Dear church family,
It has been 6 weeks of not meeting together, and I know we have all missed one another. As the world around us has faced fear and anxiety, we have trusted in the all sovereign God of the universe.
While our current world situation is not comfortable for us, it is what most Christians have had to deal with in church history. Christ's church has always seen plagues, pestilence, and outbreaks as a time to shine the light of the gospel and love our neighbors as ourselves.
The good news is that our government leaders think the peak has arrived in most areas and thus have taken steps to reopen the economy. Governor Abbott has said that churches can increase occupancy again and has published recommendations to do so. He also stated that his stay-at-home order would expire on April 30. The Liberty Counsel (a non-profit legal firm helping churches) has even declared this Sunday ReOpen Church weekend (see more here: https://lc.org/reopenchurch).
Therefore as your elders, we think that we can meet safely for our worship service starting May 3 with the following modifications.
- Doors will be propped open or held open by ushers to prevent the need for congregants to touch doors while entering and exiting the church or sanctuary, weather permitting.
- We have separated each row of chairs to be 5-6 feet apart.
- Hand sanitizer is provided at the front door, in the back of our worship room, and outside the nursery door.
- Nursery workers will keep the nursery sanitized and seek to minimize cross-contamination. Current nursery use is normally only a few families.
- Our facilities, including the nursery and restrooms, will have extra disinfecting/deep cleaning (both before and after each use of our buildings/facilities).
- Offering plates will not be passed; instead, we will have our usual offering box on the wall in the back, one deacon with an offering plate at the door on exit, and of course our online giving.
- The distribution of the Lord's Supper will be modified as follows: no plates will be passed. Elders and deacons will walk down the wide rows and with gloved hands distribute the elements to each person. Please hold your hand out for each element, and please do not attempt to hold the plates.
What we need you to do:
- We ask you to put two seats between you/your family and others. The exception would be unless you road in the same vehicle with the person to church, in which case the two seat requirement is not needed.
- We encourage if you are in the at-risk group to consider staying home and watching the livestream of our worship service. The CDC defines those who are at-risk as "those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system."
- Please stay home if you or anyone in your immediate family have had any of the symptoms associated with coronavirus: cough, fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, as this is the most effective way to prevent getting sick.
- Use hand sanitizers.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes (and wash your hands again, as appropriate). Please do not come if you are regularly coughing or sneezing.
- Refrain from putting your hands in your mouth, and do your best to keep your children from doing the same (trust me, I know how difficult the latter is).
- Please refrain from hand shakes, hugs, and side hugs for the next few weeks at church.
- Face covering are NOT required (per Kendall County and state authorities), but you may wear face coverings and/or gloves if you choose.
- If you or one of your children have had any contact with known COVID-19 confirmed cases in the past 2-3 weeks, you should self-quarantine for the period recommended by the CDC.
What about other activities?
All Equipping and Sunday School classes, and home groups will likely restart later in May. Most of these meetings included a large number of people packed into a tight space, therefore we think it wise to hold off a bit longer for these. We will decide on meeting in person for the Men's and Women's Bible starting next week (May 6) since these are small groups, usually around 10-12 people. Even if we meet in person for the last two weeks of the study, we'll have a Zoom meeting going for anyone who wants to participate from home.
If you the least bit concerned about meeting right now you have our blessing you continue watching the livestream on Youtube at home until you feel it is safe for you to attend. We understand and do not want to bind your conscience on this issue. If you are not attending this Sunday though, we would like you to let us know just so we can get an idea about the number of people coming.
We know that our God is good, and that He causes all things to work together for those who are His (Romans 8:28). Let’s pray to the Lord; trust Him; and hope in Him as we take appropriate measures in the time of this virus.
On behalf of the elders,