Church Re-Opening Update #31 教會重啟更新

As a church we look forward to returning to pre-pandemic life and ministry. Over the next month we will begin to relax our guidelines, starting with the Sunday, July 4 service.

For Sunday, July 4 you will no longer need to register online in advance. You are welcome to join us without reservation. We will continue to have a screening and check-process when you arrive but physical distancing and capacity limits will be lifted. Also, outdoor church activities will no longer require masks.

Thank you for your understanding, for your support, and for all of our volunteers who have participated in these processes!

教會正熱切盼望將我們的生活和服事回復到疫情發生前的常態。從7月4日的崇拜開始,在未來的一個月裏我們會逐漸放寬許多與防疫有關的因應措施。

到教會參加面對面的崇拜,從7月4日起不再需要預約。也就是說,弟兄姊妹們無須經過預約程序即可到教會參加崇拜。當抵達教會時,我們暫時仍會繼續保持測試跟報到程序,但是已無須保持安全距離,會堂裏也不再有因疫情而特設的人數限制。而且,屆時參加教會戶外活動不再需要戴口罩。

感謝弟兄姊妹們長期來的支持,我們也特別感謝所有參與重啟事工的弟兄姊妹們!

Church Re-Opening Update #30 教會重啟更新

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you are aware, the State of California announced a full economic re-opening on Tuesday, June 15. Info on what will change on that date can be found here and LA County announced that it will align with state plans. We rejoice that health conditions in Los Angeles County have improved. Daily cases have decreased to around 200, much lower than the previous heights.

What does this mean for the church? We continue to monitor and process the guidance from the CDC, State of California and LA County. We plan orderly changes to our re-opening and continue to consider matters of practical implementation for our volunteers and members. In this update we want to give a sense of how we are approaching the June 15 date and how our processes will change and ministries will be restored over time:

Screening Questions continue to be important because of travel advisories and the different strains in other countries. At the same time, vaccination makes domestic travel safer than before. We will update our screening questions with these two ideas in mind and continue to ask that members RSVP for worship service so that you are aware of the screening questions before you arrive. We are actively looking for a date when RSVP will no longer be needed.

Face Coverings are now optional for those on stage who have been vaccinated. Face coverings continue to be required at all other times while indoors at church, until such time as they are not a requirement for any people. This is out of recognition of youth settings, mixed groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated, and our desire to have clear guidelines.

Singing Guidance is being updated. As we have shared in worship service, we are encouraging those physically present to “sing softly” and we want those who come to worship service to feel comfortable and safe, facilitated in part by face coverings and air filtration, and able to express their worship in song to God.

Other ministries are actively being restored in-person. Children’s Ministry has begun to open. One adult Sunday school class has begun hybrid instruction. And later this month the Boy Scouts will begin to use areas of the GWC instead of keeping all of their activity outside on the parking lot. However, we also recognize the challenges of fragmentation, technical requirements, and scheduling. Some ministries pause for the summer while others have already begun a new quarter online. To this end we are looking to coordinate a major return to in-person ministries in September.

We want to thank you for your prayers and patience as we navigate the complexities of changing guidelines & procedures and plan an orderly return together. We praise God that in-person worship services have been held without major issue for over a month and for all the teams that enable the livestreams to function. While we coordinate the return of ministries we are also working very hard to improve our network infrastructure to be able to handle additional, concurrent events on the campus.

