Dear E.C. Family,
As you are most likely aware, Governor Reynolds has changed the way some organizations are able to operate.
I’m sure you are also aware that the restrictions on church gatherings were lifted approximately three weeks ago, but at that time we did not immediately resume gatherings, instead, we set the date for THIS WEEKEND – Saturday May 16th and Sunday May 17th.
These are positive and exciting changes for many people, and perhaps, anxiety inducing for some others. I want you to be aware that while we are resuming our gatherings as option for worship, we are still not operating as normal. Our environment is very fluid and things could change based on direction from the government.
Our staff has done an excellent job in preparing to give you the very best experience we can under the current restrictions. We ask for your support in continuing to do the things necessary to follow these guidelines.
At the end of my email I will repeat the things we are doing to help you and your family be, and feel safe should you choose to attend in person this weekend, and following weekends. But right now, I have some things I need to ask YOU TO DO, to help us make E.C. experiences the best they can be under the circumstances.
Remember, while you personally may not feel anxiety, and may be ready to run as fast as you can, licking door handles and hugging everyone you see – it would be wise, and KIND, to remember that not everyone feels that way – and so I am asking you to help me, make sure that the MOST READY and the LEAST READY both feel loved and supported at our services.
Here is what we need from you this weekend:
- If you are sick, have been sick in the last 3 days, or live with someone who is sick, or has been sick in the last 3 days, please continue to join us ONLINE.
- When you arrive, please go directly to your seat, as allocated by an usher, and avoid touching any other surfaces.
- Even if it’s just allergies, or a tickle in your throat, be certain to cover your mouth by coughing into your elbow – this will help people feel more comfortable.
- Do not hug or high five or shake hands, for now. Realize that at this time, your doing that, may unfortunately make people think we are not being serious about physical distancing, and may cause others to not want to attend.
- Be aware that should our main auditorium fill up, you may be redirected to our overflow space at 7 Flags (located in the same parking lot as us, a short 45 second walk next door). There is a large screen and speakers, which will be streaming the entire service LIVE. You’ll get my same sermon, and the same great Eternity Worship experience, in the room with fellow believers.
- When the service is over, you will be dismissed row by row, starting from the back, at that time, please proceed directly outside, or to pick up your children, and then proceed to go directly outside – so we have time to clean the building again.
We are running our kids programs – and we want to let you know how we arrived at that decision.:
- We have a state epidemiologist, county health director, a few pediatricians, and many doctors who attend our church. We have had unanimous consensus among them, that it is a good idea for us to run our kids programs, as it will mean less kids in the auditoriums, touching, and licking everything, where there could be an at risk person attending.
- Our medical professionals believe that the children will continue to be the people group least effected by the virus.
- As child care centers and child care at gyms and other facilities have resumed, we are simply falling in line with the rest of our state in this regard and we assume that the same people who utilize those options will be the same people eager to use ours.
- There is no expectation that anyone will or will not utilize the kids programs – you are free to put your kids in the program, you are free to take them with you into the services, and you are free to continue worshipping with us in your living room, online.
- AGAIN, as with adults, we ask that no sick kids be brought to our services, no matter the illness. We do not want to spread strep, the flu, foot and mouth or any other disease among our children – this is good common sense.
If you or a family member are sick – please stay home and enjoy our LIVE online experiences, and let us know you are sick so we can pray for you all, and support you in any way we can.
We also recommend you all follow CDC guidelines on social distancing. One of these guidelines is that people over 65, and people with preexisting medical conditions do not attend gatherings such as ours, for the time being. We will absolutely not enforce such policies, but do recommend that you consider staying home and joining us online, if you fall into one of those groups.
FINALLY – Here are the steps we have taken to help create a safer environment for you.
- Added an additional service time
- Our service times are now Sat 6pm | Sun 9am | Sun 11am
- Full building sanitization between services. (Inc: Kids rooms, toys, restrooms, surfaces, seats, doors and door handles and more)
- The lobby is a “no gathering space” for now.
- Seats are in groups of 5 or 7 and arranged approx. 8 feet apart.
- We have 4,500 masks, and they are available to anyone and everyone who would like one.
- Volunteers will be issued “Love Ya Heaps” masks, and asked to wear them at all volunteer posts, aside from the band.
- Sanitizer, sanitizer, sanitizer – it’s EVERYWHERE!
- We are still building an outdoor patio, but of course, permitting etc, is taking longer than we expected – but we will have it all up and running shortly.
- There is a parking lot RADIO option for the LIVE AUDIO.
- We have built a new kids wing upstairs to spread children out should we need more space.
Thank you again for taking the time to read ANOTHER LONG EMAIL from me, but at this time, I feel the more information you have about what we are doing, the better, and easier it is for you to decide what’s best for your family.
I'd love to see you worship with us this weekend, or a weekend soon, but I also completely understand some of you may wanna wait a little longer – and that’s okay – so we are committed to maintaining a high level of excellence in our online experience from now on so you don’t miss out on the message, and the worship.
I LOVE YA HEAPS – You’re amazing.
(BTW – if you could let us know which service you plan on attending, that’ll really help us with our planning. You can come either way, but it will make things easier for us if we know roughly what to expect at each service – click here. )
Pastor Jesse Newman