The following COVID update applies to November and December 2020. I hope you have a few minutes to watch the introductory video. In it I talk about a societal battle that is intertwined with COVID and, in my opinion, is much more significant.
Before sharing the bullet points below, allow me to give a more detailed update on our message to at-risk individuals. Our past updates and the encouragement for at-risk individuals to join us online have been understood by some as a means to marginalize and push away the seniors in our church. Please know that is absolutely not true. Our church team walked the balance between encouraging wisdom and respecting the right of each person to decide whether he/she should attend in person. We dearly love our senior community and I do not believe that it is the place of a pastor or a church to prohibit people from attending or expect them to attend. We have seen a number of our seniors choose to return to in-person gatherings, while others have chosen to remain at home. All of them are loved and highly regarded, and we are excited to be working on plans to safely gather all those who feel comfortable.
Below are some additional updates about the next two months. More obvious ongoing measures such as the availability of hand sanitizers, the cleaning of surfaces, etc. have been omitted from the list below.
- Our service times will remain as 10:00 am on Sundays and 7:00 pm on Wednesdays.
- We are providing two in-person candlelight services on Wednesday, December 23 at 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm.
- Sunday and Wednesday services will continue to be streamed live online.
- Though the nursery area will continue to be open and unstaffed for now, we are developing a safety protocol and securing the workers in order to re-open a staffed nursery before the end of the year.
- Children’s church will be offered for 3/4 year-olds and 5/6 year-olds upstairs in the pre-kindergarten hall, just as in the past. Children in the second through sixth grade will meet in the downstairs class where this group typically gathers.
- Family groups and extended families who typically gather outside of church can sit together during the service, but spacing between different groups/individuals should be maintained for safety. “Spacing” is defined as three chairs separating people in a given row and not sitting directly in front of or behind another person so that there is six feet of separation.
- For indoor services, facial covering requirements for those ages ten and up who are not leading or teaching in some capacity will remain. Those who have any condition which would warrant them not wearing a mask are exempt.
- We will ask any people who are sick or feel they may be coming down with an illness to rest, recover, and join us online.
- Smiley face stickers will be available at each entrance for those who wish to kindly convey their serious desire to stay distanced from others.
Have a terrific day!