Heartland Church Re-entry Plans
May 31 Gathered Worship Resumes
In consultation with denominational officials from the Church of the Nazarene, pastors from churches in the Fulton area, county health officials, and state guidelines concerning meeting sizes relative to building size, the church Board and I have decided to set the date of Sunday, May 31 for tentatively resuming gathered worship. While the impact of COVID-19 has been comparatively minimal to other places in the country, we desire to remain abundantly cautious. If the Greatest Commandment is to love God with all that we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves, then we must view this small sacrifice of not gathering together each week as an act of love for (and solidarity with) the most vulnerable in our community.
This news may sadden you, and that is an appropriate feeling. We did not take this decision lightly and feel the same sadness at not immediately gathering together for worship. Ours is an embodied faith, one that takes physical presences seriously. While the internet has functioned to bring us together in our isolation, it can never replace our gathered worship. I feel this deep sadness each time I begin to preach to the camera attached to my computer.
When we do gather again, things will not be immediately the same. Because the threat of a resurgence of the virus is ongoing, we have sought to take the appropriate precautions. They are as follows:
- If you or someone in your household is ill, or immune compromised/deficient, please stay home.
- Worship will initially take place in the Gym. The Gym is a larger area than the Sanctuary and can safely accommodate more people while adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The Sanctuary will handle the overflow, streaming the live service. For those who should not or wish not to venture out, we will continue to offer a live stream of the Worship Service.
- We recommend that you bring two things with you to worship: a mask and your chair. Wearing a mask will help mitigate the danger of you giving or contracting COVID-19. Bringing a chair will help eliminate a good deal of sanitizing after the service is over. We will have extra masks for those who need one. If you do not bring a chair, we will gladly provide one for you.
- We’ll continue to abide by the social distancing guidelines, remaining six feet apart. Families can sit in clumps together but must be six feet apart from other individuals or groups.
- There will be no nursery services or children’s programming provided. However, rooms, including the nursery, will be available if parents need to tend to a child.
- We will provide a packet for your children with crayons. We value our kids, and while they may become loud, that’s ok. We all need to be as flexible as we can be during this time.
- We will not pass the offering plates. There will be a box in which tithes and offerings can be deposited. Of course, online giving or mailing your check to the church is entirely appropriate.
- Bathrooms will be closed, except for emergencies, and then be available to only one person at a time (with the exception that parents can accompany their children).
- We will not be serving Communion or any other food/drink. Please be prepared to bring your own water/coffee if you’d prefer.
- There will be hand sanitizing stations available for your use, but please consider bringing your own supply as well.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
– Pastor Jason and the Church Board