Our team has been working through the process of reopening our campus. We have waited to distribute a plan to our church family because we wanted to make sure that any restart plan would be done in an orderly and safe fashion and that it would conform to the social distancing and restart protocols required and recommended by our civic leaders. As much as we would like to “flip the switch” and turn everything back on, we would rather move cautiously and orderly for two reasons.
1) We believe that the principle of order mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14:40 extends beyond the Christian worship experience. When Paul wrote, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” he was reminding us that the perception of the world towards the church (whether in worship or in the way we interact with culture) affects our ability to fulfill the Great Commission.
2) We believe that the principle of loving our neighbor mentioned by Jesus throughout the gospels includes being aware of and respecting their fears. As we discussed earlier in the year during our Neighborhood Watch series, Jesus taught that being a neighbor often means putting aside our own comfort and freedom for the good of others.
We have decided to approach our restart in phases using similar guidelines to the ones that our civic leaders are applying to the community as a whole. We will enter Phase 1 of our restart on the first weekend of June (June 6-7). Even as we begin to open up for in-person meetings, we will continue to provide a livestream on Facebook, YouTube, and our website. If you are not yet comfortable with gathering in public places and prefer for now to remain at home, we understand completely and encourage you to continue to take advantage of our online presence.
The first phase will focus on bringing people back to the campus for a corporate worship experience. We will maintain strict social distancing protocols during this first phase filling our worship space to 50% capacity and maintaining six feet of separation between families. Because of limited capacity, we will have two worship services during Phase 1. Those worship services will take place on Saturday night at 5pm and Sunday morning at 10:30am. The Saturday evening service will be a family worship experience planned with full knowledge that entire families will be worshiping together. The Sunday morning worship experience will be our blended worship time. Separating the service times between Saturday evening and Sunday morning will give us extra time to clean and disinfect between services.
We have attached our four-phase plan so that you will know the expectations for social distancing when you come onto the campus. A few of the changes, at least for now, include no distribution of paper bulletins, and offering drop-off boxes. We have provided guidelines for phases 2. 3. and 4 to give you an idea of how we plan to add additional programming activities in the future. There are no dates assigned to these next phases, and the details are subject to change based on Covid-19 future metrics.
Thank you for praying with us through this process. If you have any questions, please contact us by calling the church office or responding to this email. We appreciate your patience as we seek to honor the Lord and respect our neighbors in everything we do. We look forward to seeing you on campus when you feel the time is right for you and your family. In the meantime, stay safe and stay connected.