(update: the one page of service and safety guidelines will be available by Sunday morning or sooner. It is the same information as the email but condensed/simplified to one page)
Friday May 15, 2020
Good Afternoon Church Family,
As many have already heard, we are looking at a church reopening date of May 23, 2020 for the Post Falls Seventh-day Adventist Church since we are still participating in the online Hope Awakens series (ends this Sabbath morning at 11am); and an earlier reopening date for Sabbath School this Sabbath, May 16, 2020. Our board has recently gathered together to walk through a plan for reopening and have adjusted it for our church context.
Just to let everyone know, the task to reopen the church has not been an easy one. We have quickly discovered that there are different views and opinions on how/when the church should open, as well as guidelines. We have been in much prayer to try to come up with a plan that would allow us to reopen our church as well as respect the health of others.
The church board had assigned a committee to look at the task of suggesting the guidelines that would work with our church context for reopening our church. This committee which finished the draft guidelines were made up of a group of members assigned by the church board who all had input in the pre-draft results. After we finished the draft, we then took it to the church board the next day to review and to help add/take away/polish the plans and guidelines. Lots of time have been placed in this to ensure that as a church, regardless of the views or opinions that we hold, we can all walk together as one body in Jesus.
Those plans resulted in discussion regarding: Location of our worship service, the program order of service, and some health guidelines.
First, we want to encourage at-risk members and those experiencing cold/flu like symptoms to consider staying at home for health purposes.
Those at-risk factors include:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Chronic Lung Disease
- Diabetes Type 1, 2 and gestational
- Serious heart conditions (heath failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies, pulmonary hypertension)
- Chronic kidney disease treated with dialysis
- Severe Obesity BMI 40+
- Liver Disease, including cirrhosis
- Those that live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Those 65 of age and older
Each person is not obligated to attend church if he/she does feel safe to be attending church for health reasons or for other personal reasons. If you hold a leadership position(s) at the church and don’t feel safe attending church, you are not obligated to fulfill that/those commitment(s) as we begin reopening. Please let your ministry coordinator know of your concern(s) if you are contacted by them.
We are currently working on setting up the necessary audio/visual components to continue to have our live stream services available for those that who would like to have the option of watching the service from home.
LOCATION OF SERVICE
For our reopening we will be having our main service in the fellowship hall (gym). We will also have the sanctuary available for those who are most vulnerable. We want to make sure to provide options.
SABBATH SCHOOL CLASSES
All children division sabbath school classes are suspended on church premises for the beginning of the reopening. We will inform everyone when we start up again.
Earliteens/Youth Class will continue to be on Zoom until further plans are developed by the youth Sabbath School department.
Adult Sabbath School Class will begin this Sabbath May 16 from 9am – 10am. There will be no worship service afterwards. The reason for the time difference and no worship service this Sabbath is due to our active participation with the national online evangelistic series entitled, “Hope Awakens,” by It Is Written, presented by Pr. John Bradshaw. By beginning at 9 am and finishing early this will allow people time to travel home to watch the final “Hope Awakens” sermon series online if they wish.
Just an update on Hope Awakens: So far we have had a person request bible studies with her friend, another person (today) request to be part of the community groups (small group), and others interested in knowing more about the bible or have shared their prayer request. God has been working actively through different means to reach those in our community. It is exciting to see how God is currently working and will continue to work.
Beginning May 23, the Adult Sabbath School class will meet at regular time of 9:30-10:40am. There will be no Sabbath school remarks.
CHURCH SERVICE: OUTLINE OF PROGRAM
10:50 – 11am (Optional) – Congregational Singing.
This time is allotted for those who wish to participate in singing. It will begin at 10:50.
11:00 – 12:15am – Church Service.
This consist of announcements, praise and prayer time (submitting cards), Call to worship (instrumental), morning prayer, Children’s story (from the front while children stay with their family in their seats), special music (instrumental), scripture reading, sermon, benediction, and tithe & offering appeal.
A few other notes:
- There will only be one entrance into the church.We will be using the doors entering the gym (fellowship hall).All other doors are available for emergency exits.
- Bulletins will be available on a table by the entrance for those that wish to pick up a bulletin for the service.
- On the same table there will be a sign-up sheet for anyone interested in being informed if we do happen to have a possible Covid-19 case we would inform those that have opted to be alerted.If you are already on this mailing list you will also receive that news as a courtesy from the church.
I want to emphasize some points regarding the sign-up list idea:
- Signing up is optional and not required. (It is more of a courtesy for guests and others not on our mailing list)
- Minimal information is asked. (Only a name and phone or email)
- We will not be keeping track of the names of those attending.Each person would be responsible for remembering when they attended.
- This option to be alerted by email can be helpful for someone that would like to know if there was a possible case of Covid-19.Anyone with this concern could also take the documentation (email) they received from the church to help expedite the wait time to get tested for Covid-19.
To ensure the health of others there are some guidelines we will be implementing and encouraging:
- We will be opening the doors/windows to allow for airflow.
- We will be running the gyms circulation vent primarily at 11am after the singing, and before the sermon; and at other times as needed.
- We are highly encouraging physical distancing of 6ft between family units.
- We recommend avoiding handshakes/hugs in the building; as to respect the different views and/or opinions of those that are attending worship.
- During the children’s story children will be asked to remain in their seats.
- Cloth Masks/face coverings are recommended and will be available at the door for those that don’t have one and wish to wear one.
- We will have greeters/ushers near the door.
- We will have a deacon ushering people out at the end of the service.
- There will be no potluck until further notice.
- Drinking fountains will be covered off.
- Hand sanitizer have in the past been available in the bathrooms and we will continue to provide them not only in the bathrooms but also in other additional visible locations for anyone who would like to use them.
(To download a one page outline of service and safety guidelines click here)
WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK
- Since we are looking forward to reopening our church, we are looking for feedback regarding those that would be inclined to attend church services.
There are two reasons we are seeking feedback:
- We would like to accommodate our worship area for the approximate number of people that would be attending.
- Since we are not obligating our church leaders to attend, if we are in need of help leading a certain area of the program/church service we would like to know who would attend so that we could ask for help in leading in different capacities.
HOW TO RESPOND?
- If you are planning to attend just hit “reply” to this email and write, “I am planning to attend” or “I will be there.”
- If you would like to volunteer your services in case we need help you can add to your email a line e.g. “I am willing to help in this area _________” or “Let me know where I can help.”
- If you don’t plan to attend, no reply is necessary.
If there are any feedback, concerns, etc. that you would like to share regarding the church board’s plan for the church reopening let us stay within the biblical guidelines of communicating it directly to the church board through the pastor or head elder by phone. My personal contact is (509) 406-2250. M, T, Th from 1-3 are flexible, outside of those times you could try calling or texting to setup a time to talk.
(To download a one page outline of service and safety guidelines click here)
Romans 14:19, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (NKJV).
Let us continue striving forward together in words, conduct, and love to build up one another in Jesus. We know that we are ever so closer to the Lords coming. We also know that there will be things happening before His coming that are unimaginable. For this reason it is even more important that we continue to pursue that loving relationship and perfect peace with God and a loving relationship and peace with each other. We need God transforming power through the Holy Spirit in our life and we need each other’s support.
I am praying for the church and church families. And I know there are several others that are praying too.
May God continue to bless each family as we enter into the Sabbath soon.
Pr. Moises Ramirez
c | (509) 406-2250
e | firstname.lastname@example.org