Re-Opening Plan Details
Guiding Principles in our Decisions
- We prioritize gathering together as a church. We desire to meet when the opportunity is available, and with the recommended guidelines. Although online streaming is a gift, it is not ideal. So, we prioritize regathering, even if under abnormal conditions.
- We honor to the state where we can do so biblically. Our state governor has not been overreaching with power; he is going out of his way to honor the church/state distinction and to allow churches to gather. We are happy to defer to the government’s plans in this situation at this time.
- We seek to love our neighbors and be a good witness in our community. We want to love our neighbors well by wisely thinking about the implications of large gatherings in light of the potential spread of COVID-19.
- We receive wisdom from others, especially like-minded churches. We have been in touch with several local churches to compare notes and improve our own plans. We have also paid attention to what local officials in Whitestown and Zionsville recommend for gatherings. They recommend a patient approach and are especially concerned about vulnerable people coming to churches.
- We prioritize unity by making room for different situations and opinions. We acknowledge that people within our church (and outside of our church) will have different ideas about what is right for them or for us. We will leave space for our people to live in light of their different ideas and convictions.
Plans for Sunday Morning Regathering, beginning June 14th
- Beginning June 14th, we will be gathering in two different ways: 1) We will continue our online service at 10am, but it will now be a true livestream, and 2) We welcome any who want to gather in our building for the service.
- We are intentionally taking an approach that leaves room for you to make your own decision based on your situation and preferences in this time. We do not want anyone to feel guilty for either attending or not attending a gathering. You have the option to attend the service or participate through the livestream, and we honor either decision.
- We chose to begin on June 14th because this matches the beginning of Indiana’s “phase 4,” even though churches can gather without number limitations now. On June 14th, Indiana opens social gatherings to 250, opens up large venues to operate at 50% capacity, malls to 75% capacity, and will permit vulnerable ages to begin to go out, using caution with social distancing.
- Social Distancing: We will follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. For seating, every other row will be blocked off. Also, households or individuals will sit 6 feet apart. We believe that those who attend the service should wear masks, and we will provide masks for those who do not have one.
- Overflow Room: The Worship Center can seat approximately 250 people with social distancing. We will also livestream the service in Fellowship Hall for an additional (approximately) 100 people. At this point, this will free us from needing to offer a second service.
- Service Format: The service format will continue to reflect the general format of our online service, which is one hour long.
- Children: We will not offer nursery care or Sunday school classes at this time.
- Restrooms: We will have one restroom available for emergencies, and we will clean it between use. Please use your restroom at home before coming.
- Hearing Your Plans: We will reach out soon so that you can let us know whether you plan to attend in-person or via livestream.
Small Groups and Other Gatherings, Events, and Ministries
- Small groups may now begin meeting in-person again. Each small group will need a unified plan to best care for everyone in the group. If people are not yet comfortable to meet, the group may want to still meet over Zoom, or use a hybrid approach.
- At this time, we still recommend that other ministries and events continue to meet by Zoom. If you and your ministry do decide to meet in person, please follow the CDC's recommended guidelines. Note that the church building currently remains closed outside of Sunday gatherings.
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