Regathering On-Campus to Begin June 21
May 28, 2020
Regathering FAQ’s - Welcoming the Church Back on Campus for Worship!
We look forward to regathering on campus for worship beginning Sunday, June 21. This process is the recommended plan from the Deermeadows Ministry Team, Medical Advisory Team comprised of healthcare professionals, and the Volunteer Logistics Team. The church-wide survey has informed each group in its decision-making. Thank you!
When will on-campus worship resume and what will the schedule be?
On-campus worship will begin taking place, Sunday, June 21, at 11:00 AM. The church will regather for worship only (no other Sunday activities yet).
Worship will move to 11:00 AM in order to allow people time to drive to campus after finishing 9:00 AM online Bible studies. We suggest worshipers arrive about 20 minutes ahead of worship in order to park and be ushered to seating.
Will I need to pre-register for worship?
Yes, because seating will begin at limited capacity due to social distancing guidelines, we are asking each person to pre-register. Pre-registration numbers and a waiting list will help us determine the need for additional service times after June 21. We understand this may cause an inconvenience, so thank you for understanding as we seek to accommodate those who wish to worship in-person. Capacity will increase over time upon the recommendation of the church staff, the Medical Advisory Team and the Volunteer Logistics Team leaders.
Pre-registration will begin each week on Monday morning at 9:00 AM, for the following Sunday only. Worshipers will need to pre-register weekly through an online link OR by calling a phone number that will be made available later. Registrations will begin on Monday, June 15, 9 AM, for the first Regathering on June 21. Registrations will be confirmed in the order they are received. As a sign of the church’s hospitality, some seats will be held for first-time guests. If we have more worshipers than available seats on June 21, the church will consider additional service times beginning the following week. Seating capacity will increase over time.
May I sit wherever I wish?
Worshipers will be taken to assigned seats due to social distance guidelines. Only every other pew will be available, and worshipers (households) spaced left-to-right at a minimum of 6 feet. Everyone will be ushered in and out of the sanctuary, before and after worship, to and from their assigned seats. Everyone in your household should arrive together in order to be seated. Thank you for cooperating
Is worship open to all?
Yes, worship is open to all, EXCEPT we do ask those with a fever of 100+ to worship with us online. During these days we do recommend that everyone follow the advice of personal physicians and other healthcare professionals, particularly those in at-risk categories. And, if you decide to stay home for a while, the church will continue offering online worship.
Those who have had contact with current CoVid-19 patients are asked to worship online for two weeks, except for professionals in the line of duty.
Will there be activities and care for my kids during worship?
Not yet. We invite you to worship together as a family in the sanctuary, in the overflow room if necessary, or online from home. ETC (Extended Teaching Care) and Children’s Worship will not be offered until a future date. We will provide “Worship Bags” for kids to help them stay engaged with worship.
How will the time of worship look and feel? How long will it last?
As we begin to regather, worship will continue to be approximately 50 minutes in length.
We hope to include all ages in worship elements such as scripture, prayers, etc. Observance of the Lord’s Supper will be handled in a different, yet safe way, for the foreseeable future. Decisions about baptisms will be made later. We will not have physical contact (handshakes, fist bumps, etc.) during the greeting time. We ask everyone to refrain from physical contact while on campus.
Should I wear a face mask into the sanctuary?
Yes, face masks for worshipers are strongly encouraged immediately upon regathering in order to protect those who worship with us. All staff and volunteers will wear masks except when leading from the platform which is positioned well away from worshipers.
Face masks will be available upon entry for those without one.
Will restrooms & water fountains be available?
Restrooms will be open with appropriate social distancing, and certain sinks and toilets will be closed. Attendants at restroom entrances will monitor room capacity. Please always wash hands and utilize hand sanitizer regularly. Water fountains will be closed. Water bottles will be available for pick-up (please feel free to bring into the sanctuary, but do dispose of following worship).
Will we sing?
The church will worship upon regathering with scripture, prayers, message, music, video, stories and more, facilitated by worship leaders from the platform. However, the Medical Advisory Team asks that we not encourage congregational singing immediately until a later date when it is safer to do so, due to the particles expelled while singing. We continue to follow the researched, medical studies pertaining to singing during this pandemic.
The Deermeadows Choir & Orchestra will not rehearse together for some time due to their close proximity with one another in an enclosed space, and because of the process of creating music with forced air. Large musical groups will reconvene for rehearsal and fellowship at a later date. We will evaluate and consider the leadership and safety of smaller groups of musicians in the meantime.
What happens when I arrive on campus?
You’ll be directed onto campus by our Sunday parking team. The front lawn will be unavailable for parking. Then you'll be guided to the sanctuary breezeway where everyone will enter the Narthex, and volunteers will take you to your seat. (Worshipers requiring physical assistance will be able to enter at the covered portico.) We encourage pre-registered worshipers to arrive about 20 minutes before worship. Please use hand sanitizer upon entry. Bring your Bible and a hymnal (apps available for both) if you wish since books have been removed from pews temporarily. Online worship guides and scripture will be available by scanning QR codes as you enter the building.
How do I give an offering as part of worship?
Offerings may be given using the labeled and secured boxes available just outside the Sanctuary and Gathering Place. Offering plates will not be passed during worship. Online giving and text giving remain as good options for giving, and instructions are available through the online worship guide.
What precautions are taken when cleaning the Deermeadows facilities?
The building and custodial teams are following procedures to clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces in and around the sanctuary before and after worship. Restrooms are cleaned regularly. Soap, hand sanitizer and face masks are readily available for everyone’s use. If additional worship gatherings are added, extra cleaning will take place between those times.
When will Wednesday activities, on-campus Bible studies, rehearsals, meals, church library, offices and meetings resume or open?
We don’t yet know the answer to this question. Leadership teams will continue to analyze and evaluate all incoming information from reputable sources to make decisions about continued regathering and reopening additional activities and on-campus spaces.