Bethany’s COVID-19 Reopening Plan

Over the past several weeks Bethany’s pastors and overseers have been diligently seeking God for His guidance regarding what is the right time and path to begin to open up the church building. We know that there are many thoughts on what the right timing for this event and that all of us want to make the wise and right decisions as we seek how to move forward during this season. We take this responsibility seriously before God and before our church family. We want to truly echo the greatest commandments to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
After much prayer, research, seeking counsel from other churches, and the EFCA we believe God has given us a path to begin to slowly open the church building for worship. However, as we share this plan, please know that while we begin to slowly open up, we recognize that many might not be ready to come back into the building. Please hear your pastors and overseers saying “that is ok”. There is no hurry. As we have been seeking God through this process, we are confident in what we have been saying all along; that these walls do not define Bethany Church. So whether you are here, in your home, or meeting with your Grow Group, we are Bethany Church and we will continue to worship in unity, love, and value for our church family. This is the foundation for starting down the path to reopening.
In light of this, Bethany Church will begin to open our doors by hosting Sunday morning Worship services on June 14th. We will have 2 services, meeting at our regular times, 9:30 and 11:00. There will be no children/students programming, nursery, or Sunday School classes at this time and Third Place Cafe will remain closed as of now. The Worship Center will have limited seating designed to create a safe and comfortable worship environment, allowing for social distancing and other important safety precautions.
Here are a few of the core changes to expect during our opening on Sunday, June 14:
  • We will have seating set up in the worship center at 25%-30% capacity. This means we will have around 125-150 seats available. They will be set up with considerable space between sets of chairs to allow for safe and comfortable social distancing and worship.
  • We ask that only families/households/roommates sit together. There will be sections of chairs set up for various household sizes.
  • Along with the worship center, we will also have a video venue setup if we reach max capacity in the worship center. This will also be set up to allow for safe and comfortable seating with social distancing.
  • We will also be offering a Family Venue in the KidStuf Theater. We will have 10 round tables set up for individual families to use, providing some activities for kids to do at the table while the services are streamed to the big screen. This will be for the 9:30 service only, but parents are invited to stay and watch “KidStuf TV” after the service if they would like to. KidStuf TV will begin at 11.
  • We will have masks available for anyone that wants one and welcome them to be worn as a way to honor each other and as a part of the CDC recommended guidelines, however, per the CDC they are not required.
  • We will have several hand sanitizer stations at the entrance of the building and all worship venue entrances for everyone to use.
We do ask that you also take precautions before deciding to enter the building and please follow the CDC guidelines for worship gatherings:
  • We will be taking time for cleaning/wiping down of surfaces between services.
  • To help us honor each other, please refrain from handshaking, hugging, or other physical contact.
  • As much as possible, please try to maintain social distancing, even while conversing with other church attenders.
  • Please take your temperature before coming to church, anyone with a fever or has had a fever in the last 48 hours should worship from home.
  • Please worship from home if you have had any sickness in the past 48 hours.
  • Please worship from home if you or anyone in your home has or had COVID19 in the past 14 days.
  • We ask that those who are considered high risk or are the most vulnerable to COVID19 to please worship from home for your own safety during this time. We want everyone here but we want to protect the most vulnerable among us.
We know that all of this can feel a bit overwhelming and even a little bit frustrating as all of us are coming with different perspectives. We all want to do what is wise, best, and right for our families, our church, and our community. It is our heart that we choose to love each other over anything else. Let us continue to be a church family and a living example for the world to see as we live out the command God gives each one of us in Philippians:
Do nothing from factional motives through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves
– Philippians 2:3
If you have any questions or concerns please contact one of your pastors or overseers. We want to hear from you as we continue to walk this path together.
Sincerely and In Unity Your Pastors and Overseers,
Jeff LeClaire, Brad Gerdes, Kirk Stoa, Jeremy Novak, Joe Gregas, John Schaller, Justin Jehn, Paul Cochlin, Wade Moses, Tylor Fischer, David Baxley, Norv Brown, Billy Hestand