Greetings, Vineyard Marysville!
We’re looking forward to having our in-person worship services again, beginning on Sunday, May 31st. We are looking forward to being together, and we want to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our church family and the community of Marysville. Above all, we want you to do what feels best for you and for your family. We will continue to livestream to reach those who cannot attend or do not feel safe to attend in person. The last thing we want is for anyone to feel pressured to attend in person if they do not feel safe or comfortable.
Even though we’re beginning in-person church services again, it doesn’t mean that everything is in the clear pertaining to the coronavirus and the effects of this pandemic. We’ve heard of churches in other areas who began to have in-person services, only to return to doing church completely online again. We’re praying and hoping for better outcomes in our case, but we all know these are uncertain times. We’ll continue to listen to local news, have leadership discussions, and pray for wisdom.
Here’s our current plan: On Sunday, May 31st, we are opening the doors for in-person church services. We will have two services, one at 9:00 AM and the second at 10:45 AM. The 9:00 AM service will be livestreamed on YouTube Live as we’ve been doing. During the first service, face masks will be mandatory. For the 10:45 AM service, masks are recommended but not mandatory. All the other guidelines stated in this letter pertain to both services.
As you might have guessed, Sunday services will look a bit different as we do our best to honor physical distancing guidelines. The goal is to protect the health of those who attend and the health of our surrounding community. The following guidelines have been put in place for this first phase (May 31st – June 28th).
- If you are or anyone in your household has been sick, please stay at home and attend our 9:00 YouTube livestream.
- The general rules of physical distancing are to keep 6 feet of separation between people/households and to make the Sunday morning experience as contactless as possible.
- We now have the rows of chairs spread out approximately 6 feet apart in the sanctuary. We plan to keep 3 empty chairs between each family and household. This will limit the capacity of our auditorium. We plan to have additional seating in the foyer as needed.
- We will greet each one enthusiastically but from a distance – without hugs or handshakes.
- We will continue to encourage online giving for both those who attend in person and online. However, we will have a collection basket in the foyer for those who prefer to give in person.
- We will not pass out paper bulletins. Church announcements will continue to be made available online and distributed to the church email list. Please contact us if you’re not on this email list and you want to be included: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will not have self-serve coffee. So by all means, bring your own coffee.
- When we serve communion, we will use single serve communion packs, so multiple people do not come into contact with the same surfaces.
- We will not have our Sunday morning children & youth classes in the lower level. We will get this started as soon as we have a plan in place to keep everyone safe. We love kids, and value ministry to children and youth!
- The nursery, while not manned through June, will still be available for nursing moms and parents with young children. We will sanitize everything thoroughly after each service.
- The building will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to Sunday morning. We will also have church volunteers clean after each service, sanitizing bathrooms and other critical areas. Additionally, we’re having the entire building thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every Friday by a cleaning service. Contact Erin Wallace, our church admin, if you have any questions about what measures we’re taking and what products we’re using.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the following guidelines. We realize that some people will feel like we’re too cautious and moving too slowly, while others will feel like we’re moving too quickly and not taking enough precautions. We want you to know that a lot of discussion and prayer went into this letter. It will continue to be evaluated on a week by week basis. We’re trying our best to balance the importance of gathering for worship with concern for public health. Let’s work to honor each other in our differing views and continue to pray for our leaders, church family and community.
We love you,
Conrad & Vicki Esh,
Vineyard Marysville pastors