooding, safety or if our campus is unable to receive anyone without danger, we may choose to cancel all services and activities. This again would be announced by media, social media and web channels. If we cancel morning services, all afternoon or evening activities are also canceled for the day.
As always, we are aware that some of you may feel less confident about your ability to be out when weather threatens, and we support you if in your best judgement you feel that you are not able to be here. We always encourage everyone to be mindful of their safety and make the best decision they can for themselves or for their family.
We will make every effort to decide on our course of action and announce any changes to our schedule as soon as possible. As you are able during the storm, monitor local media (WRAL and WTVD), our website (yateschurch.org) and our Facebook page (facebook.com/YatesBaptistChurch) for any such changes.
Pray for all those in the path of this significant storm. We will certainly have opportunities to participate in relief efforts with our mission partners at CBFNC and NC Baptist Men.