Our Roadmap to Reopen

Recently, on May 21st, I shared my heart on our church blog and a video that reminded us that Campus Bible Church is not closed. Although some of our physical doors are closed, our hearts of worship, service, fellowship, healing and compassion are wide open. And we are waiting for the physical doors to open when we can all gather together face to face at both of our sites.
Well, as we all know, things are changing daily. In fact, what I am about to share will most likely change on June 15th when the State presents its new regulations, which could have more or less restrictions.

Although we are grateful that churches are now recognized by the government as “essential” (when haven’t we been?), we had hoped that the recent announcements regarding physical gatherings would have been less restrictive. Many of us were hoping to get back to normal. Sadly, we are still far from that.

Regardless of what some churches might choose to do, according to the current regulations, here is what gathering together in-person should look like:

• no gatherings of groups over 100 or 25% of room capacity, whichever is less

• all attenders must maintain 6-foot social distancing in all group settings, large or small

• all meeting rooms must be disinfected before and after use

• smaller gatherings will be limited by room size and the ability to engage in social distancing for the entire time

• those 65 or older will be strongly urged not to attend in-person group meetings

• all attenders must answer health screening questions regarding fever and other symptoms

• no separate childcare or children’s ministries are allowed

• children will need to be attended in the group by their immediate family members and will not be allowed to mingle

• children in all group gatherings must sit with members of their household only

• family members and friends cannot sit together unless they live in the same household

• use of public water fountains are discouraged and the number using restrooms at one time will be limited

• masks are required for all ministry staff and group leaders and highly recommend for all attenders

• all who serve communion and hand out materials must be gloved and masked

• loud singing may be restricted due to the possibility of greater spread of the virus

• in-person fellowship before and after gatherings will be restricted by both numbers and social distancing regulations

• anyone who attends any group gathering tests positive for COVID 19 all those who were more than 15 minutes within a six-foot distance from that person could be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days

• a “first come, first served” reservation system may be needed, and could restrict the casual visitor due to space restrictions

• the leadership will have to “enforce” all of the above (how will we still maintain a loving and welcoming atmosphere?)

And that’s just an abbreviated list of the many other details being required!

Folks, this is obviously not what we had hoped for, but it is what it is….for now! Again, on June 15 the State will revisit its guidance for Places of Worship, which could have more or less restrictions. We promise to update you all along this most unusual journey.

However, this is not to say we will not be gathering together! Quite the contrary. Besides continuing our many online worship services, group meetings and ministries (which have been a blessing to many), we are immediately opening the physical doors of our Campus Bible Church facilities at our Maple and Palm sites for a number of approved small & medium groups and ministries. We are still discussing the details of home groups, as well.

Groups that resume meeting in person will need to follow State guidelines. Expect to hear from us soon about the timing of corporate worship gatherings, as well as youth and adult group meetings. For now, there will not be separate children’s group gatherings under Junior High age.

Where do we go from here? Our ministry leadership team has set a roadmap with various stages of our reopening process. Please look this over carefully and contact us if you have any questions. In the meantime, continue to watch our online services and online meetings. Feel free to open your private homes for fellowship and for worship, following the COVID 19 standards.

Be assured we are in this together and we believe we will come out of this time a stronger local church. Our Leadership Team covets your prayers and we welcome your input. Join us in proclaiming in our attitudes and our actions who we truly believe is the Church’s One Foundation, the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Pastor Jim (on behalf of the Elder Board)