各位親愛的弟兄姊妹們,如您所知,加州州政府日前宣布將於六月十五日全面重啟經濟,您可在此瀏覽相關訊息。洛杉磯縣(洛縣)公共衛生局亦宣布將跟進州政府之全面重啟計劃。洛縣目前每日新增確診人數在200人左右,較先前疫情嚴峻時減少了許多。我們為著洛縣健康環境的普遍改善而歡喜快樂。

從教會的觀點,全面重啟意味著什麼?教會不斷持續關注並了解疾病控制預防中心(CDC),加州和洛縣所發布的重啟最新指示。我們借助教會義工及會員以務實可行的方式,循序漸進地重啟教會崇拜及其他聚會活動。在本次更新中,我們將提供有關教會對六月十五日加州全面重啟的取向,教會重啟程序將作的修正,以及未來一段時間內教會事工將如何漸次恢復等資訊。

檢測問題 - 由於新冠肺炎相關的旅行警示及各種突變病毒,因此檢測問題在登記及報到過程中仍屬必須。在此同時,因著美國疫苗接種人數的增加,國內旅行已較先前安全了許多。教會崇拜登記的檢測問題將包括這兩點,並繼續要求會友預先為崇拜出席作登記,因此當您到達教會時,您已熟悉檢測問題。我們正認真考量並盼望很快就能釐定出一個日期,從那時起參與實體崇拜將不再須要預先登記。

口罩 - 在台上事奉的教牧同工及弟兄姊妹們現在可選擇在崇拜服事時是否戴口罩。除此之外,直到政府作出所有人都不再需要戴口罩的宣布,所有參與者在教會室內仍須全時間戴口罩。此決定是為了保障大眾安全,基於兒童事工的重啟,群體中包涵著已接種及尚未接種者,以及教會仍等待政府頒布更明確的相關規定。

唱詩指示已有所更新。正如我們先前在崇拜中與會眾分享的,我們鼓勵參與實體崇拜的會友們”低吟輕唱”。我們也深切盼望所有在場的弟兄姊妹們因著大家都戴口罩,加上教會空氣過濾系統的加強,會感到自在和安全地以歌唱頌讚來敬拜神。

其他事工正審慎漸次地在恢復實體活動中。兒童事工已逐步恢復部分事工。成人主日學有一班已開始面對面及網上同步上課。例行在嘉惠堂聚集的童子軍們也將在本月底前開始在室內舉行活動,而不僅僅只在室外停車場聚集。在此同時,我們也深切了解因不同的重啟時刻表,網路技術上的需求,以及各種計畫安排的調度所帶來的挑戰。有些事工在夏季將暫停,有些則已在網路上開始了新的一季。從事工角度,我們正在朝著九月重啟的目標作準備。

當我們努力掌握極其複雜並不斷改變的規定和程序,以便策劃教會井然有序的重啟之時,我們特別要感謝所有弟兄姊妹們,感謝您們的代禱和耐心。我們感謝神,教會已平安順利地恢復有限度實體崇拜一個多月了。我們也感謝教會負責現場直播的影音團隊。在我們協調各事工恢復在教會的實體活動的同時,我們也特別留意強化教會網路系統功能,以便屆時多重事工能藉著教會網路在同一時間暢通進行。

Church Re-Opening Update #28 教會重啟更新

Last Sunday, May 2, we resumed in-person worship service. We are grateful for everyone who came to worship together and hope it was edifying for you! We also hope that those who streamed the service were able to access it and benefit from the live nature of the worship service. For this week’s update we would like to offer some reminders:

  1. Registration takes place each week. Please be reminded to register between Monday morning and Friday night for the upcoming Sunday service. Your advance registration helps ushers to prepare the seating.
  2. Please continue to arrive early for service, up to 30 minutes early. The process will get faster as we become more familiar with it but the number of attendees will also increase. Coming early will assure that you can be greeted and seated before service begins.

We understand that not everyone is ready or in a position to return to in-person worship service and we hope you can worship heartily where you are. If you were waiting to preserve seating for others, please know that each of our services had additional capacity last week and we would be blessed to see you.

Los Angeles County recently entered the Yellow Tier and health conditions continue to improve locally. We pray for God’s continued protection, and we also pray on behalf of those dramatically affected by COVID-19, such as in India, that they would receive help and find relief.

