COVID-19 Update Reopening Guidelines
Reopening Guidelines for Grace Christian Fellowship Church
June 9, 2020
Hello, and God bless you! I wish to share with you the guidelines established by our church family’s Elder Board leaders from our meeting on Sunday, May 31, 2020, concerning our reopening on June 21, 2020.
First, our worship service will be at the same time it has been for many years. Church family prayer will be from 10:30-10:45 A.M. The worship service will be from 10:45 A.M. – 12:00 noon. Please do your very best to be in church and seated with your family at 10:30 A.M. Until further notice, we will only be meeting for our worship service on a Sunday morning. Other church ministries will be reinstated when we all know it is safe for them to begin again. Wednesday evening Bible study for adults and interested youth will be held from 6:00 P.M. – 7:15 P.M. in our church sanctuary, so it can be live-streamed.
Concerning your Sunday morning entrance into the church, you will not receive a worship bulletin. No worship bulletins will be used for safety reasons until at least August or September. One Elder Board leader will greet you with the door open. Please go to your family seating area. Some areas will have two chairs together. Some three. Some four. And some, more than that, if needed. Then, the six feet of social distancing will separate the family gathering areas. Therefore, about half of our chairs in the sanctuary will be moved to the sanctuary hallway leading to the nursery areas (for safety reasons, we cannot have a nursery at this time). Families will please stay seated together throughout the worship hour. For the Children’s Sermon, children will please stay with their families. The Children’s Sermon leader will give the Children’s Sermon from the front of the church, as Marlene Woodard demonstrated for the worship service on May 31, 2020. Children will remain with their families for the entire worship service (we cannot have Children’s Church because of safety reasons).
Concerning hymn singing, we will worship our Lord in song, but we do need to sing softly, again, for safety reasons. Actually, soft, gentle worship is a very beautiful thing in the sight of the Lord.
For our time to receive tithes and offerings, our four offering plates will be placed in different areas of the sanctuary. Please place your gift in the nearest offering plate when I finish praying. Please do not take the offering plate, or pass it. Just walk up to it, and place your offering within.
When the worship service ends, I will not go to the door to greet you (as much as I want to!). I will greet you with a heartfelt “until next time, our Lord willing” from the pulpit area. Please exit the church with social distancing in mind.
About face masks. Some of you believe that wearing a face mask is essential. Others of you do not feel this way. Please be sure to respect every person’s choice in this regard.
I must ask everyone (as much as I do not want to write this) not to hug, shake hands, etc. outside of your family at any time we are together for our worship service, for these acts could defeat the purpose of everything we are putting in place until this viral crisis has passed.
I need to stress that if you or anyone in your family feels sick, please do not come to church. Prayerfully, we will have a live stream set-up and running beginning on Sunday, June 21, 2020.
For those not able to attend in person at this time, tithes and offerings may continue to be mailed to our church PO Box 702 – Manning, SC 29102.
As a small aside, we will partake of our first Holy Communion in quite a while on Sunday, June 28, 2020. It will look much different than ever before. When your family enters the church, Cheryl DuBose will have a disposable communion wafer/grape juice cup for every member of your family, plus a small sandwich bag per family to place the finished communion wafer/grape juice cups once communion has been completed. She will give you instructions about this when you come into the church. Unlike the way we have done communion in the past, no one will come to the altar at all. You will stay with your family throughout the communion. When we dismiss, please place your bag on your chair, and they will be collected and thrown away later.
I feel quite sure that we will need to adjust certain things as we continue to meet. Please be patient and loving toward everyone in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a very stressful time, but our Lord is good and all-powerful and in control in every way, not just for now—but for forever!
You are very loved,
Pastor Mike and Elder Board Members