January 2021 Battle Creek Friends Church
Introduction and Initial Action Steps
Many folks are eagerly waiting for information on when Battle Creek Friends Church will open its doors for corporate worship. Some, on the other hand, have voiced their thoughts toward taking a slow and methodical approach. I am excited about the chance to worship and be together again. Regardless of any safety measure that Battle Creek Friends Church includes in our future worship planning, we know and understand that it is impossible to guarantee everyone’s complete safety. We do encourage all individuals to make the best personally informed decision on whether to come to in-person church or not. As a church, we want to do our best to make each person as safe as possible because it IS the right thing to do. Our decision-making process will not be influenced by the media, by any hype, or by what other churches are doing. With hearts that are turned to our Heavenly Father, we will work to prayerfully consider all ways toward a safe, meaningful, worship and community experience.
By listening, conferring together and praying about this, we will work toward a schedule of moving forward, knowing that to some degree this schedule should be fluid in its forward motion; and can be changed appropriately when, and if staff and leadership feel the need.
With the knowledge that church facilities were not designed for social distancing and an understanding of how BCFC (Battle Creek Friends Church) has grown in recent years we will have to continually adapt with resolve to take care of as many people as possible; this all being done while acknowledging the possible virus threat to congregants (mainly the elderly and the immune compromised).
Here are some thoughts and scenarios that those who attend church in person will need to walk through with grace and care as they are with others in our church:
- Advice and opinions will be given many times over, and sometimes it will come from the same person often. Our graceful interactions with others and patience with others will signify unity. We need to be patient— this will be a different time than any of us have ever walked through. Some people will come to church not wanting to wear masks, and some people will come and be offended that others aren’t wearing masks. Some people are very eager to be in the building because they are so lonely and some are feeling spiritually dry, while others are less ready.
- Lets do our VERY BEST to work toward making people feel safe and loved. Let us continue on with our mission to Love God and Love people.
See timeline below for reopening (subject to change):
January 11 – January 17
1. Conduct Evaluation with staff of BCFC immediate needs.
2. Create Plan Online Sunday Church Services as well as Weekly Online Gatherings.
3. Sunday, January 17 – First Service Back in Building.
Through Mail, Email, Facebook and Phone let church community know the coming schedule. This includes limited church services beginning January 17th and continuing indefinitely, pending the future of the virus and vaccine measures.
1. Staff working in church at own discretion.
2. Continued work on Online Sunday Church Services as well as Weekly Online Gatherings.
3. Staff appointments allowed in office while respecting current social distancing measures.
Sunday January 17th – (Covid Protocols to begin and continue for all future Church gatherings on Sunday mornings):
1. All staff are asked to personally keep rigorous record and account of any fever or personal sickness symptoms and asked to stay home if they are suspect to have any illness.
2. Guidelines for how we will do church on Sundays
a. Family Units sit together with rows spread further apart.
b. We will ask that Masks be worn before and after church.
c. During church Service people can take their mask off.
d. No Hand shaking // Before or After or During service.
e. Staff to wear Masks before and after service. Unless State and National Directives in this initiative are relaxed.
3. Continued Online Sunday Church Services as well as Weekly Online Gatherings.
4. Rooms #1 and #2 are set for watching service on the TV. This is for overflow. Seats are spread apart.
5. Coffee Bar will be open—(but no donuts)
6. Offering will be given in a drop box outside the sanctuary.
7. 2 Staff Sanitizer people positions are created so that we will have individuals available to clean areas immediately after they have been used.
8. Children’s Ministry will continue targeted and intentional relational family connection, which will happen outside of Sunday Morning activities.
9. Continued Online Sunday Church Services as well as Weekly Online Gatherings and Children’s Ministry resources available.
10. All precautions and church directives remain in place unless regulations and directions become more relaxed at the state and federal level.
FriendsKIDS Guidelines + Protocols
Early Childhood Wing
Set up registration/check-in for nursery and preschool just inside hallway. No persons allowed in rooms other than children and volunteers. Children will be taken into rooms by volunteers and delivered to parents at pick-up time at the check-in station. Markers will be put on floors to insure 6’ social distancing guidelines.
- Offer nursery care at the 11am hour
- Limited toys that can be rotated and sanitized between Sundays.
- Volunteers will wear masks
- Will not join preschool for worship at this time
- Offer classroom at the 11am hour
- Play outside as weather permits
- Bible Lesson area set up for social distancing
- Worship area set up for social distancing
- Volunteers will wear masks when inside
Set up registration/check-in at bottom of stairs outside large group room. No persons allowed in room other than children and volunteers. Children will be taken into room by volunteers and delivered to parents at pick-up time at the check-in station. Markers will be put on floors to insure 6’ social distancing guidelines. Chairs will be set up to insure social distancing.
- Offer K-5th service at the 11am hour
- All lessons and activities will be done in the large group room
- Smaller classrooms will be closed at this time
- Volunteers will wear masks when in close contact with the kids
- Offer middle school service at the 11am hour
- Roll call will be taken in the classroom and students will be entered into Planning Center by the Children’s Ministry Director.
- Seating will be socially distanced according to current EO guidelines
- Students will not go upstairs for worship at this time
- Volunteers will wear masks, unless when teaching
Suggestions for Battle Creek Friends Church Congregation on being kind and considerate within the Church re-opening (portions adapted from an online source):
As we start to open up...we must all realize that we all have different thoughts and opinions. None of us have the same circumstances. There are some of us with medically high-risk children or family members, there are those that may desperately want to attend but are at risk because of age or health. Therefore, all those who attend Battle Creek Friends Church should keep the judgment of others to a minimum and personal opinion to themselves. No one should feel pressure when coming to church. This goes for everyone.
As we move toward opening here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Some people don’t agree with opening yet.... that’s okay. Be kind.
2. Some people are still planning to stay home.... that’s okay. Be kind.
3. Some are still scared of getting the virus and a continued wave happening....that’s okay. Be kind.
4. Some are sighing with relief that church is finally going to be back open....that’s great. Celebrate with them.
5. Some people will wear masks for weeks (maybe for good)....that’s okay. Be kind.
6. Some people will refuse to wear masks to church. That’s ok…be graceful. (we aren’t police)
7. Some people will want Children’s Ministry and some will not. That’s ok…be graceful either way. 8. Some people will not want us to sing, some will want us to sing. That’s ok…be graceful with everyone.
The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.
We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind.
If you need to get to church,---- do so, just respect others and know that others will probably feel different than you…be kind!
Don’t judge fellow church attendees because you’re not in their story. Everyone is in different mental state. So remember, be kind.
We as staff and ministry leaders will continue to work toward taking care of individuals both in the building and outside. WE must to do this together. Our Common Ground is Jesus. Lets keep that in focus at all costs.
LOVE GOD – LOVE PEOPLE