教會於上週日,五月二日恢復了實體敬拜。我們感謝所有回到教會參與敬拜的弟兄姐妹們,也衷心祝願你們覺得與肢體再度重聚很得益處。同時,我們也希望以觀看直播參與敬拜的弟兄姊妹們,你們能夠很容易就收看到,並且因為參與的是現場實體敬拜直播,靈裏一同響應。在本週的更新裏,我們將作下列提醒:

  1. 參與實體敬拜每週都需要報名。請記得若想參加下一主日的崇拜,請在週一早晨到週五晚間之間報名。如果大家都早一點報名,招待弟兄姊妹們就可以有較充裕的時間安排崇拜時的座位。
  2. 請繼續在崇拜前30分鐘之內到達教會。雖然當我們對報到程序較熟悉時,報到所需時間就會縮短,然而,隨著疫情的好轉,參與實體敬拜的人數也會相對增加。早些到達教會可以確保你和家人在崇拜開始前已完成報到並入座。

我們當中有些人對於返回教會參與實體崇拜目前尚有些保留,這是完全可以理解的。我們盼望不論身在何處,你都可以誠心敬虔地敬拜主。如果你之所以還不參與實體崇拜,是因為想將有限座位讓給別人,那麼請放心,因為上週每一堂的崇拜都還有一些空位,所以我們很盼望下週日能見到你。

洛杉磯縣疫情於上週已進步到黃色階段,本地的公共衛生情況也持續進步中。我們求神不住地保守,我們也為那些如印度等地區再度經歷新冠肺炎的肆虐,為了他們能即時得到所需的幫助,疫情得到紓緩而向神呼求。

Church Re-Opening Update #27 教會重啟更新

MBCLA will resume in-person worship services this Sunday, May 2. In preparation for this, we invite our church family to join with us in prayer for this transition, our volunteers, spiritual vitality, and the physical health of our community.

Let us pray:

  • That all church people can access the worship services, whether online or in-person;
  • That there is no disruption to worship service so that we can focus on our Great God together;
  • That our volunteers are excited and prepared for their acts of service;
  • That we may respond with wisdom and grace to any unexpected situations;
  • That Sunday, May 2 marks a new chapter in the ministry of the church and enables us to provide improved pastoral care;
  • That God protects the church and the local community from the pandemic, so that society may continue to re-open and God’s people can fellowship in-person;
  • With gratitude for all who are involved in the re-opening and heartfelt thanksgiving for the sustaining grace of our God.

教會於本週日,5月2日將恢復在教會的實體敬拜。在此過渡時期,我們請求弟兄姊妹們與我們一同為星期天實體崇拜的恢復過程,在崇拜中服事的眾弟兄姊妹們,教會屬靈的活力,以及周邊社區的健康情況齊心向神祈求。

請我們一同為下列事項禱告:

  • 教會所有的弟兄姊妹們不論在教會實體參與,或經由線上加入都能參加主日崇拜;
  • 在崇拜程序中,我們能專心敬拜我們偉大的神,不被任何突發事務分心;
  • 在崇拜中服事的弟兄姊妹們都靈裏火熱,準備周全,而會眾對他們的事奉存感恩之心;
  • 若有任何突發狀況,求神賜給我們以智慧和恩慈應對;
  • 5月2日為教會事工開啟嶄新的一頁,求主幫助教牧同工們,藉此契機,今後能夠更好地牧養弟兄姊妹們;
  • 求主保護我們的教會及周邊社區在疫情中的安全,以致社區可持續逐漸重啟,神的子民得以早日再度面對面在主裏交流;
  • 為重啟事工中所有參與服事的教牧同工與弟兄姊妹們獻上感謝;並對神豐盛無盡的恩惠衷心感恩。

Church Re-Opening Update #26 教會重啟更新

As part of our re-opening, we have created new YouTube channels and playlists for our live streamed services. This information is available at media.mbcla.org and we wanted to present it to you here as well. Please use the links below to access the worship services while they are streaming or view the playlist of past worship services. Please also consider subscribing to the new channels to receive notifications:

