If you are wondering what it will look like when we eventually get back together to worship, great news, you aren’t alone.
Taking into consideration the recommendation of the health care community at the National, State, and local levels, the elders, church leaders, and a special reopening the church committee have prayerfully considered when and how we as a church family should gather together again for worship and other church activities. We are currently looking to be on track for opening to in person services on June 28, 2020.
Please know that Governor Wolf has always had churches listed under essential services (https://dced.pa.gov/resources/). However, the leaders have found [as most churches have] that the prudent thing was to turn to online meetings. The hope is that when we return, we can do it as smoothly as possible. Please know that if you are not comfortable returning to church in person just yet, that we understand and support you in that. Some of the strategies and plans our team has discussed are as follows:
ALL vulnerable individuals are strongly recommended to continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that they could carry the virus back home, should take precautions, and may need to continue to shelter in place as well.
We will continue to live stream our services on Facebook and YouTube going forward. Though it is not the same as being together, we have seen how effective this ministry has been, and we want to continue to make it available and a viable option for those who choose to worship at home. Ultimately, the hope is that we can all join back in person when it is safe and honor the Lord together. As is discussed in Hebrews 10:25 [ESV] “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Please know that it is always best practice to ask before touching anyone; i.e., “May I give you a handshake?” “Do you mind if I give you a hug?” Keep in mind Romans 14:13-15 “13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.”
We know that getting back together after such a long break will bring a rush of emotions and a tendency to want to shake hands, hug, etc. We would ask that you refrain from doing so until you know that the other person is okay with such actions. Please know that it is not good practice to just assume.
Initially, there will still be no children’s services. Our next generations are important to us, but we do not want to rush into situations that could present heightened risk for our children and their families.
There will be a garbage bag placed over the drinking fountain so that no little mouths are tempted to get close to that communal spout.
We will be working to live stream the services into the side rooms in an attempt to provide a space in which families can gather with their young children and not miss the message being presented.
We will avoid offering communal coffee as we have had oftentimes in the past and hope that this limits the passing of germs in this unprecedented time.
There will be a “deep cleaning” before we open the church back up and routine cleaning throughout the church will take place, which is in line with best practices, as long as they must continue.
The bathroom will be supplied with Clorox wipes and an “in use” sign that will limit the occupancy to one at a time. The Clorox wipes and gloves will be supplied to assist in maintaining sanitary measures without having to have an assigned “bathroom detail” guy or girl.
Masks and face-coverings will be optional. This decision was not lightly made; however, with proper social distancing any benefits may be negated [see the CDC link below]. Please extend kindness, love, and understanding to your brother or sister regardless of their stance on this topic. Remember, above all, we stand united in our belief and commitment to Christ Jesus and the gospel. Please do not become a stumbling block to one another (Romans 14:13).
In regard to touching, we will be strategically placing hand sanitizers throughout the church for you to use.
The sanctuary will be set up so that each family can appropriately socially distance themselves, and this may be a shocking or strange sight; but please know we want to maintain everyone’s best interest. Again, if families wish to sit by other families it is not best practice to assume. Please make sure you have had appropriate conversations with all involved before breaking social distancing seating.
Most importantly know that the next few months will be challenging, and we will certainly be operating in uncharted water. We will continue to adjust as needed according to the most recent local and federal recommendations and are here to listen to any concerns, questions, or comments you may have.
Isaiah 41:10 tells Israel [us] to not fear but trust in the Lord and, in this case, we trust that He will strengthen us and guide us through.
In His Love,
CCF’s Elders, Leaders, and the Reopening Committee
***If you have any questions, please contact Matt and Ric at—email@example.com
DISCLAIMER: By entering our church, you agree that CCF is not liable for any adverse effects that may occur while visiting. This includes contracting any illness in addition to COVID-19.