|I have a very exciting announcement! Starting this Sunday (May 24th) we can meet at Freeway together again! The city moved up the timeline because things are going so well in the Springfield area. I couldn’t be more excited and motivated by this! I know it would be impossible to keep some of you away this Sunday, and I know some of you are still very hesitant…I get it. The truth is, worshiping in our homes is not really “church”. The gathering of the saints is what really makes church, church. On the other hand, we want safety to be high on the priority list and that might mean some of us stay home. |
So my goal for this email is to lay out our plan for gathering to alleviate as many fears and concerns as possible, so that if you want to be there Sunday you can. That being said we will still continue the live stream for those who would like to worship from home. Here is our plan.
We will be using the entire auditorium so we can spread out, and every other row will be blocked off. We are also asking you to leave at least 3 seats between your family (or those you have already been in contact with and feel comfortable sitting next to), and the next person or family. So your family, three empty seats, the next family. This will be done by the honor system, but we ask you to take this seriously so we can respect the city’s requirements to the best of our ability.
Special Sections For Safety
We will have two special sections. First, the far side of the room on the upper tier will be reserved for families and mothers with new babies. No one else will be permitted in this section. Secondly, if facing the stage the very front right section will be reserved for high risk individuals, or those who live with others at high risk. This way they can come in the backdoor, head straight down the backstairs to that section, and not encounter anyone directly. After the service they can head straight up the backstairs and out the door. This section will be more spread out than the others. We know there is a higher risk for these individuals, and we understand if they want to stay home, but we also want them to be able to come and worship if they so choose. Please keep your distance from this section.
Greeters and Snacks
Our greeters will be standing at the front and backdoors with masks to remind everyone coming in of the social distancing plan and making sure they know to reserve the sections listed above for our higher risk individuals. They will also be helping make sure everything is clean before and after the service. If you have questions they should be there to help. We will have a small amount of extra masks if you don’t have one and would like to wear one. We are very limited with these, so try and find one elsewhere if you would like to wear one.
Unfortunately with the risks involved, we will not be providing coffee, water, bagels, or snacks. Any drink or snack you would like to have during service please bring with you.
For at least the next three weeks our kids will be in the service with us. The Hiskids team is very tentatively planning to return on June 14th. We will just have to wait and see if this is wise. In the meantime they are providing ways to connect and to keep your children engaged with the gospel. If you have a kiddo with us you should be hearing from the HisKids team very soon.
I know for many of us, having our young children in service seems daunting. Please hear me, we are going to embrace this. Over the next month our church services will be filled with kids talking too loud, whining, whispering loud enough for people to hear it at Mcdonald’s, and maybe a few meltdowns. It…is…OK! We are in this together, and I can preach through it. If they start screaming we will still have the youth room in the back you can take them to. If they need to move around, you have the area by the front doors they can get the wiggles out. But otherwise, don’t stress, don’t let their noises overwhelm you. We are in this together, one big happy family, distractions and all!
Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes
We have tried ordering hand sanitizer and everywhere is out or on back order. So, if you have hand sanitizer bring it with you! We will have disinfectant wipes and will be handing these out (very carefully) to everyone at the end of service to wipe down the section they sat in. Whatever you can bring with you to help disinfect would be helpful.
We will not pass around the giving basket. It will be sitting in the back of the room so you can drop it in your tithe on the way out. Otherwise, you can set up online giving very easily at https://freshwatersgf.churchcenter.com/giving if you haven’t yet.
Finally, we are asking you to do your best to stick to elbow bumps as a greeting. Listen, I can’t stop you from hugging and I don’t want to. You do what you’ve got to do. Please just be aware that others might not feel like you do so be cautious and respectful. I will ask you to absolutely NOT hug those that are higher risk, or those you are unsure of. Thank you for being diligent in this.
I CANNOT WAIT, to see you all again. My heart is beating fast thinking about it. Plus, it is supposed to rain Memorial Day anyway so cancel your plans and come celebrate our risen King with us! If you have any questions you can reach out to me at [email protected]. Otherwise I hope to see most of your smiling faces THIS Sunday at 10:00 at Freeway for CHURCH!!!
Love you family