We have answered a few frequently asked questions regarding our services.
What biblical principles will we use to govern our safety policies as a church?
We use six biblical principles in governing our safety policies.
- Love for God by Commitment to Gather for Worship
- Love for God by Living Under the Lordship of Christ
- Love for God by Commitment to Obey God-Given Authority
- Love for Neighbor by Caring for Our Neighbor's Life and Safety
- Love for Neighbor by Pursuing Sacrificial Unity
- Love for Neighbor by Practicing Hospitality
- Love for Neighbor by Caring for the Vulnerable
You can find them in detail here.
Who sets the specific policies for the church?
Our staff safety team as described here.
Who are we asking 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
Additionally, anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should not attend for two weeks after the exposure.
What safety procedures are in place?
We are committed to fulfilling any legal requirements for churches from the city, state, or national governments.
Our safety procedures include:
- Distancing groups at least two chairs apart in seating with extra distance between rows
- Requiring any volunteers interacting directly with people, or who may come into proximity with people, to wear masks at all times and practice good sanitization procedures
- High safety standards for our kids ministry similar to local school districts in our area
- Thorough cleaning of the facility before Sunday services
In addition to this there is an important difference with mask-wearing between the 9 am and 11 am services:
- In the 9 am service masks are required at all times
- In the 11 am service masks may be removed for the seated portion of the service (updates and sermon) but required at all other times
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 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?
Starting on Sunday, February 21st, our 9 am and 11 am services have differences in restriction levels.
9 AM Service
- Masks are required at all times, including in Kids Ministry (ages 3 & up)
11 AM Service:
- Masks can be removed for a portion of the service (announcements & sermon)
- Masks are required entering & exiting the building, singing, going to the bathrooms, etc
- A "Mask Required" seating area will be provided in the Connect Room
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your situation and we'll be in touch.
[UPDATED 10/16/20] When will the church be notified if someone attends a church meeting and is possibly contagious with COVID?
If someone who was recently at a church meeting tests positive for COVID we will determine to the best of our ability whether they were in close contact with someone while at a church service. We will then notify anyone we are aware of who was in close contact with them. For example, if someone was serving on a service team with other members we would notify them of the possible exposure. If the person's interaction was broad enough to affect the whole church we will notify the whole church.
It should be noted that our safety procedures in place on Sunday morning are specifically to minimize risk and prevent any possible spread. So far we are not aware of any case of COVID-19 being spread from person to person at a church service.
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 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:
- Our large and open auditorium provides a large volume of cubic air
- Doors outside will be left open to recirculate air, weather permitting
- When coolers are in use the evaporative units help bring in outside air
- When heaters are in use vents are left open to allow exchange of air
Please see the above sections on mask rules for our services.
What if the service fills up?
Our Hospitality Team will be monitoring our capacity to ensure our safety procedures can still be followed. If we hit our capacity limit with social distancing procedures we will direct people to the next service (if available) or to watch our service online. If for some reason we have to turn people away, we hope to 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:
- Our 9 AM & 11 AM services have different mask restrictions (see above sections on mask rules for our services)
- 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 about an hour. We’ve shortened services from our normal 90 minutes temporarily for this season.
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 see strong Scriptural encouragement to sing and believe this must remain part of our services. During our time of singing we are enforcing social distancing and requiring the use of masks. In addition to this, we recirculate the air in our auditorium as much as possible.
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.
Are our normal kids ministry classes running?
9 AM Service:
Kids Ministry is currently available for ages 9 months to 12 years of age only.
11 AM Service:
Currently, we do not have Kids Ministry during the 11 AM service, but we are working to reopen classes quickly (considering volunteering!) Kids can pick up an activity packet at the back table!
Learn more at crossofgrace.net/kids
Are kids welcome in services?
Absolutely. We firmly believe that kids should be welcomed in our services, especially during this unique time. We provide activity pages for kids during the service and a small prize at the end of the service.
How can I prepare for bringing my kids to services?
We 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?
Are you only able to attend church online at the moment? We still want to encourage and equip your family during this season! For lesson material and parent resources, you can fill out this form or email Teresa at email@example.com