Overview: Madison Christian Church includes vulnerable populations for COVID-19 in terms of both elderly and children. We are also a school. We want to demonstrate an attitude and spirit of cooperation with all CDC and State of Ohio requests, requirements, and orders. The moves we have made thus far have been out of a spirit of love and protection for others, not because we were required to suspend in-person worship. We will continue to have full respect for others as we move toward re-opening and offering in-person worship services and ongoing ministry. This plan must be viewed as a work in progress as guidance and requirements change on a daily basis.
- Seating which includes social distancing will be accomplished in the following manner: We will utilize every other row of fixed seating in the Worship Center. (That is a precisely 6’ distance.) Members of the same household will need to sit together. There will need to be four seats between household units or individuals. Attenders will be seated from the front of the Worship Center to the back. When the service concludes, attenders will be dismissed from the back to the front. Handshaking, hugging, and other forms of contact are discouraged in the strongest terms. We will set up flexible seating that can be socially distanced in the rear of the Worship Center, and overflow will be available in the Fireside Room and Lobby.
- When we return, we will have one service at 10:30. It will continue to be blended in worship style. We will continue to reach our online audience through the livestream of this worship service.
- Clearly, the Lord’s Supper is integral to our worship. Because passing trays is not going to be permitted, and because we are not going to be able to move around the Worship Center, the Communion Thought and Prayer will conclude the worship service. Attenders will be able to pick up and receive the Lord’s Supper as they exit the Worship Center. The communion would consist of one plastic cup with the bread in the bottom, a second plastic cup on top of that with juice in it. The emblems will be properly spaced on the tables in the lobby as individuals exit so that no contact occurs with other communion set-ups.
- Baptism is integral to our obedience of Scripture. Every effort will be made to have the baptism done by someone in the family of the person being baptized, to which they have already been exposed. If this is not possible, Ministry Staff will gladly wear mask and gloves to baptize individuals in the chlorinated water of our baptistry.
- Due to the inability to properly socially distance in rehearsals and in the choir room, and because distancing requirements cannot be maintained on the platform, we will forego having the choir in the service until distancing requirements can be met.
- Because of the danger of contamination, we will not be able to pass offering plates. We will have a box available for the deposit of tithes and offerings.
- Currently, all hard surfaces in the building are being sanitized weekly by the custodial staff. With the exception of the equipment in the sound booth, this systematic sanitation will continue and will be necessary in all rooms used for the worship experience. To the best of our ability to procure the products, supplies of hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the building. Attenders will be encouraged to bring their own sanitizer. Attenders are welcome to wear gloves, if that increases their level of comfort. Likewise, masks are recommended but not required, particularly when singing. (We reserve the right to change this due to conflicting information that has been issued regarding the efficacy of masks for otherwise healthy people.)
- Particularly at the beginning of re-opening, Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry will not be possible. Families will need to enter the Worship Center and sit together maintaining proper distance from other families or individuals. Children will be provided a bag on the way into worship with resources geared to their age for use during worship time.
- We will not offer coffee in the early stages of re-opening. There is danger of contamination and we cannot assure social distancing.
- Greeting time will be eliminated from the service.
- We realize that some of our volunteers that are vulnerable to COVID-19 may not be able to continue in their roles. We will mount all necessary recruitment efforts for volunteers that will be needed.
- At the beginning of re-opening, we will not have Sunday School classes. Teachers are urged to take their classes online. There will not be Wednesday night services, dinners, etc. This will be re-evaluated as guidance changes. We will be worship only at the beginning of re-opening.
- Greeters will not hold doors open for attenders because of the inability to maintain social distance. We will not use programs due to the danger of contamination – announcements will be on the screens and given from the platform.
- We will gladly offer the Worship Center venue for funerals and weddings. All CDC and State of Ohio requirements in effect at the time of the event must be followed.
- There are a few predictions out there from experts that over the long-haul church offerings, even if they are strong now, will not hold. The Administrative/Finance Committee is apprised weekly of the total offering and at any point they identify a downward trend, they will put necessary measures in place.
We ask that a person not feeling well voluntarily absent themselves from the worship assembly. That would include symptoms such as those identified by the CDC: cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
As you can see, we are taking definite steps to mitigate the risks that are inherent in a large public gathering. However, it is impossible to eliminate all risks. Attendance at our worship service at this point in history requires a willingness to assume the risk. Elderly individuals and individuals with underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and others such conditions should feel free to remain at home and continue to worship through our online stream.