I pray this letter finds you well. I wanted to take some time to inform you of what we have been talking about and planning, in regards to the governor saying churches will be able to gather again starting May 20th.
We are looking forward to gathering back to worship together the following Sunday (May 24th) with some limitations. While we are excited to meet at the church again, we have some procedures and practices that we hope everyone will understand. The most important thing to us is the health and safety of our church and our community. It may be that you do not agree with these regulations, but the reason they are in place is because we care about your health. We will be sure to communicate with the church family often with clarity and transparency. This letter is to prepare you for the changes that are occurring in our procedures due to the national health crisis. We hope that it won’t distract from the excitement of in person worship in your hearts! Let us be healthy together. Let us pray and seek His healing and wisdom. Lord willing, we will be able to continue to gather more and more.
Before I begin to list the guidelines, I would also like to inform you that we will have additional options for worship. In addition to limited sanctuary seating, we will have an FM broadcast for drive-in service, and we will still record and upload the sermon online. You have the grace to choose any of these options depending upon your unique situation and needs.
Drive In Service:
The sermon will be broadcast on a short range FM radio station that can be picked up anywhere within the church’s parking lot just tune to station 89.7. If you so choose, you can come and gather outside of the church in your vehicle and still worship together. We ask vehicles to be 6 feet apart and everyone to remain within their vehicles. Keep in mind bathrooms will be for emergencies only and we ask you to plan accordingly.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us during this time as we have had to make these decisions. We understand if you are unable to or uncomfortable with assembling for services. Let’s remember that God gives grace during times like these! Once again, we hope these guidelines don’t discourage you! We look forward to the opportunity to see everyone again, if not on May 24th, hopefully very soon!
In the love of Christ,
Pastor Jeremy Aliff
Sanctuary limitations, procedures, and practices:
The Reentry Team of the church have agreed to the following under the suggestions given by the KBC and the CDC. These are for any who choose to gather within the sanctuary. They are intended to provide the safest and healthiest environment for worship during the Coronavirus outbreak. Please read carefully through the following list:
- 1. Safe Social Distancing Guidelines:
- We will only be using the main entrance, the doors leading straight into the offices and sanctuary, not the welcome center doors. Please only use this entrance and proceed directly to the check-in station, then into the sanctuary. Please do not gather or wait within the foyer area, unless asked to do so by an usher.
- We can have a seating capacity of up to 33 percent. We will seat only to this capacity. If reached, you are welcome to join us in the parking lot for drive-in service.
- Seating for attendees, who do not live in the same household, must sit at least six feet apart and seating will be limited to alternating rows. Households can sit together without social distancing. There will be someone to assist with seating. The front of the church shall be seated first until we reach limited capacity. Please arrive early to assist in seating.
- Personal contact is suspended – hugs, handshakes, etc. There will be a day when we can greet each other in a more personal way, but for now, 6 feet apart is the norm.
- Offering plates will not be passed between persons. However, we will have stationary plates available to place any tithes or gifts. We will continue to utilize online and mail in options.
- Childcare is suspended, such as nursery and children’s church, until daycares are reopened statewide. Children are not good social distancers and it is unsafe for small children to wear masks.
- There will also be no Sunday School for adults and youth.
- Healthy Operations Guidelines:
- We ask all to only use the foyer and sanctuary areas of the facility. Please do not enter or use any other areas of the church.
- All furniture and fixtures that may be touched will be sanitized before each service. Remember that sanitizing will also be done with special emphasis on bathrooms, door handles, pew backs and any other frequently touched fixture or items. There will be no items in the pew backs.
- Bathrooms are for emergency use only. As they will need to be sanitized after each use. These will also be one person at a time to maintain distancing. Please use only the bathrooms nearest the sanctuary within the foyer. Please plan accordingly.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in multiple locations. Please use these stations during the meeting and when you return home wash your hands.
- We ask all individuals to wear a mask. We will provide masks to the congregation who do not have them. The COVID-19 virus primarily spreads from person to person through microscopic droplets in the air. If you refuse to wear a mask, you will not be able to enter the sanctuary at this time. However, please gather for our drive-in service or online.
- Please know that it is unsafe for small children to wear masks. If you have small children consider choosing one of our other options for gathering: drive-in service via your vehicle or online streaming.
- There will be check in stations within the foyer. These are meant to be a wise precaution to track who attends in the event that, Lord forbid, someone gets sick. That we may contact everyone and know who interacted with whom. Please check in before entering the sanctuary to be seated.
- Persons who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have any of the following symptoms should stay at home. Fever over 100.4, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, GI symptoms (nausea, diarrhea). Household members of someone with COVID-19 should also stay home. These folks should quarantine and not come to church for 14 days from the onset of symptoms in their loved one or themselves.
- Additional Guidelines:
- The staff, deacons, and trustees have selected the staff to be the Reentry Team. To plan and organize the reentry of the church. Each member represents a ministry in the church and Mae Thomas is a registered nurse.
- There will be helpful signs posted throughout the building. Please abide by all signage.
- There will be greeters to point people to available masks, appropriate stations, maintain distancing, and answer questions. Greeters will be masked.