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  • rmquanstrom

Church Update

Dear Church Family, The church board and I wanted to send you an update on what is happening with the church right now. We have been praying, researching, reflecting and talking about what is the best course of action. We know that every decision we make at this time will have those who it upsets. I have said that at this moment, there is no way to make all of the people happy. If our decisions upset you because they are too cautious, you can be certain that someone else in the church finds these decisions too cavallier. We know that worship and spiritual life is important. One of the main ideas that I try to convey in my sermons is that church is essential to the life of faith, both for the community, the worship, etc. As essential as communal, in person worship is, we also know that churches are locations where outbreaks can occur. Today one of the articles highlighted on the Drudge Report was coronavirus spreading through West Virginia. West Virginia has experienced a total of just over 2000 cases. Their daily case load has been under 50 for the state. Yet on June 14, the national guard shut down a church to clean it. Four other churches also became places where the virus spread. I wanted to share with you our strategy and then also some of the thoughts that come behind the strategy. Small Groups: Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study resumes Wed. June 17 at 7:00 p.m. We will meet in the sanctuary keeping distance from one another. MASKS REQUIRED! More on this below. Bill’s Sunday school Class will resume THIS SUNDAY @ 9:30! They will meet in Bill’s classroom while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. The service will begin at 10:45 outside, so after class you can walk outside. If you need assistance in any way, please let me know! We are still working out the details for Will’s Sunday school class, membership class, and for Emmy’s Wednesday Night Group. We wanted to send out up to date information as soon as we could. If you are in those groups, your leader will be contacting you soon with the new information. Worship Services We will resume indoor worship on July 5th. We will have two services: One at 9:00 am and one at 11:00 am. We are hoping to mitigate any possible spread by keeping the service numbers low. We want to have no more than 50 people in each service. To this end we will be doing a 9:00 service and an 11 service. The hour between is a buffer so that we can sanitize the sanctuary, bathrooms, doors etc. One of the ways that we hope to mitigate risk is by asking the more vulnerable population to come at 9:00. We encourage the less vulnerable and those with wiggly children to come at 11:00. We hate having to make these distinctions, but we also want to do all that we can to love our neighbors. We will not be opening children’s church or the nursery. (kids put their germy hands everywhere). We have set up the foyer with a speaker and 3 distinct areas for families with children. That way young ones can be kids while also being contained. Bathrooms will be open, but only for one person at a time. We will be dismissing the church by the rows. We ask that at the conclusion of the service, we not remain in the building, but instead exit and gather outside for socializing. Masks are required. We said the same thing about outside church, but inside it is even MORE important. There are studies which show that Covid 19 can spread through HVAC. But a new study shows that masks can significantly reduce the spread. Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General sent out a tweet on Sunday saying this I beg you that you don’t make us police each other with the mask wearing. The board and I talked about how we want to worship, we don’t want to ostracize or criticize anyone for not wearing masks. We don’t want to detract from worship at all, and we all do find them annoying. But wearing them can help save lives, so we will continue to wear them in church. We know that these changes to worship are not what we want. Rarely do we like change, but we think with these protocols in place we can best love our neighbors while loving God. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 10:45 for our outdoor worship service. God Bless, Pastor Ryan

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