20 May 2020, 9 am
Today we hear much about reopening society - business, recreation and churches! I want to share some thoughts about reopening our church!
First, It will be very nice to be able to meet together and to see the whites of your eyes. But!! - talk at a distance and don't touch! And "sterilize" everything before and after! Perhaps the “Greeter” could meet attendees at the door with greeting and check temperature and spray hands with sterilizing solution! It would be a start for beginning clean!
Second, for those who are unable to meet together or who are uncomfortable to meet together, we must retain online meeting. Live streaming a service would be great. Better yet continue Google Hangouts or Zoom so there is a real presence for virtual meeting together and a planned time for social interaction as well as to share spiritual insights. Continue virtual prayer meetings multiple times per week, as we have had much increased attendance and good interaction and I think enjoyed by all!!
Third, for meeting together we need to focus on audio/visual access to reading the Word (rather than the pew bible), video music (rather than holding hymnal and singing)! Combining virtual with actual where we can follow along and participate mentally.
Fourth, for children's activities consider out-of-doors, weather permitting, or brief projected materials (songs, activity songs, bible story). Don't just leave the kids with nothing!!
Fifth, restroom use! Many are closing the bathrooms. That does not seem like a real option to me. Encouraging as little use as possible might be reasonable. Perhaps some adaptations would be useful e.g. sterilize wipes so individuals can wipe that which they have touched; hand towels available without touching dispenser, Use sterile towelette to open door, etc.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!!! - In all the "Guidelines for Reopening", I see almost complete emphasis on the process of managing a facility and the people. Let us not forget that we return to the church facility for WORSHIP of our Living, Creator God. I would like to see some emphasis on how we can enhance our worship in this new environment (not just endless ideas of how to manage the physical environment)~!!!!!!
Summary: Most of the guidelines I see are performance oriented toward the facility and the people attending! As important as that may be, I believe that we need to remember that we are there to worship our God, and we need to focus on how to enhance our worship with consideration for the new environment in which we live.