REDEEMER CHURCH:  PLAN TO REOPEN

The Pastors of Redeemer Church are excited to announce that we are planning for a phased reopening and will begin to gather again soon for in-person worship. Following best practices, we will do this in THREE PHASES.  Below are our core convictions regarding this process, what you can expect as we go forward, and the details of Phase 1.  We will release the details and guidelines for Phase 2 and Phase 3 as we get closer to launching these phases.  We believe this phased approach will give us the opportunity to begin to regather, as well as the ability to wisely evaluate the results along the way.   You can also watch this video announcement as well.

Our Core Convictions:

  • The people of God are meant to gather together in person to worship God, receive the preaching of God’s word, participate in the sacraments, exercise spiritual gifts,  and communicate the love of God to each other (Heb. 2:12, Psalm 35:18, Psalm 40:9, 1 Cor. 14:26, Heb. 10:24-25) 
  • We are committed to listening to and following the Holy Spirit who leads, speaks, and wisely directs through a variety of means (Gal. 5:25).  
  • We will continue to care about and steward the safety and health of our members and visitors during this world-wide pandemic. (1 Peter 5:2-3, Acts 20:28, Prov. 27:23)
  • We will continue to seek to love our city and our neighbor as ourselves by cooperating in the efforts to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus in our community (Jer. 29:7, Mark 12:30-31).
  • We will lead towards and fight for unity in the body (Eph. 4:3, John 17:21-23) knowing that every person and every conscience will approach reopening differently.  We will demonstrate faith by providing services for those who are willing to gather; and we will demonstrate caution by providing continued online ministry and gatherings for those who will worship at home (Rom. 14:23).  
  • Evaluation:  Our plan will follow a “Phase +14” idea.  This will allow for at least 14 days to closely observe and evaluate of the impact of each new phase.  We are committed to evaluating the results of our gatherings as well as the data from our community, state, and country.  If circumstances change such that we must take steps backward, we will be ready to take those steps in humility (Prov. 22:3, 27:12).

What to expect going forward:

  • We will continue to LIVESTREAM our Sunday morning service at least throughout all three phases of reopening.  You can expect a Sunday gathering online similar to our current online services.
  • We will continue a MODIFIED SERVICE for the first 2 phases that will include:  An approximately one-hour service, appropriate emphasis on social distancing, no passing of materials or offering plates, no food or coffee service, minimal use of service teams and NO CHILDRENS MINISTRY.
  • You can expect OPTIONS.  Our goal is to provide various entry points for regathering that will accommodate different levels of comfort and precaution.

REDEEMER CHURCH:  PHASE 1

We will continue to conduct our Sunday worship gathering online via Facebook Live.

Our church building will remain closed to all ministries and gatherings with the exception of essential personnel.  

Community Groups will continue to meet via Zoom until Phase 2. 

Our Phase 1 will coincide with Virginia Phase 1, which we plan to last through the month of May 

REDEEMER CHURCH:  PHASE 2

We will be offering TWO SUNDAY SERVICES starting June 7 and continuing through July 5.  

  • Our first service will be an OUTDOOR service and will begin at 9:00 a.m., weather permitting
  • Our second service will be an ONLINE service and will continue at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook live. 

Guidelines for Outdoor Gatherings:

  • We encourage you to arrive at the church by 8:45 a.m.
  • Parking will be available in the back parking lots
  • We will open up the side parking lots near the building for members who would prefer to DRIVE-UP and remain in your car for the service
  • We are required to social distance coming and going from our vehicles 
  • We recommend wearing face masks coming and going from your vehicle
  • We will not be providing chairs; please bring your own chairs, beach chairs, or blanket
  • There will be space on both the grass and parking lot for seating, as well as standing room
  • We require that you sit and remain as a family unit throughout the service  
  • Attention and care will need to be given by families with children for both safety and appropriate social distancing
  • We ask that you remain at least 6 feet from others during the service and observe social distancing throughout our outdoor gathering
  • We ask that you refrain from all physical contact with others (hugs / handshakes, etc.)
  • We will not pass offering plates, but will have a box for in person giving available near the stage
  • We continue to encourage online giving or giving through the mail
  • The building will remain closed with the exception of restrooms, with limited accessibility  
  • Children will not be allowed to use the restroom inside the building without a parent
  • Though we will be outdoors, no pets allowed. 

Community Groups during Phase 2:

Beginning June 1, we are authorizing our Community Groups to resume in-person meetings at the discretion of the Community Group Leader.  We will rely on each Community Group leader to determine the details of CG gatherings in light of what is most advisable for each group.

We have also encouraged our Community Group leaders to offer an online connection through Zoom for all who would prefer to attend CG from home.    

Redeemer Building / Facilities during Phase 2:

Our building and indoor facilities will remain closed to regularly scheduled ministries and gatherings during Phase 1. Exceptions will include:

The Church Office: 

  • Our employees will be able to work at the office and within the building during Phase 1.  We will continue to practice social distancing and recommended cleaning practices.  However, appointments will continue off-site, via telephone or online.

Outdoor facilities / property:  

  • 316 will utilize our outdoor space for outside gatherings, while the building will remain closed.  
  • Community Groups that utilize the building will be able to gather outdoors on our property, while the building will remain closed. 

Food Pantry: 

  • As soon as the Southeastern Food Bank adjusts back to normal, the Food Pantry will be allowed to service our food pantry families at the discretion and direction of the team.

Online Service:

  • We will continue to utilize a small team within the building to serve the church with an online service. 

REDEEMER CHURCH:  PHASE 3

As previously mentioned, we will release the full details of Phase 3 as we get closer and upon evaluation.  However, if all goes according to our current plan, here is what you can expect in Phase 3:

We will be continue to offer TWO Sunday services starting July 12 continuing through August 2, but will move these services INSIDE OUR AUDITORIUM.  

  • Both services will continue to be a MODIFIED SERVICE in the building that will include:  A one-hour service, emphasis on social distancing, no passing of materials or offering plates, no food or coffee service, minimal use of service teams, NO CHILDRENS MINSITRY.
  • We will limit the number of seats in the auditorium to around 300 CHAIRS, with groups of chairs spaced 6 feet apart.
  • We will thoroughly clean and sanitize in-between services.
  • We will livestream the entire service for those at home.

Forthcoming will be many more details about PHASE 3, including requirements and guidelines that will govern our Sunday gathering inside the building.  We will also provide updates about ministries and gatherings within the building during the week.  

Finally, our last step will look closer to a scenario where we are fully “back”.  We have a number of hurdles to clear before this seems possible, but we pray for God’s mercy on our community and country this summer, for the sake of individuals and families, but also for a full and safe reopening of our lives, economy, and churches. 

We hope this plan is encouraging to you.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at church@redeemer.live.  

CONCLUSION

One day we will all tell the stories about this season to our children and grandchildren.  Our prayer is we will be able to share memories and testimonies of the Lord’s great faithfulness to each of us; to lead us, meet us, protect us, and to unite and build us as a church during this time of trial and uncertainty.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20–21

We look forward to all that is ahead, 

Redeemer Church Pastoral team