Update from Pastor Winans - May 28, 2020
Dear Cornerstone Family,
I have missed seeing all of you!
As our government leaders begin to lessen restrictions, select businesses reopen, and more people return to work, our church leadership has been prayerfully mapping out a pathway to re-open our doors for in-person worship gatherings. Our desire is to provide the safest way to gather in a time when our society faces a prolonged health crisis that is affecting, not only the physical health of our community but the mental health as well. As Session has walked this path of discernment, we have sought wisdom from Scripture, in both submission to governing authorities in an appropriate manner, and in seeking to love both God and our neighbor. We have also worked with churches in the community and throughout the country, to collectively come up with best practices moving forward. This involves balancing both our desires to worship together in community, with the desire to protect the vulnerable and mitigate the spread of Covid-19. There is no perfect way forward, nor is there a way to eliminate all risk. We understand that many will not be comfortable to return to the church building just yet, and just as many are eager to come together again. Live streaming will continue to create a space for God’s people to worship together, whatever our location. For those who are comfortable returning to in-person worship, we have come up with the following plan for re-opening the building:
We are excited for the doors to re-open for in-person worship on Sunday, June 7th. We will begin gathering with three services at 8:00 am, 10:00 am, and 12:00 pm.
- In order to facilitate social distancing guidelines, we will have sign-ups to manage attendance. Each service will be limited to 150 attenders; and sign-ups will go live each Monday. You can sign-up online or by calling the church office.
- Children and students are welcome to worship with you in the Sanctuary. There will not be programming for children, students, or adults.
- Masks will be required at 8:00 and are optional and encouraged at 10:00 and 12:00.
- A temperature recognition device will quickly measure each person’s temperature from a safe distance. If anyone’s temperature exceeds the CDC guidelines you will be respectfully required to worship from home.
- Seating will be marked in the pews to facilitate social distancing.
- Giving stations will be at the back of the Sanctuary in place of passing offering plates.
- All common-use items such as Bibles, hymnals, pencils, and envelopes will be removed from the pew racks.
- Disinfecting of common-use objects and areas will occur between services.
- Hand-sanitizing stations will be available as you enter and exit the building.
- There will not be a drinking fountain, coffee, or snacks; however, bottled water will be available upon request.
- The Hospitality Team will be wearing masks and gloves.
- People will enter through the main doors and exit through the Celebration Center doors. (The elderly and physically impaired will be allowed to exit through the handicap door at front entrance).
Bottom line: Our hearts ache to gather and worship with you again. These measures may seem like overkill to some or not enough to others. Our desire is for your safety and peace of mind as we return to in-person worship gatherings. We know many will choose to continue to worship at home; there is zero judgment for such a decision. We are a body that is knit together by the Holy Spirit, not by physical proximity. Please continue to pray for the church as we strive to honor God and each other through these turbulent times.
Pastor Chris Winans