CENTER CHURCH WILL REOPEN FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES BEGINNING SUNDAY, AUGUST 16
Last Updated: August 10, 2020
Since March 15th Center Church has been “open online” but “closed in person”. God has been at work but it has been a difficult season for our church family. We’ve experienced a rise in acute loneliness, anxiety, and discouragement as a result of isolation. Gathering is an essential part of who we are and it is one of the primary ways that God strengthens and encourages his people.
Motivated by a concern for the spiritual and emotional health of our church, and after much prayer, research, and counsel, Center Church is excited to begin hosting “in-person” worship services beginning August 16th, 2020! We will be hosting two services, one at 4:00pm and one at 5:30pm, at Crosslife Community Church located at 1410 Old Brook Road.
We are grateful to learn from other like minded churches in our community who have begun successfully meeting in-person again. By adopting the “best practices” of those churches and by carefully adhering to the policies established by the VA Department of Health and CDC regarding “Religious Services”, we are confident that we can gather together in a safe way and we would love for you to join us! That being said, if you are uncomfortable gathering at this time we understand and respect that decision. We will continue live streaming our services at 4:00pm and 5:30pm.
What steps are we taking to ensure the safety of our gathering? We are taking extensive steps! Please review the “Safety Policies” section below for more details.
Why are we hosting two services? Hosting two services will help us engage more people in our community, it will enable us to build a stronger and more sustainable volunteer culture and it will enable us to adhere to “best practices” as established by the VA Department of Health for Religious Services.
Why are we meeting on Sunday evenings? At this time St. Anne’s Belfield School is not permitting outside organizations to rent their facilities. We have a strong relationship with Crosslife Church and they have graciously invited us to utilize their facility on Sunday evenings. We are hopeful that the move to Sunday evenings will help us better engage people who travel on the weekends or who are uncomfortable attending a Sunday morning service.
Will Center Kids ministry be available? Not immediately, but beginning Sunday Sept. 13th limited Center Kids ministry will be available! Please review the “Center Kids – FAQ” below for more details.
Will we be able to talk to each other? Yes! One of the most beneficial aspects of in-person worship is the opportunity to see and connect with others. To do that safely, we are encouraging everyone to fellowship outside the building before and after the service.
What about communion? Communion (when celebrated) will be administered using self-contained bread/juice cups and not passed from or between family members.
Will there be coffee and bagels? Unfortunately, there will not be coffee or bagels at this time.
To help us ensure the safety of our gathering we will be following the “mandatory requirements” and “best practices” as established by the VA Department of Health for Religious Services. This includes:
– Masks must be worn at all times inside the building (only exception is when speaking from stage).
– Social distancing will be practiced inside the building and auditorium.
– Key surfaces will be disinfected before and after each service.
– Exterior and interior doors will be propped open to reduce contact with surfaces.
– Separate doors will be used to enter and exit the building.
– Touch-less hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the campus.
– Service length will be shortened to reduce the need for bathrooms.
– Signage will be displayed to remind attendees of various policies.
– Offering buckets will be placed at convenient locations throughout the auditorium but will not be passed along aisles.
– Physical handouts will not be used.
– Any person who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 48 hours or has had close contact with a known carrier of COVID-19 in the last 14 days is respectfully asked to join us online but not in person.
CENTER KIDS FAQs
When will Center Kids be offered? We plan to begin offering Center Kids ministry on Sunday, September 13th.
How many services will be offered and how many can my children attend? We are hosting 2 services to allow for safe social distancing practices. Each family can have their child(ren) attend one service.
What classes and ages will be provided in Center Kids? We will offer 2 classes. The ages the classrooms will provide for are 1-2 year olds and 3 years old – Kindergarten. All other kids are welcome to join us in the Worship Service.
How will you follow best practices for the safety of children and volunteers? We will follow the state guidelines including: social distancing and wearing masks, removing unnecessary furniture and toys, providing separate toys for each service in the nursery and preschool, increased disinfection of surfaces and toys, providing individual craft bins for each child, wellness surveys at check-in, handwashing before entering, limiting the number of children and volunteers, and reviewing and adapting our policies per the state guidelines as changes are made.
Are you limiting class sizes? Yes. Families will reserve a space for their child(ren) in Center Kids and we will limit the number of children to allow for social distancing.
Who will be wearing masks? All volunteers will be wearing masks. If families would feel most comfortable with their children wearing masks, we will do our best to help them keep it on during Center Kids.
What will my kids who are in 2nd grade and up do during service? They will attend corporate worship with you.
What will it look like for families to serve? Serving will look different for each family. Some families may serve and attend one service. Some families may have one parent who serves one service and attends another, while another parent takes the kids home. We do ask that if one parent stays at the church while the other parent serves to be mindful to keep children separate from kids in Center Kids so we can keep small numbers and maintain social distancing guidelines both inside and on the playground.
When should our children not attend Center Kids? If anyone in your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, children should not attend Center Kids for 14 days. If your child(ren) or any member of your family exhibits the following symptoms, children should not attend Center Kids: fever (100 degrees or higher), cough, running nose, vomiting or diarrhea.
Will Center Kids programming look different to accommodate for social distancing? We will be utilizing outdoor play when weather permits instead of indoor games. We will provide individual supplies for children to use for opening activities and crafts. We will no longer provide snacks. We will use seating markers during the Bible story time to allow for social distancing. We will limit the number of chairs at each table to help children practice social distancing.
What if my family does not feel comfortable attending in person services? We would love for you to join us and by abiding by all mandatory and recommended guidelines as established by the Virginia Department of Health for faith communities we believe it is safe to do so.
That being said, we understand that you may not be ready to come back to church and we respect that. We will continue to partner with parents to disciple their children by providing a Bible story video and digital copies of handouts for families to view and complete on Sundays. We will send out a mid-week challenge that families can complete together during the week. We will continue to look for ways to connect with your family in meaningful ways during this time.