Agape Christian Church Reopening Plan

First of all, thank you all for being so patient and faithful during this difficult and unprecedented time. We have walked a road in the last few months that no one ever expected to. Thank you for walking it with us. We’ve all been hoping for some normalcy, and we are thrilled to announce that after many weeks of not being able to meet together for worship, we are ready to begin having in person services at Agape. The elders have been praying and talking about how best to do this for weeks now, and we feel we can safely gather for worship in our building provided we follow the guidelines set forth by the Governor of Indiana.

Given that things progress as they are right now, the first date we will have service in the building will be July 4 and 5.
 

 
 
 

What can you expect?

  • Be ready for things to be very different than what you are used to. The chairs are in different places, communion time will be different, we will not be handing out bulletins, we will not have coffee or drinks available, and we have a lot of guidelines we need to follow in order to keep people safe and healthy.
  • The sanctuary will not hold everyone. We have both the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Center set up with seating the proper distance apart, which means we have had to remove a lot of seats. When seating in the Sanctuary is filled, people will need to sit in the Fellowship Center and will be able to watch the livestreamed service from upstairs. 
  • We will not have reserved seating. Seating will be first come first serve. Our chairs are set up according to the Governor’s social distancing guidelines. If the sanctuary fills up, we will have seating available in the Fellowship Center to watch service over the Livestream.
  • Both worship services will still be online. We will continue to livestream our services on both Saturday and Sunday. If you choose to stay home (and some of you should) you can still access our worship services as you have been.
  • There will be no kids programming for the time being. Kids are not capable of adhering to social distancing guidelines as adults are, so for now we will not have kids programming at the church. Theresa has put together packets of materials for each family to use over the summer and will continue publishing the Kids Church videos throughout the summer for parents to use with their kids. Please contact the church if you did not receive a packet for your kids and would like one. If you choose to bring your children to church, you will be responsible for keeping them at the proper distance from others and keep them from wandering around the building unsupervised.
  • There will be no Sunday School for the time being. Only worship services will begin for now.
  • Be ready for things to change according to the Governor’s guidelines. We will announce any changes or updates through email and the church Facebook page. Please call the church if you have any questions. If you are not on the church email list, please let us know so we can make sure you get the most up to date information.

Guidelines for coming to worship

In order to keep people safe and healthy as we worship together in the building, we need to maintain social distancing standards. This means staying six feet away from people who are not in your household. To accomplish this, we will have several procedures we ask you to follow.

Please do not come to the church building if you are unwilling or unable to follow these guidelines.

  • As you enter and exit the building, please do so one household at a time. We will have ushers to let you into the building. This is to prevent groups gathering in the entryways and lobbies. As much as we love to stand around and chat with each other before and after services, we cannot do that in our building right now. Feel free to do that outside after service is over. Let’s protect those who are vulnerable in our congregation and keep each other safe.
  • Only one household per row of chairs. We understand you might not fill all the chairs, but this is necessary to maintain social distancing in our seating.
  • Masks are not required, but we ask that you wear a mask while in the building in consideration of those who might be more vulnerable. There are certain times we can’t wear masks, like when someone is on the platform leading worship or preaching, but otherwise we recommend wearing one. Singing has been shown to increase how far droplets can travel in the air and masks can keep that from happening. If you have a mask already, bring it with you. We will have masks available to those who do not. Remember, wearing a mask is not to protect you from others, but to protect other people who might be more vulnerable. Let’s do this to keep each other safe.
  • Do not shake hands or hug while at church. We know that everyone will want to greet each other after being apart for so long.
  • Bathroom use: We ask that you limit your use of the bathrooms while at the church, but please sanitize the surfaces you touch if you do. Clorox wipes will be available in the bathrooms for this purpose.

Who should consider staying home?

  • Please do not come into the building if you have symptoms of any kind of illness. Even if you think it’s something minor, please do not come if you are sick.
  • We highly recommend that you stay home if you are 65 or older or have a compromised immune system.
  • Consider those who are more vulnerable in our congregation. You may be healthy and have a strong immune system, but others do not. If you choose not to follow these guidelines, please consider staying home for the sake of others. These guidelines are best practices to keep everyone healthy.

 

Agape will do everything we can to keep people safe and healthy in the building during services, but ultimately decisions about your health are up to you. Please know that if you choose to come to the building you will be at risk of coming into contact with the COVID-19 virus. Agape cannot be responsible for any illness resulting from coming to worship at the church building. Please use your best judgment when deciding whether to return to church at this time or wait a bit longer.