For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV)
Corporate worship at Faith Community Church looks a bit different these days, as it does for all congregations seeking to protect the health and well-being of their members and neighbors. Our primary aim is to respond in proper worship to our God, but we believe doing so entails caring for the health of the most vulnerable among us. Here’s what you can expect during the course of Restore Illinois Phase 4 , based on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Guidelines for Places of Worship.
TWO WORSHIP SERVICES AT 25% CAPACITY (9 AM AND 10:30 AM)
In an effort to maintain proper social distancing, we are keeping attendance capacity in our Worship Center (sanctuary) to 25%, or approximately 50 people. If you would like to attend, please email our church office administrator, Rosa Matos, at firstname.lastname@example.org and share when to expect you. If you forget to email, please don’t let doing so stop you from attending! Typically, our 10:30 AM service has fewer regular attenders than our 9 am service. In between services our elders serve our congregation by sanitizing and disinfecting high-touch areas. You will also notice alternating rows of seats are blocked off in order to enable attenders to select a seat at a proper distance from others.
MASKS & HAND SANITIZER
As in all indoor spaces in Illinois, we ask that you bring or wear a mask while in our building and during our outdoor fellowship time while talking with others. There are several people in our congregation who have dedicated themselves to providing re-usable masks throughout the pandemic, both for adults and children. We have an ample supply of masks and you are welcome to take one (either disposable or washable) for your own use to keep. You will also find hand sanitizer readily available in our lobby and narthex and throughout the building.
Our current worship services are abbreviated to 45 minutes, allowing ample time to clean and disinfect between services, as well as limiting our time together indoors.
We recognize singing is one of the main ways God’s people respond in worship to him, as well as being one of the primary ways God transforms his people into deeper knowledge of himself (Col 3:16). However, we also are aware that singing increases the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus. In view of this, we have made the difficult decision to limit our pre-recorded songs to two. While these recordings are projected on our video screens, we encourage you to either sing very quietly (while keeping your mask on) or to attend to the lyrics and music while “singing along” in your heart.
CHANGES TO OFFERTORY AND LORD’S SUPPER
During Phase 4, we are not passing a plate for the offertory, though of course we encourage you to worship God with your tithes and offerings. When you enter our worship space, you will notice a small table to the right with hand sanitizer, bulletins, and an offertory plate. We invite you to place your offering in the plate before or after the service, or to give online.
The Lord’s Supper looks a bit different in these months as well. Our elders and communion team are constantly working to find a way to administer the sacrament that is reverent while also reducing the amount of handling that might occur before it is administered. You may find the elements in bags, or in pre-packaged cups. Thank you for being gracious and remembering that these alterations are temporary. During the Lord’s Supper, an elder will bring the elements directly to you.
RECORDED WORSHIP FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON
If you are immunocompromised or high-risk, we encourage you to stay home and worship along with us via the Internet. Though we are not live-streaming our service, you will find it uploaded usually by Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. You can always find the worship services on the Sermons page on our website or on Facebook.
OUTDOOR FELLOWSHIP TIME WITH PRE-PACKAGED SNACKS
Fellowship is an important part of the DNA of FCC. Between our services, from 9:50-10:15 am, we invite you to join us on the east side of our building under the carport for coffee, water, and individually packaged snacks, while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
STAY IN TOUCH
Ordinarily, we aim to stay in touch with visitors and guests by requesting that they fill out our friendship pads during the offertory. These days, it’s harder to share information that way. Instead, we encourage you to make sure you receive our weekly newsletters through emailing our office administrator, Rosa (email@example.com) with the subject line: Please add me to the weekly Midweek Update. In doing so, we’ll be sure that you don’t fall through the cracks. We also always invite you to share prayer requests and needs with us this way as well.
The Midweek Update is one of the primary ways we share updates and new information regarding our response to COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to check in every Wednesday or Thursday to stay abreast with what’s new at FCC.