We’re getting Back to Church on Sunday, May 10! We encourage you to read through the guidelines we’ll be following over the next few weeks. We can’t wait to see you back soon!
Back to Church!
These guidelines are drawn from Biblical principles; discussions among the leadership of the church and with other church leaders; the Christian Law Association; the Center for Disease Control; and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
If anyone does not have peace about returning to in-person services yet, we understand. There is no pressure to attend until you are ready. We will continue to provide our online options for those who choose to remain home.
We aim to do all we can to mitigate the risk to any who attend. However, we recognize your personal responsibility and accountability in choosing to attend a public event.
Here's a video message from Pastor Rick Brooks we encourage you to watch and then continue reading below.
THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBMISSION TO ONE ANOTHER
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. – Ephesians 5:21
For genuine submission to exist it necessitates disagreement to exist. That disagreement can be resolved not by removing individual opinions, but by agreeing to unite according to a greater truth.
For the Christian, that greater truth is our faith in Jesus Christ.
A deep divide exists in society concerning COVID-19. We have all seen a variety of news reports, statistics, predictive models, and editorials. There are and there will continue to be debates and discussions as to whether this crisis is real, perceived, natural, manufactured, manipulated, or mismanaged.
We understand some will not agree with these guidelines, but we ask that out of respect and care for those who do, that you follow them.
Just as we have a responsibility to one another, we also want to consider our community and show them we care by exercising caution.
We first-and-foremost gather to worship, encourage one another, and learn from God’s Word. As we fellowship let edification to godliness be our focus and motivate all we do.
Let us not allow the divisions in our society to manifest in our congregation. As we prepare to regather as a body of believers, may we focus on what unites us – our faith. We can submit to one another and serve one another by observing some guidelines even if you do not personally feel they are necessary. As our families and communities observe our re-gathering let them see our mutual love, respect, and goal to worship God and share His Word.
WHY DID WE SUSPEND SERVICES AND WHY ARE WE ESTABLISHING THESE GUIDELINES?
1. Out of respect for authorities – as has already been stated, we understand there is much debate concerning the nature and severity of the current crisis. In the months ahead issues of civil liberties and our plans for future outbreaks will be discussed. Our opportunity for now is to demonstrate respect for the authorities that exist.
Never in our lifetimes have requests and instructions, as have recently been put out by civil authorities, been seen. We have, on this occasion, given the benefit of the doubt to the elected officials and followed, to the best of our ability, the principles in Romans 13.
2. Out of concern for one another – the worst-case scenarios presented at the outset have not unfolded. We thank God for that. Initially, the potential for great suffering and death was expected and out of an abundance of caution we suspended our services. With the information we had at the time, we felt this suspension was necessary for the safety of our church family.
3. To demonstrate due diligence – The Christian Law association has warned of the possibility of legal action if measures are not taken. To protect the church and individuals from the possibility of lawsuits these guidelines have been established.
GUIDELINES CONSIDERED BEFORE DECIDING TO RE-OPEN
- Are numbers of confirmed cases and death rates consistently declining in our community?
- Are numbers of confirmed cases and death rates consistently declining in our state?
- Does anyone in the church have personal, physical contact with a confirmed case?
- Are authorities easing restrictions on business and other gatherings?
GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER BEFORE ATTENDING
If you answer yes to any of these questions, we ask that you do not gather with the church until you are healthy.
- Do you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fever of 100.4˚F or higher in the past 2 days
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste and smell
- Have you had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or demonstrated symptoms of COVID-19?
- Are you, due to age or underlying health issues, vulnerable to COVID-19? If you are 65 or more years old or have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma or immunocompromising conditions, we encourage you to consider joining the online service or dialing in to listen over the phone, until we enter phase two.
- If you are healthy and not considered vulnerable, do you risk passing the virus on to a vulnerable person?
BEFORE WE RE-OPEN
- We will attempt to purchase the necessary quantities of supplies of hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning supplies.
- Organize cleaning crews to deep clean the entire facility prior to opening.
- Organize volunteers to supplement the current cleaning volunteers to ensure cleaning between services. If you would like to assist with any of the facility cleaning before/after services, please send us a message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can put our team of volunteers together.
INTERIM ORDER OF SERVICE AND SERVICE GUIDELINES
Interim Service Guidelines during Phase One
- Arriving for a Service - Services will be limited to under an hour as we understand the guidelines can be restrictive. As with some other precautions, we can demonstrate sympathy and compassion for other’s concerns by following these guidelines.We understand that many or even most carriers of the virus will be asymptomatic. However, as with several measures being taken it is just part of our due diligence.
- The service will begin at 11:00am and there will be no Bible studies or classes taking place beforehand. Sunday Evening and Wednesday Evening services will begin at 6:00pm.
- Doors will open 10 minutes prior to the service. We are encouraging you to use the restroom before you come to church to help limit the use of facilities inside the building. Only those who are preparing for the service should arrive earlier than 10 minutes prior to the service.
- Park leaving one space to the next car.
- Face coverings should be worn inside the building for anyone over 10 years old. Speakers and singers on the platform may remove face coverings, but will maintain 12 feet of physical distance for those not in a family group.
- Allow our appointed greeter to help you enter by opening the door for you.
- Use the hand sanitizer station immediately upon entry.
- Every other pew will be inaccessible to allow physical distancing.
- We ask that families sit together. Each family unit (or individual) should leave six feet space apart from others. One of our ushers will help you find seating appropriate for your family unit size.
- We ask that no one shakes hands, hugs, or initiates physical contact.
- Avoid using the restrooms (services will be brief), if at all possible. We will limit use of the restroom facilities to one individual at-a-time and will need to disinfect it after it has been used.
- Avoid wandering through the building and using other rooms. We will try to limit the use of the building to the auditorium and main entry/exit.
- For your safety and due to the need to sanitize after each service, we will not be using hymnals for the time being. Songs lyrics will be on the screens where the announcements, scripture readings and sermon notes are typically seen. The musical portion of the service will be limited in time to help with time during this phase one interim service schedule.
- Invitation/decision time will be given at pews instead of platform.
- Wait for rows to be dismissed incrementally at service conclusion.
- Please take your Bibles and any other items you bring home after services.
- Avoid touching doorknobs when leaving church. Use the hand sanitizer station upon exit.
- Leaving parking lot without group fellowship is encouraged.
- Church will have surfaces wiped and sanitized before next service. If you would like to assist with any of the facility cleaning before/after services, please send us a message or email us at email@example.com so we can put our team of volunteers together.
- We will not hold any children’s meetings during the services or at alternative times. Instead, all children can remain with their parents in the service. We are adjusting our order of service and service length to accommodate for this change.
- Van route will not run until after we enter phase three.
- The nursery will be open for parents of young children, but no nursery staff will be available.
A church volunteer will be available to direct parents to resources in the nursery.
- Ushers will not bring the offering plates round.
- You can leave an offering in one of the boxes mounted on the walls in the auditorium or by using our online giving options or you can mail it to 1099 N. Maple St, Searcy, AR 72143.
If you don’t have internet access to watch the service, you can call in and listen over the phone by:
• Dial 712-432-3410
• Press 2 to select our church
• Enter Church ID 23697 when prompted
You will then be connected to the service. Please note that long distance charges may apply.
We are excited about being able to resume in-person services and we are looking forward to seeing you this weekend or down-the-road as you feel comfortable returning to meet together. These are the guidelines we will follow through phase one and will begin easing the guidelines and resuming classes and other ministries as we move into Phase Two and Phase Three of the reopening.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org