It’s been a couple of weeks since I sent out one of these updates, but some new things are happening now that we’ve been reopen for worship for a few weeks. So, let’s get to the new info!
Important Worship Information and Changes
Overall, our first few weeks of being reopened for in-person worship has gone about as well as we could have hoped! It has been a tremendous blessing to see so many of you once again, and we have actually experienced larger-than-expected increases in attendance over the past two weeks. As a result, we’ve noticed some crowded pews due to our current social-distancing setup. We firmly believe we can adequately social-distance in our auditorium: the max occupancy is 550, and our average attendance pre-COVID was 240 (which includes children). However, in our current format we seem to be working against ourselves by closing off half the pews. So, time to adjust!
Starting this Sunday, we will no longer “X” off any pews in the east and west wings. Instead, we encourage larger families to sit together in those sections and then use discretion as far as spacing between family units. Those who have smaller families or are singles/couples are encouraged to sit in the center sections where every other pew will continue to be closed off with an “X". This will hopefully alleviate some of the spacing issues we’ve experienced. We will continue to evaluate and make adjustments as needed in the coming weeks. Another important change coming in the future that will help with seating issues is….
Reopening of Nursery and Greenhouse (Children’s Worship)
I have been working with our Children’s Minister, Kay Castaneda, over the past several days on procedures and guidelines for Phase 2 of our reopening - nursery and Greenhouse. We feel confident in what we have in place, and have decided the date for reopening these areas will be Sunday, July 19. Kay is in the process of communicating new procedures and guidelines to our volunteer teams, and once she has completed this we will send out the guidelines to the entire church. As we open these areas, we want to make sure we do it as safely and wisely as possible. Thank you for your patience as we work through the details!
Updated Information Sheet for In-Person Worship
In light of recent changes in our procedures for Sunday worship, such as the seating arrangement and other minor adjustments, I have updated our info sheet for your reference - keep scrolling down the page to read it. Please take time to read through the sheet before you come back to worship for the first time - it will help a lot! We realize, however, that many of you are still not comfortable entering into a public gathering, or you shouldn’t yet due to being in a high-risk category. We understand this completely, and it is ok! You do not need to carry any guilt whatsoever regarding that decision. Which is why we are still offering….
Continued Live-Streaming of Worship
For the immediate future, we will continue to live-stream our entire worship service for those who cannot come. This way, you can still be a part of our GCC family from home. There are three ways you can watch us on Sunday:
Go to our website at www.grinnell.cc and click the link on our homepage.
Go to our official Facebook page by clicking here and watch our Facebook Live stream.
Go to our YouTube channel by clicking here. If you have the YouTube app on your smart TV or other device, you can also find us by searching "Grinnell Christian Church”.
We realize that some may be dealing with financial struggles during this time, and it's possible your most important needs can not be met adequately by unemployment benefits or other forms of aid. Please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone if you fall into this category. We'll talk with you about your need and discuss ways GCC may be able to help. (Please note that all inquiries will remain confidential)
Ways to Give
If you are financially able, we encourage you to continue to give to GCC during this time even if you can not come to the building on Sunday morning. One way to give is to drop off your offering at the GCC Office during regular office hours. You may also go to our website and give by hitting the “Give” button on our homepage. Finally, you can give through the Givelify app or the Grinnell Christian Church app – both are available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Take care everyone, God bless, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Key Information for the Reopening of Worship (Effective June 28, 2020)
• We will reopen initially with worship only @ 10 am.
• There will be no Sunday School classes for any age group, and no nursery until further notice.
• There will be No Greenhouse during Sunday morning worship until further notice.
• If you fall into a higher-risk category (i.e. age or underlying health issues), or if you are not ready yet to enter a public gathering, please know it is perfectly acceptable not to come at this time. You do not need to feel guilty about this decision. To help with this....
• GCC will continue to live-stream our full worship service for the immediate future for those who are uncomfortable coming or should not come due to high-risk factors.
• If you are experiencing a fever, persistent cough, or difficulty breathing, or if you have a family member experiencing these symptoms, please stay home until you are well.
• A mask will not be required to attend worship but you are certainly encouraged to wear one, especially if you are higher-risk or feel safer wearing one at this time.
• If you desire to wear a mask but do not have one, we have disposable masks available at our Welcome Center. Please ask one of our Greeters for assistance.
• Bulletins will not be handed out at this time, but instead may be picked up on stands at each entrance into the auditorium.
• Families are encouraged to sit together, but please maintain social distancing guidelines of 6-ft between family units or individuals.
• To help facilitate this, we will “close off” every other pew in the center sections of our auditorium (please do not sit in rows marked with an “X”). The east and west wings are completely open, and we encourage larger families to sit in these
sections and use discretion about spacing between family units.
• Due to a potential increase of younger children in our worship service, we will do our best to keep the overall service length to 50-60 minutes.
• Communion trays will not be passed. Instead, Communion trays will be on tables around the room. There will be separate cups for bread and juice. Once you take a cup, please dispose of it in the trash cans next to the tables.
• Please maintain social distancing as you go to the Communion tables.
• Offering trays will not be passed. Instead, please utilize the Offering drop boxes located in the back of the room or continue to use the electronic giving platforms we have used for the past several weeks.
• The GCC website at www.grinnell.cc.
• The official GCC app for your smartphone.
• The Givelify app for your smartphone.
• Hand sanitizer is currently available in our main lobby, at the Welcome Center and Children’s check-in station, for you to use before and/or after worship as you feel necessary.
• We will close off the east and west wings of our building so that everyone enters and exits through the main lobby doors. This will help avoid unnecessary contact with areas not being used at this time.
Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you this Sunday!