We are all anxious to gather together again soon. Our desire is to proceed with wisdom, considering the needs of our entire congregation. Resources and consideration have been given to suggestions by Christian Law Association, Family Research Council, Center for Disease Control, National Center for Life and Liberty, other churches, our insurance company, as well as National, State, and County recommendations. Our plan includes the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Our goal is to maintain a good witness to our surrounding community.
I am thankful for the recent announcement from the president that churches are considered essential. We have always believed that. The statement was not a presidential mandate and the entire announcement included his desire that local and state governments would also open our churches. That will continue to be our prayer for the churches across our nation. Our plan is to follow the Lord, keep our members safe, and try to honor our leaders (in that order). When we moved to online services in March it wasn’t because of a required government shutdown, our motivation concerned the safety of our members. We have always had a biblical command to gather (Hebrews 10:25). We have been obeying that command with online services. We also believe that we have a constitutional right to gather and worship God according to the dictates of our heart and belief. As we prepare to open our building and have services we are striving to be as safe, or safer, than any of our local building supply, grocery, or shopping centers. There are several things that will need to take place in order for that to happen, and that is where your assistance and help will come into place.
The building has been deep cleaned and sanitized, especially everything that can be touched. Sanitization practices will continue to take place between every service. Please do not attend if you have a temperature or any flu like symptoms. It would help if you checked your temperature before leaving home. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or are exhibiting any symptoms, we ask that you not physically attend a worship service until symptom free for 14 days.
As you enter the building, hand sanitizer will be available and we encourage people to use it. Social distancing protocols of six feet will be implemented. The county is currently under a mask mandate for gatherings, unless you have a health exception. Masks will not be provided, so please bring your own. We also ask for non-contact greetings. Our church greeters will remain six feet from guests. Ushers will not be holding doors open or shaking hands. Doors on south side will be locked open as people enter and exit when weather permits. Every other pew is blocked off, and we ask that households sit together. We also request that cars park in every other parking space. Please be considerate, respectful, and kind toward the concerns of others, above all let’s consider one another’s safety as we navigate these temporary policies.
At times there may be limits on how many may use the bathroom (every other stall and sink), and volunteers wearing mask will be asked to sanitize handles and monitor between services. We encourage you to use your facilities at home before coming to church to minimize on-campus use. Bulletins will not be provided. Announcements will be scrolling on PowerPoint. Bibles and songbooks will not be available in back of pew. We will not be passing an offering plate. If you prefer to give at church a box will be placed at the back of the auditorium. Online giving will remain available. Nurseries and child care will not be provided during soft opening.
If you are in a high risk category our Sunday 11:00 a.m. and Wednesday 7:00 p.m. live-stream services will continue, and we strongly encourage you to continue attending our online services. Kansas classifies high-risk individuals as those with underlying medical conditions, including, chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, severe obesity, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, or otherwise immuno-compromised.
This is our current reopening schedule:
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – Primarily for those 60 and older, or in an at risk category, (with the exception of Pastor and staff). If you feel you have a health risk we would encourage you to return only when you feel safe. Between each service we will dismiss by rows and families to maintain social distancing. We request that you exit quickly between services to allow time for sanitization and next group to enter the parking lot and building.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – Anyone can attend this service. Beginning September 13, we will be resuming kid’s classes for PreK-5th grade. The volunteers will be wearing masks, and do their best to keep the kids safe and socially distant. On this date, we will also be offering nursery services again.
Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. – Anyone can attend this service. On September 9, the teens will resume meeting in the gym. Kids Klub for PreK-5th grade will reopen on September 16, along with nursery services. The volunteers will be wearing masks, and do their best to keep the kids safe and socially distant.
This is our current live stream schedule:
Sunday worship, 11:00 a.m. – This includes congregational worship, prayer, special music, and preaching. You can watch and engage on Facebook live or YouTube live.
Wednesday Bible study p.m. – This is a live midweek Bible study.
We believe this plan provides for the safety of those who are ready to return to worship. We will continue to reevaluate and gradually phase in our other ministries as wisdom and safety allows. Your prayers are appreciated as we continue to navigate through these unusual times. Some things will have to be adjusted as we move forward, but sanitization, safety and social distancing protocols will continue to be maintained as needed.. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
Love you all,