has issued new guidance for churches that is effective this Friday May 1.
She has stated that Iowans may once again gather for spiritual or religious
purposes, so long as churches take reasonable measures to ensure social
distancing. In response, here
is LBC’s plan for at least the next couple weeks. Lord willing, as time
goes on, we can continue to return toward a more “normal” ministry schedule!
For now we will continue all the online ministry we have been doing for the past six weeks: On Sunday mornings we will continue to have 10am Huddles on Zoom and 10:45am Worship on YouTube. We will also continue to have youth group online on Thursdays and children’s Sunday School online on the weekends.
The one significant change that we are making to our schedule starting this week is this. We plan to add an in-person worship service at the church on Sunday at 8am. This 8am service still won’t look normal, though, as we are careful to abide by our governor’s guidance.
Here’s a few things
you need to know about the 8am in-person worship service on Sunday:
1) We are urging our members that are more vulnerable to this virus not to attend this in-person service. If you are older than 65 or if you have a preexisting medical condition, our advice is that you continue to participate in our online services rather than coming to this in-person service. We love you, and would very much prefer to throw the doors open for everyone. However, at this early point in the reopening of Iowa, the medical professionals and those whom God has placed in authority over us are telling us it is better for you if you stay home a little bit longer.
2) We will be following strict social distancing guidelines in this 8am service. The general idea is this: you should always keep 6 feet away from anyone who is not in your household. We are rearranging the worship center to make this possible. We have taken out every other row of chairs so that there’s six feet between you and the people in front and behind. In addition, we will ask you to leave four empty chairs between your household and anyone else beside you in your row.
Seated like this, we can safely seat up to 75 people in the worship center and up to 75 people in “overflow” in the gym. At the end of the 8am service we will dismiss people by rows so that they can exit to the outdoors where it will be easier to maintain 6 feet of distance when you fellowship.
3) We will not offer any nursery or childcare.
4) We will not be serving any kind of food or drink this week. We will not be serving communion, nor will we be serving coffee or snacks.
5) If you plan to come to the in-person 8am worship service this Sunday, would you please let us know ahead of time? If you plan to come, please call or email the church before this Friday at 4pm to let us know. In this way we can ensure ahead of time that we have enough space to safely accommodate everyone.
6) After the service, we will not mingle as a group. Instead each row will be dismissed by an usher.
7) Those worshiping in the gym and those worshiping in the sanctuary may not cross paths. We will keep each group totally separate.
8) Hand sanitizing stations will be place at the entrances of the building.
9) Our amazing custodian (who, by the way, also has a job sanitizing a hospital) will clean everything after the service.