May 31, 2020
Dear Family of Faith Member:
We are extremely pleased to announce that your Re-Launch Team has selected a date for our re-opening the church for worship services. The date that they have selected is next Sunday, June 7th. You will notice, however, that some things will be done differently from the way we did certain things before the pandemic. This letter is to give you a glimpse into some of those things will be different in the interest of keep us all safe. The following is a list of our guidelines for our re-opening. Please read them carefully, as the safety of all is at stake.
Masks: We are asking each person to B.Y.O.M. (bring your own mask), and wear it for the duration of the time you are in the building. If you don’t have a mask, we will have a few available for your use. We know it’s hard to sing in a mask, but I don’t believe God cares much about how good it sounds, it’s what’s at the heart of it that counts. And the only alternative would be for us not to sing at all.
Seating: We are asking you to keep a minimum of 6 ft. from anyone who is not a member of your household. This may mean that you will need to find a new location in our Sanctuary. We will have someone on hand to assist you if you are having trouble finding a suitable seat.
At the Door: We will be using the main Sanctuary door at the front of the building only, all other entrances will remain locked. Once inside, you will be greeted by someone who will assist you with whatever you may need, and take your temperature. Note that there will be no bulletins, no hymnals, no pew Bibles, or offering envelopes, as we are trying to limit surfaces that might be touched by multiple people to limit chances of becoming infected.
The Building: Know that when you arrive the only areas of the building that will be open are the Sanctuary, and the Restroom areas. Fellowship Hall, Sunday School rooms, Choir Room, Nursery, and all upstairs will be closed. And there will be no food or drink of any kind. We anticipate re-opening these rooms (probably one-at-a-time) before too many Sundays from now. Be aware that the open areas of our building will have had all surfaces disinfected before you arrive for your protection.
Communion: Since June 7th will be Communion Sunday, we WILL be receiving Holy Communion, but in a slightly different way. We will be using individually pre-packaged wafers & juice for touchless service, and you will be asked to keep a safe distance from others while receiving communion.
Offering Time: We will be taking tithes and offerings as well, but also not in the normal way. We will have an offering plate set up in the Sanctuary and we will ask one person from each family to come and place the family’s offering in the plate, while maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. You can still use our online giving tool for your convenience.
Social Interactions: We expect that we will all respect and value one another in some new ways. We know that everyone will be excited to see one another, as it’s been a long time since we gathered for worship, and that’s a good thing. So the challenge will be in keeping the safe social distance of 6ft. from people who aren’t in our own household – particularly before and after worship. Please be careful. Also: Once upon a time we thought of handshaking, High-Fives, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and hugs as signs of respect and brotherly love. Now, in light of the pandemic, it seems the exact opposite is true. Now NOT doing those things shows respect and love for one another. So we are asking that there be NO TOUCHING of any kind between congregants.
We understand that these guidelines might seem to infringe somewhat on our freedoms, but we also understand that a BIG part of loving one another the way Jesus commanded us to do is caring for one another enough to want to provide for the safety of others.
We also understand that there may be those of us who are in the high-risk category, who might not feel ready just yet to gather with us for fear of becoming infected – we get that. If that describes you, know that you can still be with us in spirit by staying at home and watching us on Facebook Live or on our website, as we will still be broadcasting our live services.
We pray that you all are well, and we all are excited at the possibility of our sharing our worship experience in-person and “all together in one place”. Please consider coming to worship with us.
If you have questions or comments you can call or text Pastor Rich at 918-759-7859. Thank you.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Rich & Your Re-Launch Team