Currently in Phase 3
The language below will be more “up to date” then the language used in the video above.
Disclaimer: The specifics of operation under each phase are subject to change based on the dynamic nature of state guidelines, our own resources, and convictions. This is a prediction, and this assumes change is likely. We have seen that during the COVID Crisis, predictability is unrealistic. Therefore, we are doing our best to lay out a plan, and are moving forward with the expectation of flexibility.
Check back frequently for up to date details for each phase as we move through them.
Phase 1: Safer at Home
The vulnerable are still under “shelter in place” orders by the state and gatherings are limited to 10 or less.
For us, this phase is all about offering essential spiritual services without taking any risks.
- Small groups both live and online, with all usual weekday groups being live, one virtual weekday group for youth, and one virtual Sunday morning group.
- no live church services, all church services are online.
- Small group gatherings will take place at the church on Sunday mornings to watch the online service in order to offer a Christian community connection
- When our demand for Sunday morning online church service watching gatherings exceeds our capacity at the church, we will offer more group gatherings in host homes.
- Many outreaches are canceled, but some are active
- No child care is offered during any gatherings
- Nobody is expected to join the live Grace groups, but everybody is expected to participate in our Grace Groups either online or in person.
- The vulnerable are encouraged not to participate in the outreach, but those comfortable enough to do non-essential business of any kind are expected to participate in our outreaches.
Phase 2: Love Your Neighbor (our version of Protect Your Neighbor)
The vulnerable are allowed out and larger gatherings are allowed with restrictions in place.
For us, this phase is all about us protecting our vulnerable loved ones while advancing toward church the way it should be.
- Church Services probably go live again, but maybe split into multiple services to reduce crowds, while maintaining the online Church Service. The gathering setting may be outdoors from time to time.
- Many safety precautions will be in place according to state guidelines.
- Some Sunday morning Grace groups may open during this time while maintaining our online Sunday morning Grace Group.
- Child care may be offered for parents who are present for live church services based on volunteer availability.
- All outreach initiatives will be reinstated unless it is impossible, and each will probably look different then they usually do based on safety measures in place.
- The non-vulnerable are encouraged to attend one of our live church services, and a live Grace Group and at least one outreach per month.
- The vulnerable are encouraged to decide for themselves if they will join the live groups or church services and are not expected to do anything they are uncomfortable with.
Phase 3: Getting Closer
Many restrictions have been lifted or decreased, but some are still in place.
For us, this phase is all about reintroducing our vulnerable loved ones into any spiritual services that they have not connected to in the previous phases, as much as is safely possible.
- Church services are definitely live again, and the setting is probably our usual sanctuary with a more typical feeling to it all.
- Many safety precautions are still in place as needed.
- Online Church Services are still available, but winding down to encourage live attendance.
- Sunday morning Grace Groups are all live
- Online Grace Group access will be made available for our vulnerable loved ones as needed, but will no longer be publicly promoted. This is to encourage relational connections from those who would trade them in for an easier way to connect, without us sacrificing the option for those who are dependent on it.
- Child Care is available, but our transportation ministry is limited if it is active. Restrictions will probably exclude children without parents, but transportation will be offered for adults or families.
- All outreaches should be reinstated by now and are operating with some restrictions still likely in place
- The non-vulnerable are expected to attend one of our live church services, a live Grace Group and at least one outreach per month.
- The vulnerable are likely to be joining us for live church services and Grace Groups, but will not be expected to if they are not comfortable.
Phase 4: The Way It Should Be
All restrictions are lifted, or at least as far as it would impact our small church. Other churches with larger congregations may still be under restrictions, but the state guidelines are not relevant to a church our size.
In this phase, everybody should be effectively connected to the spiritual opportunities without any restrictions or limitations.
- Full online church experience will be dismissed, and only the sermon will be premiered. This will be a recording of the practice sermon so that it can go live at the same time as our church service, to maintain our out of town online congregation
- All Grace Groups, weekday and Sunday morning are live. Virtual youth group is dismissed. Everyone is expected to join at least one live Grace Group.
- All outreaches are reinstated and all are expected to participate in some way.
- Church services are held live and all are expected to join.
- Transportation ministry is available to anybody, including children without parents.
- Child Care is available without restrictions.
- Everything is as it should be!
We may experience some back and forth between phases. We will be following state and city guidelines as we move from phase to phase, and mirroring what local businesses are doing. Ex: restaurants and entertainment industries.
This is a brief summary of the guidelines we will have in place based on state regulations and recommendations.
As with anything COVID related, please expect updates and adaptation as needed.