Coronavirus Meeting Policy Update, July 2020
July 31, 2020 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, receive Communion, and learn the Bible; we are also live streaming the meetings via facebook (www.facebook.com/nccstl) so those who don't feel they can venture out of their homes can still join online.
For those age 9 and above, please wear a mask to the meeting in accordance with the St. Louis County government guidance.
Most importantly: our goal is to honor Jesus together and graciously re-assemble.
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 yet 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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to wear a mask.
Yes. our government has required those age 9 and up to wear masks, and it is right for us to submit to our leaders. Please note that the people on stage will not wear masks because they can't communicate clearly to the group through the mask; it is not as a demonstration of policy. We also realize that children struggle to keep the masks on correctly. If they are not wearing masks, we will have grace for families.
Will we live stream if people can't make it to the meeting or don't feel like they can leave their house yet?
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 will not have those features and will not be as polished as our more recent posts.
Will we conduct communion?
Prior to the meeting start, elders will hand out individually wrapped communion cups with wafers sealed inside as people enter the auditorium. We are trying to encourage social distancing in such a way that there is not a long line of people waiting for cups as they enter. We will individually take our communion cups when directed to do so. Obviously, people will need to remove masks to take communion. 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 little kids. There is childcare (up to Kindergarten age) available. Our teachers are wearing masks, and we are extra sanitizing the classrooms. We will constantly assess childcare as new information and guidance unfolds. We do not yet have an expected start for the elementary age classes. There are clipboards and color pages available for kids. Note too that it is also very much OK to keep your kids in the meeting. If babies or little guys struggle to sit through quiet parts of the meeting we aim to support not 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?
No coffee or food served for the time being.
Are we social distancing?
Yes. According to St. Louis County guidelines, we have removed rows in the auditorium seating, and we're following the County's capacity caps for people in the building. Our goal is to be wise together. In that spirit, we have additional chairs staged in the back of the auditorium, please feel free to move chairs to accommodate your family and properly fill our auditorium. Also, as we are distancing, let's avoid hugging each other. It is probably better to wave rather than touch. Also, let's continue washing our hands often.
Are people allowed to sit at the tables in the coffee bar?
Sure. Just be wise. We’re not obeying social distancing if there are 15 guys around one table. Let’s stand a bit apart and chat without working against all the our officials have asked us to do.
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 to drop your tithe as you leave should you bring a check. In this way, we are "touchless" and will not pass baskets.
What if I would like prayer from an elder but don't feel I can 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?
Just a mask, though if you forget it, we'll have some available.
How can I help?
If you would like to be on the usher team, help mow grass or upkeep our plant beds, to help do extra cleaning on the children's wing, or if you want to assist with meeting set-up, please email Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there any reason I shouldn’t come to the 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. Don’t come if you feel that being inside with everyone will put you at specific and great risk due to a compromised immune system or similar situation. Otherwise, the Bible tells us that it is important to assemble and worship the Lord together, so come to the meeting. If you or your loved ones are sick, please do call us, and we will pray with you and support you however we can.
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 July 3, 2020) 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.