19 May Reopening our Doors
Five Ways we’re Preparing to Reopen our Doors
In-person services resume May 31st, and our ministry team is hard at work preparing for our first time together in two months! We know that day will be filled with joy and excitement, but you may also be wondering what steps we’re taking to ensure the safety of our most-vulnerable members.
Here’s how we’ll be ready:
- Social Distancing – we’re planning two identical one-hour services at 9 and 10:45 to allow more space for members and guests to spread out across the worship center. We’re asking you to sit in every third pew, and we’ll mark out some spaces to show at least six feet between families and individuals. We’re also asking that you limit the use of restrooms and not gather in the lobby and common spaces before and after the service. If you want to catch up, please do so in the parking lot while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
- Masks and Hand Sanitizer – we’re strongly encouraging everyone who attends to wear a mask. We’ll have a limited quantity available, but if you have your own please plan to bring it with you. We’re also installing automatic dispensers with hand sanitizer throughout the building for your convenience.
- No ETC – in order to prevent the spread of illness among children and infants, for the first few weeks back we will not offer childcare during the service. We expect for the worship center to have a “family” feel much like you’d experience at our Christmas Eve candlelight service. If your little ones are squirmy or restless, that’s ok!
- LIVE Video Streaming – we’re aware that some of you may not feel comfortable gathering in person just yet, so we’re excited to share that you’ll be able to watch the service in real time! We’ve been able to move forward with planned upgrades to the broadcast equipment in our worship center allowing us to improve on the quality we’ve offered during the West Jackson at Home season. You can access the live stream via Facebook, YouTube or our website.
- Offering Boxes – Many of you have already been giving online or mailing your offering to the church office. We’re installing several giving receptacles in the lobby and near entrances for you to drop your offering instead of passing an offering plate.
3 Things You Can Do to be Ready:
- Pray – ask God to prepare your heart for
our first service back. Pray that the day will be free from distractions, and
that He will be glorified in our worship together. Also pray that God will
prevent an outbreak in our congregation.
- Prepare for changes – For the first weeks
back, there will be challenges and changes to “the way we’ve always done
things.” We won’t be able to cross the aisles to shake hands and hug like we
would have in the past. Your favorite seat may be taped off to allow for social
distancing. As we come back together, we’re asking for a little extra grace as
we navigate this reentry period.
- Stay home if you’re sick! – We won’t be checking temperatures at the door, so we’re relying on you to know whether you should stay home. If you have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or if you’ve had any symptoms of illness, plan to join us by watching online.
We strongly recommend that the most vulnerable of our congregation (everyone 65 years and older, people with disabilities, people with severe respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, people who are immunocompromised, and others) not gather in person until a later time.
We’re considering this “Phase 1” of our plan to reintroduce in-person gatherings and ministries, and will be releasing more information as we move forward together. We can’t wait to worship with you in person on May 31!