Hello Church Family,
It’s time to resume church services in our facility! Since this email is long, for those who only want the bullet points, they are listed first, although I think it would be good for you to read the entire email.
- First in-person service at our facility is this Sunday, May 10th.
- There will be NO children’s ministry, classes, or nursery provided.
- Social distancing will be observed.
- Masks are recommended.
- At risk individuals should remain home.
- An online service will be offered for those remaining at home.
Here are all the details:
The State of Indiana is allowing churches to begin conducting services. This Sunday, we will have our first in-person service since the quarantine. We are working with suggestions from our District office, the governor’s office, and the CDC in getting the facility ready for services.
Here is what you can expect when you arrive on Sunday. Social distancing needs to be practiced in all areas of the church. Many pews in the sanctuary will be marked off to accomplish social distancing. Families may sit together, but six feet must be between you and persons not a part of your immediate family. If the main floor fills, the balcony will be open.
Masks are recommended by the governor. We will not require individuals to wear masks to attend our services. Please use your own wisdom about your need for a mask. Masks will not be worn on the platform by the singers and speakers.
There will be no shaking of hands or hugging during this phase, sorry huggers. Please do not linger in the lobby before or after the service. If you are in an at-risk category – over 65, other health issues – the state recommends that you not attend church in person. We are, however, leaving it up to each person and family to decide if they should attend church in our facility.
There will be no children’s ministry or nursery on Sunday mornings during this phase of reopening. Families will sit together in the sanctuary. Children’s ministry will resume after we move into stage four of the reopening of our state. This is scheduled to happen in June, but dates can change if deemed necessary by the governing officials.
We will continue to offer on-line services for those who are at home. The online service will look like what is currently available and both the online and in-person service will have the same message. Eventually, our plan is to stream the service “live” from our facility.
To record, and later livestream our services, we have installed new cameras in the sanctuary. A few of you may discover that your usual seat has been replaced by one of these cameras. We are sorry for this, but I know you are great people who desire to see as many as possible reached for the gospel, so I’m sure you will easily adjust.
Over the past few weeks, Martha Kennedy, our facility custodian, has deep cleaned our building. We will be working to keep high touch areas sanitized. Hand sanitizer stations have been added in the lobby. Martha looked high and low to find hand sanitizers for the lobby, and was successful. Martha deserves a shout out for all she has done to get us ready!
Our greeters and ushers will be there to serve you, but they will be wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. There will be no coffee or other drinks available. The water fountains will be turned off. Some sinks in the restroom will be taped off to encourage social distancing. Changes are being made in how offerings and communion are received.
We are so excited to see all of you in person, but we also need to be wise. Please feel free to stay home and continue to watch church online if you have any concerns about being in a group in public.
Services and children’s programs on Wednesday nights will not resume until sometime in the fall.
I am very grateful that our State is allowing churches to meet. We are attempting to honor and respect the guidelines of our state officials. I am appreciative that they have considered churches essential and have lifted the restrictions of meeting together. They could have kept us at group sizes of 25 or less, but are allowing us to meeting in larger sizes if we practice these procedures.
Over the past eight weeks, the staff and some key volunteers in the music and tech area have worked exceptionally hard to bring online church into your home. A shout out is especially appropriate to Pastor Evan, Mr. Jack, and Nathaniel Diener.
I know this is a lot of material to take in. If you have read to the end, thank you! Please be aware that at any time reopening guidelines may be changed and we may be required to suspend in-person services or adjust timelines as to when children’s ministry will resume. I will do my best to communicate as quickly and clearly as I can to you all.
Pray for the staff and volunteers. A lot is necessary to be ready for this Sunday, but we didn’t want to wait. See you all Sunday.