Preparing to Re-Gather! After several weeks of suspending all in-person gatherings and ministries, I want to share with you some of the plans we are making to re-open our campus. This plan is being developed by members of the Safety Team and members of the Trustees, and myself. Our plan for reopening our campus takes into consideration our local and state government directives, recommendations from the CDC, resources provided by trusted organizations such as the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, and the consultation of other churches in our area. Ultimately our plan has to be a fit for our church. Therefore, it will be driven by the following values.

Do everything with excellence:

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “…do all for the glory of God.” In all that we do, we want to do it with excellence so that God is glorified. This is a time when “good enough” just isn’t good enough!

Welcoming preparedness:

When people come onto our campus, they should feel welcomed and at ease because of the measures we’ve taken to prepare for re-gathering. We will act in wisdom by taking precautions to ensure peoples’ health and safety. We will use discernment to guide us so that we are not too restrictive nor too lenient in our plan.

Caring for our community:

We care about our community. The decisions we make impact our church members as well as the neighbors, businesses, and organizations all around us. We are working so that our plan helps us maintain and build on our relationships in the community.

First Steps:

Our plan as of the time I am writing this article is to start reopening our campus and having in-person worship starting June 7th.

We understand that not everyone is going to be ready to come back right away. Some people have health concerns, some may be at risk, and others may just not feel comfortable yet. That’s OK! For those who are not ready to return to in-person worship immediately, we are continuing to live stream the worship services.

● We are eliminating some of the chairs in the Worship Center to provide adequate spacing for social distancing.
● An overflow worship area in the Fellowship Hall will provide additional seating to allow appropriate spacing.
● Hand sanitizer stations and dispensers will be located at the entrances/exits.
● The only doors to be unlocked are Door #1 (front doors) and Door #10 (back doors under the porch).
● We will limit handouts as much as possible.
● We are increasing our cleaning and disinfecting procedures before and after worship services. In the days prior to our regathering – there may be other plans implemented to provide a safe and welcoming campus.

Next Steps:

The kitchen and serving of drinks/food are suspended through the month of August. We will be evaluating what the Covid-19 conditions are in the Fall before making a decision of how we can use kitchen/fellowship hall. Small groups (Sunday School, Bible Studies, Organization Meetings) will continue to meet online until a determination is made when it is safe to gather in our classrooms on campus. There is so much more we need to know and learn before other concrete plans can be put into place. So, I want to thank each of you for how well you have adjusted and adapted over the last couple of months. I want to thank our Church Staff and ministry leaders for how they have risen to the challenges of doing ministry in a completely new way. I am proud to serve alongside all of our leaders and staff.

I want to encourage all of us to keep the same attitude of patience, love, and flexibility that helped us make the transition into this season as we move forward out of it. I’m excited we are putting plans into place for us to begin to get back together again…but please understand that everything isn’t going to be just like it was a couple of months ago. Your patience, your flexibility, your love and grace towards one another will help make this a smooth and welcoming and joyous reunion!