As we receive news from our local and national leaders regarding COVID-19, we want you to be aware of how we're responding as a church. Below are a few ways you can stay updated. Additionally, you can save this link where you'll be able to access updates from us through various communication channels: https://linktr.ee/nowthenalliancechurch
The last 11 weeks have been the strangest season of ministry I could ever have imagined. Outside of a few drive-thru events, I haven’t seen many of you face to face. I’ve imagined you on the other side of a camera, but not been able to worship with you in person. While this season wasn’t predicted, I’m excited that through it we have still been able to equip people to find life and faith in Christ. We’ve still connected digitally, grown in areas (and because of new challenges) that maybe weren’t normal for us, and participated in different ways in helping bring glory to God’s name. As many of you know, the governmental side of this season has shifted to allow churches to start planning for to gather physically again. Like every other industry or business, our church has to plan through the unique tension that is created with gathering together and remaining safe. There have been clear expectations as well as recommended guidelines as it relates to that tension. As a board and staff, here is our best current understanding of what moving towards physical gathering looks like and answers to some of your likely questions.
Will the building be open this week for us to gather for worship?
We are doing our best to prepare our building to be safe to have people in it for services again. This week we will be doing a test run of that with people who had previously signed up to help us sanitize the building. As some from that group join us, we will be able to navigate how we will sanitize best as well as see any other gaps in the plan as it relates to seating, traffic flow, etc… If we had you listed as signing up for that, you should have received an e-mail about it. Otherwise, our hope is that you would engage with us digitally this Sunday as we continue to worship together.
So when can I potentially come worship in the building again?
Our current plan will allow 150 people to worship with us on June 7th assuming we don’t find glaring health and safety reasons not to. This had been the date we were aiming for when making some of our plans and as the recommended guidelines came out, is the earliest we think we can have everything in a place we are comfortable with.
Why 150 people?
Current guidelines limit us to 25% capacity of the space we are using. We will continue livestreaming a service at 9:30 from our downstairs worship center. It will look very similar to the last 11 weeks for those who continue to engage digitally. That space at 25% capacity allows us to have 100 people.
Following that service, we will have an 11:00 service upstairs in our traditional sanctuary. It’s 25% capacity will allow us to have 50 people attend that service.
What if more people show up than that?
Our hope is that we won’t run into this. Our survey indicated that about 200 people were ready to return as soon as possible. With summer patterns of attendance it is doubtful they would all be around on the same weekend. Regardless, we plan on using a sign-up form to implement this. You will be able to sign-up for your preferred service and we will use that sign-up to help make sure we can stay within our limits. More information will be coming about that over the weekend.
Will I have to wear a mask?
You will likely find many wearing masks (it’s strongly encouraged by health guidelines) but won’t be turned away without one.
Will there be singing?
There will be live music led in the services and opportunity to participate with it. We will give in room instructions about how to do so while honoring the safety of others. This may mean you adjust your volume (not your enthusiasm), you engage physically in other ways than your voice, or it may feel normal for many of you.
What else should we know?
As we open, there won’t be other ministries available. We won’t have food or coffee, you’ll need to sit together as a family, and you will be expected to stay 6 feet apart from people outside your household for the time you are physically here. We won’t have hugs, handshakes or high fives, though we’ll joyfully greet each other in appropriately distanced ways.
What do I do if I have a much more specific question?
Our intention after this Sunday’s test run with our sanitizing team is to send out information with more detailed specifics. Videos that show intended traffic flow and expectations in the building, instructions and links for signing up to attend in person and what will entail if more sign up than can be held in those rooms. For now, it may be easiest to wait and see if your questions are answered by early next week.
We are looking forward to seeing our dispersed church begin gathering in communal worship again. To encourage each other in ways that are more familiar. We also know that many will continue to engage digitally. We will continue offering that as a great option. We also encourage people to gather in groups of 10 or less in homes to worship together if you are comfortable doing that. We think these options give us lots of flexibility as we still aim to equip people to find life and faith in Christ and look forward to seeing what happens through the rest of summer as God rests His hand of grace on us.
Current video update
Sunday service will remain digital for the next few weeks. Livestreamed at 9:30 and available on website shortly after.
Message Study Guides
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With all the daily sometimes hourly changes that are happening in our world right now we want to help give you some resources that may be helpful. Below are a few materials to help lead your family during this time.
Sunday School and Children's Church
The Bible Studies for Life curriculum we use on Sunday mornings is available in the links below. You will be asked to create/register an account. This is completely free. In each resource there are lesson videos, conversation questions, worksheets, and color sheets. We are glad we can provide you with some Sunday School resources while we meet at a distance.