by: Steve Fawcett
The leadership team has put together a list of items that we are following to help ensure a safe re-opening from this crisis. We are guided by both biblical and scientific principles.
The biblical principles include loving God with all our hearts. This encourages us to meet safely together for mutual encouragement, worship and discipleship. This also includes showing our love for God by demonstrating love for our neighbors and community. Also, loving our neighbors as ourselves includes then a life of sacrificial service to help promote the well-being of others around us. We must be willing to lay down any rights we think we have in order to serve and reach out to others around us in a safe and responsible way.
The scientific principles are simply the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health and from the CDC concerning faith communities. Therefore, here are the principles we are currently pursuing.
1. People can come if they are comfortable to, if not, they can continue to watch the livestream. Many of our attenders are older, thus they are encouraged to stay safe and continue to worship from their homes. However, they are free to choose what is best for them considering their current health status since each person is different.
2. If you come, feel free to wear a face mask. This is encouraged while out in public, especially if one cannot maintain a 6 foot distance from others.
3. We will have an usher open the door for people or have the door opened already so no one will have to touch the door. We will have a contact-less experience during this time, thus there will be no hand-shaking.
4. Offering plates will not be passed, but will be set in the back.
5. Communion supplies will also not be passed, but will be available in the back of the sanctuary in an all-in-one cup so they will be germ free.
6. Chairs will be spread out with at least 6 feet of distance between households. Thus we will be practicing physical distancing.
7. We will observe the Mn. government approved figure of being at less than 25% capacity.
8. Rigorous cleaning and disinfection will be done, especially of all areas that people might come into contact with.
9. Hand sanitizer will be available.
10. Common sense guidelines will be practiced such as hand-washing, physical distancing, stay home if you feel sick or coughing.
11. We will continue to livestream our service so people can continue to watch and participate in the safety of their homes.
12. We will seek to have good ventilation and fresh air.
13. We will treat everyone as if they are in a high risk group.
14. The church leaders and helpers will be taught and reminded of the above principles.
15. We will modify these guidelines as health officials give us guidance.
16. We will accept and love those who may have different convictions on some of these things than we personally might have. This is a very anxious time for many and it calls for much patience, grace, love and understanding.
17. We will continue to trust and praise the Lord throughout this very unique situation.
Remember, the buildings may be empty or nearly empty but the church is very much alive! Be safe and continue to reach out and serve those who are especially hurting during this time.