On-campus worship services have resumed.
Service Times: Saturday 5pm | Sunday 9am | Sunday 11am
(Sunday services will be streamed.)
We will be working within the State and County guidelines of 25% of our approved fire code capacity.
That puts us slightly under 300 people in each service.
The seating process will be led by staff. Please plan to arrive early in order to ensure timely seating. Doors to the Sanctuary will open 30 minutes before each service.
On communion weekends (1st and 3rd weekend each month), distribution will be held at the end of each service. During dismissal, communion hosts will be stationed outside the eastside, northside, and westside of the building.
Sundays | 12:30pm – 1:00pm
On communion weekends, we will continue to offer drive-up communion. Please enter the west entrance. The drive-up communion station will be located in front of the Cornerstone building (southwest corner of the building).
What about other ministries?
All other on-campus ministries (Kids Ministry, Student Ministry, School of the Arts, bible studies, etc.) will remain suspended for now.
Why would we risk reopening since there’s not a vaccine for COVID-19 yet?
For many people, worshipping with others is central to their spiritual and personal wellbeing. For others, it’s even a matter of obedience. Throughout time and space, Christians have expressed a high value for corporate worship (worshipping together as a body). In many places today, Christians are so convicted about the importance of worshipping together that they put themselves at great risk to do so. After more than ten weeks of suspending in-person worship in order to flatten the curve, we must allow people to resume worshipping God according to their deepest core values, even though there are risks involved. To quote Peter and the other apostles, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29).
Many other people are able to meet their spiritual needs while worshipping at home via live stream and will continue to do so. That’s also right for them to do. No one should feel burdened to return to in-person worship before they are ready. Let’s not sit in judgment of each other. Rather, let’s give one another the freedom to follow God’s Spirit and live out personal convictions on how God is calling each of us to worship.
The best-case estimates for a vaccine are 12-18 months, and even then, there’s no assurance that a vaccine will protect everyone. However, there are several treatment protocols being used that have shown great success with some of the sickest patients. We are confident that, if we act responsibly when gathered together, we won’t further endanger lives. We’re also confident that God will continue to inspire doctors and medical researchers to provide life-saving treatments for those who need it. He has already!
What if there are too many people in a service? Is there any way to reserve a space?
Given the size of our Sanctuary, even abiding by government limits, we believe we’ll be able to accommodate all who want to attend worship in-person. At this time, we do not want to frustrate you or alienate guests by creating a reservations system. That is a tactic of last resort for us. Instead, we will rely on a “hosted seating” model and an overflow space to accommodate worshippers. If you’re concerned about having a space in the Sanctuary, historically the Saturday 5pm service is less full than Sunday morning services.
Are service times the same as before?
In order to leave time for an orderly seating and exiting of the Sanctuary, plus time to sanitize the Sanctuary between services adequately, we’ll need to make our latest service a little later. Additionally, our Sanctuary will open 30 minutes before each service.
Service times will be:
(Sunday services will be streamed.)
How many people are allowed in each service?
We will be working within the State and County guidelines of 25% of our approved fire code capacity. That puts us slightly under 300 people in each service.
What does “hosted seating” mean?
Each household will be seated by trained staff to ensure we maximize our seating capacity and meet physical distancing requirements —think back to when wedding guests were seated by ushers. We encourage everyone to arrive early enough to allow time for the seating process and to be flexible with where you are seated—opening our Sanctuary 30 minutes before each service will allow extra time for seating. But, this will be a complex process (maximizing our allowed capacity and ensuring adequate physical distancing), so accommodating seating preferences will not be easy.
Once the Sanctuary is full, we will open an overflow room where you can worship with others via our stream in another large gathering space on our campus.
Also, keep in mind that we want to use appropriate physical distancing around campus before and after services, so exiting will also be dismissed by rows.
Are facemasks required?
Scientific research says that a contagious person can spread virus simply from breathing but that the risks are relatively low if the contagious person is physically distant from others and in a large enough space with adequate ventilation. Research also says that singing, in particular, spreads a higher concentration of virus to a wider area than simply breathing or speaking.
In this phase of reopening, we encourage all attendees to wear facemasks to help create an overall sense of ease and safety for other guests. But, we strongly encourage a facemask that at least covers the mouth for anyone who intends to sing. Whenever possible, our volunteers and staff will also be wearing masks. All staff and volunteers assisting with seating procedures and other hospitality needs will be wearings masks and adhering to the CDC’s recommended safety protocols.
Will there be any kind of ministry for my kids during service times?
In this initial phase of reopening, we’re focusing on the worship service itself. All other ministry will continue to take place online only. Due to health restrictions directly affecting how we offer nursery and Kids Ministry, we are unable to offer any special ministry to our kids at this time. In addition to online content already available for kids, we WILL look for ways to engage them in our regular weekend experience.
Will the Café be open for coffee before or after the service?
In this phase of our reopening, we are keeping our Café and lobby coffee house closed. There will be no food or drink provided around worship. So please come caffeinated and having already eaten.
Where can I enter and exit the building?
To encourage use of our entire parking lot, the Commons plaza doors, front Sanctuary doors, and the Eastside School doors will be open for entry. Parking lot attendants will be on hand to help traffic flow smoothly. Please be mindful of physical distancing when in the parking lot. Upon entering the inside of campus buildings, please look out for and respect any special instructions from staff, volunteers, or signage directing how to navigate safely around campus.
I’m a proud volunteer, when should I be ready to resume my role?
You probably know that a typical weekend requires hundreds of volunteers. We LOVE our volunteers! During these initial phases of our reopening, we will reinstitute a limited use of volunteers for worship, tech, parking, and hospitality. If you’re wondering about your volunteer role, please contact your ministry leader. Our hope is that our region will move through the other phases of reopening quickly so that we can return to more robust ministry offerings very soon!
Have additional questions about our Re-Opening?