Re-Opening the Church: a Pastoral Note

As we adapt the church building for worship, it is vital that we allow God’s Word to guide us. Paul’s words to the Philippian church are timely for us:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:3-5)

While the “need to know” details for this Sunday are outlined below, we must receive the admonition of Philippians 2:3-5 above in order for us to actually worship our almighty God when we gather together this Sunday.

Remember this as we are required to do things we would rather not do (wear a mask!) and experience a gathering that will be different enough to still leave us longing for what we experienced before COVID. Let us – in all humility – love each other well, and live by the Word of God, as His church re-enters the building. We can have this mind and heart among us, because it is ours in Christ Jesus.

What to Expect for In-Person Worship Services

In-Person Worship

In-Person Worship Option

ONE service, 9:30am at the LifePointe Church building.

If you are healthy and willing to follow the guidelines listed below, please join us! If you are not healthy, or are unwilling to follow the guidelines below, then it is not yet time for you to participate with in-person services, and we highly encourage you to join the live stream or a house church. Here’s what you need to know:

  • COME EARLY: plan to arrive 20 minutes prior to service start time (by 9:10am) to make sure there is plenty of time for the required symptom screening on your way into the building.
  • Wearing of face-masks is required at all times inside the building, including during the service (children under 3 exempted).
  • RSVP for the service: this will help us to best prepare for Sunday. As soon as you know that you plan to attend, please head to sharethelife.org to RSVP for the service.
  • 2 Entry/Screening Points: the front-center doors and the rear business-entrance (large brown metal double-doors in the corner) will be the only entry/exit points, and will be where symptom screening is facilitated. Look for the large awnings!
  • Symptom Screening: everyone will be asked if they have COVID symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) before they enter the building; anyone with COVID symptoms will not be admitted, and should join us online instead.
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations available upon entry, at restrooms, and throughout the building.
  • Fellowship before and after services available in the parking lots.

 

Other helpful details:

  • Children’s Ministries has started but still limited.  Children of all ages are still welcome to stay in the service. Everyone will extend lots of grace to parents and children who are new to this arrangement!
  • Attendance in the Worship Center is limited to 175 people
  • Limited overflow seating will be available in the Foyer (audio only in the foyer; we are working on making video available for overflow rooms).
  • 6-foot Physical Distancing is required; not all pews will be available for seating, and 6 feet will be maintained between households.
  • We will provide a livestream of our worship gathering online for those who are unable to attend in person.  Some may still choose the “house church” option to watch online and worship with a smaller group of believers.  People who are very high risk are encouraged to avoid both “house church” gatherings and in-person gatherings for your safety.

Avoid entering if you have any COVID symptom

Face coverings must be worn to attend inside

Physical Distancing 6ft Apart – not all pews will be available for seating, and 6ft will be maintained between households

Wash/Sanitize your hands

FAQ’s

I do not want to wear a mask. Can I just wear my mask into the building and then take it off when I get to my seat, just like at a restaurant?

Nobody likes to wear a mask! If you are unwilling to wear a mask, you should join us online. Wearing a mask is required at all times while in the building for Sunday worship, as an expression of love and care for those in our midst and those in our community. As Christians we are entitled to use our freedom for the sake of the gospel in the lives of both those who are already part of the church and those who do not yet know Jesus (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Corinthians 9:19 & 22-23). It should also be noted that what happens in a restaurant is very different than what happens when we gather for worship, as singing is a significant part of the worship gathering and has been shown to be a high-risk activity with regards to COVID transmission.

I have a bad cough, but I don’t think it is COVID. Can I still come? Should I still come?

Great question! At this time, anyone with COVID symptoms should not join us for in-person worship. You may not believe that your symptoms come from COVID, but the presence of your symptoms may leave others feeling unsafe.

Why is there just ONE service at 9:30am? (don’t forget to arrive early at 9:10am!)

We are not sure what to expect, in terms of how many people are able and willing to return to in-person services at this time. Because of the complexities involved with re-entering the building, we are trying this “soft opening” to learn how to best handle the requirements and precautions necessary for re-entering the building before we expand to the possibility of multiple services.

How will we know when to add additional in-person Sunday worship services?

We will prayerfully watch the worship service RSVP numbers, each Sunday’s actual attendance, and assess our volunteer capacity before determining to add additional Sunday worship services.