COVID ReOpening Response

What a year 2020 has become!  The Covid-19 Crisis has turned everything upside down.  Since we have not met face to face since March, the Council at Celebration has been getting many questions about our return to church life.  Hopefully these answers are helpful for you.

When are we going to re-open church?
Clearly, nothing compares to Sunday worship at Celebration.  There are some things which cannot be experienced online at Facebook Live.  However, we do not have a specific date yet for re-opening.  Our plan is to stay within the guidelines issued by the state which hopefully will allow us to gather in a limited basis in the beginning of June. Our main objective is to do the best for the Celebration Community as a whole.

How are we going to re-open church?
We will be re-opening the church in phases as we address the changing virus situation.  We won’t be putting specific dates on the phases since it may be necessary for us to adjust our plans as we move forward.

Phase 1

  • Online Worship: People stay at home for worship on Facebook Live or YouTube.
  • Other ministries: As able with phone calls, online meetings, other creative adaptations within public health guidelines.
  • This is where we are presently.

Phase 2

  • Worship at church under relaxed “Stay at Home” orders with strict physical distancing
  • Encourage precautionary measures (handwashings, masks)
  • Public interactions with limited physical distancing permitted.
  • We will continue to broadcast our services online at Facebook Live and YouTube.
  • This phase is temporary and will be adjusted as necessary.

Phase 3

  • Full congregation invited for worship at church.
  • Some will continue to worship at distance since we will continue our online presence.
  • Modified physical distancing and cleaning practices maintained.
  • Other ministries: begin to transition back to full/renewed ministry

What should I expect the first week back?
When the “Stay at Home” order is relaxed, you can expect the following for the first week:

  • We will open the church doors at 10:20AM.
  • Our Hospitality Team members will hold the doors open for you.
  • We will have hand sanitizer available for people to use.
  • Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face mask when in church.
  • We are going to exercise social distancing (which will be just fine for us “non-huggers”).
  • Chairs will be set up 6’ apart in the Worship Center. Families can cluster chairs together.
  • Tithes and offerings can be dropped off in a box available near the exits in the Worship Center or you can give through the Donate link on our website at org.
  • We won’t be offering cookies or coffee so bring your own.
  • The nursery and Oasis ministries will be closed until we can open them properly.

Must I wear a mask at church?
We are asking everyone to think of others by wearing a mask at least for a few weeks.  Masks are for the protection of others.  We will have masks available at the door but please bring one if you have one.  Thank you ahead of time.

What sanitary practices will be employed during the week?
During the week we will sanitize the church building.  Door knobs, light switches, bathrooms, chairs, and all flat surfaces will be cleaned.

What if I feel sick or have a fever?
Stay home if you feel sick.  Also, people 65+ or who have immune compromised systems are strongly encouraged to stay at home temporarily.

What about connecting at Celebration?
Hopefully this Covid Crisis has taught us how Celebration is more than just Sunday mornings.  We need each other!  Small groups are vitally important for us as a community of Christians!  Small groups are encouraged to continue meeting online and in person if the group is small enough.  If you haven’t joined into a small group, contact Pastor Matt or Brenda Swanson.

I’m still scared.  What should I do?
Even though we trust in Jesus for the security of our souls, followers of Jesus can still be frightened by this virus.  People have died and will continue to die from this scary Covid virus.  Yet, we trust in Jesus to get us through each and every circumstance.  Also, we rely on other believers to give comfort during these times.  Feel free to contact your elder or Pastor Matt for further conversations.

We hope to not live in fear but we want to be wise about how we re-gather as a community.  We realize there is a variety of opinions for this process.  We are hoping to find the best way through this crisis for all the people of Celebration.

We have one huge overarching request during this time: CHOOSE TO LOVE OTHERS.  People matter to God and they should matter to us too.  Not all people see things as we do.  However, healthy churches choose to love others anyway.  Next year we will find out whether we overcompensated or we were reckless.  If we do not choose love in the middle of this crisis, it will not matter.  Please choose to love others during this crisis.

Thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate this difficult time together.

Blessings to you!
Pastor Matt & Council