Regathering Plan for Corporate Worship

We're Coming Back Together

We have all been challenged in many ways these past couple of months.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused all of us to change the way we do things – work, live, shop, entertain, even worship. Some have faced hardships with the cutback of income, and others have struggled with health.  But hopefully these trials have not diminished our trust in and love for the great God that we serve.  In fact, that faith and trust has hopefully been strengthened despite, or maybe because of, the tribulations we’ve all had to endure.

The “curve” has been changing lately, however.  The declining status of the pandemic has prompted the government to allow businesses and churches to start opening up, with limitations.  Your church leadership team has read the Governor’s guidelines, listened to advice from the medical community, looked at the case numbers, researched what other churches were doing, and prayed for wisdom. We have also sought out the wishes of the church body, to gain an idea of the attitude toward a re-opening.  With quite a broad spectrum of responses (30+ people from seven different decades, and varying health conditions), we feel we have what we need to put together a plan to reopen.

What came through loud and clear from the surveys is that our people want to start meeting.  Thus, our first face-to-face worship service of the summer will be Sunday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m.  Yes, this is Father’s Day, and our focus will be on our great Heavenly Father.  Right now, this service will be outdoors, weather permitting.  We believe that we can better follow the social distancing guidelines that are still in place and that we are asked to abide by.  If there is inclement weather, we will move the service indoors.  We will also continue to provide an online sermon for those who cannot, or choose not to, attend on any given Sunday.

The following guidelines will outline the processes that we will adhere to as we take the next steps to reopening the church for worship.  In our zeal to begin again, we ask that you consider others and their concerns and fears as we start to meet.  One thing that the survey and discussions have revealed for certain – we have very differing views on how best to move forward in these chaotic times.  But let’s do so with love, patience and tolerance.  And with our eyes focused above!

General Guidelines:
  1. We’d ask that everyone do a self-assessment prior to coming to church.  If you have a fever or are not feeling well, please respect others by not coming to the service that morning.

  2. Vulnerable individuals (over 70 and/or underlying health conditions) may want to stay home.

  3. Please wash hands and use hand sanitizer, which we will make available at the church.

  4. We will practice social distancing as best we can (stay six feet apart) while entering, worshiping, and exiting the church building.

  5. Face masks are encouraged, but not mandatory during worship, either indoors or outdoors, with the following exception – while singing indoors, we will require attendees to wear masks.  (This was identified on the survey as the one area that we really need to consider our fellow church member and submit our own personal preference.)  Feel free to bring your own mask, or we will have some there.

  6. The coffee pot has been removed; no foods will be prepared or shared before/after the service.

  7. Restrooms will be available for use as normal.  The nursery will not be available.

  8. There will be no adult or children’s Sunday School, or children’s church at this time.

  9. If you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of a service, please immediately notify Lance or one of the Elders.

Pre-Service:
  1. Greeters will not shake hands (don’t be offended).  Bulletins will be made available.

  2. We will plan to meet outside for the time being, typically on the east (parsonage) side of the building.  Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.  

  3. If the weather is unfit for meeting outside, we will move the service inside – following proper social distancing guidelines and capacity limits that are allowable at the time of the service.  

  4. Immediate family members that live together and/or drove together are asked to sit together.

  5. We will have communion kits for each person to pick up before entering the service.

During the Service:
  1. The service may vary, depending on whether inside or out – but likely be shorter than normal.

  2. Singing - you can sing outside unmasked if you choose, but any corporate singing inside, with the exception of those currently on the stage, will require masks.

  3. We will not pass offering plates during the service.  Offering plates will be located outside the sanctuary and/or near the front door.  Or you may choose to mail your offerings to the church.

Exiting:
  1. After the service, we will exit one row at a time starting in back and moving towards the front to avoid congestion in the aisles.

  2. Please vacate the building as soon as possible after the service, with visiting occurring outside.

Cleaning:
  1. Every week the worship space will be cleaned and disinfected.  This will typically include anything that is touched, such as bathrooms, door handles, pews, chairs, light switches, etc.

©2018 BY PLEASANT GROVE CHURCH OF CHRIST