Brothers & Sisters at The Church at Ross Bridge,
The world-wide health pandemic caused by COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our cultural life, including our weekly gathering together indoors for worship, discipleship & mission. After three months of offering online worship only, we now have the technological capability to continue online worship while resuming on-site worship services. Please read below to understand what you can expect when you join us on-site on Sundays at 9a & 10:30a.
The guidelines outlined in this document are inspired by Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as yourself ” (Luke 10:27), and are intended to prioritize everyone’s health and safety during this phase of the pandemic (restrictions will loosen progressively when the threat of infection begins to drop). It is our desire that everyone who chooses to return in-person worship will:
HAVE A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE
Please read this document carefully and completely before reserving seating for your household. We are looking forward to worshipping together in-person and online in the weeks ahead!
WHO DEVELOPED THIS PLAN?
Dr. Nathan Carden, Pastor
Dr. Kim Hoover, M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Wyn Hoover, M.D., Pediatric Pulmonologist
Jeff Bradley, Leadership Council Member
Brett Ross, Leadership Council Member
Dawn Brown, Dietician
Michael Mason, Usher
Whitney Detwhiler, Nurse Anesthetist
WHAT RESOURCES WERE CONSULTED IN DEVELOPING THIS PLAN?
Centers for Disease Control - www.cdc.gov
Alabama Department of Public Health - www.alabamapublichealth.gov
North Alabama Conference - UMC - “Do No Harm” - www.naumc.org
Riverchase United Methodist Church - “COVID-19 Reopening Plan” - www.riverchaseumc.org
WHAT STEPS ARE WE TAKING TO CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT?
• We will have a weekly deep cleaning of the building the night before each worship service, and do a quick surface cleaning between services.
• We will limit access to the Gathering Space, Bridge Students (Live Stream for overflow seating), Sanctuary & Restrooms.
• We will have limited, socially distanced seating by reservation.
• We will require everyone 3 years old and older to wear a mask throughout the duration of the time they are in the building. If someone does not bring their own mask, a new clean mask will be provided for them.
• We will not offer childcare or dismiss children to Kid’s Worship. Activity bags will be provided for children each week for them to use during the service and then take home
• We will eliminate any common touch worship elements (offering plates, Holy Communion, worship orders, etc).
• We will not offer coffee and refreshments.
• We will not have congregational singing, and will offer video recorded music on our screens.
• We will offer 45 minute services that will be multi-generational in nature.
• We will dismiss by section through the rear sanctuary doors at the conclusion of each service.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE RETURNING TO IN-PERSON WORSHIP:
• Seating is limited each Sunday. You MUST reserve seating for your household. CLICK HERE to sign up. The reservation system will be live from 9am Monday- 9am Thursday for the upcoming Sunday. Reservations for Sunday, July 12, will be available starting Monday, July 6th. If you are unable to reserve your seats online, please contact the church office Mon-Thu 9a-12p: 205-774-1796. Anyone who does not have a reservation will be offered seating in our Bridge Students’ room to worship via a Live Stream of the service.
• Each person 3 years old or older (other than persons speaking during the service) will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of the time they are in the building. If anyone does not have a mask, a new clean mask will be provided for them.
• While restrooms will be available and cleaned prior to each service, we recommend using the restroom before leaving home to minimize the numbers of users on-site.
• When you arrive you will check-in at our usher station and escorted to your reserved seat(s). Please remain in your seat as much as possible before and during the service.
• Plan to visit with friends and family outside the building before and after each service.
• Social distancing will be observed within the building, and is encouraged outside the building.
• Anyone who is considered high risk for COVID-19 exposure is encouraged to stay home and participate in worship via Live Stream.
• Anyone who has had any of the following symptoms that week is encouraged to stay home and participate in worship via Live Stream.
◦ Cough or Sore Throat
◦ Fever over 100
◦ Shortness of Breath
◦ Contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 (in the past 14 days)
A FINAL WORD…
These changes to our Sunday worship will no doubt feel unusual at first, they enable everyone who attends to BE SAFE, FEEL SAFE & HAVE A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE. While there are things we cannot do in the early stages of resuming in-person worship, there are many life-giving experiences we will appreciate. We will see one another. We will visit before and after worship services. We will reestablish the weekly routine of being in a sacred place. We will pray together. And most of all, we will be reminded that Emmanuel is “God with us”. We are looking forward to worshipping together on-site and online in the weeks ahead!