Opening Observations

We are so excited to reopen our campus for in-person worship and Bible studies on September 12th-13th!  We continue to monitor the latest COVID-19 information, and may adjust plans in accordance with our local statistics, but the following information gives an overview of what you can expect when you join us on campus.  

 

Please understand that we cannot eliminate all risk when we gather for worship and classes (if you attend, you are assuming the risk).  This is why we strongly encourage those who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to stay home, at least during the initial steps of our reopening.  We have worked hard to enable people to join both our worship services and classes remotely via Facebook, our website streaming, and Zoom (classes).  


Again, please keep in mind as you read through the details of our plans that this is a constantly evolving situation, and these procedures may change at any time.

RSVP System

We will assign seats at our worship services to enable spatial distancing.  This will limit our capacity to around 80 people (less than 20% room capacity), but we believe we will still be able to accommodate most people for worship each weekend.  We will prioritize those who haven't been in worship the longest, so no one should have to miss more than one week in a row (if any at all!).

 

Please RSVP for the worship service you want to attend by filling out the online RSVP form or calling our church office at 480-969-4414.   We ask you to do this by noon on the Thursday before the desired worship service.  You can make a standing reservation, which will automatically create an RSVP request for you each week at the service you choose.

 

IMPORTANT: Each week on Thursday afternoon, we will be contacting people who RSVP'd to inform them if we have a seat available for the upcoming weekend services.  This will happen through an e-mail or phone call, and you will be given a seat assignment (section and row).

 

Please only show up for a worship service if you have made an RSVP and have received a seat assignment. 

families with young children

We have removed our children’s play-bags from the lobby and will not be distributing children’s bulletins.  We encourage families to bring their own items for their children to use during the services, but our staff has also prepared one-time use bags which are available in the info center of our lobby.

 

The nursery and toddler rooms will be available for one family to use at a time (first come, first serve).  We have also installed a TV in the worship center lobby for families who desire to remove themselves temporarily from a worship service.


We will offer children’s church during our 10:30 service, and parents can check their child in for children's church in the lobby as they arrive for worship.

sanitization

We have contracted with a professional cleaning company to wipe down and disinfect our pews, bathrooms, and family areas before our 8:00 service, after our 8:00 service, and after our 10:30 service on Sunday mornings.  We also have purchased motion-activated hand-sanitizer dispensers which will be placed in key areas (lobby entrance, bathroom entrance, etc.).  Finally, we have installed motion-activated hand soap dispensers and motion-activated paper towel dispensers in our worship center bathrooms.

Worship materials

During our initial steps of reopening, we will not have bulletins, hymnals, Bibles, or pew cards.  You can let us know you joined us for worship by texting the word "here" to 480-613-3613.  Offering envelopes will be available at the offering boxes mounted on the walls in the back of the sanctuary.  In the future, we will develop an app to allow people to check-in, view the weekly readings, see previous sermons, submit prayer requests, and access our weekly bulletin, among other things.

service elements

Our services will be a little different.  During our initial steps of reopening, we will not have communion during our worship services, but continue to provide drive-through opportunities for communion on various Saturday mornings.  

 

We will not be passing offering baskets, however, we have installed wall-mounted offering boxes in our worship center on each side of the three exits.  Donations can be dropped in these boxes on your way in or out of worship.

 

At the end of the worship service, we will dismiss people sitting in the back first, so as to avoid a bottleneck at our exits.  Our goal is that people who want to will be able to walk into worship, experience our service, and walk back to their car without spending significant time within 6 feet of other people.  For those who do wish to visit with friends (we know it’s important!), we strongly encourage this to be done outside, and for people to remain 6 feet apart as they socialize.

masks

Because of local mandates, and because we will be gathered and singing together indoors, we expect attendees to wear a mask. Masks will be available as you enter the worship center lobby and education class wing.

 

We are requiring our volunteers to wear masks.  This is because they will be interacting with most of the people in attendance.  Because Pastor Luke and our worship leaders need to use microphones, and because they will be positioned significantly more than 6 ft. away from others, they will not be wearing a mask as they lead portions of the service, but this is only because of practical needs.

contingency plans

We have set up a dedicated room (room 311) with basic medical supplies in case anyone becomes sick or symptomatic during a worship service.  

 

We have also created communication protocols, backup plans, redundancy efforts, and further policies in preparation for the event that an attendee or a staff person is found to have been contagious with COVID-19.  If circumstances arise that require us to cancel our weekend services, we will communicate that expediently through all of our communication methods.


Please call us (480-969-4414) if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and attended a worship service or Bible study in the two weeks prior to your diagnosis and/or symptoms.  We will not share your personal information, but will inform other attendees so they can adjust their plans as necessary.

bible studies

For all of our Bible classes, we will be implementing spatial distancing steps and providing remote access.  Each classroom will have it's own Zoom room and TV so that people can join remotely and be seen by those in the room.  


in conclusion

These procedures were not created out of fearful panic, but out of loving concern for all of God's people.  We know some of these policies are inconvenient, and we ask you to join us in praying that God would provide medical breakthroughs and solutions very soon and bring us through this time quickly.  We truly look forward to when we can all look back and say, “That was an unusual time.”

 

If you have any questions or comments, please call our church office at (480) 969-4414.