I am looking forward to this Sunday when we can gather together in person and in the building! As we prepare for this weekend I wanted to let you know about a few things that are going to be a little different. We are making these changes out of an abundance of caution for the health of those who worship at Arbor House. We care deeply about each of you and we want to take every precaution to care for your health. These changes may seem odd at first, and will certainly take some getting used to, but if we work together we can continue to make Arbor House a place where all people feel welcome and safe. So here are some of the changes:
- The only entrance that we will be using is the upper doors by the sanctuary. In reality this will not be too big of a change as most people use these doors anyway. But the doors will be propped open so that no one has to handle the doors and we don’t have to worry about sanitizing them.
- As you enter the church there will be a “check-in” station at the welcome center. This will be a quick process and I will be there to check you in. The record that we will be keeping of those who are attending will not be shared and will only be seen by pastoral staff, unless there is an outbreak that is traced back to Arbor House/Northgate. In that sole case we are required to submit that list to the local health department. We are not sharing or selling anyone’s personal information.
- Mask/Face coverings properly worn are required for everyone who enters the building. And we are asking that you leave your mask on for the entire service (except when taking communion). The only exception is when someone is speaking/preaching/singing from the platform we are permitting them to remove their mask since they will be the proper distance from the congregation.
- We have distance markings on the floor (yellow tape) to help assist us in practicing social distancing. They are also marked for you to follow so that we can control the flow of traffic into the sanctuary and then out of the building. Traffic will flow in one direction, one way in and one way out.
- There will not be coffee or food, including the meals that we would normally do following the service. We will have bottled water available since it does often get quite warm in the building.
- The only bathroom that will be available is the one that is adjacent to the cafe. It is a single occupant bathroom and will be quickly sanitized by a volunteer following each use.
- We will have an usher that will seat people and then mark chairs so that we help people practice social distancing in their seats. After someone is seated we are placing white clothes on the backs of chairs on either side of them to show that those chairs are not available. Families are able to sit together without spacing, the spacing will be one either side of the family. At the end of the service our usher will be dismissing people.
- In the sanctuary you will notice that the chairs and platform are set up a little differently. This is actually not directly due to social distancing requirements, it is a change that Gloria and I have talked about making for some time. We hope that you like it!
- Some people may not feel comfortable returning to a service in the building yet and so we are going to continue live streaming our service on Facebook.
I know that there is a lot of information here so if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Pastor of Word and Table