教會重啟計畫中的一環,就是為主日崇拜線上直播在YouTube 創建新的頻道(channels)和播放清單(playlists),這些資訊可以透過media.mbcla.org取得,以下也列出各堂鏈結方便您使用。請使用以下鏈結來參與主日崇拜 (無論您是在線上同步參加崇拜,或是透過播放清單觀看崇拜影片),也鼓勵您訂閱新的頻道得到及時的通知。

Church Re-Opening Update #25

We are so excited that MBCLA will have in-person worship services again. As part of this planning, we want to highlight some of the changes to the service to meet both safety standards/guidelines and still have a meaningful and God-honoring service.

What will it look like when we step into the sanctuary?

  • Due to the nature of COVID spreading mainly by aerosols, masks will be worn at all times and families will be physically distanced (6-feet distance).
  • All service elements (Scripture passages, lyrics, and sermon notes) will be projected so there will initially be no physical bulletins, bibles, nor hymnals used.
  • To accommodate more brothers and sisters for the in-person worship, we will reduce the number of our worship leaders, serving teams, and ushers in order to maintain the county’s safety guidelines.
  • In order to give enough time for our volunteers to clean up after the first worship, we will start promptly at 9am (Mandarin and English) / 11am (Cantonese), and conclude worship service within an hour.

How should we prepare ourselves when worship starts?

  • As our Lord taught us, we should be sober and reverent to meet our Lord in spirit and truth.
  • The worship order will be similar to pre-pandemic time with small modifications in order to:
    • Provide a safe distance between worship leaders
    • Take care of both in-person worshipers and those who are attending live-stream online
    • Avoid sharing and cross-contaminating AV equipment
  • We all love to praise God with our voices through reading and singing. Yet, from both research and county guidelines, active singing and chanting indoors will increase the risk of spreading and circulating aerosols. To keep our loved ones safe during worship, we can hum, meditate, and recite song lyrics reverently, joyfully, and excitedly in our hearts as Paul instructed us in Colossians 3:16.
  • An offering box will be near the exit to the worship hall. Instead of passing offering bags, place your offering in the box as you exit.
  • The Lord’s Supper will officially resume on the first Sunday of June (6/6). We pray that the Holy Spirit will humble and prepare our hearts to consume Christ’s body and blood while our Lord is still waiting to celebrate the meal with us in His Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 26:29, Luke 22:18).
    • Ushers will set up pre-packaged elements on a table right outside sanctuary doors for members to pick up.
    • The bread and cup will be taken consecutively with pastoral guidance to minimize taking masks off multiple times.
    • Love offering will not be collected but can be offered in the offering box as worshippers exit.
    • Used elements will be placed in a trash receptacle as they exit.
  • Instead of an altar call, to maintain physical distancing, responses to the sermon and prayer requests will be made online or by phone call.

How should we do after worship concludes?

  • Please do not linger so we have enough time to clean and prepare for the next worship service.

教會重啟更新#25

我們滿心歡喜教會即將恢復實體崇拜。在籌劃重啟時,我們願意與弟兄姊妹們預先分享崇拜過程中起初將有的一些更動。這是因為我們的實體崇拜,不僅是要有意義,而且榮耀神,同時也必須恪守保健標準跟準則。

當我們進入會堂,大致情形將會如何?

  • 由於新型冠狀病毒主要是經由空氣傳播,因此所有與會者都將全時間配戴口罩,並以家庭為單位保持6呎的安全人身距離。
  • 所有敬拜程序(聖經章節,詩歌歌詞,信息大綱等)都將投射在螢幕上,至少在重啟初期將不會備有實體程序單,聖經和詩歌本。
  • 為了使得更多的弟兄姊妹們能夠出席實體崇拜,我們將減少崇拜事奉團隊以及招待人數,以便出席總人數仍然在洛縣保健指南限度之內。
  • 為了方便弟兄姊妹們在第一堂崇拜後能夠有足夠時間清潔場地,崇拜將準時開始:9點鐘(國語堂/英語堂)/ 11點鐘(粵語堂),每個崇拜將不超過一小時。

當崇拜開始時,我們應該如何預備自己的心?

