Covid-19 Update - May 7th, 2020

Hello Church Family,

As many of you may already know, on Tuesday the State of Illinois released their “Restore Illinois – Plan.” Along with this plan, they are releasing daily metrics so that we can keep a better track on how Illinois is opening up and what this means for us.

At Fox Valley Christian Church, we believe that every member is a missionary. We believe that this vision is lived out when we come to know God more intimately and when we follow His great commandment for us and we go and make Him known. These are not just nice words we say or words that we chose to put down on a piece of paper next to Vision and Mission. We wholeheartedly believe that this is the purpose of the Church and what God has called us to. Because of that, we do not believe that the Church has closed. We do not believe that the Church will ever close. We do not believe that it is possible for the Church to be stopped. It is the body of Christ, it is the work of God, and nothing will prevail against God’s plan and purpose for the Church (Matthew 16:18).

Knowing this, the Elders have invested their time and energy into ensuring that we are able to continue our teaching and praising through our worship service (Colossians 3:16), to continue meeting and gathering (Hebrews 10:24-25), to continue evangelism and outreach (Matthew 28:19-20) and to continue shepherding (1 Peter 5:1-14).

WORSHIP SERVICE
  • Currently you can view our Preschool (fvcc.com/preschool), Children (fvcc.com/elementary), and Adult Worship service on our website (fvcc.com/sermons). We have even been able to incorporate our own worship team these past few weeks

MEETING AND GATHERING
  • Many, if not all, of our Small Groups have transitioned to digital meetings.
  • Our Student Ministry has continued meeting weekly (digitally).
  • Our Children’s Ministry has had a couple digital meetings (outside of worship) where they have been able to interact with each other and play games.
  • On Sunday Mornings you can gather on Facebook at 9:45am to view the sermon in community.
  • We have continued meeting in prayer everyday at 8:00am and 5:30pm.

EVANGELISM AND OUTREACH 
  • All of our resources are shareable and public. This allows you to invite family and friends and to ask them to join you in viewing them.
  • God has positioned us during this time to be reaching out in ways that we never even thought of before, or that we just neglected. I (Josh) have seen family members joining our live service every week for the last 3 weeks that I would not have thought would accept an invitation to Church even if they lived near me. God is working, we need to continue looking for ways that He is trying to work in and through us.

SHEPHERDING
  • At the direction of the Elders, Dorraine created a team that is dedicated to checking in on the Church body every week. The goal is to make sure that everyone is okay, that there are no unmet needs, and that everyone is able to connect to the resources that we are providing.
  • We also asked Dorraine to create a list of every individual in the Church that is in the vulnerable category and every family that has someone vulnerable living in their home so that we can better make decisions moving forward.

(Thank you Dorraine and all of the volunteers that have been working so hard at providing teaching material, worship, small groups, calls, prayers, etc.)

We do not believe that the Church is closed because we do not believe that the Church can be closed. We know that having the physical building closed is hard. We know that the above steps that we are taking are not ideal. We long to meet and gather again. We know that we will meet and gather again.

Because of this, and in light of the “Restore Illinois – Plan,” we wanted to make you aware of the plans that we have for reopening the building and what physically gathering looks like for us. Again, these plans are not the ideal and the timeframes will not please everyone. As we have been praying and planning we have put two things above all else: we desire to love God and give Him maximum glory and we desire to love others by sharing the Good News while adhering to our Governments mandates and using the knowledge and resources God has given us to keep His people safe.

RESTORE ILLINOIS PLAN

REGIONS
There are a couple factors in this plan that are important for us as we move forward. First, the State of Illinois has been broken into 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions. Those Regions have been put into 4 Health Regions: Northeast Illinois, North-Central Illinois, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

Fox Valley Christian Church, and many of it’s members are located in Region 9. Region 9 covers all of Kane and McHenry Counties and some of Kendall, Lake and Dupage County. Region 9 has been included in the Northeast Illinois Health Region. This region includes Grundy, Will, Kankakee, and Cook County. We are in the region with the most cases of the Coronavirus and most likely the region that will move through the phases the slowest.

PHASES
The Restore Illinois Plan has 5 Phases; Phase 1 Rapid Spread, Phase 2 Flattening, Phase 3 Recovery, Phase 4 Revitalization, Phase 5 Illinois Restored. It is important to note that we may improve to a better phase if everything is going well, but we also might go backwards if the virus increases. This makes it even more difficult to discern when and how we will move through these phases.

As of right now, it appears that our Health Region is in Phase 2 – Flattening. For the Church, this means that we are allowed to publicly gather, but our gatherings have to be 10 people or less. Unfortunately, when we move to Phase 3 our public gatherings still must be 10 people or less. It is not until we reach Phase 4 – Revitalization that we are able to gather with more people, but even then we are limited to 50 people or less.

The final Phase does not give specifics other than large gatherings being allowed and the fact that there will be new safety guidance and procedures. We know that these new procedures will affect how we do what we do when we gather, so as we know more there, we will communicate that out.

REOPENING FVCC BUILDING
We are not sure exactly when we will be able to reopen our building. We will continue to monitor the daily statistics that the Government is sending and we will measure them against their standards for moving from one stage to the next.

We also will continue to monitor internally. We know that 47% of people that attend Fox Valley Christian Church are considered vulnerable because of either age or other health complications. We also know that 76% of our families have at least one person in their home who is considered vulnerable. We cannot neglect these numbers as we plan.

We feel pretty confident that when we are able to reopen that there will be new standards. To prepare for this, we have already ordered a bulk supply of disposable communion. We are in the process of working with vendors to order extra facemasks (but we encourage each one of you to try to get a facemask as this might be a mandated new normal), gloves, touchless wall mount hand sanitizer dispensers, and hand sanitizer. We are looking into options of how to cover or replace our current water fountains. We are creating a system for our different ministries as to how they will do check-in and check-out, how we will handle opening and closing doors, what our seating arrangements can and will look like. We are projecting several different standards that might be put on us so that we are prepared for each one. At this time, it would be unwise for us to share every possible scenario. That would just cause confusion. Instead, we are planning for each scenario and monitoring which ones we will most likely have to adhere to.

As we know more, we will share more. When we get closer to reopening our doors, we will be meeting with ministry leaders and volunteers for training on what the new practices will look like. We will release several videos and emails showing what our new practices will look like.

For now, we ask that you pray. We ask that you pray for our Country, our State, and our Church. We ask that you pray for our leaders. We ask that you pray for God’s Wisdom and His direction and guidance. We ask that you pray for God to overflow us with the resources that we will need to be able to meet each one of the standards that will be put on us. We ask that you pray for our ministries that are continuing to reach out and gather. We ask that you pray for every individual that has the ability to know God and give Him glory during this time. We ask that you pray for all of the members of FVCC that are essential workers and that are going out daily. We ask that you pray for the mental and spiritual health of all those that are currently struggling with the stay at home order and its effects. We ask that you pray.

We love you and we are praying for you!

FVCC Elders,
Chuck Boone, Dan Fields, Bill Galloway, Josh LaGrange, Andy Schifferer, Harold Sechrest, Todd Reffett, Dale Rotrekl, Ron Vanderband
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