Epsom Bible Church Strategy for re-entering 2020
Thank you for being patient with us as we try to navigate this very difficult situation. In coming up with this strategy, we prayed, wrestled, and asked questions. If you read through all of the regulations and don’t disagree with anything, then you probably didn’t read carefully enough! There are rules to follow and then judgements that were made. In all of this – we are asking for grace for all sides and for all opinions. Through it all, we desire to be Biblically minded, honor our government, be sensitive to our community and continue to provide a safe place for our church family.
- We are going to continue our online services and hopefully improve as we believe that this will be a critical area of outreach in the present and going forward. We are reaching hundreds of people that would not come to church.
- According to the CDC, the following are considered at higher risk of COVID-19.
- Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Chronic lung disease
- Hemoglobin Disorders
- Liver disease
- People aged 65 years and older
- Serious heart conditions
- Severe obesity
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
We want to encourage those who are at higher risk to check with your medical provider before coming to worship. If you choose not to attend the public worship service, stay home and worship with us online until you decide it is right for you to come back.
- If you are not feeling well or have a child not feeling well, we are asking you to stay home and watch online. Here is a reminder of possible symptoms of COVID-19;
- Person has any of the following symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever (feeling feverish or a document temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher);
- Respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath;
- Whole body symptoms such as muscle aches, chills, and severe fatigue;
- Changes in the person’s sense of taste or smell?
- Person has been in close contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days? Healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients while wearing appropriate personal protective equipment can attend.
- Strategy for those who come to our building for worship and are identified or show signs of COVID-19.
We have a safety team that will be vigilant in helping us keep our environment safe for worship. They are here to ensure the greatest safety and care is taken in this situation. The following process will take place:
- We will have a safe and secure area to bring someone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.
- We will notify local health officials if a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the facility and communicate with those who were present about potential exposure while maintaining confidentiality.
- We will advise those with exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
- We will close off areas used by the sick person and do not use the area until after cleaning and disinfection.
- We will advise staff and congregants with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19 not to return to the facility until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- When you come into the church building, you are going to see a lot of amazing upgrades and renovations. We praise the Lord for many who have helped in giving our building a wonderful face lift. Additionally, we will have hand sanitizer stations in the lobby and by each entry point of the auditorium.
You will notice that the chairs will be set up with the 6 feet social distancing rule in place.
The entire building has been gone through and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. When we go to 2 services, the bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected between services. (Wait until you see our new beautiful bathrooms that should eliminate waiting in the hallways.)
- The rule states that we can only have 40% of our certificate of occupancy. Our CO is 937 and 40% of that is 375. However, keeping everyone 6 feet – that number will be about 200-225.
You need 3 chairs between you (6 feet) when seated but families can sit together.
- We have the ability to recalibrate our air handling system to bring in enough fresh air so that we can create a healthy environment within the auditorium while we are worshipping.
- We are seeking to avoid the passing of plates and other materials.
- Bulletins – you can print it at home, and they will be available at church.
- Offering– you can either;
- Continue giving online or
- We will have an offering box at each exit for you to drop your offering in.
- Communion. We are looking into a prepackage unit that will keep us safe as we worship.
- Every week our building is kept clean and disinfected and greater care will be given to the areas that are used during the week.
- Here are some areas of concern and etiquette:
- Close or physical contact with other attendees and staff, including handshakes and embraces are discouraged. Please don’t assume; rather ask another how they want to be greeted.
- Consistent with the Governor’s Order issued on August 11th, face coverings are required for all persons who attend EBC on Sunday while entering and exiting the building and while moving to and from your seats. Once you are at your seat and sufficiently socially distanced, you can remove your facial covering. We will have disposable facial coverings available for you before entering the building should you not have one of your own.
- Nursery through 3rd grade children’s ministry remains closed. (All children rooms will be closed during worship to keep them sanitized.) We realize children are all different. Some children can sit through a service easily and others would have a harder time. You know your children best. If you feel it would be easier for your family to worship online, that's a great option for you. We love children and we look forward to Kids Zone opening soon!
- Please do not develop prolonged gatherings before or after that would not allow for social distancing. We would love to have you take any conversations that would normally happen in the church out onto the lawn. We recognize the importance of fellowship!
We all know that the situation is fluid and changes weekly. We will be attentive and careful but ever mindful of our great God who is full of compassion that desires for us to glorify His Name as we reach people.