Dear First Reformed Church,
As we continue to move through the pandemic of Covid 19 life also continues to change. As we have gotten into our fall programing we have recognize how hard it is to do ministry online. As parents and members of our congregation, I want to encourage you do what you can as families and individuals to educate your children and youth about Jesus Christ.
We are reminded that as a church we should be the secondary sources for the religious education of your child. You are the first source and the greatest lessons that can be taught are the Christ centered messages you establish at home. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read;
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one, 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
With that being said, we met as an Administration Team along with Josh, Stan DeZeeuw and Dick Oldenkamp, who is chairman of the Education Team. Following our meeting we made the decision to move forward as follows.
General Worship: We will continue to hold worship with our social distanced seating. We do want to emphasize that in the Narthex if you are having conversation with those around you, we would highly recommend you wear a mask. In the sanctuary itself we will continue as usual with masks worn at your choosing. At this time we will not do coffee. If you choose you can socialize around the tables but please keep the socially distance rule of 6 feet between those you are having conversation with.
Education and Youth Activities: We will resume in church classes and youth activities starting in the next two weeks. As we are excited about that return to in-person classes, we are also going to implement the similar policies that school is now under. This means that all of our classes will be set up in such a manner that each student will be socially distanced at the 6-foot recommendation.
We will be eliminating all the tables in each room and each student will be given a personal tote to hold supplies and write on. If there is any room where we cannot abide by the 6-foot rule, students and teachers must wear a mask. We are also encouraging all our students and teachers to wear masks while in class and in the hallway if possible. The junior high and high school groups will be meeting in the fellowship hall during this time for their youth meetings. We are currently looking for some Sunday School teachers. If you can help, please contact Diane Langstraat.
Our programs will resume at follows:
High School (7:30 pm) and Junior High (6:30 pm) youth Groups: Wednesday October 7th
Bible Class at 6:30 pm – October 14th
Sunday School 10:10 am – October 18th
Children in Worship during worship services – October 18th
We each have our opinion on the issue of masks. Wear your masks when you need to. We will also have masks available for those attending worship and our education and youth activities if needed. Our concern as leadership in the church, is to do what we can to make sure we are providing a safe and clean environment for all of you as a congregation. We want you to take the mindset that Jesus has taught us, which is to “Love our neighbor as yourself.”
None of us wants to be where we are at right now with Covid 19, but if we continue to be concerned and love those around us we will all get through this together, God is always good. We want to encourage you to be mindful and considerate of anyone joining us for worship or activities. We have the opportunity to do our part to enhance a greater comfort to those who have been concerned about their own health as well as others.
Blessings and Prayer,
Pastor Luke and the Administrative Team
On Monday, June 22, 2020, our Administrative Team met once again and decided that we will continue in Phase 1a which means keeping things like they are when it comes to worship. We however are going to move to Phase 2b for other church activities. This means, beginning Sunday, June 28th, we will allow small groups (10 people or fewer) to meet in the church. We ask that groups who meet in church abide by the social distancing guidelines of a 6-foot distance. If you would like to meet in the church you need to contact Jamie in the office, so we are aware when you are here. That will allow us to make sure we disinfect and clean the area you use after you are done.
We are asking all meetings to be held in the Fireside Room only. You can arrange the room according to your needs. Again, please inform Jamie if you will be needing the use of that room. The youth group will also be able to begin meeting. Josh will inform all students and parents of the guidelines he will have as they meet together.
When a church activity or meeting is not in the church, groups of more than 10 can meet if they are outdoors and again are social distancing. Our community has done a great job of keeping COVID-19 numbers down. As we begin to meet face to face with more people, we want to continue to keep those numbers low.
Our Return to Church Info...updated June 2020
Sunday is coming! I am excited that after almost 100 days we have the opportunity to once again gather together for worship. As we come back I again want to remind you of what you will encounter.
We are in Phase 1 of our return. Please look at this information on our Facebook page or church website. Here are some of those highlights:
We will hold two services. One is at 9:00 am (traditional) the other at 11:00 (contemporary)
Entrance/Exit into the church will be only through the doors on the east and west side of the sanctuary. The spaces that can be occupied on Sunday will only the sanctuary, bathrooms, and the narthex. Everything else will be closed off.
Church doors will open ½ hour before our service time. Please remain in your car or outside until we open the doors. Someone will greet you and open the door for you. Please be seated in the sanctuary as soon as possible as you enter the building.
There will be no social hour following the first service and before the second. This includes no coffee or refreshments. We are asking everyone attending to be in the building only for worship. Be patient, cookies and coffee will come! J
Bring your own Bible! All the hymn books and Bibles have been removed from the pews during phase 1.
Masks are optional. We will provide masks for anyone wishing to wear one or please bring your own if you choose to wear a mask.
We will not be shaking hands. We desire you keep the safe, please use the 6 foot distance rule between you and people you haven’t seen in a while.
Nursery will not be offered during Phase 1 and Phase 2.
We will not have communion until Phase 2
There will be spaced seating in the sanctuary. Every other pew is masked off so please don’t sit in those pews. Family units can sit next to each other.
Seating will be in the sanctuary only unless we exceed our spaced seating capacity.
Offering plates will be by the back doors of the sanctuary. Please drop your offering off in one of the plates.
If you use the bathroom please be meticulous about hand washing before you leave.
The water fountains will not be accessible in Phase 1.
Mailboxes will not be accessible during Phase 1.
There will be no bulletins handed out on Sundays. If you desire a bulletin you may come during the week to pick one up or you can find it on our church website.
Following the service you will be excused from the back pews to the front. We ask you to immediately head outside. If you choose to fellowship outside it’s up to you. This also allows us to deep clean before the next service.
IF YOU ARE SICK , ELDERLY, OR UNCOMFORTABLE, PLEASE STAY HOME. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO FACEBOOK LIVE FOR BOTH SERVICES UNTIL YOU ARE HEALTHY OR COMFORTABLE RETURNING. BE SMART AND BE MINDFUL OF THOSE AROUND YOU. WE WANT YOU TO BE SAFE AS WE MOVE FORWARD!
We Are Currently In Phase 1 of our 3 Phase Return Plan
We are all in different places when it comes to moving forward with our lives after COVID. We thought the below image was a great representation of where we all might be in this transition.