We have answered a few frequently asked questions regarding our services.
Who should not attend our in-person services and instead participate online?
we ask that anyone exhibiting any symptoms of sickness or COVID-19 within the preceding 72 hours before our services not attend. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Other symptoms
Last, anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should not attend for two weeks after the exposure.
Who would we encourage to consider refraining from live services and instead join us online?
We would encourage those who fall into the following categories to consider joining our live stream service rather than our in-person services:
- Those over 65
- Those with pre-existing conditions that could be aggravated by COVID-19 (including diabetes, heart issues, etc. see full list here)
- Those who have compromised immune systems
- Those infants under 1 year of age
What safety procedures are in place?
We are committed to fulfilling any legal requirements for churches from the city, state, or national governments. Additionally, our goal is to meet or exceed the current state and national recommendations for churches.
Will the church require social distancing?
While we want to gather together, we understand that during this time social distancing can help protect others and reduce the spread of the virus. Attenders will be seated a minimum of two seats or six feet apart from each other. (Though members of the same household will be seated together.) Our Hospitality Team will also be helping maintain social distancing procedures in the church building.
Are masks encouraged or required?
We currently require church volunteers to wear masks as well as require attenders to wear masks as well.
What if I can't attend a service right now based on the above information?
We understand that not all our members and guests will be able to attend right now and we're doing all we can to continue to minister to people who cannot currently attend. If you find that you don't think you'll be able to attend for an extended time we would love to know your situation and see how we can serve you. Please drop a quick note to Joe Alcantar (email@example.com) with your situation and we'll be in touch.
Sanitizing Procedures and Safety
What measures will be taken to ensure clean surfaces at the church building?
We ask everyone entering our building to sanitize their hands before entering as well as after touching any surfaces or their face.
In between services on Sunday we clean surfaces multiple people would need to touch during our services such as in our bathrooms.
In addition to this, we’ve taken the step of eliminating as many common touch surfaces as possible (such as church bulletins, cards, etc.). These will be replaced by digital information and signups at crossofgrace.net/sunday.
Last, our church building is thoroughly cleaned before and after Sunday services.
What measures have been taken to mitigate the risk of virus spread through the air at the church building?
While no indoor space can perfectly mitigate the risk of airborne transmission we have several factors in our building that help us mitigate risk:
- Doors outside are left open to help us recirculate air
- Our evaporative coolers speed the air recirculation process
- Our large and open auditorium provides a large volume of cubic air
In addition to this we ask everyone in the building to wear a mask and maintain six feet of separation between people not in their household.
What if the service fills up?
Our Hospitality Team will be monitoring our capacity and if we hit our capacity limit with social distancing procedures we won't be able to accept more attenders. If for some reason we have to turn people away, we'll send them away with a small gift.
Before the Service
What do I need to know before coming to a service?
We’re excited to see you! We want to make you feel as welcome and comfortable as we can.
Take note of the following before heading to a Sunday service:
- Please make sure you have not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 or been exposed. See above section.
- To cut down on the number of people using bathrooms at church, consider using the restroom before heading out the door.
- Bring your Bible, if possible, as our pew Bibles will be reserved as a gift for those who don’t have a Bible.
- Bring a mask if you have one, if not we'll provide you with one at the service.
During the Service
How long will the service last?
Currently, our services are one hour or less. We’ve shortened services from our normal 90 minutes in order to make them more family-friendly and enable more thorough cleaning procedures between services.
What can I expect in the service?
Our adjusted liturgy for most services will include:
- Call to Worship & Scripture Reading
- Songs of Worship
- Church Updates
- Song of Worship and/or Communion
- Benediction & Scripture Reading
Will we sing during our services?
We understand that there is a possible risk that singing loudly can spread the virus, but we also do see strong Scriptural encouragement to sing and believe this must remain part of our services. We are taking the following actions to reduce risk: enforcing social distancing, requiring the use of masks, and limiting the number of songs sung together. In addition to this, we recirculate the air in our auditorium several times per hour.
How will communion be handled?
Communion is taken the first Sunday of the month. Communion will be individually packaged, sanitized, and left on the seats in front of each row.
How will baptism be handled?
Baptisms will continue, conducted with additional sanitation procedures.
After the Service
How will we exit the building?
We hate to see you go! To help everyone exit the church while maintaining social distancing we’ll have two exits available and encourage people to give one another space as they leave.
Are our normal kids ministry classes running?
No, not yet. Our goal is to restart those classes once we can care for kids safely and maintaining the current recommended childcare procedures. Our rough goal is to restart classes at the same time schools resume.
Are kids welcome in services?
Absolutely. We firmly believe that kids should be welcomed in our services, especially during this unique time. During the service we’ll have a special mini-lesson, a kids ministry video kids can watch during the service, and activity pages kids can work on during the service.
Our one requirement for kids is that parents be able to keep their children with them during the entire service in order to promote safety.
How can I prepare for bringing my kids to services?
We recommend parents pack the following for their kids:
- Headphones and a phone or tablet they can watch the kids video with during the sermon
- Crayons or markers (though we’ll have some available if needed)
- A Bible or Kids Bible
We also believe this is a wonderful opportunity to talk to your kids in advance about what’s going on in the service and explain things like, “Why do we sing? Why does someone get up and explain the Bible? What is communion?”
Last, we understand this may be new for some kids. Younger kids especially might have questions or get wiggly. That’s totally fine and it’s never a burden or distraction to walk with parents as they help their kids adjust to being in service together.
What if I can’t bring my children to services?
We absolutely want to help extend kids ministry to our home. Once per month, we have a packet pick up where parents can get a kids ministry packet with lessons, craft materials, and some fun surprises. We can’t fit our whole kids ministry into a box, but this is our best effort.
Happen to miss the last packet pickup? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll help you get what you need.