5.14.20 Regathering Plan
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Dear FBC Family,
I have EXCITING NEWS! We are making plans to officially begin the process of re-gathering as a church family on Sunday, May 31st. I have missed seeing you so much, and it will be great as more and more of us can attend in person again. While we have done our absolute best to stay in touch with our members and provide pastoral care during this most unusual season, I am excited to see our church family as we begin meeting again for worship.
The decision on a date to begin meeting again is not easy. I have been in continual discussions with our church staff, deacon leadership, pastors around the state, as well as numerous medical professionals. I certainly understand that personal preferences and opinions are numerous, but we believe May 31st is the right date for us. Not everyone will return at once, and we completely understand that, but it is exciting to begin the process of our congregation meeting on campus.
While we are ecstatic to begin meeting again, there are still several social-distancing measures that will need to be in place. Please help us with these:
We will tape off every other row in our sanctuary to limit seating.
We will ask families to sit together and to allow two seats between families.
We will adjust our service times to be at 9 & 11 am. This will allow us additional time between services to be able to clean the sanctuary.
We will not be shaking hands or passing an offering plate.
We will not be having Sunday School for preschoolers or children for a few weeks, so families will need to bring all of their children into the sanctuary (we know it will be a bit noisy and wiggly – we welcome it!)
Let's already have in our mind that some will feel safe coming back on the 31st, while others will want to stay home a bit longer. You have our support in doing what is wisest for you and your family. Some will desire to wear masks; others will not. Some will be comfortable bringing their little ones into worship, although others will prefer to stay home until we can once again open our preschool area. Some likely wish we were already meeting, while others may desire to wait a number of weeks or even months to re-gather. Please remember that there is always room for differing opinions, and I am grateful our church has been so supportive and understanding during this season.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I cannot imagine any church in the world has been more gracious, supportive, and understanding than you have been. I have been amazed by the love, compassion, and grace you have shown to each other and your church leaders. YOU HAVE BEEN AMAZING! Let's all do everything in our power to keep things that way. We will preach the gospel, we will serve others, we will sacrifice for the good of those around us, and we will do so with joy. And if people in our church have differing opinions about anything? We will give preference to each other in love and, as always, remain focused on what we share in common: the grace of Jesus Christ!
Lord willing, more and more of us will be back together soon! Until then, please continue to join us on live-stream. If you are not able to watch our live-stream, we do now have a way to make the worship service audio available to you on your home telephone. If you would like to know more about this, please contact our church office at 376-4567 so we can discuss it with you. As always, you can call me or email me directly at Michael@fbcmustang.org with any questions or needs. Keep praying yourself joyful. Exciting days are ahead!
Questions & Answers
What will be our Sunday morning schedule beginning Sunday, May 31?
We will have a worship service from 9-10 am and a second service from 11-12 noon. We are not sure for how long this will be our schedule, but these will be our times for a few weeks at least.
What should families do with preschoolers if we are not having Sunday School?
All parents will need to bring their children into the sanctuary. We understand that it will be challenging for parents of little ones and your church family gets it. Our church family will be completely understanding that there will be some extra noise and movement. We are just glad to be able to worship together again!
What if due to only using every other row the sanctuary fills up?
We will have our Youth Center set up for overflow. We will have chairs already set up in the Youth Center spaced apart so it can be used as overflow if needed.
Why do we need to start the second service at 11 am instead of 10:30 like always?
We will be providing a full hour between services to allow us time to clean the sanctuary. Further, we need to allow the first service people to leave the building before the second service arrives in order to do our best to maintain social-distancing.
Will we have a choir when we meet on May 31?
Due to social-distancing measures, our choir will not be in the loft. Traditionally, our choir takes the month of June off through the 4th of July. Our plan is to do so again this year and evaluate what is best as we get into July.
How will we take an offering if we cannot pass an offering plate?
Our members and regular attenders can continue to give online, mail in their offering, or bring it to the church office. Additionally, we will have locked offering boxes on the walls at each sanctuary entrance where you can drop your offering and it will be collected by our ushers.
What about Youth Sunday School and Adult Sunday School?
Our Youth Ministry will offer Sunday School for middle school and high students at 9 & 11am on Zoom. Our adult classes will each determine the best time and way for their class to meet.
How long will this schedule last?
The short answer is that we are not sure. We continue to have to make decisions based on the latest information and that means we have to remain flexible. At this point, we anticipate meeting at 9 & 11am with no preschool or children’s Sunday School through Sunday, July 5. We would love to resume a more normal schedule that includes full Sunday School later in July if it is wise to do so.
What if I don’t feel comfortable being in crowds yet?
We understand! There are some in our congregation that because of age, health concerns, small children, or personal discretion will find it best to continue watching on live-stream for a season. We support you completely.
Will I be expected to wear a mask?
We are encouraging each person to do what they feel is best for them. If you prefer to wear a mask, please wear one. If you would rather not, we will respect that as well. We are asking everyone to practice social-distancing as much as possible and to show honor and understanding to others.