Like you, we are eager to reunite with the body of Christ in corporate worship at Northwest Community Church. However, as we all know, that’s going to take wise precautions, gracious care, and thoughtful practices that may seem strange at first. There will be some restrictions that we hope will be gradually lifted over time. Our plan is to “reopen” on May 17 with two worship services (9 & 10:45 am).
The Elders are seeking to provide an environment where we can once again gather to worship God and enjoy each other’s presence on Sunday mornings. We pray that the following measures will be received in a spirit of grace, trust, and understanding as we have many different needs and concerns within the body at Northwest. We hope everyone will eventually feel safe and comfortable enough to return. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to an elder or your small group leader, or you can call the church office during business hours (602.978.2740).
The following is our attempt to establish helpful guidelines for Northwest and will be our regular protocol for the near future. The Elders will continually reevaluate the situation and make regular adjustments as needed.
Sunday Mornings at Northwest
- If you or someone in your family has been sick or in a compromised environment, then we ask that you join us by live stream and not come to the building on Sundays. Please consider the following criteria before coming to the campus:
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
- Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
- Have you experienced a new loss of taste or smell?
- Have you experienced vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
- If any of these apply to you, please do not come to church, but seek proper medical care and testing.
- If you are someone who would be considered in the “at risk” category or who has a compromised immune system, please consider staying home and live streaming one of the services.
- For those who are sick or still uncomfortable attending, or for families concerned about children sitting through the full service, you may view a live stream of either service at the appropriate times (9 and 10:45 am). You can view the stream on our website, the NCC app, the BoxCast app (Roku, Apple TV, or Fire TV), and on our NCC Facebook page.
- If you would like to attend the service and would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please feel free to do so. A mask is not required, but is encouraged for those who fall into the higher risk categories. Wearing masks is a matter of comfort and conscience and folks are encouraged to practice accordingly. Some of the volunteers and ushers will wear masks while helping people on Sunday mornings.
- There will be no Adult, Young Adult, Student, or Elementary Sunday School classes until the fall of 2020. Young Adults and Students will meet midweek during the summer of 2020.
- On Sunday mornings, we will offer childcare for babies through 4-year-olds in the A-Building. Surfaces and toys will be cleaned after each service.
- Parents may bring children into the corporate worship service.
- The nursing moms’ room will be open during the services.
- There will be no coffee served on campus on Sunday morning.
- We ask that you enter the worship service through the exterior doors of the Worship Center. All of them will be unlocked.
- In an effort to minimize the number of people in the foyer at one time, the glass doors to the foyer will be open only for the purpose of passing through the foyer or to access the restrooms. Please do not congregate in the foyer.
- Please practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible while interacting with others in the Worship Center, the surrounding buildings, and the parking lot. By now, everyone should be good at it! While you may feel healthy and comfortable in relaxing certain restrictions, please keep in mind that not all brothers and sisters in Christ are at the same place of comfort. This is a great opportunity for us to “consider others as more important than ourselves” (Philippians 2).
- Seating will be available in the Bunker as overflow.
- Subject to availability, hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the building. Please feel free to bring your own with you.
- The building surfaces, doors, and handles will be cleaned in preparation for each Sunday.
- If you see something that needs attention, please contact an elder, pastor, or staff member.
The Worship Service
- There will be no time allotted in the service to greet one another. Please refrain from handshakes, hugs, holy kisses, etc. We are trying to minimize personal contact.
- There will be no paper bulletins, as you will continue to receive them electronically.
- There have been articles online that have expressed concern that congregational singing might speed the dissemination of the COVID-19 virus, should someone be sick. We will be singing in the corporate worship service. Please take that into consideration as you decide when to attend.
- We ask all parents to keep their children with them at all times in your rows before and after the service. This is a great opportunity to show grace to others and welcome our little ones into the service.
- Parents, please discuss the relevant information with your children before coming to church so that they are not frightened or confused about the changes that will take place (“Why are some people wearing masks?”).
- Offering boxes will be available in between services along the back wall of the Worship Center.
- Communion will be served on Sunday, June 7 (Lord willing). Details will be explained later.
Finally, we expect to make adjustments each week as we learn how to best facilitate our church joining together for worship and fellowship. We appreciate your patience with us as we seek to shepherd the flock through this current crisis, and we thank you for your many expressions of love and care for the Body of Christ.
On Behalf of the Elders of Northwest,
Pastor Scott Christmas
1 Thessalonians 5:28: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”