Coronavirus Policy Update, December 2021
December 7, 2021 by Steven Ottolini 0 comments
We are meeting
Sunday mornings, 10:30 a.m.
in-person at the church building
online via facebook.
We love Jesus and so our ministry of His Word and gospel will not stop. We also love people and want to see you safe and serving God well during the pandemic. So, we're having in-person meetings to worship together, receiving Communion, and learning the Bible; we are also live-streaming the meetings via facebook (www.facebook.com/nccstl) so that those who don't feel they can venture out of their homes can still join online.
Our goal is to honor Jesus
That means being patient with each other and demonstrating love toward one another so that we stand together in kindness and humility whether a person is ready to be physically together or is not yet to that place. Practically, this means that we shouldn't be offended if people don't feel they can't congregate, or if they decline to shake hands. The Lord is our Shepherd, and our desire is to hold each other up close to Him - not force people to reintegrate according to our individual expectations. So, we have patience with everyone but are also encouraging everyone to please come back to church. We are better together and obey the Lord's command to congregate for worship when we gather on Sundays.
However, as a rule, don't come to church if you are sick or if you are exposed. We need to be wise in this time. So, please avoid in-person meetings if you, or those closest to you, are positive for COVID or are symptomatic.
When to NOT come to the church meeting:
If you are sick or feeling ill, please don’t come to the meeting. If you or your kids have fevers, please avoid the meeting. If you know you have been exposed to a positive COVID case and have not yet finished your quarantine period, avoid the meeting. Don’t come if you feel that being inside with everyone will put you at specific or great risk due to a compromised immune system.
What to do if you have tested positive for COVID:
If you or your loved ones are sick, please call us, and we will pray with you and support you however we can. Those positive with COVID must quarantine and avoid the church body for 10 days, according to CDC guidance. If you are scheduled to work or volunteer, and you have not yet finished your 10 day quarantine, then you must not come to church. After 10 days, or cleared by your health professional, then you may return to normal church activities.
What to do if you are exposed to a postive case:
If you have been exposed to COVID, please avoid the meeting and quarantine according to CDC guidance and your health professional's direction. The CDC defines exposure as being within 6 feet of a COVID positive person for 15 minutes. According to the most recent CDC recommendations, an exposed person should remain quarantined for seven days and then also undergo a COVID test to ensure that they are virus free. If symptoms develop, contact your health professional. If no symptoms develop, and you have quaratined for seven days, and have a negative test, then you are clear to return to normal church activities.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to wear a mask.
No. If you feel more comfortable wearing one, please feel free to do so. Please note that the people on stage will not wear masks because they can't communicate clearly to the group through the mask. Please also note that we are not requiring children workers or any staff members to wear masks. This is in accordance with Missouri government guidelines.
Will we live-stream if people can't make it to the meeting?
Absolutely. Please note that during the stay-at-home-order, a lot of time and effort (especially from our faithful brother, Roy Behymer) went in to making our videos each week and overlaying song lyrics during worship. The live stream today is not as polished as it is a true live product and has not undergone any editing. This means that there may be "dead air" in which it seems like nothing is happening because we are either off screen, or have a moment at church that his not readily captured by the cameras (such as church members praying from the middle of the room and not "on stage").
Will we conduct communion?
Yes. We will continue to use individually wrapped communion cups with wafers sealed inside for greater sanitation and safety. During the meeting, a leader will ask a representative from each family to come forward to receive the communion elements to hand out back at their seats. Then, we will all partake in the communion together as directed by one of the church officers. For the time being, we won’t share communion one with another though this is our normal custom. This will not be permanent; it is a measure for the time being to protect our vulnerable.
Is there childcare?
Yes, for infants up to 4th grade. We also have a once a month Middle School special activity during the sermon. We are taking extra precautions to sanitize classrooms. We will constantly assess childcare as new information and guidance unfolds. Note too that it is also OK to keep your kids with you in the main meeting. If babies or little guys struggle to sit through quiet parts of the meeting, we aim to support and not to judge. It is OK if kids get a bit noisy in the meeting, or if you have to take them out during the sermon.
Are restrooms / drinking fountains available?
Absolutely. Please feel free to use the restrooms. They are professionally cleaned each week. Use the drinking fountain if you are comfortable. If not, avoid it.
How are we sanitizing the building?
We have a professional cleaning service that sanitizes the building for us each week. Teachers will sanitize classrooms and toys each Sunday after children classes.
Is the coffee bar open?
Yes. You are welcome to the coffee and drinks if you feel comfortable.
Are we social distancing?
We encourage distancing somewhat, but in reality, most people are just living like normal. So, we suggest that you use wisdom in your interactions with others. Some people are very senstive to being close to others right now, and we should ahve grace for one another. Honesty is the best policy here. If a person is getting too close, please remind them to distance a bit. Also, and importantly, please don't come to church if you are sick. Finally, let's continue washing our hands often.
Are people allowed to sit at the tables in the coffee bar?
What about passing baskets for tithes and offerings?
We still have our online means available through our website and the church center app. We'll also have a basket available in the back of the auditorium to drop your tithe as you leave. In this way, we are "touchless" and will not pass baskets at this time.
What if I would like prayer from an elder, but I don't feel that I can safely come to the meeting?
You're welcome to drive to the building to receive specific prayer while you remain in your car. Also, we will come to you. Just give us a call or send and email and we'll get in touch with you. (636-519-4099, admin@NCCSTL.org)
Anything I need to bring?
Bible would be good. If you don't have one, we'd love to give you one.
How can I help?
If you would like to be on the usher team, help do extra cleaning on the children's wing, or if you want to assist with meeting set-up or hospitatliy, please email Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are we following all the government rules/recommendations?
Yes. We are in compliance with the St. Louis County re-opening plan and current (as of December 7, 2021) guidelines.
Seems like a lot of rules?
We have tons of grace for each other, for guests, for those sick, for those who feel that they can’t yet attend, for those who think this is too much precaution, and for those who are especially “vulnerable.” Whatever our opinion or status, we can pull together to watch out for one another, submit to our government in righteousness, and be grace-filled in every circumstance while still putting God first and meeting together as Scripture tells us.
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