Regathering Update (3/25/21)

By Pastor Sam

As we continue to see more people joining for in-person worship and we add more in-person ministries, we continue to pray for the Lord’s wisdom and protection. The following guidelines apply.

  • In the Sanctuary you will notice that we have added some additional chairs, but still have wide aisles.
  • The first service tends to have a significantly larger attendance (over 1.5 times) than the second service. Individuals and couples can help a lot by sitting at the edge of a row or in a shorter row, if possible. Households should sit together and if possible, use a row of similar size as the household. 
  • Leave three empty seats to ensure social distance between households. Please ask an usher if you need help finding a seat. Please be willing to move if we need to make room for others. Please be patient with us and one another at this time.
  • You are welcome to wear a mask, but they are not required for those worshipping in the sanctuary. We are requiring our volunteers, who are working with or around others, to wear masks. While masks are optional, the CDC recommends, “Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.” 
  • We continue to offer the Safer Room (Room 100) available by reservation with Pastor Skip, and the Fireside Room available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Nursery is available during the second service, and the Family Room (aka Cry Room) is available as necessary.   
  • Children’s Sunday school resumed with March Missions Month, and we expect to have additional classes available as we add teachers.  

Even as the Fourth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine was recently released, relaxing restrictions on social gatherings, New Life in Christ Church continues to operate with the understanding that Sunday AM and PM services are Religious Gatherings, and all other ministry activity is consistent with what the Commonwealth calls education. Because all ministries of the church exist for the purpose of “making disciples” (per Matthew 28:18-20), it is accurate to classify them as worship and education rather than social gatherings. Social distancing applies, but strict limits on numbers of people do not.

We will continue to monitor updates from the Governor’s office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC developed a revision to K–12 educational guidance “…to reflect the latest science on physical distance between students in classrooms” recommending that, with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet in classroom settings. We considered this guidance as well as the practices of other local theatres as we recently updated the NLICC Theatre Arts guidelines. 

We look forward to seeing more people return to gathered worship.

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