Covid-19 Update – May 29th, 2020

Hello Church Family!

First, we want to continue as we have this whole time and state that we desire to be as in sync with God as we can throughout this entire process. Every decision we have been making has been made with the desire to follow what God would have us do and when He would have us do it. It is our desire to also act in a way that shows the greatest amount of love that we can to both our Church family and our community.

That being said, with the new guidelines from the State of IL for Churches, we now have some additional opportunities for meeting in Phase 3. We have looked at these opportunities and decided that we desire to give our members the ability to gather physically while also being careful not to create an outbreak in our congregation, in our community, or in our families.

So during Phase 3 our primary form of gathering is going to continue to be in our online format. Every Sunday we will release our Children's Ministry worship services and our Adult Worship Service. We will also continue to do a Watch Party at 9:45am on Sunday's through Facebook.

For any that desire to gather physically, we will also be hosting outdoor gatherings on Sunday mornings at 9:45am. We encourage you to arrive at 9:30am so that you can be directed where to park. These outdoor gatherings will look different than how we normally gather, but they will give us the opportunity to come together in community, physically. We wanted to take a moment to let you know about these opportunities and to let you know what you can expect if you come.

In setting up for an outside service, we did not want to create a situation where people were showing up at the same time and then all walking (or herding together) to a separate location for us to worship. And then when service was done, for us to herd back to our vehicles. Because of this we have created a way to worship outside of our vehicles, but still maintaining separation between families.

This diagram here shows what our parking lot will look like. When you arrive on Sunday you will see three of our Elders greeting you in the parking lot and directing you where to park. We will park people starting in the spot labeled one and so on. In front of each spot there is a red area (on this map). This space is appx 9' by 18' and it is where your family will be sitting for service. Each family and individual will bring their own seating. We will not be providing seating.

Each family will have a minimum of 9' between them and the closest family.

As long as you are in your vehicle or in your designated area then we are not going to be asking you to wear a mask. If you are outside of your designated worship area, we would ask that you wear a mask. Please do not think of this a diminishing of your rights and instead think of this as a way to love, honor and respect others that are coming to worship and as a way to love, honor and respect our communities. We do not want to create an outbreak of the virus because we chose to gather and bring that back into our homes and communities.

This Sunday will look different than next Sunday. We are taking a step by step approach. So this Sunday, we will go through all of the actions of a service; we will have worship music, a sermon, an offertory, and a communion meditation. The worship music and offertory were recorded in advance and we will play the audio from both of them. The sermon and communion meditation will be live. We will NOT be physically handing out communion though. If you want to take communion, we would ask you to either wait until you get home or to bring your own communion with you. We would begin handing out communion the following Sunday.

This first Sunday there will also not be any bathrooms available to be used. So we advise that you go in advance before coming. We apologize if this is an inconvenience, but we were not able to get a bathroom onsite in time. Next Sunday there will be a portable bathroom on site and there will be additional directions around that. We do not see the bathrooms being a major issue as we are just gathering for one worship service and then leaving and returning home.

There will be an opportunity to give an offering. You can continue giving online or mailing your offering in, but if you want to give while you are at the Church we will have an area set up when you are leaving where you can drive up to and drop your offering in.

I want to encourage you either way to get online and check out our worship service this week. It is a 5th Sunday and some of our kids and families are part of the worship videos. They are pretty amazing. Also, if you are uncomfortable attending physically, then please take advantage of our online services. They are still our primary form of gathering.

Because of potential bad weather, each Sunday we will let you know at 8:00am through email, our app, and Facebook whether or not we will be having the outdoor service. If we have to cancel any one of these outdoor services, then we encourage you to gather online those weeks.

Finally, if you have any of the symptoms of the Coronavirus, please stay home. Please continue gathering digitally.

As always, we love you and we know that God is working in and through this.

FVCC Elders