May 28, 2020
Dear Church Family,
On Wednesday, May 27th the Mayor of Indianapolis declared that churches can reopen up to 50% capacity. Social distancing must be observed, and face masks are required as churches open. As you know, we have been waiting on this decision, and we have already made preparations which included the above requirements.
Therefore, the Board has agreed to open the church and our first service is planned for Sunday, June 7th at 10:30 AM.
We will continue to be watching the public health statistics closely, and we will make further decisions based upon Marion County numbers. As we open, we again will only be having a Worship Service at 10:30 am on Sundays. We will not be having Sunday School, Fellowship Time or Wednesday night activities.
Since we totally understand and support that many of our congregation are not able to join together, we want to stay connected. We will continue to have on-line ministries available even after we reopen. On Sundays, we will continue to have on-line messages posted on Facebook, the church website and YouTube. We will also continue to have Wednesday night Prayer gatherings over ZOOM.
As we reopen the church, the Church Board has adopted the following guidelines that the Board believes are needed to keep everyone safe. Since we are a family, we will support everyone’s decision as to when they feel comfortable in returning to church.
Please know that the cleaning and sanitizing of the church is our top priority. Again, as we begin, we will only hold a Worship Service on Sundays at 10:30 AM. We will only be using the sanctuary, foyer and front bathrooms. The Sunday School rooms and the Fellowship Hall will be closed. There will be no Wednesday night activities or other social gatherings at the church. As we gather together again, we must continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are at-risk and most vulnerable.
The Board is implementing many cleaning and safety measures which are meant to protect each of you The following guidelines are some of those measures that will directly impact everyone as we gather together:
- As so much is still unknown about this virus, please understand that you come at your own risk.
- Everyone who is 65 and above or who has an underlying at-risk health condition is encouraged to stay home and watch the services online.
- Everyone must wear a face mask in order to protect others and make them feel safe. Please bring your own mask for each member of your family. We will have a limited number of disposable masks available for those who do not have one.
- Everyone over 2 years of age must wear a mask.
- We will continue social distancing, by ensuring 6 feet between individuals or family members of the same household during services. In other words, families must sit together.
- Ushers will seat people and dismiss rows at the end of the service.
- We will have hand sanitizers in high-contact locations. Everyone is asked to sanitize their hands and put their masks on upon entering the building.
- We will be implementing non-contact greetings.
- We will not be handing out printed materials.
- When we take communion, we will use prepackaged elements that will be distributed as people enter by a person wearing gloves.
- We will be replacing the Offering during service with a box at the Welcome Center and, we will continue to encourage on-line giving.
For the time being, the above guidelines are necessary to keep people as safe as we can during this unprecedented time. Thank you again for your understanding and support. Whenever we gather together, we will have family members with us that are at risk. We miss being together and these guidelines will help to ensure as much safety as possible even though there will always remain a risk.
Please continue to pray for the eradication of this virus, for those affected by it and, that God’s hand will move across our country and heal our nation.
Serving Jesus with you,
Pastor Mark and the Castleton Church Board