Church: We Will Meet Again on June 14 + Social Distancing Details

Dear church,

It gives me great pleasure to say that we will have an in-person, socially-distanced service on June 14. We will meet at the regular time (10:15am) and the regular place (401 9th St, in the sanctuary). Note that we will not be holding any kind of Sunday school beforehand.

Here is how we shall be social distancing for the foreseeable future:

  1. The good news is that what you love most about our services will continue: singing with our worship team, prayer, Scripture reading, and a sermon that applies the Bible to our daily lives. At the same time, to do this well and to care for one another, we will need to modify some of our normal practices:
  2. If you are over 65 or have health conditions that might make you more susceptible to Coronavirus (including, but not limited to: heart disease, reduced lung function, asthma, or a weakened immune system), then we would urge you to continue to enjoy the service either online or through paper form. The church is committed to continuing online and paper services at least through the end of the summer, and longer should it prove necessary. Dear friends: we really want to see you, but not at the expense of your health.
  3. Similarly, if you are feeling ill, have a fever, a cough, flu-like symptoms, or have been around anybody who is suspected of having Coronavirus within the past 14 days, we are also asking you to stay home and enjoy our service online.
  4. We will be trying an experiment for our online services on June 14 and 21. We will record the actual service that morning in an effort to also capture the worship singing. Then, we will upload the service Sunday afternoon. This means that, while the service won’t be available online in the morning, it should be available either late afternoon or evening. Those of you watching the online service: please give us your feedback once this new format begins – our hope is that it provides a little more sense of “being there,” but if it doesn’t meet that goal then we’ll change it back to our previous format.
  5. For those joining us in-person – when you arrive, you will notice some differences: there will be no Sunday school. Due to the difficulty of social distancing children and the various situations of our volunteers, we have suspended in-person Sunday school for all ages through the rest of the summer. Please continue to find each week’s lessons online.
  6. We will not be providing coffee and the kitchen will be closed. Please bring your beverage of choice from home in a spill-resistant container. Parents: please ensure that your children have whatever drinks they need with them when you come to church.
  7. Other than the sanctuary, hallway, and bathrooms, please refrain from going into other areas of the church – this will preserve our disinfection supplies.
  8. The service itself will be socially distanced. Every-other-pew has been roped off. We would ask that you sit in family units (feel free to “adopt” a family if you are coming alone and you and they agree that it is safe to do so!), and ask that parents keep their children with them while in the building. Note that, due to people’s differing comfort levels, we will not be shaking hands or giving hugs – feel free to wave from afar.
  9. We have removed everything from the pews, so please plan on bringing your own Bible and reading all music from the screen. “Give away” Bibles are available for visitors or those who forget to bring one.
  10. We are encouraging and recommending that you wear a face mask, but it is not being required. Please be respectful and supportive of others. Remember that there are good reasons to wear one, such as to keep from touching your face and to protect others from your coughs. Remember also that there are very real reasons why folks aren’t wearing masks: glasses fogging up, trouble breathing, and difficulty communicating.
  11. We won’t be taking up an offering with collection plates, but instead we will have a locked “offering box” on the information table in the hallway for any offerings that you would like to give. The other giving options of online, mailing it in, etc. will remain available as well.
  12. We ask for your patience with one another during this time. The only way that we can have the joy of meeting together in-person is if we do what we can to prevent the spread of Coronavirus within our church. Certainly, we can’t guarantee that it won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean we should be careless either. Similarly, rest reassured that – should the situation in Sioux City worsen again – the leadership will reconsider whether we can have in-person services in a reasonably safe manner. As well, if we are notified by the health department of anyone testing positive for Coronavirus who has been at the church service, we will suspend services for a minimum of two weeks.