Dear Stonebrook family,
As we mentioned last week in an email and on our Sunday service, we will resume live 10:00 a.m. Sunday services on June 21st. I can’t wait! It’s been a long time in coming.
I have much important information to give you, SO PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY. Thanks!
On behalf of the elders and deacons, I want to give you some important information concerning our regathering back together. The deacons and staff have put in many, many hours to develop a reasonably healthy plan that follows CDC and IDPH guidelines. And they along with the elders spent two hours last week on Zoom working through this complex situation. We’re giving this a strong effort to lovingly accommodate as many as possible, even though we recognize we are unable to give the ideal situation to many of us.
- We recognize many of you are not yet ready to return to meeting back at Stonebrook due to health concerns. We support this and actually encourage this.
- Some of us (myself included) have found some advantages to staying at home and watching the services online. Those advantages may revolve around comfort and ease. If any of us are tempted to stay home merely because of this, we urge you to resist this temptation and join back live (unless you have genuine health concerns). We need one another.
- Our live services this summer will look different than they did prior to COVID and even different than the past three months. But we trust that the Lord will bring his grace upon us all, regardless of such changes.
- We are planning to livestream the service at 10:00 a.m., and we believe we will have fewer streaming problems than we (and many other churches) had in March.
- Shortly after the livestream, the recorded service will be posted for later viewing, too.
- Dave Bovenmyer will host a Zoom meeting both before and after the service for any who want to fellowship in that manner.
Here is what we ask you to do as you consider if you should resume attending the live services. We are following CDC and IDPH guidelines in a reasonable manner, so we have some important statements for us all. PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY. We have loving and prudent reasons behind all of this (i.e., it’s not random choices or personal preferences).
Prior to coming
- RSVP whether or not you are coming. We have no idea how many of you will come the first week, so the RSVP will help our ushers and staff plan our morning. UPDATE: We have reached capacity for this week and are no longer taking RSVPs.
- Pray for a very fruitful worship service, whether you’re at home or at Stonebrook. God will work if we ask him to!
- If you are sick (a cold, fever, coughing, etc.), please stay home. Please. You’re not being a wimp. You’re loving your family.
- Take your temperature before you come. If your temp is above 100.4F please stay home. This shows love to others.
- If you are 65 or over or have significant health issues, we support and even encourage you to stay home. We will miss you sorely, but we are concerned about your long term health.
- We are striving for a reasonably healthy environment for as many as possible. That said, it will not be a risk free environment. (When do we ever have risk free options?) And some attendees may have less strict health practices than you during their week. So please keep that in mind as you consider attending or not.
- OUR HIGHEST GOAL: Love one another. I suspect many of us will face temptations to critically judge others for their responses to COVID-19: “That person is too strict, too loose, or too whatever.” But let’s entrust others to the Lord, give thanks for them, and be united with them. If you have a genuine concern, have a gentle conversation rather than hold on to criticism.
When you arrive:
- Ushers will give instructions when you arrive concerning seating, hand sanitizer, and more. Please follow their instructions.
- We will reduce our seating capacity by removing every other row in the auditorium. Our seating capacity will be approximately 150 people.
- We strongly encourage everyone to wear a mask. We understand some of you don’t wear a mask now in public, but we appeal to you out of love for the other saints to do so. Many of us are concerned about the virus and are following the guidelines given to us by governing officials, so when you wear a mask, consider it an act of love for others, regardless of your own preferences. (Confession: I do not like wearing a mask. It’s hot and uncomfortable and “not cool.” But I’ll gladly wear one anyway. Also, Matt says he enjoys wearing a mask because he thinks he looks like a ninja. Let him have his moment. haha)
- We encourage honoring a six-foot spacing as much as practical. And no hugging, handshakes, etc. You know the drill.
- Use hand sanitizer. We will have some available.
- No Nursery or Sunday school for now. And no Stone Cup.
- Families with young children: we recognize the challenge to keep young children socially distanced from each other. So for this hour-long service, we ask that you give your best effort to keep your children with you. If you feel this will be too difficult for your family, we encourage you to continue watching the service online from home for now.
- Building usage on Sunday morning will be limited to the auditorium, foyer, and main bathrooms.
After the service is over:
- Ushers will dismiss us from the back to the front to minimize distancing challenges.
- Exit the building immediately after the service
- Socialize and visit with one another outside while maintaining social distance recommendations (weather permitting).
- Rejoice that we were able to meet!!
Thank you. Please pray for the June 21 service, and for subsequent services. These are trying times, but God is faithful through it all!