As the state of Idaho has released its plans for re-opening throughout the month of May, Compass Bible Church Treasure Valley has been developing our plan to resume gatherings. We earnestly desire to meet together face to face, yet we want to make sure that our plans are consistent with those laid out by our governing authorities in order that we may protect the safety of our congregation and community and that we may submit to our government as we are called to do in Scripture (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17, Titus 3:1-2). Throughout Scripture, we are repeatedly told not to fear, so none of our plans are motivated by fear or meant to provoke fear. We simply want to honor God, love one another, and submit to God-ordained authority as we seek to live peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way (1 Timothy 2:2).
The governor’s office has laid out clear “Protocols for Places of Worship” in Stage 1 of the re-opening process (tentatively scheduled for May 1-15). These can be found here: https://rebound.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/stage1-protocols-worship.pdf
Our plan to resume physical gatherings at Pathways Middle School in compliance with these protocols will begin with services that will observe strict physical distancing and increased sanitation. Due to these factors, our initial services will not include Kids Ministry options. We plan to resume services at 9am & 11am on Sunday mornings on May 3, 2020.
UPDATE: As of May 31, we will resume Kids Ministry for children from newborn through 5th grade. Due to state guidelines, we will begin with limits on how many children we can handle in each classroom. Therefore, we are asking you to sign-up online in advance so that we can be adequately prepared. You can find our complete guidelines for Kids Ministry here
Also, we are now offering reserved seating and a special entrance for those that are more vulnerable and would like to minimize contact with others! Sign up online here: https://compassbiblechurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/3018/responses/new
Here are more specific details regarding our plan:
All services will be livestreamed for those unable to physically join us. The sick and vulnerable are encouraged to watch online. A link to YouTube will be provided at www.compassbible.tv and the service should also be available through Facebook Live.
- If you are sick, please keep your family home and watch online. This applies to all staff, volunteers, and congregants.
- We would also encourage those who are more vulnerable (due to age or underlying medical conditions) to stay home and watch online at this time. In coming weeks, we are considering a special entrance and seating area for those in this category, but the state guidelines encourage this group to stay home during Stage 1 of the re-opening process.
- During these initial weeks, if you have any uncertainty about your family attending the service in person, we would encourage you to watch online.
- If you feel that you or your family will not be able to maintain the social distancing guidelines, we would encourage you to stay home during this initial phase.
- Our Kids Ministry team will still be posting video lessons that parents can watch with their kids at home.
All congregants will be directed and expected to maintain strict six foot physical distancing between family units.
- Congregants should try to arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the service.
- Upon arrival, volunteers will direct congregants to queue outside the doors of the school. Markers will be set up to help families maintain six feet of distance between other families.
- All seating arrangements inside the facility will be set up to ensure six feet of space between family units. Upon arrival at the doors, congregants will be led directly to specific seats that meet the physical distancing requirements.
- To help with the flow of traffic, we will use different entrances than normal to the building. At first, congregants will enter directly through the double doors of the gymnasium. If the gymnasium reaches its new physically distanced capacity, congregants will be directed to the normal front entrance which leads into the cafeteria. Extra seating will be set up in this area in accordance with physical distancing guidelines. A large TV with a live feed of the service will be available in this room, as well.
- If both of these spaces are filled to physically distanced capacity, we will not be able to allow any more worshipers into the building. They will be asked to leave and either watch online or return at a later service time.
- At the conclusion of the service, congregants will be dismissed by row and encouraged to maintain distancing as they leave the facility. If congregants wish to fellowship with others, this must be done outside of the building and with proper distancing.
- While at the school facility, congregants should refrain from hugging, handshaking, or making physical contact with others outside of their family unit.
- The following photograph will help explain the new flow of traffic into the building:
We are taking measures to increase sanitation and hygiene on-site at our services.
- Doors will be propped open and only open or shut by trained volunteers.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided at entrances/exits.
- Chairs and any high touch areas will be sanitized between services.
- Services will be kept to one-hour in length to allow for more time in between services, as well as to minimize use of the restroom facilities.
- Anyone who uses the restroom should immediately utilize the handwashing stations located directly outside of the restrooms.
- Staff, volunteers, and worshipers are welcome to wear face coverings.
- No food or beverages will be served at our services. (Please remember that the school has asked that no food/beverage be brought into the gymnasium as a normal protocol as we use their facility.)
- No offering bag will be passed during the service. A collection box will be placed by the exit, but those who wish to give are still encouraged to do so by giving online or mailing their gift to the church office.
- We hope to resume taking communion together soon. We will not pass the elements, but we will distribute them to worshipers as they enter the facility and implement this in the coming weeks.
- No bulletins will be printed. The sermon note sheet will be made available by Saturday evening on our church website, and congregants are encouraged to print their own. Some will be available on Sunday morning and will be distributed by a gloved volunteer as you enter.
- Activity packets for children will be made available to kids who come and sit with their families. These will also be distributed by gloved volunteers before congregants enter the doors of the facility.
Some final guidance:
- Please comply with the protocols outlined in this plan. We realize that this will be different than your normal experience of church, but we feel it is best to follow these guidelines as we seek to love one another, submit to the governing authorities, and respect the school district that rents the space to us.
- We are not planning to aggressively promote these services. At this point, they are meant to provide an opportunity to gather and worship for those in our church family who are healthy and those at the least amount of risk. We will not seek to create any conflict/controversy with other churches that are choosing not to meet at this time. Please be considerate of this in your own conversations with others or postings on social media.
- “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14) Remember that whatever church looks like in the coming weeks and months, the most important thing is that those in our church continue to love one another. Keep praying for one another. Keep encouraging one another. Keep considering one another.
GUIDANCE FOR LIFE GROUPS
Life Groups may begin to meet again in person while observing reasonable physical distancing protocol according to the Governor’s Idaho Rebounds plan.
GUIDANCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY
Our youth ministry has resumed meeting according to the Idaho Rebounds guidelines for “youth activities.” Contact Keegan McQuate at email@example.com
Looking forward to what God has in store for us in the coming days.
- Pastor Ben and the CBCTV Team.