Beautiful Savior’s COVID-19 Response
Resuming In-Person Worship
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beautiful Savior’s leadership has operated by balancing the following principles:
- Our desire and God’s command to gather around his Word. (Hebrews 10:23-24)
- Our desire and God’s command to show care and concern for our neighbor’s spiritual and physical health. (Luke 10:25-37, Exodus 20:13)
- Our desire and God’s command to honor and respect our government and leaders. (Romans 13:1-5)
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently released the “Back on Track Indiana” Plan. With this plan revised recommendations were made available for religious institutions. These recommendations commend those churches, like Beautiful Savior, that voluntarily moved to offer ministry remotely. It noted the following, “In Governor Holcomb’s Stay-At-Home orders, religious entities, groups, and facilities have been deemed “essential.” Both the United States Constitution and the Indiana Constitution protect the right of Hoosiers to worship and freely exercise their religion.”
As public and commercial entities are “re-opened” in the following weeks, Beautiful Savior will also “re-expand” our continuing ministry to include in-person worship. As we do so, we will implement practices offered by the Revised Guidance for Places of Worship. We plan to move forward in connection with the stages of Indiana’s Back on Track plan. You can find more information about these plans here: https://www.backontrack.in.gov.
In this policy document, we share our timeline and the health and safety practices we plan to implement for the protection of all worshippers and the safety of our greater La Porte community. Both the practices and timeline may be adjusted as necessary according to data and guidance from medical professionals, our local, and state governments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Timeline for Resuming In-Person Worship
Back on Track Indiana provides that beginning May 24th, “Social gatherings of up to 100 people may take place following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidelines.” This serves as our benchmark for resuming in-person worship. We will closely monitor guidance from our state and local governments, and shift our time-table accordingly if any changes occur.
May 31st – In-Person Worship will resume for those who are comfortable attending worship. Live streams will continue. There will not be Bible Study or Sunday School, and time of fellowship will be limited. In-person worship from this date forward will conform to the policies and procedures described below. Beautiful Savior will communicate any adjustments made to these policies and procedures.
Please note the following:
- People 65 and older and those with
known high-risk medical conditions are encouraged to remain home, and limit
their exposure. The (CDC) states that the following are at a higher risk:
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of all ages with underlying
medical conditions, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease
- Face coverings are recommended.
- Social distancing guidelines from the CDC (maintaining 6 feet of space) are to be followed.
Health and Safety Practices to Be Implemented
We have carefully crafted a plan for resuming in-person worship services that includes practices to guard and protect the health and safety of all attendees. We believe these practices are reasonable, effective, and allow us to serve many in corporate worship, spiritual growth, and outreach. We will provide a welcoming, safe environment through their implementation. Signage will remind attendees of these practices.
- We ask those with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in recent contact with someone who has been tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19 refrain from in-person worship and worship from home using the live stream option.
- Facial coverings are recommended.
- We will implement non-contact greetings. (No hugs, handshakes, or high fives.)
- Most interior doors will be propped open to avoid high contact of door handles.
- Greeters wearing masks and gloves will open main entrances for attendees.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available at the main entrance, as well as near the entrance to the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall.
- Seating areas will be marked to maintain social distancing. Alternating rows will be closed.
- All hymnals, Bibles, and pens will be removed from seating areas.
- Worship folders and connection cards will not be handed out. The worship presentation projected on our main screen will include all service items.
- The offering will not be collected by passing the plate. We encourage givers to make use of online giving. An offering plate will be available by the entryway to the sanctuary for those who desire to give by cash or check. Thank you for your support of our ministry.
- To assist our cleaning volunteers, and ensure proper disinfecting, the parent’s room will be closed. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to nursing mothers and families with young children.
- We request RSVP’s for in-person worship for any who will attend from our sister congregations that have not yet resumed in-person worship.
- Overflow seating will be placed in the fellowship hall, spaced so that social distancing can be maintained. Service items will be projected and service audio provided in the fellowship hall.
- ● Children’s Messages:
- Children will sit at designated positions on the front floor, maintaining 6ft of social distance. Siblings will sit together.
- Following worship attendees will be dismissed from the rear of the sanctuary, moving forward, this will be followed by any seated in the overflow area in the fellowship hall.
- There will not be a formal time of fellowship. Those who desire to converse are asked to move outside and maintain social distancing practices.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
- Volunteer crews will clean the entire facility following worship. We have developed a thorough cleaning and disinfecting checklist.
- High-contact surfaces will be disinfected thoroughly.
- Volunteer crews will also clean and disinfect prior to worship.
Beautiful Savior recognizes that some will not feel comfortable attending in-person worship services yet. All worship services will be live streamed for those who desire to worship online. We encourage all individuals and families to consider their best opportunity to engage in worship during this challenging time. Beautiful Savior remains a La Porte County family founded on, and growing in, the truth of God’s Word; sharing the love of our Beautiful Savior.