We are asking everyone who considers Blackduck Evangelical Free Church their church home or is visiting to follow these guidelines for the following reasons.
Love for our neighbor. This is one of the basic commandments of the Christian life. Our concern in adopting these guidelines is to protect the vulnerable among us (Matthew 22.37-40).
Respect for authority. We are commanded to honor and respect the judgment of those authorities the Lord has place over us in positions of civic responsibility (Romans 13.1-8; 1 Peter 2.13-17).
As a testimony to our neighbor. (1 Peter 2.11-12)
For us to reopen our building for corporate worship we need to not only have the proper policies and procedures but the right attitude as well. We all need to work together for the greater good of all who call BEFC their church family. These attitudes will be essential:
Grace: We need to extend grace to those who may be reluctant to return right away for their own reasons. This is a situation where we need to apply the principles of Romans 14 to our church life. There will be some who think these guidelines are too restrictive and others who believe they are not strong enough. Remember, “Everyone has a say, but not everyone gets their way.” The leadership team of the church has come to a consensus on these guidelines.
Flexibility: There will be areas that we haven’t addressed or will need to revise in the early stages of our reopening.
Patience: These guidelines are temporary. They are meant to get us back to a much more normal place in our church life.
These are the guidelines the leadership team of the church has adopted during this time of transition from our current status until we can gather without any restrictions.
Assessment: Before you arrive, please assess yourself and your family for COVID-19 symptoms. We ask that you stay home if you or someone in your household has a fever of 100.4 degrees or is experiencing a persistent cough, shortness of breath or other related symptoms.
Masks: We want you to feel comfortable wearing a mask to the worship service. Though masks will not be required, they will be available in case you do not have one.
Social Distancing and Seating: The church will be set up to easily accommodate social distancing. We ask that all members of the same household sit together and maintain six feet of “social distancing” from other households. We will be spread out in the Worship Center and Fellowship Hall.
Greeting One Another: We ask the church family to be creative in ways to greet each other without the use of hugs and handshakes.
Bulletins, Bibles, Offering and Children’s Bags: We will be setting bulletins out for you to pick up as you come in as well as communion elements on the Sundays we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. There will be places to leave your offering in the same locations. Please bring your own Bible as we have temporarily removed the pew Bibles and hymnals. We have also temporarily removed the children’s bags so parents will need to plan accordingly.
Arriving: We will be having one service at 10:00 am. We ask that you use both the main and in the Christian Education wing doors to enter the building. Please maintain social distancing as you find a seat. There are numerous hand sanitizing stations located throughout the building.
Worship Service: The worship service (announcements, singing, preaching) will be slightly abbreviated. We will not be singing at this time as the guidelines from heath officials indicate that singing projects droplets that could be infected into the air at a higher rate than speaking. We will make use of worship videos and the reading of song lyrics with music. There will be no nursery or children’s church for the time being. This is designed to mitigate the risk of exposure as we gather during this time.
Restrooms: We ask that only two people be in the restroom at a time. Please use a paper towel to open the restroom door and deposit it in the wastebasket in the entryway. Parents should accompany children who are in 3rd grade and under to make sure they observe proper hygiene.
Cleaning: The church building will be undergoing deep cleaning before the Sunday services. Hand sanitizer and Kleenex will be readily available. We ask that all take the proper care in washing their hands as needed.
Food and Coffee: We will not be serving any food or beverages at this time. You may bring your own coffee or water.
Departing: We ask that you please leave the building in an orderly way that maintains social distancing. If you would like to visit with others, we ask that you do it in the parking lot.