  • 正如主教導我們,當以警醒,存敬畏之心,用心靈和誠實敬拜我們的主。
  • 除了以下數項應變措施之外,崇拜程序與疫情前大致相同:
    • 崇拜帶領人彼此之間將保持安全距離
    • 崇拜過程將同時兼顧實體與會者和在線上參與者
    • 崇拜團隊將不共同使用音響器材避免交叉感染
  • 我們都很願意以自己的歌聲及誦讀聖經來讚美神。然而,根據多處研究結果及洛縣衛生局的指令,在室內歌唱和頌經大大地增加空氣傳播的機率。為了我們親愛的家人的安全,如使徒保羅在哥羅西書3:16裡教導我們的,在崇拜中我們可以用虔誠,喜樂,活潑的心,心被恩感地以哼詩歌的方式,默想及誦讀詩歌來歌頌神。
  • 我們會將一個奉獻箱放置在靠近會堂出口處。在會中將暫時不會以手傳手的方式傳遞奉獻袋收奉獻,請自行將奉獻放入奉獻箱內。
  • 六月份第一個星期天(6/6)教會將正式恢復主餐。我們禱告懇求聖靈謙卑我們的心,預備我們的靈來領受基督的身體和寶血。同時,我們的主正在等待著祂與我們在父神的國度裏,同我們喝新的那日(馬太福音26:29,路加福音22:18)。
    • 招待弟兄姐妹們會將成套的主餐餅杯放置於會堂外的桌上,請會眾自行領取。
    • 為了減少摘除口罩的次數,會眾將依照牧師的帶領,先吃餅,接著喝杯。
    • 愛心奉獻將不分別收取,請將愛心奉獻投入奉獻箱。
    • 使用過的聖餐容器,將由會友們離席時各自投入垃圾箱內。
  • 為了保持安全的人身距離,牧師在信息後將暫時不作呼召,請於線上或以電話方式作出任何對信息的回應和代禱請求。

崇拜結束後,我們有什麼應該特別注意的地方嗎?

為了便利下一堂崇拜的準備跟清潔,敬請直接離去,不在教會逗留。

Church Re-Opening Update #24 教會重啟

As we look forward to the May 2 return of in-person, indoor worship services, we would like to provide information about how to access the worship services and what they will be like. With our update this week we will specifically explain how to reserve a spot, what to expect when checking-in, and what general guidelines we will be expected to follow.

Question: How do we RSVP for worship service?

  1. To make your reservation, please visit the web address that corresponds with your worship service. You will be able to register from Monday at 9AM to Saturday at 12AM each week, or until we reach our capacity. If you need additional help, please contact the volunteer for each language group: Sarah Choo (Mandarin), Peter Meloserdoff (English), and Kay Wong(Cantonese).

Here are the links:

  1. On the event page, click on the large “Register” button to begin registration. First you will choose the number of tickets you are requesting, one for each person. Then you will be asked to provide a name and email for each ticket. You will also be presented with screening questions for each person. If you or anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms or answers yes to any of the questions, we invite you to wait an additional week before making a reservation.
  2. Upon arrival at church on Sunday morning, the check-in volunteer will ask for your name and compare it with the ticket list generated from online registration. You do not need to print out a physical ticket.

Question: What will check-in on Sunday morning include?

