Per our governor’s plan to reopen churches, we will begin having in-person services again on Wednesday, May 20, which means our first Sunday morning service of the reopening will be Sunday, May 24. We want to encourage everyone to prayerfully consider your attendance at these services in the coming weeks and months. We would urge those who are most at risk for life-threatening complications from COVID-19 (see the link to the website for the Center for Disease Control at the bottom of this page), those with any symptoms of illness, and those who have serious reservations about returning to in-person services to strongly consider staying at home. This is a personal decision that each individual must make, and we will seek to support equally those present and those who choose not to be right now. As we prepare to come together again, there are a number of considerations that we hope to outline here. Please read this thoroughly when time allows and please respond to us with any questions you have. Here is how we are planning to resume in-person worship services:
1. We will be encouraging social distancing by spacing out our rows of chairs and encouraging everyone to try to maintain a six foot perimeter between households.
2. We will not be mandating masks or taking the temperatures of those in attendance, believing that these are personal decisions and matters of conscience. (see 1 Corin. 8-10)
3. We will be engaging in congregational singing, believing that this is a biblically necessary part of our worship gatherings. (see Psalm 9:11, 30:4, 68:4, 95:1, 96:1-2, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, etc.)
4. We will not be having any Sunday school classes or children’s ministry or youth ministry activities but only the Sunday morning and Wednesday night worship services for now.
5. We will be continuing to livestream our Sunday morning and Wednesday night services on Facebook Live for those who are not ready to return to in-person services just yet.
6. We will not be having a greeting time during the service or passing offering plates. Giving can be done online or through drop boxes that have been installed in the worship center.
7. We will be dismissing the congregation row-by-row at the end of the service (much like at a funeral) and utilizing multiple exits to aid the following of social distancing guidelines.
8. We will not be offering nursery or preschool childcare during the services until at least June 15 and will not be utilizing the Children and Youth Building at least until then.
9. We will be doing our best to clean and disinfect our Worship Center before each service and will have hand sanitizer stations available throughout the building.
10. We will be encouraging everyone to have an attitude of grace and patience with one another as there are an abundance of personal views about our current cultural situation.
11. We will not allow differing views on this pandemic or its treatment to become a source of division in the church, believing that what we share in Christ is so much greater than that. (Please prayerfully read Romans 12:9-13, Galatians 5:13-15, Ephesians 4:1-3, Philippians 2:1-5, & Colossians 3:12-14.)
May God give us great grace toward one another and a greater love for Christ and for each other in the days ahead! If you have any questions or concerns, you may direct them to our pastor at email@example.com. Thank you for taking the time to read about what we are planning to do as a church in response to this pandemic.