Dear SMCC Family,
The past year has been anything except normal, but through it all, one thing has been made abundantly clear: we are still the church, and nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “Back to Normal,” is a phrase many of us hear on a daily basis, and it is a phrase we are becoming increasingly aware is not adequate for this current time. Instead, as we look around at “The New Normal,” around us, we keep in mind that God knew this would be happening long before we did. Because of this, the thriving church does not approach this newness with fear, but with a renewed reliance on God and an eagerness to share the gospel of Christ in new ways.
This letter outlines guidlines for Worshiping in building at this time. We ask that you keep the following in mind:
First, please be aware that some of us are eager to return and continue back to 100% as quickly as possible. On the flip side, many of us are still planning to worship with our church family from a continued physical distance. We are making plans for the months ahead with both groups of people in mind so that no one will be left out, and so that we can continue to be a unified church as we move forward.
Second, as we continue ahead, everyone will benefit from abundant amounts of grace offered to one another. We ask that each of us choose up front to be gracious with one another every step of the way, as both our community and the world around us will know that we are Christians, not by our programming or building or resources, but by our love.
The rest of this letter will focus on our weekly worship gatherings, physical and online, and it has been written in a Question/Answer format. We are keeping in line with the recommendations of the CDC, as well as our federal and state governments, and if there should be updates to their guidelines, we will follow suit and update accordingly.
Will we be meeting physically?
We are meeting Weekly on Sunday mornings with both a Traditional Service at 9am and a Contemporary Service following at 10:30.
Will there still be online services?
What will be the most notable differences when we meet physically?
We will be spacing groups of chairs 4 to 6 feet apart from one another in keeping with social distancing guidelines, and will have a maximum capacity of 70 people at once in our auditorium. Likewise, we will continue with social distancing as we meet together, meaning that we will greet one another with verbal greetings and waves.
What if we are over capacity?
If we are over capacity, we will try to accommodate as best as possible. SMCC Members should be ready at 9am to attend Sunday School and then come to the 10:30 service. Should the 10:30 be over capacity we will try to accommodate as best we can next door in the annex with a projector and streaming.
Are there special instructions on entering/exiting the building?
15 minutes prior to each service, ushers will open the doors to the building. We kindly ask that everyone who arrives early remain in their cars until then. When the doors open, please enter through our main double doors at the south end of the building facing the road, which is where most people normally enter. At the end of service, we will ask everyone in attendance to exit through the side doors leading out of our auditorium.
How will we take communion/share in offering?
Our Ushers currently are distributing the elements in a 2 cup system, bottom has the bread top has the juice. They are wearing gloves and handing them out individually to each if they wish to participate.
Will restrooms and/or seats be disinfected between services?
Yes. Each seat and each restroom will be disinfected before each service.
What about children’s ministry?
There will be Sunday School during each service.
What about Wednesday Bible Study?
Wednesday Bible Study and Youth Group will continue to meet each week at 6pm.
Should I wear a mask?
Yes, please. We are highly encouraging everyone who attends to wear a mask or face covering for the duration of the gathering.
What if I am in a high-risk category, or have recently had a fever, cough, or have shown other symptoms of the coronavirus?
If you fall into any of these listed categories, we ask that you please refrain from joining physically, and choose instead to worship online from home.
Thank you for taking the time to read our procedures, and thank you in advance for choosing to pave the path of uncertainty with grace and patience that flow directly from Christ. We write all of this in love, and with an abundance of gratitude for all that God has given us.
God is good all the time.
SMCC Elders, Deacons and Staff