Here is a message from Pastor Chris:
Hello church family!
This Sunday July 12 we will have our first indoor service that we have had since March! It’s incredible to actually write those words. I would have never thought that I would ever have to write something like that, but we have and still are facing adverse circumstances related to COVID-19. Myself, the deacons, and the health safety team have brought together a plan where we feel we can safely meet indoors, while still offering alternatives for those that may not feel comfortable worshiping inside just yet.
The online Facebook live service will stream at 11:00 am.
First, we will continue to do an outside worship service at 9:00am. We will continue to observe social distancing guidelines. Come join us with chairs or drive-up. We will allow for restroom use, but it's for emergency use only; you will need to seek a deacon to assist you. This service will allow for congregational singing because of the nature of being outdoors. If rain is forecasted or heat is going to be an issue, that service will be moved indoors. We will give the church 24 hour notice of the change so that you can prepare and decide if you would still like to attend.
Second, the indoor service will be at 11:00am. Here are the guidelines that you need to remember.
1. Who Should Come? We ask that if you are sick in any manner that you remain home until you recover fully. We also ask if you feel in any way uncomfortable in coming to service at this point, that you remain at home. We want to reiterate that your choice to stay home will not be judged or held against you in any way. We understand completely your choice for safety. You are not disobeying God by staying home. For those who do not have technology to watch online, we will begin recording these services. If you desire a copy of a CD, please let us know. We will safely sanitize and deliver those to you.
2. Bring Your Own Chair: With the nature of our current chairs in the fellowship hall having cloth covering, we felt it might be best for people to bring their own chairs and minimize the possibility of spread through surfaces on chairs.
3. Entrance and Exit: The doors will open at 10:45am. Please wait in your cars if you arrive earlier than that. We will enter through the education wing front door and the ramp door for those that are handicapped or need to use the ramp. A deacon will be there to hold the door open for you and direct you inside. You will proceed down the hallway towards the fellowship hall. As you enter, please remember to stay at least six feet away from those around you who are not in your household. Deacons will assist in seating you within the fellowship hall for worship. We will be seating the fellowship hall by household groups, starting at the back and moving forward. At the end of service, we will dismiss orderly from back to front. The deacons will assist you in this manner.
4. Masks: We strongly encourage the use of masks indoors. We know this might be an inconvenience to some and there are many varying opinions on the use of masks. We feel it is best for the safety of the congregation that you wear a mask. We hope that you will consider the safety of your fellow congregants, particularly those that may be more vulnerable to the virus that would still like to worship indoors. But we also understand that there may be situations where mask wearing is not possible because of health issues related to respiratory issues and some younger children not having the ability to wear one consistently. We ask you bring your own mask if possible, but we will make disposable surgical masks available to you at the entrance.
5. Congregational Singing: There will be music from our worship teams being played, but we are going to forego singing congregationally indoors. This is not permanent and we will reinstate singing at a later date. There is increasing evidence that singing indoors in enclosed spaces can be a potential place where a hotspot of the virus can occur. Singing can project particles up to 16 feet and can linger indoors. We hate having to make this decision, but we feel it is the safest practice for the moment until we understand more clearly the science of the spreading of the virus. We ask that you prayerfully meditate on the words being sung, and you can even mouth or hum along if you so desire.
6. Social Distancing and Fellowship: We will continue to forego fellowship time. Please remain six feet away and wave from a distance to your fellow members and attenders. No handshakes or hugs just yet. We will also continue to forego the traditional passing the plate for the offering. An offering bucket/box will be available at the entrance and exit for your offering. Thank you again for how you have sacrificially given in difficult days like these.
7. Bathroom Use: We will have the bathrooms in the fellowship hall open for your use in case of an emergency. We ask that only one person use the bathroom at a time to promote social distancing. We want to make these bathrooms available for those that might need one in case of an emergency. The rest of the bathrooms on the church property will be closed. Also, the water fountain will not be in use.
8. Hand Sanitizer Stations: We will have hand sanitizer stations prepared at the door entrances and exits, and one inside at the entrance of the fellowship hall. Please use these as you enter the campus. If you miss the one outside, please use the one that will be placed at the fellowship hall doors inside.
9. Childcare: We will still not have nursery or any children’s church available for this time. As we move closer to school reopening and have a better understanding of how that will work, we will begin to think about restarting these ministries.
Note: All guidelines set for the indoor service at 11:00am will apply to the 9:00am service if it gets moved indoors because of weather.
We know that these are some guidelines that are radically different than when we met before. We understand that they are also an inconvenience in some ways. We are praying that things will get back to a more normal nature soon. But in the meantime, we want to be safe and be a place where people can come and worship. We want to protect the body physically so that they can be fed spiritually as we worship together as a church family.
In regards to our other ministries: As we reopen for services, we want to focus on doing these right and to retain social distancing. Because of our space and campus layout, it will be difficult to have our Sunday School meet at this time and retain social distancing, so there will continue to be no formal Sunday School. We are weighing and deciding on some options to allow for Sunday School classes or Bible Studies to meet other times other than Sunday morning at our usual hour. We have allowed our youth to meet outside during this time. If you would like to meet and your group feels comfortable doing so, we encourage you to do that in a place that is socially distant and safe for your group. Outside on our campus is fine or another place in our community where you can stay safe. We will update you on any changes
Thank you again for your patience and prayers. We are looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday! -Pastor Chris