Online Bible Study is now available
Special Note: I have chosen to leave this letter up for the time being as it includes important dates and information. Read carefully though since Sunday cancellation dates and info have changed. We will continue to post Facebook Live events on Sunday mornings if we are not meeting.
Thanks- John W
Dear Rushchurch brothers and sisters,
It was great to see everyone here last Sunday! I enjoyed celebrating Mothers Day with you all, though it was perhaps celebrated a little different this year. As you noticed, our services were a little different as well. We had three services instead of two, spaced out our seating and had sanitation and protection tables available. All three of our services were pretty evenly attended, with just a few more in our third service. This even attendance helped out tremendously! We have a pretty good feel for the way things are going to look, so I have taken down the initial attendance survey. It may still be on Facebook at the time of this writing, but don't worry about that. Our Student and Children's Ministries is suspended for the time being, though we are currently working on a plan to open those ministries as soon as possible. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated everyone's patience and cooperation. I was frankly a little numb after everyone left, as I reflected on the morning and how wonderful this family at RushChurch truly is. Bottom line: I think it went well. It wasn't ideal but we knew that going into it. We were still able to worship together and learn about the importance of mother's protecting the truth of the gospel in their home.
This coming week, May 17th will look very much the same as the previous Sunday. We have altered a few minor details but it will look very familiar to May 10th. As of today we plan on every Sunday looking the same throughout the month of May, though possibly even longer than that, so we should prepare ourselves mentally for that possibility. This week we also get into 1 John and hear what "the witness" writes about "The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth." This will be a five week series as we enter the summer months and prepare for our VBS series starting on June 21st.
If you are able, I invite you to view our midweek update on Facebook, as some more detail is there. Below I have left our reopening plan and strongly encourage you to read through its entirety. It will help answer any questions you may have. Please call the church with any further questions. I can't wait to see you all again.
The following is the reopening proposal affirmed by the
elders on Monday April 27th:
Reopening plan proposal
1. We will restart in person services on Sunday May 10th (Mother’s Day). This gives the church enough time to prepare, post the plan online and gather our team for between service cleaning. It further allows us (potentially) to see a week of reopening in the community.
2. We will move to 3 in person services plus continued recording. This provides the church with 4 opportunities to take part in the service. The services will be from 8:00am- 9:00am, 9:30am- 10:30am, 11:00am- 12:00pm. One of these services, most likely the 8:00- 9:00 service, will be recorded and put online as we have been doing. It may seem a little intrusive at first, but I’m sure the church will understand, and it will suffice until we can get a more permanent solution.
3. We will space out seating in auditorium. I don’t think using the foyer will be necessary at this time, though this is open to us if we need to modify. We will use every other row in the auditorium (direction/ reminders will be on the end of the rows) and encourage families or households to sit together, yet also spread out from other households if practicable. This gives us seating for approx. 120 people per service and still provides a 6ft buffer between used rows.
4. All used doors, except those leading directly to the outside and the bathrooms, will remain open all Sunday. All unused doors will stay closed all morning. Elders will volunteer to man the outside doors as people are arriving. We can remind people of the plan, answer questions or give advice as people arrive. This will require at least 2 elders per service (only 1 door will be used in the foyer to the outside. You can still enter and exit through the foyer, as well as the office door).
5. Communion and offering plate will not be passed. Offering plates will be in the hallway close to the sound room door for people to drop off their offering. 2 cup communion will be served by the deacons, or anyone available (Addison will orchestrate this). The plate will not be passed. As we are not using every row, the servers will be able to keep a hold of the plate and offer it to each person. Each person will keep their cup and it will be disposed of between services.
6. Printed bulletins will be available but not handed to people. They will be available for self pickup as you walk in the auditorium. The bulletin will also be on rushchurch.com. One elder will serve as greeter at the auditorium door, again, to assist anyone with questions or reminders.
7. Student ministry, Children’s ministry and nursery will be closed. Student and Children’s ministry will continue to be posted online. Cry room will stay open. All parts of the church not being used will be shut and locked or signed off (backyard, foyer restroom, kitchens, hallway classrooms etc.) Tables will be removed from foyer and no coffee will be served. Laura R. will have small activities for children available for parents to utilize during the service if they wish.
8. No regular Sunday School classes. It will just be our proper worship time for a while, probably through all of May and perhaps June
9. Masks are recommended though not required, except by those preparing and serving communion. We have some available at the church entrances for those who do not have any. Due to cost and availability please bring your own mask if possible. Delivery times can be uncertain and the cost can be quite high.
10. We will still baptize into the body of Christ if the desire arises.
11. We have cancelled and will not schedule any non-essential or non-church related functions throughout May and possibly June.
12. Pond area is closed to the general public (non-church members) until further notice. “No Trespassing” signs are in place to that effect.
All of this comes with communicating in the days and weeks leading up to service and also that morning. I will address the congregation before the first song of our worship time, as well as at the conclusion of each service, Facebook videos, rushchurch.com videos and this plan on the main page at rushchurch.com. Furthermore, this may need to be altered based upon any unforeseen changes or obstacles we must face. We will continually be reassessing what we do and how effective it is. Again, none of the restrictions have applied to churches in Ohio. This remains a church decision. Some will love the decisions made, some may not care for them, but most will simply understand and be glad that we are taking steps to meet again.