  1. Check-in opens 30 minutes before each worship service. It takes place at the Woodward Ave. entrance of the Main Campus and at the main entrance of the Garfield Worship Center.
  2. At the entrances, you will be greeted by MBCLA ushers and hospitality team. You and everyone in your household can expect:
    1. Greeting – We are so glad that you’ve come to join us!
    2. Face Covering Check – If you are not wearing a mask, you will be offered one
    3. Temperature Check – Those with temperature <100.4 are welcome to enter
    4. Reservation Check – We will confirm that you have registered in advance for the worship service
    5. Screening Questions – You will be asked the same screening questions from the RSVP process to confirm that answers have not changed
    6. Check-in – Your attendance will be recorded
  3. After successfully checking-in, worshipers will be directed to follow the arrows on the floor to be seated in the sanctuary. Those who have symptoms or otherwise do not pass the screening process will be asked to rest and recover before joining us for a future worship service. Those without reservations will be asked to livestream the service from outside or from their vehicles.

Question: What general guidelines will we follow for a safe and orderly return?

  1. Social Distancing – We will practice physical distance between households when walking or seated.
  2. Mask Wearing – We will wear masks at all times when inside MBCLA buildings.
  3. Minimal Physical Contact – We will provide a QR code to access digital Sunday worship bulletins rather than printed copies, offering boxes instead of bags, and projected lyrics instead of hymnals.
  4. Worship Service Priority – Other ministries will not immediately return. As a result, the church office, children’s building, and classrooms will remain closed until a later date. We invite worshipers to exit directly after the conclusion of the worship service.

在我們一同熱切等待教會於五月二日開始重新恢復實體室內敬拜之際,我們將分享到教會參與實體敬拜所需經過的程序與相關細節。本週的更新裏將詳細解釋如何預訂崇拜座位,到教會報到需完成的步驟,以及需要遵守的保健準則。

問題:如何預訂崇拜座位?

    1. 請至下列各語言組網頁完成崇拜座位訂位。預約時間從每星期一早晨9點至星期五午夜12點,或當座位完全訂完時為止。如果你想要在網上訂位,但需要幫助,請與各語言組同工聯繫:國語堂:朱華玲傳道;英語堂:Peter Meloserdoff;粵語堂:黃兆琪弟兄。

弟兄各語言組訂位網址如下:

  1. 在網頁上,請點擊”Register(登記)”按鈕開始訂位程序。選擇訂位票數,每人一票。每票須輸入姓名及電郵地址。每人需回答新冠肺炎(COVID-19)檢測問題。如果你或你的家人中任何一人有COVID-19病徵或對任何檢測問題作”是”的回答,我們將要求你和你的家人等一個星期,再在網上訂位。
  2. 當你在星期天早晨到達教會時,負責報到的同工會詢問你的名字,並對照訂位名單。你不需要將訂位票打印出來。

問題:星期天早晨在教會的報到程序包括哪些步驟?

  1. 每堂崇拜前30分鐘可以開始報到。報到地點:國語堂在正堂Woodward Ave. 大門進口處;英語堂/粵語堂:嘉惠堂大門進口處
  2. 招待及迎賓小組將在大門口歡迎你的到來。你及你的家人將會經過:
    1. 歡迎問安 - 我們誠摯地歡迎你來到我們中間
    2. 口罩檢測 - 如果你忘了戴口罩,教會將會提供口罩給你
    3. 體溫檢測 - 體溫低於華氏100.4度者可參與崇拜
    4. 訂位核定 - 我們將核定你和你的家人預先已為崇拜訂位
    5. 檢測問題 - 你將再度回答在訂位時已作答的相關檢測問題,以便確定你的回答沒有改變
    6. 報到 - 你的出席將會被記載在教會實體崇拜出席紀錄中
  3. 當你完成以上所述所有報到程序後,將會被邀請按照地板上箭頭所指方向進會堂入座。若在報到時有病癥或未通過檢測程序者,則會被邀請以後再來參與教會實體室內敬拜。至於沒有訂位但來報到者,將會被邀請在戶外或自己的車子裏以觀賞直播的方式來參加崇拜。

問題:為了確保教會的重啟井然有序而且安全,我們應當遵照哪些準則?

