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COVID-19 Re-Entry Plan for NWCOG (Posted May 6)

By May 6, 2020June 18th, 2020No Comments

Dear NWCOG Family:

Upon carefully reviewing Governor Eric Holcomb’s “Five Stages To Get Indiana Back on Track” plan amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and after several discussions with our leadership team at NWCOG, I would like to share with you our preparations and plans to “gather together again” as the Body of Christ.

I know that for many of you, you’re ready to begin “Gathering Together Again” as soon as possible; as for others, you may be feeling a bit hesitant and concerned about what “Gathering Together Again” might look like.  I want you to know that both responses are totally understandable.  How we do things as we begin “Gathering Together Again” will be different! 

In light of that, I would ask that all of us would “seek to understand” each other and remain flexible, patient, and full of grace as we move forward together. There will be “bumps”, “hiccups” and moments where we go, “that didn’t work as well as we had envisioned” along the way, but as we move forward, we will work through them together.

Let me start by addressing our Sunday morning worship experiences.

We will continue to meet “online-only” at 9:30 a.m. on May 10, 17, and 24!

On Sunday, May 31, 2020 we will begin “Gathering Together Again”!

  • We would ask that those 65 years and older and those with underlying health conditions continue to worship with us via our online-only 9:30 am service during Phase One.
  • We will be gathering together ONLY during our 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. services!
  • We will continue to live-stream our 9:30 am worship service online indefinitely.
  • We will not be offering any children, student, or adult ministry programming during Phase One except for the online-only programming that has been ongoing. Families with children may choose to attend one of the in-person worship services at 9:30 or 11:00am. (see below)

Everyone will ENTER our facilities ONLY through Door B (under the carport overhang)

  1. All families, with children presently in 6th grade and older, who are attending the 9:30 or 11:00 am services will gather to worship in the Main Worship Center. After the service, families will be dismissed row by row to EXIT ONLY through Door C at the south end of the building.

[Note: If the allotted seating capacity in the Main Worship Center has been reached and you have not yet been seated, you will be diverted to one of our video venues in the Student Ministry Center or the Children’s Ministry Center.]

2. All families, with children presently in 5th grade or younger, attending the 9:30 am service, will gather to worship via our video venue in the Student Ministry Center. 

[Note:  If your family would prefer to come to the 11:00 am service, your family may choose to sit in the Main Worship Center (the 11:00 am service will be first come, first serve seating) until we reach our allotted capacity, at which we will divert families to our video venues in the Student Ministry Center, first, and if additional space is needed into our Children’s Ministry Center].

We are making these distinctions because we will continue to live-stream the 9:30 am service and are trying to keep all distractions to a bare minimum.  We know for families with younger children, keeping them quiet and still for an hour at a time can be a challenge.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Families in the Student Ministry Center will be dismissed to EXIT ONLY through Door A  located at the north end of the building directly across from the SMC.

  • We will have our volunteer ushers to help seat all guests in all services to maintain pre-determined social distancing that we will practice as discussed in our Governor’s plan.
  • We will need to stick to a firm 60 minute service in order to properly sanitize in between services and assure the expedient exit and entering of our services while maintaining the appropriate social distancing.  We will utilize our ushers to assist in seating and dismissing our guests in an orderly fashion (Think of a wedding ceremony where ushers seat and dismiss guests row by row).
  • Main Street Coffee will not be making or serving any specialty drinks, but we will continue to offer regular coffee service by trained volunteers who will serve it individually in each worship venue while maintaining social distancing.
  • The Tree-house play area will remain closed during our Phase One plan.
  • We will not be “passing offering plates” during our worship services, but we will have “giving boxes” at each worship venue where people can deposit their tithes and offerings upon entering or exiting their worship service hour.  In addition, we would encourage as many as possible to consider giving “online” if you have not done so already.
  • We will not be having a “corporate greeting time” (shaking hands in service) but instead we will offer a gathering prayer of thanks for being together again!
  • We will not have any weekly hand-outs/sermon notes, but all such information will be posted online, on our mobile app, and on the worship venue screens before/after services.
  • Small group meetings can begin to be scheduled now for weekday meeting (8-4pm) in our facilities by calling and scheduling those meetings through the church office.
  • Proper social distancing will be mandatory.  No meetings will be scheduled before June 7.
  • We recommend and support the wearing of face masks to our worship services.  Our staff and volunteers will be wearing face masks unless on stage leading worship or preaching
  • We will continue to live-stream our 9:30 am worship service online indefinitely and ask that those 65 years and older or with underlying health conditions use extreme caution if they choose to join us for our in-person worship experiences.
  • We will reintroduce our 8:00 am worship experience again in the Main Worship Center. Our facilities entries and exits will remain the same as were delineated in Phase One.
  • We will continue to live-stream our 9:30 am worship service online indefinitely and continue to ask that those 65 years and older or with underlying health conditions use extreme caution if they choose to join us for our in-person worship experiences.
  • We will begin to re-introduce our Kidzcove Kids (birth – 5th grade) programming and Adult Life Groups. Our middle and high school students will continue to worship with their families so that we may maintain our overflow video venue for appropriate social distancing

Over the last few weeks, we have commercially cleaned all carpets, upholstered chairs, pews, and applied Micro-ban disinfectant in these areas.

All tables, folding chairs, pew backs, doorknobs, light switches, restrooms, kitchen, coffee shop, and other high usage surfaces have been disinfected. 

We have installed fresh air intakes and humidifiers. We will have UV lights installed in our air handlers by June 7.

All of our volunteers will have their temperature taken before serving and will be asked to wear a face mask as they serve.

We have ordered additional hands-free automatic sanitizing stations and encourage that you use them as you enter and exit the facilities.

We are replacing our restroom trash receptacles with “touch free” receptacles.

We are asking if you feel ill, have or have had a fever within the past 48 hours, or been around anyone who has, please stay home and worship with us online-only at 9:30 am.

PLEASE NOTE: All of these planned phases we’ve laid out are guidelines!  They may need to be adjusted or changed depending on future mandates by our local/state/national authorities and as we monitor the Covid-19 updates moving forward. 

Thank you for your cooperation in all of these matters and we are truly looking forward to “Gathering Together Again” in person on May 31.

Pastor Jeff Boyer
Lead Pastor
North Webster Church of God