Dear ECC Family,
As the state of Ohio emerges from the COVID-19 quarantine, we’re excited to open the doors for worship in our sanctuary again! The leadership of ECC desires to gather again in a way that glorifies God, blesses our church, and preserves unity in the Spirit, while making the wisest choices we can to protect each member and remaining above reproach in our community.
We recognize that families with high-risk members may not be comfortable returning immediately, or even for the foreseeable future. Whatever decision your family makes about returning to the building for services, we love and support you. We are one church and we worship one Risen Savior, whether we are together physically or not.
Our first service back in the church building will be held this Sunday, May 31st.
Of course, things will not look the same for a while. To begin with, we will hold two Sunday services on site, at 9:15 am and 11:30 am. The service will be streamed live on our YouTube channel at 9:15 am, and the recorded live stream will be available after that. Sunday School will continue to be posted online on Monday evenings.
Please keep your entire family home if any member feels sick, has a fever, or has knowingly been exposed to COVID-19.
As recommendations and guidelines for our nation continue to change, our practices will be updated, loosened, or changed. For now, the Session has implemented the following social distancing protocols for those attending on-site worship.
Service Attendance: We are asking that you attend the same service through the month of June to make sure we can accommodate the congregation. Children under the age of 10 may only attend the earlier service (9:15 am), and must remain with, and under the supervision of a parent at all times.
Masks: All participants over the age of two are required to wear a mask (not face shields) at all times while in the church building.
Arrival: Plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before the start time of the service. This will help the deacons and ushers manage seating arrangements and maintain adequate social distancing standards. We will only be using the front building entrance under the portico.
Entrance & Seating: A greeter will open the front door for you. As you enter, each member of your group should be wearing a mask and use the hand sanitizer available at the entry door. Please proceed to the left or right aisle doors and await an usher who will seat you. The center aisle doors will not be used.
Social Distancing: Please refrain from hugging and handshakes. The best way to show love and respect for one another in this time is to keep a six-foot distance while on the church building and grounds.
Changes in the Building: Foyer seating has been removed and many areas are blocked off. The classrooms, nursery, kitchen, and fellowship hall are all closed and locked, and there will be no childcare during the service. An infant changing table is located in the women’s restroom. There will be no coffee or donuts served, and the drinking fountains are closed. You may bring a personal water bottle.
Sanctuary Safety: Groups will be seated several rows apart, with four chairs separating parties. Please remain in your seat if possible throughout the service. Due to sound constraints, the worship team, the assister, and the pastor will not be wearing masks during the service. However, the chancel has been rearranged to allow a maximum distance for safety between the service leaders and the congregation.
Dismissal: After the service, you will be instructed to remain in your seats. Ushers will dismiss each row, and congregants are asked to pass through the foyer and move directly outside. This will allow for the cleaning and sanitizing process to begin.
Fellowship: Greetings and visiting will take place outside. Please continue to maintain a six-foot social distance and wear masks, in respect for others safety. Parents should keep young children next to them, as children may not consistently maintain proper distances.
Sanitizing: Following the first service, the building will be sanitized for the safety of those attending the second service. Regular weekly cleaning will also occur.
We fully recognize that different church members view these precautions with varying levels of fear, respect, and skepticism, and that there is debate about their efficacy. As a church, the most important thing we can do moving forward is to follow the advice of Christ and consider others better than ourselves. Our goal is to preserve the unity of the saints here at ECC.
Regardless of your personal feelings about our country’s path forward, please extend the grace of Christ to one another, showing love to those who have made different choices regarding this pandemic. We are one body. Let us glorify God through our worship and not be distracted by the necessary separations and changes.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact Elder John Wood.
We look forward to worshiping with you, whether in person or in spirit!