UPDATE: MARCH 14, 12:30PM
Two days ago, we sent out some best practices leading into the weekend. We are still having physical services this weekend, but with some modifications:
We are working hard to prepare both of our services to be available for online streaming through our Facebook page. If you have any hesitations about coming, please choose to join us online and worship from home.
Sunday School Classes:
Tomorrow, we will not hold Sunday school classes during either service.
During each service, we will still offer a place of learning for all children who have not shown any symptoms of sickness in the past 24 hours. Our children’s ministry volunteers are taking every precaution for safety, by washing and sanitizing their hands frequently, as well as regularly sanitizing and cleaning surfaces used during lessons.
To limit surface contact and contamination, communion this weekend will be double-cupped. This means that only one tray with cups will be passed; there will be a stack of two cups for each person, with the bread underneath and the juice on the top. Likewise, if you wish to not take physical communion tomorrow and choose simply to use the time for prayer, this is fully understood.
Again, to limit surface contact, we will not be using bulletins or physical hand-outs this week. Instead, be sure to keep up with our online bulletin board at smokymountainchurch.com/bulletinboard.
Instead of passing the plate, we will have a box set up in the auditorium where offerings can be placed. Likewise, if you choose to stay home and still wish to give, we are working to have an online option for giving set up in the next few days.
Finally, with everything going on, I hope each of us will take the time to stop for a moment and remember one thing: we can choose to respond to the current circumstances with fear, or we can choose to respond with joy, with the peace God has given us, and with a commitment to care for our neighbors and for our community in unconventional ways, seeking to be like Jesus at all times.
I am excited to be part of a church that will choose to embrace that second option.
Smoky Mountain Christian Church
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 1:00PM
Dear Smoky Mountain Christian Church Family,
We’ve all been hearing a lot about the coronavirus these past few weeks, and how we each should be taking standard precautions. Additionally, we are still very much in the midst of cold and flu season here in East Tennessee. The leadership team here at SMCC has decided to share the following practices for the near future, and we wish today to communicate them to you. We certainly don’t want to raise unnecessary alarm, but we also want to be a safe environment where people of all ages can worship without increased risk of becoming ill.
So here are some basic guidelines we are kindly requesting that you consider when you are at church or church activities.
1. Wash your hands often while you are in the building.
2. Please make frequent use of the hand sanitizer dispensers placed all around our facility.
3. Follow the basic advice of not touching your face after person-to-person contact, and go wash your hands or sanitize them again.
4. We are a friendly church in the South (and we want to stay that way!), but for now, consider an alternative approach to our usual handshakes and hugs. Instead, be mindful that some people may prefer an elbow bump or a friendly wave instead.
5. Feel free to bring along your own hand sanitizer and offer to share it with others.
6. If you are feeling like you are under the weather, please be gracious to others and choose to listen to the sermon online after services from home. Of course, it’s always better to be at church in person, EXCEPT when you run the risk of causing someone else to become sick. Likewise, if you have a child who has exhibited any symptoms of illness 24 hours prior to services, please wisely choose to keep them home for the morning.
We are working to make sure the environment of SMCC is welcoming, loving, and safe for all ages and faces, and we look forward to seeing you this weekend as we continue growing in the Word of God!
Smoky Mountain Christian Church