Click this icon to download a pdf of the guidance.
Re-Opening Lathrop’s First Christian Church
WHEN? Sunday June 7th at 10am.
WHAT HAS THE CHURCH DONE TO PREPARE?
The Church Board has been wrestling with what a Church Service looks like in the current environment for a while. The Church Board recently appointed a small committee to help with that question. Gary Martin (Chairperson of the Board), Judy Canaday (Vice-Chairperson of the Board), Dave Ezell (Chairperson of the Elders), and Scott Archdekin (Pastor) were appointed to lay out a path forward.
WHAT HAS THE COMMITTEE DONE TO PREPARE?
Just this past Tuesday Gary Martin and Pastor Scott Archdekin attended a Virtual Conference, hosted by the Disciples of Christ, on the topic of re-opening the church for worship service. The conference was valuable in that it gave several things to think about and ensure was addressed prior to the first in-person service.
The committee met on 5/27/2020 to lay out the guidelines for our in-person worship service. Before we get into those guidelines set by the committee, it is important to mention a few acknowledgements the committee understood going into this meeting.
The committee cannot guarantee that even with the strictest procedures that someone will not contract Covid-19 (Coronavirus) from a service at the Church.
Each individual and each family has a responsibility to evaluate their own health, their own risk factors, and their own comfort level to determine if coming to in-person services is a good fit for them at this time.We will begin Live-Streaming on June 7th, so even if you choose not to attend, you can still take part in the service.
Some people will feel these procedures are “too much” and others will feel they are “not enough,” and again, each individual must make a determination on their own if they will attend.
The committee wants guidelines that are reasonable and that allow the most people to worship with us in-person.
With those acknowledgements made, here is what the committee has chosen to implement, starting June 7th and going until the committee or Church Board alters the guidelines.
GUIDELINES FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES STARTING JUNE 7th
If you or anyone in your family feels sick in any way or if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to an individual with Covid-19, please stay home and join us for our Live-Stream service.
The only door of entry to be used is the West Entrance (large green awning).The North and South doors will be opened for exiting, if you choose to use them.
Nursery and Sunday School: There will be no nursery services or Sunday Schools at this time.
Face Coverings: All individuals will be required to wear a face covering as they enter the building and will keep it on during their entire stay in the building. If you do not have a mask, the church has purchased some that will be given at no cost.
Shaking hands and hugging is strongly discouraged, as well as congregating in the foyer/gathering area.This includes both before and after service.
A door-greeter/usher will show you where to pick up your individual communion to bring with you into the sanctuary until communion time. Also, it is perfectly acceptable if you choose to not partake or if you choose to bring your own elements from home.
Offering plates will be stationed in different areas of the church that you may give your offering at any time (before or after service), but the offering plate will not be passed during the service.
Individuals will be guided into the Sanctuary where certain sections of pews have been blocked off to help with social distancing. We will fill the pews (with social distancing in mind) starting with the “far-side” or the East side of the sanctuary. If the sanctuary fills up with socially distanced individuals and families, we have over-flow seating available where the service will be shown on the TVs in the Fellowship Hall and Sater Hall.
Prayer & Announcements: All prayer requests (praises and concerns) as well as announcements need to be to Pastor Scott prior to service (preferably by Saturday evening). That time will not be opened up to the congregation. All are invited to say the Lord’s Prayer, though we will be asking that the congregation not sing the Gloria Patri afterwards.
There will be no congregational singing at this time. That includes both during the contemporary and the traditional parts of the service. All are invited to say the Lord’s Prayer. Those that have been participating in singing during the Virtual Worship will continue to do in the Praise Band area. Those individuals will be wearing a face covering, whether that is a face-shield or mask.
Pastor Scott will be wearing a face-shield throughout the service. Also, during the service Pastor Scott will be taking a picture of both seating areas of the sanctuary. This will help in contact tracing if someone does find out after the service they have contracted Covid-19.
With those guidelines set out, if you feel comfortable coming to service on June 7th, we encourage you to do so. If you do not feel comfortable, we certainly understand and we encourage you to stay home and join us online.
In Christian Love,
Gary Martin Judy Canaday Dave Ezell Scott Archdekin