The Town Reopening Plans
There is so much I want to say but I am going to leave that for blogs, seeing you in person, and online content. Suffice it to say, it has been hard to come to worship on Sunday and not be with all of you. Thank you for hanging in there, for your encouragement to me and to one another.
Thank you to the band and tech teams for continuing to faithfully serve every week.
Thank you to the Community Group leaders for pulling everyone together and continuing to minister to one another during this difficult time.
The Town will begin reopening this Sunday with a soft open and a full reopen on May 31st. You must read the entirety of this message to understand what that means.
This Sunday is by invitation. We are inviting Community Group Leaders, Elders, Deacons, Band Leaders, Team Leaders to worship together this Sunday morning. We will continue to stream live, interact live, and consider the live stream as part of the actual worship service for the foreseeable future. The reason for all of this will become clear as you continue to read and process the details of our reopen plans.
All of our reopen plans are in accordance with the Governor's guidelines and restrictions. You can find those guidelines here. You can find the CDC guidelines here. The Elders have processed all of these guidelines and have applied them to our situation with the following plans:
- Our Reopen date is May 31.
- There will be two services: 9:30am and 11:15am.
- We can have 166 people in the building at a time.
- We will practice social distancing while on the premises at all times.
- Everyone over the age of 12 must wear a face-covering.
- Rows front to back will be spaced 6 feet apart from one another.
- Elders and Greeters will seat everyone as you arrive.
- Families and groups (people you drove with) will be seated together but 6 feet apart from other families and groups.
- Worship Gatherings will be 1 hour long.
- The first service must exit as soon as the gathering ends so that the building can be disinfected according to CDC guidelines for the next worship gathering to begin (similar to movie theater clean up, only actually getting things clean).
- CHILDREN MUST REMAIN WITH THEIR PARENTS FOR THE DURATION OF YOUR TIME AT THE CHURCH. Yes, I am shouting but with as much gentleness as possible. There is no exception to this rule. Your kids must remain with you, by law.
- Nurseries and Kid's Church Rooms will be open as child-training overflow rooms. The service will be live-streaming into these rooms. We are asking everyone to please be considerate about noise and distractions in the main worship gathering. If your child/children have a hard time sitting through the 1 hour worship gathering, we would ask that you use these rooms (which will also be socially distanced) to help train your children and teach them how to worship Jesus.
- Senior Citizens 65 and over are encouraged to stay home for now.
- Anyone with an underlying condition that could become fatal should stay home.
- Anyone who is feeling sick or has any symptoms must stay home.
- We will not be passing collection plates for the foreseeable future. Instead, we are asking everyone to either give online at www.thetown.org/give or to use the offering boxes at the Sanctuary entrance.
- If we reach capacity at either of our services, we will not allow late-comers to attend.
- If we reach capacity we will add an additional worship gathering. Our goal is to make sure everyone who can and desires to come to church is able to do so.
- The Elders are working on plans to minister to our older members with a few worship gathering ideas. Please stay tuned. We might have to take you back to the Drive-In Theater days, but we will do whatever is necessary to allow you to worship Jesus together.
Pastor Scott will be reaching out to Community Group Leaders with guidelines for meetings.
Brothers and sisters, these are strange and difficult times, but they are only strange to us. God is not surprised by any of this. The church has survived persecution, wars, famines, and yes, pandemics over it's storied history. God's people have survived floods, enslavement, and genocide. We are not strangers to suffering.
We cannot allow our suffering or our opinions to divide us. Each of us has varying opinions on this matter and if you're anything like me, those opinions can sway to the extremes depending on your mood, the current facts, or just plain wants and desires.
We have Christ in common. That should be enough. Full stop.
We are not pressuring anyone to come back until you feel it is safe for your family or yourself. We would not reopen if we thought it was unsafe, but your thoughtfulness on what's best for your family and your life matters to us. Come back when you are ready. We will continue to invest time, money and energy into our live-stream even as we come back together.
Church alone does not replace the church together. So we will do everything we can to make sure that those who can't come together, feel as much a part of the live gatherings as possible.
This is a constantly evolving situation, so continue to watch or details and developments.
Thank you Pastor Dan et al,
I appreciate the measures that are being taken to reunite The Town family as a whole. I've enjoyed the Sunday live stream and very happy to hear it will continue. Miss seeing and being a part of the live worship but so grateful to still be a part from a distance.