Emmanuel Church’s COVID-19 Response Updates

As we continue to gather for indoor services this fall, we wanted to provide you with a detailed sketch of our plans and protocols in light of COVID-19. In preparing this plan the leaders of the church have spent a great deal of time talking to one another, researching the underlying challenges related to gathering, reading and processing guidelines from various health organizations, and interacting with a number of our members on various concerns. Know that the plan we’re presenting below has been prepared with a great deal of thought, prayer, input, and dialogue. We recognize that there are lots of opinions out there about how churches should handle this situation. We also acknowledge no one’s preferences will be perfectly met by this plan. However, we view this as a good opportunity for us to apply Paul’s words in Philippians 2:3-4,
 
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Presently, we plan to hold all of our regular Sunday gatherings with various protocols in place.

  • Our 9:30am adult equip classes and children's Sunday school classes are arranged to allow for social distancing. Adults and children over the age of 11 are requested to wear masks.
  • The 10:30am worship service will be a socially-distanced service. We have a plan for seating that allows for a distance of roughly six feet between families. This will allow for a capacity of approximately 135 people in the sanctuary. When you are ready to enter the sanctuary, you will be greeted by an usher who will escort you and your family to your seat.
  • When we reach the 135 person capacity in the sanctuary, we will then make use of an overflow room in the chapel just down the hall from the sanctuary. We will have chairs set up at a safe social distance and will have a video stream of the service piped into the chapel.
  • We are requesting that members wear face-masks while indoors, as well as children 11 and older. If you don't have a face mask, a one-time use disposable face-mask can be provided for you. We have a table with masks at the back of the sanctuary. Those with medical conditions that are compromised by wearing a face mask are exempted from this request.
  • We offer childcare for children ages 0-4 in our nursery facilities downstairs during Equip and Sunday school classes as well as our morning worship. Extra sanitary protocols have been put in place to provide for the safest possible environment for children. Parents are also welcome to bring their children into the sanctuary or the overflow room (chapel) during the service as well.
  • When you are ready to exit the building, please plan on exiting outside the upstairs sanctuary doors on either side of the platform. Please do not exit the building from the main downstairs entrance under the carport.

Our plan is to keep these measures in place during all of Phase 2.5. We will continually be re-evaluating these measures over the next few weeks and may make adjustments as needed, which will be reflected on this page.

One final word about what we might call the "tone" of these restrictions. Please hear these guidelines as warm encouragements from the leaders of the church. We are not going to police the congregation. We're a family, and we want to create as comfortable an atmosphere as possible during our meetings. So please feel at ease as you seek to follow these guidelines. We are not going to judge one another nor will we divide over our differences. We'll work through this in a spirit of love, tenderness, and grace toward one another. 

We appreciate your prayers and your patience. Feel free to share any concerns with us at any time. We are always open to you. We will navigate this situation together with Christ's help! 

Yours in the love of God,

The Pastors of Emmanuel Church