Reopening Information Document No. 1
We shall begin in-person worship service on August 8, 2021. This decision is the result of several meetings with deacons and ministry heads. There was much collaboration and analysis about the pros and cons and unintended consequences of all phases of the implementation of this decision. Sunday School and the Bible Classes will remain virtual until further notice is given. Sunday School time will not change. The worship service will begin at 11:00 a.m. to allow worshippers sufficient time to travel to the church campus after Sunday School which ends at 10:00 a.m. This will be the only in-person service or meeting on Sunday.
We will re-open the church building in incremental phases as science, faith, and reason dictate. Please remember faith and reason do not contradict each other; they complement each other.
Order of Service
With a few exceptions during the very first meeting, the order of service will continue as we have done during the pandemic.
1. Access to the building for worshippers will begin at 10:30 a.m. Of course, earlier access will be granted to those with “designated assigned duties” to allow adequate preparation time.
2. Masks will be required of all who enter the church building. Masks will be provided for anyone who does not have one. Please comply.
3. Temperatures will be checked upon entry. Please do not get offended.
4. Entry will be limited to the covered doors under the porticos.
5. All doors may be used to exit.
6. All attendees who have “active designated roles” will have to show valid proof of vaccination. This includes, but not limited to, those who serve on the platform, who pray public prayers, read Scripture, preach, sing on the platform, play musical instruments, usher, serve as greeters, serve on the nurse’s guild, work sound systems, work cameras, and serve in the control room.
Seating arrangements will observe social distancing. There will be a vacant pew in front of and behind each occupied pew. There is one exception to social distancing: family members living in the same household may sit together and may respectfully disregard social distancing protocol.
Youth church is suspended during the initial regathering phase. The children and youth may sit with their parents and other adult family members who live in the same household. This will be a great time for the entire family to worship together in the sanctuary.
Music initially will be provided by the praise team and the instrumentalists. Choirs will come back at a later time, when conditions are feasible and safe for rehearsal in the practice rooms and for seating in the choir stand.
There will be no printed bulletins.
Much of the information that was previously included in the printed bulletin is already on the website. The worship guide, which will include the order of service and the Scripture, and the sermon outline will be uploaded to the website no later than the Saturday before the service. QR codes will be used when advantageous.
The cameras will only capture the images of the individuals on the platform. Thus, only the individuals on the platform will be projected on the screens or streamed on the internet.
Tithe and Offering
Please continue to pay your tithe and offering as you have done during the pandemic.
The water fountains will not be operational. Obviously, this is for safety reasons.
The rest rooms will be fully operational and will have additional hygienic and disinfectant supplies and dispensers.
Book Store/Media Inspiration
The book store will not have in-person transactions before or after the service until further notice. Online transactions will continue.
The nursery will not be open until further notice.
Details concerning communion will be provided at a later date.
We are asking worshippers to please refrain from direct physical contact with individuals from a different household. This, of course, includes handshakes, hugs, and holy kisses. This will be a challenge because we have not had in-person service for more than a year. Please remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Last but certainly not least, let me thank each of you for your perseverance, endurance, faithfulness, and lovingkindness during these unprecedented times. You put your faith into action so many times. When the need arose, each of you stepped up to the occasion just like the Good Samaritan. You watched, worked, worshipped, and prayed. I am prayerfully proud to be your pastor. You are truly the greatest church in the universe!