Letter from Elders-Reopening Outdoors
Dear Church Family, June 25, 2020
The elders are pleased to introduce a change to our worship assembly to begin Sunday, June 28. The elders have heard from many members who hold varying viewpoints regarding the coronavirus pandemic issues we currently face. Some desire ardently to worship together in one assembly as normally done and others express concerns about gathering together safely and the need to wear masks. In an endeavor to address these viewpoints, the elders are introducing this change to provide a safe environment outdoors at the rear of our building where we all can safely worship together in accordance with State & County guidance.
As always our goal is to provide an environment that is conducive to true and genuine worship, while being safe as possible for worshipers during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Because this virus can be transmitted by persons who have few or no symptoms, we continue to adopt protocols for all attendees, including social distancing, to follow until further notice. We believe these guidelines will provide a reasonable measure of protection for those who choose to assemble at the building for worship. Livestreaming of the church services will continue as in the past for members who are unable or not yet comfortable to assemble at the building. Please take a few moments and read these guidelines.
SUNDAYS: Beginning Sunday, June 28, one morning worship service for the entire congregation.
Time: 9:00 AM
Where: Outside the building with outdoor seating in the grassed area north of the building.
15 Minute Devotionals Immediately After Worship Service Concludes:
Preschool – 6th Grade: Front of auditorium. Parents may sit social distanced in back rows or wait outside.
7th – 12th Grade: Classroom Three (3)
There will be no Sunday evening service at the building at this time. The elders expect to recommence Sunday evening Text Talks or a streamed Bible Class in the future which will be announced later.
WEDNESDAYS: Text Talk Livestreamed
Time: 7:00 PM
To assess support to resume Bible Study classes Wednesdays an online survey is being forwarded to members. The survey will ask if families are supportive of the resumption of adult and children’s Bible classes in their classrooms Wednesday evenings.
What You Need to Know
When You Arrive & Leave
- Please plan to arrive at least 15 minute prior to the beginning of the service to allow appropriate time for seating.
- For the outdoor Sunday worship service dress accordingly including hats if desired. Some shade cover will be in place to provide some with protection from the sun. Parents with young children may wish to bring a blanket to sit on the lawn.
- Specially printed paper song booklets have been prepared. Pick one up as you arrive and retain your booklets to bring back for future outdoor Sunday worship services. For members who will not be present and livestreaming the worship service, please contact Scott Willey (Cell Phone 559-696-3424) who will arrange for a song booklet to be delivered. For those who will be picking up Lords Supper emblems at the building Saturday song booklets will be available for pickup.
- Ushers will assist you to find seating following social distancing guidelines.
- When you arrive, please take one of the individual communion packets available on the tables.
- Individual communion packets will be available on tables as you arrive.
- Please dispose of the used communion kit in one of the available trash containers as you exit the outside meeting area.
- If you prefer, you are welcome to bring your own small container of grape juice and unleavened bread from home.
- For members who continue to livestream church services, Lords Supper emblem pickup is available at the church building every other Saturday morning from 10 – 11 AM. Saturday, June 27th is a pickup date with subsequent LS emblem pickups every other Saturday thereafter.
- As you arrive or exit the outdoor meeting area, a collection box will be available. Please drop your contribution there.
Additional Building Notes
- The restrooms will be open. However, we encourage you to please use the bathroom at home before coming to the building to minimize the spread of germs. In addition to washing your hands, please use the hand sanitizers that will be available in the restroom.
- Hand sanitizers will be available in the foyer and in the bathrooms.
- The drinking fountains in the foyer will be inoperable.
Deciding Whether to Attend
We understand that people have varying degrees of comfort about returning to the building for worship. Some are comfortable returning while others may not be ready just yet. This is an individual judgement decision only you can make.
If you have underlying health issues that put you in the high-risk category, please consider whether you should return to the building yet. (CDC: People age 65 and older, people with heart or lung disease, diabetes, severe asthma, those who are immunocompromised, etc.).
If you have been sick, are currently running a fever, or have been exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please do not return to the building yet.
We will continue to offer our services online.
One Final Note
We realize that to some these guidelines may seem a bit restrictive. We prefer to err on the side of caution related to providing a safe environment during this COVID pandemic period and do not want to put anyone unnecessarily at risk.
Following these guidelines is an important way in which we can continue to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matt. 22:39) and “look out, not only for our own interests, but for the interests of others” (Phil 2:4).
Thank you for your wonderful patience and cooperation as we navigate our way through this challenging time.
“I thank God whom I serve ... as I remember you constantly in my prayers
night and day. I long to see you that I may be filled with joy!”
(2 Timothy 1:3/4)
With Much Love,
The Shepherds of the Church of Christ in Clovis