COVID Procedure update+ Alternative Worship Spaces
Dear Church Family,
Yesterday, I sent out an email outlining additional guidelines and procedures we were implementing at Community Church starting this Sunday. The things described in that email and letter were to help us increase our ability to serve our diverse congregational needs as it relates to COVID. It seems some of the verbiage I used did not communicate the heart of WHY we decided to add these new steps and may have miscommunicated a more militant approach instead of our intended GRACE approach. Please forgive me. Included below is an attempt to reflect a different tone and address some of the questions I received via email. These guidelines apply to Sunday and Wednesday large-group gatherings.
As I noted in my previous email, we have already reduced touch-points as you enter and use the buildings and restrooms. Every week, ALL knobs, handles, and surfaces continue to be disinfected regularly. We will also continue to provide hand sanitizer dispensers in every classroom and easily accessible and visible stations with sanitizer and masks as you enter the gathering spaces. Plus, we continue to stream our Sunday services at www.CommunityChurch.tv/LIVE, broadcast a Children's Ministry lesson, and host some Community Groups two-way via the internet. Please ask us if you need help connecting.
We have implemented the following additional guidelines for Host Team (door greeters, ushers, etc.), Worship Team, and Children's Ministry leaders and volunteers. These guidelines will apply to Sunday and Wednesday large group gatherings.
- We ask every staff and volunteer to self evaluate themselves to ensure they are not ill nor running a temperature. We will have touchless temperature devices at specific locations within the church for anyone who wants to self check their temperature. We will not require nor log individual temperatures.
- We will ask parents to confirm they have self-checked their child and have determined they are not ill nor running a temperature. A touchless temperature device will be available for parental to use.
- We plan to check the temperature of children not being checked in by their parents. We will not require nor log individual temperatures.
- Individuals serving will have the option to put a small dot on the corner of their name tag. This sticker lets others know they have checked themselves and are not ill nor running a fever. (The use of the green or colored dot is optional)
- The idea of checking temperatures came from what my gym and doctor's office employ. However, after looking through different lenses, we have modified our plans. We ask for your cooperation in this area of temperatures as it can be an indicator of illness.
- We will allow anyone to attend without us personally testing their temperature.
In the Main Worship Center, we have done two things:
- We have marked the back of the pews on three rows next to the cross, designating them as "mask only" seating. We as that everyone sitting on these rows wear a mask throughout the worship service.
- We have increased the spacing between rows in the center section to allow 6 feet of distance between people front to back . Row spacing in side areas have been increased to 5 feet. Please be considerate of the spacing within the row.
We offer new "mask only" seating area for both services in the Community Center dining area.
- On Sunday mornings, a partition will be rolled into place to separate the dining area from the east door and elementary ministry entrance. We ask that those who desire to worship in this space enter through the north door.
- Everyone choosing this space to worship will be required to wear masks the whole time they are in the Community Center.
- Masked Host Team servers will be in the room to assist with refreshments, communion, and offering.
- A touchless temperature device will be available for anyone who would like to check themselves.
- Please be aware, the restrooms in the Community Center are common and will be used by children and adults whether they wear a mask or not.
We have implemented an optional three-color silicone wristband system to help people non-verbally communicate their preference for social distancing to others.
- These silicone wristbands will have LOVE GOD.LOVE OTHERS. printed on the outside and CommunityChurch.tv on the inside.
- Each individual may wear this wristband inside or outside the church without anyone knowing how we have defined their use.
- If someone is not wearing a colored bracelet, please stay 6' away until you are able to confirm the person's preferred social distancing level.
Here are the colors of the wristbands and the internal non-verbal definition we have given to each.
- Green tells others “I’m living life and feel safe for normal interaction.”
- Yellow tells others “I’m being cautious and prefers limited physical contact. Only a fist or elbow bump.”
- Red tells others, “I’m protecting my health and prefer no physical contact and only talking at a distance.”
The steps and guidelines above were immediate and affordable alternatives to help us navigate the challenging circumstances we’re facing as a family. We continue to explore other options, including the outside options listed in last week's survey, and will keep you informed as we move ahead. Please know we will reduce or remove these guidelines as we see COVID statistics lower or as the CDC and medical community give direction.
LOVE GOD. LOVE OTHERS.
p.s. A Touchless Temperature Device is a hand held infrared device you hold 1-2 inches from the forehead.
Here is the link to the survey regarding COVID Worship Space Alternatives (www.communitychurch.tv/worshipspace). Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey! Your input has been helpful as we seek God's leading toward additional ways and spaces to add safety when we gather as a congregation.