Initial Strategy for Attending at Open Door
The following strategies for returning to unlimited access to our church location are based upon several factors.
It should be understood that our ability to gather is not established by any government but by convictions based in Scripture, Heb. 10:25. The COVID-19 conditions of 2020 forced us to suspend on-site corporate worship for several reasons. First, prudent health and safety issues moved us to take immediate action based on the information available at that time, Matt. 22:39. The level of local infection and risk for people to unknowingly transmit the virus was the primary but not solitary factor. Secondly, the desire to maintain a positive testimony in our community was also a factor, Rom. 12:18. We don’t flinch at the prospect of the Gospel message being offensive to our society, but to unnecessarily create a perception of stubborn arrogance for our own purposes is not a wise approach. We’ll never enjoy positive opinion completely within our town, but whenever it is within our control to manage our public perception we want to do so according to 1 Cor. 6:12. The third reason we suspended worship on-site was the availability of a safe and effective alternative. With the ability to stream our teaching segments online, we were able to maintain a bare minimum exposure for our people’s learning of Scripture several times a week. Thanks to the great work of Doug McLeod with help from our friend Corey Boyle, we have been able to provide a scheduled opportunity for people to stay in contact with the teaching here at Open Door.
Thankfully, the trends of safety are increasing and statistically we can guardedly open our doors for corporate worship. The Commonwealth has provided several guidelines that appear to be a balance of access along with recommendations for safety. We will take those under advisement. The Mass Family Institute has provided a thorough approach to opening that will maintain a healthy atmosphere and access to the most people possible under the current conditions. It should be remembered that our area is still very sensitive to these COVID-19 conditions and we will move in a considerate but faithful manner. In the interests of incrementally returning to unlimited function, here is the following course of action to begin for Sunday, May 24.
Guidelines for Returning to Open Door Baptist Church, beginning on May 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.
I. Considerations before Coming to Church
These are challenging conditions and we ask that you use wise judgment as to whether you feel confident to gather with people outside your home. In these times, we want you to only enter the church already assuming that there are always reasonable risks. Our gathering will correspond with the Commonwealth's guidelines for reopening found at www.mass.gov/lists/safety-standards-for-places-of-worship. We hope you’ll understand our approach as we reserve the right to refuse or remove anyone that in our judgment poses a risk to others' health or safety. If you don’t feel comfortable coming to an assembling of people outside your home, stay home and access us online. We ask you to please stay at home if:
A. Anyone in your household is sick.
B. You have been exposed to someone whose health condition is questionable.
C. You have vulnerable health conditions.
D. You don’t feel confident around groups of people.
II. Entrance into the Building
A. Facemasks are to be worn from your vehicle into the building, and within the building itself per the Department of Public Health’s Guidance.
B. Entrance is only through the Main Front Door (facing Pleasant Street).
C. A Greeter will count you as you enter to manage headcount.
D. An Usher will guide you to suggested seating that will maintain appropriate social distancing.
III. Interior Considerations
A. There will be no Nursery or Children’s Classes.
B. Seating will be staggered to avoid possible airborne transmissions.
C. We will maintain the suggested 6 feet Social Distance spacing.
D. Once inside, masks will not be required as long as there is adequate spacing between people.
E. We ask that you remove yourself to a spacious area to cough or sneeze if possible.
F. We will not initially offer coffee and snacks after the service.
G. As usual, we will provide hand sanitizer and adequate soap and water in our restrooms.
IV. Initial Differences in our Worship Service
The following practices may be adjusted over time but for the moment will be our initial approach as we gather again.
A. There’ll be no contact, handshakes.
B. There’ll be Minimal Music.
C. No Offering Plate will be passed. We will rely on people to place their offering in the plates at designate areas, give online, or send it in the mail.
D. ‘You touch it, you take it’! We will request that if anyone picks up a book or resource, that they take home whatever they touch and not leave it behind.
Should you have any questions or need clarification on anything, please contact us.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'