Dear Church Family,
These past few weeks and months have certainly presented new and interesting challenges to our Nation and to the Church. It has been my continual prayer that everyone is staying safe and finding comfort in God’s sovereignty over all things. While very new and different to us, nothing that is happening is unexpected to Him. And while we have learned new ways to stay close together and worship as the Body of Christ, it appears we may soon be able to return to more familiar surroundings. After reviewing the guidelines issued by the Governor and the President, your church leadership has set a date to open the sanctuary and begin the process of returning to the church building for worship. The timeline is subject to change, but the process will remain largely the same. Please note the following, and if you have any questions contact the church office or an elder.
- We are currently in Phase 1 which still limits gatherings to less than 10 with 6 feet of separation.
- Phase 2 will begin for us with WORSHIP ONLY on May 17, with the following guidelines will be in place:
- There will be NO nursery or childcare.
- There will be NO restroom access unless it is an emergency.
- There will be NO Wednesday night activities at this time.
- The only open entrances will be the two drive through entrances. Please maintain 6 feet distance between other families and individuals who may be entering.
- The doors will open at 10:15.
- Please go DIRECTLY to the sanctuary. Elders and deacons will be guiding you.
- There will be baskets in which you may place your offering. No plate will be passed, and no communion will be observed during this phase.
- When entering the sanctuary, we will seat members from front to back. Please DO NOT go to your usual seat. Seats will be blocked off to maintain distance between members.
- Families who have been sheltered in place together may sit together, all others please sit individually and observe the spacing.
- When it is time to dismiss, we will exit from back to front following the pastor’s instructions and guided by the elders and deacons.
- There will be no choir, but anyone interested in singing a special should contact Ryan.
- Please avoid congregating anywhere. We will be able to see and speak to each other in the sanctuary once seated, but please maintain 6 feet and avoid the temptation to “go see” someone.
- We want to stay as close to the limit of 50 as possible but may be able to seat more as long as we maintain 6 feet.
- Please: DO NOT COME IF YOU HAVE A FEVER, ARE COUGHING, OR SHOWING ANY SIGNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE THE VIRUS OR ANOTHER ILLNESS. And if you are in the at risk group or do not feel comfortable coming under these guidelines, please continue to worship with us from home using LiveStream or Facebook Live.
I know that all this sounds very formal, but Phase 2 is meant to be for worship only and allowing us as a church to BEGIN the process of gathering in person once again. Opportunities for more intimate fellowship will come with time.
- Phase 3 is a much broader opening of the church and no date is set at this time. The requirements for Phase 3 are numerous and include the ability to keep the church well sanitized. Until the leadership is confident that we can readily access hand sanitizer and disinfecting products, we will not begin Phase 3. This phase will see the return of many regular activities which means closer proximity to each other. We must make sure we do not have a rebound of the virus and that everyone who attends feels safe and confident in the activities they attend.
- Since May 10 is Mother’s Day, we are once again inviting church members to send a picture or a short 10-12 second video clip honoring their mothers. This includes mothers who are no longer with us. Send these to Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 5 and if you have any questions contact him or the church office.
- The elders are recommending that the quarterly members meeting be postponed until the third quarter. During this meeting, both the first and second quarter will be addressed. The first quarter packets are being prepared and may be requested by email or picked up at the church office beginning May 4. If there are any questions on this, please contact an elder or the church office.
I know this is a lot to process, but this will quickly become a memory. I pray that we are all learning everything we can through this time, and that once we return to “normal” we are more encouraged and more excited about reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God than ever before! Until we meet again, I am praying for you always!