Reopening the Church
May 30, 2020
This letter contains important information on attending church at Alvarado SDA.
Failure to comply with these guidelines will prevent you from entering the building.
Please read in its entirety.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Several weeks ago, our Elders had a meeting to discuss the possibility of reopening our church. They discussed the fact that our congregation is in the higher risk category, where getting COVID19 would be detrimental to their health. The Elders decided to create a special committee comprised of Cindy Reyna, James Singh, Terrie Bayless, Del Hofmann, Pastor and myself. The committee’s whole mission was first, to keep our congregation safe and healthy, and second, to open the Church so we could worship our Lord together once again. Not all people have or have had COVID19 and present symptoms but can still spread the virus. The committee’s main goal is that it is not spread on our watch and in our Church.
The committee was comprised of people with medical experience, cleaning experience, Pastor, Head Elder, Head Deacon and our own Safety Committee. They talked thoroughly about the cleaning of the church, how we were to social distance within the church and even down to how we were going to be seated, and dismissed from church. We have put together some very strict provisions that must be followed by all who are willing to come to church. These steps are to insure our health and well-being and peace of mind for ALL OF OUR CONGREGATION.
Arrival: There will be some added measures before being allowed in the church, because of social distancing and time we ask that you make provisions for these extra measures and arrive at church beginning at 10:15 AM. Once the Service has begun the doors will be locked so that all can enjoy the services. I apologize about this part in advance. To ensure that you are able to enjoy the service please arrive before 11:00 AM.
Social Distancing: Social Distancing is vitally important in the prevention of spreading COVID19, so we will be asking that you maintain at least six feet of separation while outside of our church and inside as well. To aid in this procedure, we will have deacons seat people before service, we will seat from the front of the church first going to the back of the church. We ask that when seated you remain seated until services are over. Dismissal will be just the opposite; we will start at the back of the church and move forward. We ask that you not congregate in the hallway and that you not greet with hugs or handshakes.
Health Check: There will be a health check before entering the Church. Temperatures will be taken and you will be asked a few questions about your health. For precautions if you present with a fever of greater than 99.1 and or a cough you will not be permitted inside the Church. If you have been exposed recently to someone who now has COVID19 you will not be permitted inside the Church. These measures are to protect everyone in the church, please be considerate and STAY HOME if you are not feeling well or you have been exposed.
Restroom: Once you have entered the church you will notice that doors going down the hall will be closed, they will remain closed before, during and after the services. We want to limit the amount of cleaning our crews will have to do during the services. For the Sanctuary, the mother’s room bathroom will be the only one that can be used. After each use a member of our safety team will clean and disinfect it for the next person.
Fellowship Hall: The Fellowship Hall will be used once the sanctuary has become full. If you are directed to the fellowship hall you will be asked to drive to the back of the church. The men’s restroom will be the designated restroom for those attending in the fellowship hall. A monitor will be outside the door to let one person in at a time. There will be a clean stall reserved for Ladies only.
Hymnals and Bibles: You will notice that all the hymnals and bibles have been removed from the church; this will alleviate the possibility of the spread of the virus. The words of the songs during the service will be printed in the bulletin. Please bring your own bibles.
Services: We will start promptly at 11:00 and will end promptly at 12:00. Please don’t just get up and start to leave the Church, you will be dismissed by rows by a deacon. Our first service back we will have a Testimonial Sabbath where we will be sharing our “war” stories about what you experienced during our time apart. We encourage you to share your story, but please keep it to three minutes, THERE WILL BE A TIMER.
Tithes and Offerings: To keep our deacons safe, tithes and offerings will not be taken up during the services. We will have two boxes in the hallway. One will be labeled Tithes and Offerings and one will be labeled Lambs Offerings. Please place those in the appropriate box on your way out.
Masks: Please come prepared to wear a mask while entering the church and during church services. If we sneeze, cough, or while we are singing, this prevents the spread of salvia. Remember the mask isn’t to keep you safe, but to keep safe all the folks around you.
I really appreciate all the input received as the Elders made their calls; we tried to stay connected with each other even though we were apart.
God Bless each of you and may He keep you safe and healthy during these trying times.
Head Elder, Alvarado SDA Church