COVID-19 Updates - June 22, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dear Church Family,


We are excited to begin on campus worship beginning Thursday, June 25 with a 5pm traditional and 7pm contemporary service. We’ll also have services on Sundays beginning June 28th as follows: traditional worship at 9am and contemporary worship at 11am. The sermon will be the same at all four services and we will continue offering traditional and contemporary services online for those not ready to return to the building quite yet. Please watch the video message from Pastor Eddie and read the FAQ section below. If you have any additional concerns or questions, please reach out to Pastor Eddie or Pastor Mike.


Great Peace in the Lord!


REOPENING FAQs


When will New Hope gather together on campus again?

Because of continued voluntary compliance and the community’s greater awareness for Centers for Disease Control guidelines, the Session has decided we will begin meeting on Thursday, June 25 and Sunday, June 28 for worship services. Our new schedule for worship will look like this:

Thursdays

5pm: Traditional Service

7pm: Contemporary Service

Sundays

9am: Traditional Service

11am: Contemporary Service

All services will feature the same sermon.


Will we immediately jump back into our old schedule?

We will move forward in phases, just like our state is opening incrementally. We will take into consideration guidelines set federally and locally, as well as the recommendation of our leadership team. For now, only worship services will be offered on campus. Sunday school classes, small group Bible studies, all children’s events and group meetings will not take place at New Hope.


Will we continue sharing the services online?

YES! Traditional and contemporary worship services will still be available to view online each week. We will be recording the service LIVE each Thursday evening and then uploading them for viewing. Several small groups, Sunday school classes and Bible studies have still been meeting virtually throughout this time and plan to continue.


Who should come to in person worship services?

Based on recommendations from the CDC, the following people groups are considered high risk and discouraged from attending:

•    People aged 65 or older

•    People who are immunocompromised, have asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, liver disease, blood disorders or serious heart conditions

•    Anyone displaying cold/flu symptoms or having experienced a fever in the previous 14 days


What measures have been taken in anticipation of reopening?

•    The entire sanctuary has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized

•    We’ll have hand sanitizer available for use

•    The staff and elders have spent a significant amount of time researching, discussing and formulating a plan to reopen in the safest way possible and taken into consideration how we can gather in the safest possible way

•    All ushers, greeters and volunteers will be provided gloves and masks, which they will wear

•    We will have communion our first Sunday back together. We have purchased 1000 all in one disposable communion packages which come with a bread wafer on top and juice underneath. These will be available for pick up as you enter the sanctuary. After that, we will resume our normal communion schedule of first Sundays.


How will we ensure that we are following the suggested guidelines?

•    We have set up 112 chairs in the sanctuary, 25% capacity, spaced for social distancing and will only be able to accommodate that amount of people at each service. Because of this, we will be adding additional traditional and contemporary services

•    There will not be any coffee, water or lemonade stations or any type of food distributed

•    Masks are recommended for each person attending. They are required if a person is responding during the service either via liturgy or singing. Singing has been shown to transmit the COVID-19 virus.

•    We will not be distributing a bulletin, using the friendship pads or passing an offering plate

•    Offerings may be deposited in the locked boxes set up in the lobby

•    The facilities team will sanitize door handles and bathrooms during and between services

•    Following each service, the ushers, safety team and facility team will realign the chairs for the next service. There will be blue tape on the floor to expedite this process

•    Bathroom usage will be limited to four individuals at a time


What about Early Childhood, Elementary and Student Ministry?

No group gatherings for children aged birth thru high school will be taking place at this time. Social distancing is difficult for adults and impossible for our younger participants. Families are welcome to bring their children to a regular church service and sit together. We will continue to monitor the situation and look forward to continuing activities for our kiddos in a safe, fun environment,


Final thoughts:

It is our priority as Session and staff to serve our congregation as best as we can! We move forward with this plan after lots of consideration, prayer, and conversation. Please reach out to Pastor Eddie or Pastor Mike with any concerns you have. We continue to pray for our nation, government leaders, frontline healthcare workers and congregation as we navigate this situation.