Re-Opening Plan and Instructions

In-Person Services Return on Sunday, June 28

Here is everything you need to know (maybe not everything, but everything we are prepared for so far):

  • Service time remains 10:30am; Online Service will continue to stream live from the church each week; You can also listen to our short-wave radio station 87.9 FM from your car in our parking lot.
  • New guests will be asked to fill out a contact information card in case it is necessary to communicate about virus exposure; attendance will be recorded as usual.
  • Please stay informed with our weekly email communications. The weekly bulletin will continue to be sent out electronically on Sunday mornings. The prayer list is sent out on Wednesdays. A limited number of printed copies will be available for guests and those without email.
  • Weekly offering will be collected without passing the plate – there will be a basket at the back of the sanctuary for dropping off your offering before, after, or during a designated time in the service. Envelopes are available for use; church addressed envelopes are also available for mail-in offering.
  • Monthly communion will be distributed without passing the trays – the communion elements are professionally prepackaged for minimal handling.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at various locations throughout the building.
  • Compliance with the state executive order for face coverings and social distancing will be honored.
  • No coffee/tea will be available for a period of time (feel free to bring your own covered morning beverage)
  • Sanctuary seating will be adjusted for necessary space; we ask for families to sit together as family units to accommodate the distancing requirements.
  • Overflow seating is available in the foyer for those who prefer greater distancing.
  • Children’s classes are not being offered for a period of time; please make it a positive experience for your children to join in the corporate worship setting (lesson worksheets will be available each week to engage them if necessary).

Please be patient with your church leadership – this is all new. We desire to do what is best for our church and yet recognize there are many ways to accomplish that. We respect the individual need to make personal decisions based on personal circumstances; we also respect the call to corporately support the mission and vision of the Gospel (which does not change, even in times like these).

Here is a good article to peruse that reminds each of us of the call to love one another and fight for unity as we all navigate unknown territory: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/covid-when-pastors-parishioners-disagree-churches-reopen.html. We do not operate from a position of fear, but we do operate from a position of respect and honor for both the varied needs (and vulnerabilities) of our congregation and God’s charge to Be the Church.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

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Here are some of the re-opening survey results (31 responded) which are guiding our decision-making:

When our local/state government lifts its restrictions against church gatherings, which of the following would you prefer for our church?

  • Immediately resume in-person worship services at our church: 8
  • Continue online services for a few more weeks before resuming in-person worship services: 19
  • Not sure: 4
When our local/state government lifts its restrictions against church gatherings,, which best describes your attitude toward returning to a worship service at Grace?
  • I will be back as soon as we gather again: 7
  • I will return at first but with some precautions and concerns: 10
  • I will wait a few weeks before I return: 11
  • Not sure: 3
In addition to our local/state government lifting its restrictions against church gatherings, are there other signals you would want to see before you return to attend a worship service at Grace (select all that apply)?
  • Local businesses are open again: 13
  • Local restaurant settings are open again: 9
  • Schools are open again: 2
  • The number of cases has reduced significantly: 16
  • Most social distancing recommendations have been lifted: 6
What precautions, if any, do you plan to take when you return to a worship service (elect all that apply)?
  • I will avoid shaking hands/physical contact: 25
  • I will b ring hand sanitizer: 14
  • I will stand & sit in places where I will be at least 6 feet from others (beyond my own family): 25
  • I will wear a face mask: 21
What precautions, if any, do you expect our church to take for worship gatherings (elect all that apply)?
  • Discourage hand shaking hugs, and other physical contact: 24
  • Encourage social distancing in small group seating: 24
  • Limit handouts of any kind (ie. bulletin, connection card, etc.): 16
  • Prop doors open so people do not have to touch handles: 19
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations: 19
  • Use a new method for collecting tithes and offerings: 13
  • Use a new method for distributing communion: 18
  • None of these: 2