In Person Sunday Church Services Starting May 17th

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We are entering a new season of what church looks like for the time being. We do not know how long these guidelines will be in place. It is our goal to be as blameless as possible in following the guidelines. Please remember, “church” is not Sunday morning at 10:00 AM. Church is the Body of Christ – the people saved by Jesus Christ. Even though we have not been able to meet face-to-face, the church never stopped. In fact, as a church, we are experiencing a wonderful season of ministry. We want to keep that fruit going!

With that being said, there are multiple guidelines we are being asked to implement for the physical safety of the people coming into the building. As we have been saying for the last two months, we are to be practical, prayerful, and purposeful.

There are practical steps that we are being asked to follow. These guidelines are taken directly from the Henry County Health Department Stay Safe Order and Henry County Churches: (guidelines will be underlined, italicized, and bold)Please encourage people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those who are sick to stay in their residence.

The guidelines are encouraging certain segments of the population to stay home. We will still be live-streaming the services for those who will worship while staying at home and CD’s will still be delivered to those who do not have access to the live-stream. Let us stress: if you do not feel well – stay home. If you do not feel comfortable coming out to church – do not feel you have to.

Please consider recommending all to wear a face covering, especially those who may come into contact with several people, i.e. greeters, church employees.

The Courtesy Team will be wearing face masks and face masks will be available to be used for anyone who would like one. You are NOT required to wear a face mask. Staff, Courtesy Team, and volunteers who will be interacting with multiple people will also have their temperature checked.

Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces

We will be doing a cleaning in between the two services on Sunday. We will clean the bathrooms, doorknobs, etc. Please be aware, the drinking fountain, water dispensers, Keurig, coffee machine and kitchen will all be unavailable for use.

Not shaking hands

No hugs/handshakes.

Designate six-foot distances
We have removed chairs from the sanctuary. We only have around 120 chairs set up for our worship service.

There will be NO childcare/Sunday School.

The classrooms and the supplies will NOT be open or available. We cannot safely follow the 6 feet social distancing guidelines with a classroom full of children. We do not know at this time when childcare/Sunday School will be open again. Children are welcome to come and sit with their parents if the parents feel they are able to sit through the service. Parents, please bring items that you may need for your child (ie., toys, snacks, crayons, etc.).

Changing tables will be available only in restrooms; please disinfect after use.

In order to remain blameless, children also must keep a 6 feet social distancing from others. There will be 6 feet of space between rows of chairs- it may be difficult to keep small children from playing in this area. However, to be honorable and follow the guidelines- we ask you to respect the 6 feet distancing for your children. We know this is new- for all of us- and may be difficult for small children to understand. We appreciate your cooperation as we try to meet the guidelines set forth by the county.

Service times will now be at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings.

We are changing the times to encourage more people to come to the early service because space will be limited at the 10:30 AM service. Church will be one hour long and there will not be a fellowship break time.

The 9:00 AM service will meet in the Fellowship Hall and the 10:30 AM service will meet in the sanctuary. This is done for sanitary purposes so we do not have to sanitize the chairs in between services. We have moved the extra sanctuary chairs to the Fellowship Hall to be used as seating for the 9:00 AM service.

For the 9:00 AM service, we ask that you park in the back (east) part of the parking lot and enter and exit through the Fellowship Hall/Office carport entrance.

For the 10:30 AM service, we ask that you use the Main carport entrance. Those entrances will be the only entrances available for those service times to enter the church. The Courtesy Team will be available to direct parking and foot traffic. The Courtesy Team will also help direct you towards the proper seating to help maintain the 6 feet social distancing.

After the one hour service, we will dismiss families from the back of the sanctuary first and then work up to the front – like a wedding dismissal.
If we have more than 120 people show up for a service, we will have an overflow area with a live video feed available. 6 feet social distancing must be followed in the overflow area as well.

There will be NO in-person service for Wednesdays. Wednesday services will only be live-streamed and recorded for CD’s and podcasts at this time.

Things you can do to help:

1. Get the information out to those who may not have access to Facebook.

2. Email Pat – – if you plan on coming May 17th and for what service you were thinking. This is NOT a RSVP, but it helps us to have a guess on what to expect for numbers. Are 50 people showing up or 350 people? This will help us to make adjustments. Another church made this point: Let me remind you there is no manual for starting up a church after a Pandemic! Currently this is one of our better options to avoid chaos and overcrowding on Sunday mornings.

There is no simple solution for this. We do not want to turn anyone away due to numerical limits. We want to be able to offer a seat to anyone who comes. The reality may be that the seat is for a video feed in a different section of the church if more than a 120 people show up.

3. Pray! Pray for wisdom, unity, and an eternal perspective in this season. Let us rejoice in the fact that we are going to meet rather than dwell on what is different when we meet. Jesus will still be glorified, the Word will still be preached, and salvation will still be presented.

And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel… Romans 15:20

We understand that these guidelines may seem strange, difficult, or even too much bureaucracy to some. It is not our intention to get into differing opinions on this matter. Our goal is to glorify God as a body, preach the Gospel, and be blameless in this area for this season.

Thank you for your eternal perspective!

The Board and Staff of Harvest Fellowship