  1. 遵守社交距離 - 當走路或入座時,各家保持一定距離(以一家人為單位)
  2. 戴口罩 - 在教會裏的時候,我們將全時間戴著口罩
  3. 盡量減少實體接觸 - 我們將不分發程序單,而是以QR code提供數位崇拜程序單,奉獻箱將取代以往手傳手的奉獻袋,詩歌歌詞將投射在銀幕上,不用詩歌本。
  4. 崇拜以外的事工 - 實體崇拜是教會重啟初期的首要重點,其他事工目前還不會立即恢復實體聚集。因此,教會辦公室,兒童教育大樓及課室都將繼續關閉一段時間。我們要求弟兄姊妹們在崇拜完畢之後,直接立即離開會堂及教會。

 

Church Re-Opening Update #23

In response to the Re-Opening Survey, we would like to announce the May 2 return of in-person, indoor worship services:
  • Mandarin Worship Service: 9:00am, Main Sanctuary
  • English Worship Service: 9:00am, GWC Sanctuary
  • Cantonese Worship Service: 11:00am, GWC Sanctuary
  • Glendora Mission: tbd, FBC Glendora
Those who tune-in will be able to access the livestream for these services through media.mbcla.org. In-person attendance will initially be limited, but we plan to expand capacity, add additional service times and return other in-person ministries after we’ve re-established these worship services. In the coming weeks we will share plans and instructions so that you will know how to reserve your seat and what to expect when you join us in person. Please continue to visit this website for more information:
  • April 16 Update – RSVP; Check-in; What to expect when you arrive
  • April 23 Update – Worship Service Order; How to access the live streams
  • April 30 Update – How to Pray for Reopening
Thank you also for your responses to the survey. We have been readying our technical capabilities for some time and your feedback on the re-opening date enabled us to finalize and announce the date. Here are some results and observations from the survey:

Question: Which best describes your plan for in-person, indoor worship service if they begin on Sunday, May 2?

Thirty-seven percent of those who responded said that they would attend a Sunday, May 2 in-person, indoor worship service. Thirty-five percent indicated that they would wait additional weeks. Twenty-eight percent communicated that it may be a while before returning. We estimate from these responses that interest in the May 2 worship services slightly exceeds our initial capacity, which we have limited in order to accommodate check-in procedures and social distancing. We also recognize that a significant number would like to join later in May and June and we will need to expand capacity to make it possible.

Question: What is your primary reason for waiting additional weeks to return to in-person, indoor worship service?

The primary reason that members gave for waiting additional weeks to return – nearly half of the responses – was to “see how church health and safety guidelines are implemented.” As church staff, volunteers, and attendees this reminds us that others are watching to see how re-opening is conducted. An orderly, safe return will enable others to join us for worship. Some members are waiting for the vaccine. Some members want to make sure that worship service is not overcrowded. Meanwhile some members indicated their desire to prioritize the return of others before themselves given the limited capacity.

Question: What is your primary reason it may be a while before you return?

Those that indicated it may be a while before returning provided reasons for their decision. The largest portion are waiting until more restrictions have been lifted on worship services. A similarly large portion are waiting for vaccination. We also acknowledge those who are unsure about the effectiveness of the vaccine, those who like the convenient option of watching online, and those who are waiting for additional ministries to return like Children’s Ministry. As a church we do not have control over all of these factors but we will work on those factors we can affect so that you may return.
Other Observations:
  • Members asked about outdoor worship service. While the re-opening team prioritized online accessibility and a return to the sanctuary, we have and continue to consider outdoor accessibility as well. In the weeks that follow re-opening we hope to enable outdoor seating at the church.
  • Members expressed interest in expanding our technological capabilities and hiring technical staff. There are growing pains associated with purchasing, installing, deploying and training for new equipment. We appreciate the volunteers who have been involved and the church’s interest in this area. We, too, are interested and exploring options.
  • Members asked what the guidelines will be for worship service and when other groups can return. As we mentioned earlier in this update, we will provide worship service guidelines through a weekly update. Ministries will be restored incrementally but it will take place slowly so that few people are left out when to in-person meetings.