June 19th, 2020

Update #17

We have advanced to phase two!  We can seat 250 people which is the maximum allowed in the Worship Center and in the entire facility at one sitting.  If we should go above 250 people, we are so sorry to say you will need to go back home as we will not knowingly violate the maximum capacity restriction.

Seating will be on a first come basis with the doors opening at 8:45. Please use the main worship center doors in the drive thru area.  You will be ushered to your place using six-foot social distancing throughout the time you are on the property.  The musicians will still be practicing for the service, so if you could please keep your voices down very low they would appreciate that as sound checks and volumes and some practice will still be happening.

We are asking you to please kneel where you are seated and make that your altar during prayer time.  The two wood altars have been removed as to avoid any confusion.

The following is from the Faith Liaison Team of the Governor’s office:

“As a reminder, please strongly encourage individuals over the age of 65 and those considered more vulnerable to experience severe COVID 19 symptoms to enjoy services online…Additionally, face coverings are also recommended when appropriate.”

“Encourage guests to practice good hand hygiene with frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (60-95%).”

“Encourage guests to cover coughs/sneezes with elbow or tissue.  If a guest uses a tissue, they should immediately discard the tissue in the garbage and wash their hands.”

“Encourage guests to avoid touching their face.”

“Encourage guests to use cloth, paper or disposable face coverings.”

In addition, instructions for staff are as follows:

“Assign a physical distancing monitor.”

“Do not combine parties or allow shared seating for individuals not in the same party.”

“Prohibit people in different parties from congregating in any area of the facility…”

Some people will be wearing masks while others will not be wearing masks.  We understand there will be further clarification next week on masks.  If you are uncomfortable being around people who are not wearing masks then we encourage you to do what you think is best for you and your family.

If you have an underlying health condition and or you are 65 years of age or older please know you will be exposing yourself to others who may be carrying the virus.  Please do what you think is best for you and your family.

If you are sick please stay home.

Childcare is not provided because of the six-foot rule.  We recognize this may cause some younger families to take pause in coming because of this restriction. Nor can we have multiple children playing in the lobby area as an alternative to sitting in the church service.  Please do what you think is best for you and your family.

The above guidelines in quotations are a few of the many we must go over on a regular basis to stay in compliance.  Please pray for us as a staff as we try to please everybody knowing that is impossible.  I know there are many opinions and many voices as to what we should or shouldn’t do.  I also am aware that the rules and conditions I have stated seem very unfriendly and coarse.  Please understand we are under pressure to get it right as there are some who think opening is too dangerous while others think there is absolutely no danger at all.

We will continue to live stream each week for the majority who are not able to come or cannot come because of maximum seating capacities.

Small groups meeting throughout the week and on Sundays no longer need to RSVP as we simply need to comply with the six-foot distancing rule as space permits up to 250 people at one time in our facility.

We will have a rather short congregational meeting on June 28 at 6 pm in the Worship Center.  While all are invited, only members can vote.  Capacity will be 250.  We will be voting on the annual budget and trustee officers.  That will be the extent of the meeting.  The Council of Administration is passing on to the congregational meeting a 2020-2021 budget that is a continuation of the 2019-2020 budget given the uncertainty of the obvious circumstances we are in.  We are currently meeting and exceeding budget needs so the proposed budget would remain at $160,000 monthly.  The three trustees up for re-election are Mark Askey, Steve Medley, and Jim Poore.  Three will be elected on a hand raised vote as to eliminate paper which is discouraged for potential contamination purposes from the virus.  Likewise, the proposed budget will follow in like manner.  Continuity is important not knowing future restrictions and timelines.  If this information helps with any curiosity or questions and allows you to stay home for safety reasons then I trust this has helped.  Likely, someone will ask if they can vote some other way than in person.  Not at this time.  I have structured the meeting in such a way that there should not be controversy or big decisions to make at this meeting.  My goal is to ease anxiety during this season of unusual circumstances.

More and more groups are signing up to meet on Sunday.  That is great news!  If you are not part of a class or Bible study group we encourage you to contact Jim Neifert and inquire about joining a group.

PLEASE NOTE:  This Sunday is Father’s Day.  There will be no small groups meeting on Sunday.  Enjoy time with family!

PLEASE NOTE:  Plans are subject to change as the Governor keeps moving the goal posts.

THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS!

I Thessalonians 5:18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:25…Brethren, pray for us!

Have a wonderful day!

In Christ,

Pastor Randy R. Butler