The good news continues: no known cases among our membership. The measures that are being used are being successful in keeping us all safe and well to date. May that continue to be.
Are you missing announcements? We still don’t have many, but here are a couple:
The CORNERSTONE will be mailed next week, so that will offer updates in several areas. Watch for that and it will help settle the craving. (for announcements…….not for travel and eating in restaurants).
Garden plants are available (for free) at the building. Steve Thyng has brought a couple of boxes of plants, including tomatoes, and you may make arrangements to come by and get some if you need them, as long as they last. We are not keeping regular office hours, except Wednesday mornings 9-12 a.m. Otherwise, Jed or I may be able to coordinate one of our trips by here with your schedule. Call us.
The elders are looking ahead to when we start to meet in the building and are submitting the following guidelines. Please consider.
HIT “RE-START” BUTTON
(letter from the elders)
As we have not been able to assemble for several weeks and are now anticipating resuming our congregational meetings soon, there are some changes that will seem necessary. It is the opinion of the shepherds of the church that we should continue to use caution as to the danger of spreading the coronavirus as we come back together. The fact that we may gather, does not mean that the virus is gone and that there is no danger, especially to those most susceptible to the disease it causes. With that in mind, the following set of guidelines have been drawn up and are presented for your consideration as we begin to meet again.
- NUMBER OF MEETINGS
It may be that there will be guidelines suggested that speak to “no more than” a certain number. If that is the case, we will seek to comply. That may cause it to be deemed wise to have multiple meetings, at different hours or to offer virtual meetings and the literal meetings both. As we get closer to the date we are allowed to meet, those suggestions will be available. Note, we do not consider these rules that disallow us to worship or to assemble, but are offered as recommendations to help us stay safe, well, and (potentially) alive.
- CLASSES OFFERED AT THE BUILDING
It may not seem feasible to bring children, or adults, together for bible classes. The option to forgo classes for a few weeks may be considered.
- MEETINGS OTHER THAN SUNDAY A. M.
At first, depending on the “model” and the recommendations of medical personnel, we may be advised to meet only once per week, to reduce exposure. Our other means that we have developed on the Internet and the phone could still be in place.
- LORD SUPPER SERVING
One of the most delicate parts of our worship involves (normally) multiple hands that touch the trays that are used when we pass the bread and the cup. It is proposed that we continue to use the individual service supplies we have been using in most homes for the time being. Staff, wearing gloves, will install into plastic bags the cups and members will pickup bags for themselves (families) in the foyer. At the appointed time, those bags will be opened and the emblems taken, placing the cups back into the bags, which will be deposited in a trash container before exiting.
- COLLECTION OF CONTRIBUTIONS
Many have begun to give on line or mail their contributions and that can still be used as a way to give. We propose that we will have deacons at each exit point from the auditorium, wearing gloves, with collection plates and members and others may place offerings into those collection trays as they exit.
Greeters will wear gloves but will only open doors and welcome verbally, not offering touch via handshakes, etc. Hugging and handshaking will be discouraged, for caution’s sake.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING
It will be encouraged that a distance of six feet or more be allowed between attendees in the pews, except in the case of people of the same household, who are encouraged to bunch.
- CLEANING THE BUILDING
An investment in a special “virus killing” spray and a dispenser has been made so that every part of the building that is used for any gathering can be sprayed entirely after each use. We have also been given personal size hand sanitizing bottles that will be made available as the supply lasts.
- SPECIAL MEETINGS
All special meetings and special use of the building will be evaluated on an individual basis. People have reserved the building for special gatherings and it may be or may not be (depending on the general health status in our community) feasible for those uses to be allowed. As to VBS, we are suspending the June dates and hoping to have the event in July or August. The Midwest Teens meeting the last Sunday afternoon in July is still on the calendar and anticipated to be permissible, albeit, with distancing, perhaps
- WHATEVER ELSE
In all probability, there are 100 things we have not yet anticipated that will need to be addressed. So, as they evolve, we will deal with them. Right now, these are offered as orientation for when we start to meet again. We know these things are not exhaustive as to the questions you may have, but we thought a “heads-up” at this time would be helpful to us all when the time comes. We cannot just announce and rush back into the building as though nothing happened and we are just “business as usual”.
These are not “The Ten Commandments” but just some things we think will be helpful to know and follow, until we know more about what life will be like ongoing…..