It was so exciting yesterday to take our next step in regathering in-person for our worship services! Scripture calls God’s people to love our neighbors AND to regularly meet together. We are continuing to offer our online church services while simultaneously beginning to carefully offer in-person gatherings. We know some of you are ready to start worshiping together now and others of you feel that you and your family still need to worship from home. BOTH ARE OK.
We are using the month of June as a “learning phase.” Specifically, we desire to find an excellent balance of the experiences for both the online and in-person gatherings. Our starting point in this process is our current phase of limited on-site participation and greater caution.
To help our staff, volunteers, and attendees learn these new routines, we are intending for 100 worshippers to gather at both our 9:00am and 11:00am services during the month of June. I invite you today to RSVP to attend a service in-person at the link below.
- RSVPs will be first come, first serve and will allow you to see in advance whether there will be space available. This information will also allow us to contact those who attend should a health concern arise.
- Families with children are welcome to attend but please know child services (i.e., nursery and children’s church) will not be provided until later in our regathering process. We also ask parents to closely watch their children so that our desire to maintain social distancing is best maintained.
- Personal information and attendance records collected in this process will not be shared outside of the church. Use of the online RSVP will also allow us to communicate with on-site attendees the conditions of their participation.
- We anticipate that there will also be those who come to worship without RSVPs. We will seek to accommodate a limited number of these within the capacity of our facility to maintain social distancing guidelines.
For our in-person gatherings we intend to follow, in spirit, the COVID guidelines provided by St. Croix County and the CDC. Here’s what this will look like for now inside the building:
- If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, we request you not attend until your symptoms have passed. Symptoms may include:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Gastro-intestinal upset
- Loss of taste or smell
- Other general symptoms associated with COVID-19
- Maintain physical distancing:
- Spacing of at least 6 feet from those outside their immediate family while circulating and seated in the building.
- We are also recommending that all of our in-person attendees strongly consider wearing a mask, especially during singing. The predominant transmission mode of the COVID virus is via air borne particulates. Speaking and singing will be the two activities, in addition to coughing and sneezing, that will most likely propel a potential virus toward others. In the spirit of Romans 14 and out of love and the desire for the safety of our neighbors, we ask for your help and understanding in this matter. If you are able, please bring your own mask. We will make masks available at the building entrance for those who don’t bring their own.
- Maintain personal hygiene: We will provide hand sanitizer and encourage people to use it as they enter and exit the building.
- Cleaning common touch points before and during services will be done as an extra measure of sanitation.
- We will refrain from shaking hands or engaging in physical contact.
- Boxes will be provided at the back of the sanctuary for receiving tithes and offerings.
- We will not conduct communion in service during this period.
- Worship folders/bulletins will be online only (no print materials).
- Pew bibles will not be available.
- Coffee and donuts will not be available.
While we believe these measures will reduce the possibility of infection for those who attend services in person, we cannot eliminate that risk entirely. As a result, we need you to resolve for yourself whether participating in on-site worship is the best approach for you. The safest alternative, especially for those who are vulnerable or immune-compromised will continue to be worshipping with us online.
Through all of this, God is sovereign and our mission remains the same: we want to help people meet, know and follow Jesus. Thank you for your patience and grace. We will continue to keep you updated throughout the month. As we move into July, we hope to expand our in-person worship gatherings.