Blue Hill Church of Christ Family,
As our nation begins to scale back the social distancing guidelines, we want to keep you in the loop about our guidelines and plans to reopen. Given the size of our gatherings, our reopening strategy will probably look a little different from other congregations and local businesses. We’re taking special care to be as cautious as possible about gathering in-person. With that in mind, we’re rolling out a phased reopening plan based upon the guidelines of Massachusetts. Our plan right now is to slowly and intentionally move through the phases. See the details below!
We have put together a tentative four-stage reopening process:
The Four-Step Safety Plan with Modified Church Activities Chart can be viewed here
PHASE ONE STAGE | SAFER AT HOME | PREPARING THE FACILITY, ONLINE FOCUS
During this phase, we will continue online-only services. However, to simplify and increase outreach, we will post and broadcast our usual live stream services on Wednesdays and Sundays starting at 7:30 p.m and 11:00 a.m. Both on Facebook and Band App. We will continue to have 10 or fewer people to practice strict social distancing. Implementing our four-stage returning plan (view checklist) on properly cleaning and disinfecting the facility including the premises. Followed by the Sector-Specific Protocol and guidelines, that have been put in place for us to return. As we proceed throughout these phases. We will research and work closely with the advice of experts as well as heeding the instructions of federal, state, and local governments. While using spiritual guidance (John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 5:7).
PHASE TWO-STAGE | SAFER AT HOME | TRAINING | NON-IN-PERSON SERVICE, ONLINE FOCUS.
After consideration of the new guidelines outlined for churches by our state, we have set at date beginning August 1st to move into phase two as long as things continue to improve. We will use the discretion of 50 or fewer people to practice strict social distancing. We will NOT GATHER together for in-person services at our building during this phase. We encourage people to start governing themselves, while still viewing us online. The biggest change you will notice in Phase 2 will be the preparation and training of ushers, greeters, and volunteers.
PHASE THREE STAGE | TBA | MULTIPLE WEEKEND SERVICES | ONLINE FOCUS
Eventually, as we move into phase three. We will be offering two service times to aid in social distancing. Which consists of an online sign-up reservation form. Online services will continue for those who choose to stay home. People who are from the same family or household may sit together; all others should observe the 6’ social distancing guidelines. Initially, we will handout communion kits during check-in before each service and avoid the passing of communion in-person. There will be several boxes before entering the sanctuary to put your offering and building funds in. As well as online and weekly mailbox drop off. We will dismiss by rows and ask everyone to not socialize or congregate after service. After each service, there will be a thorough clean before the next service. Each service time will consist of a 30-60 min window to help with the timing of cleaning thoroughly. Sunday school or group ministries will not be permitted until phase 4. This will be updated and communicated once classes resume.
PHASE FOUR STAGE | TBA | NEW NORMAL | SAFER ONLINE FOCUS
We anticipate larger groups (over 100) meeting together for worship at this stage. We will add or rearrange service times as needed to accommodate safety and recommended guidelines. As many other elements of the church life slowly return.
As much as we'd love to rush straight to Phase 4, where we gather again at the building, our leadership team will evaluate government guidelines and local health data on a weekly basis to ensure we reopen in a way that is safe for our church family. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase. So stay tuned for updates and continue to gather with us weekly for our Online Services. If we could pray for you, provide practical assistance, or help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out! Also, if you have questions, thoughts, or concerns feel free to let us know. God’s still working! I love you and miss you. See you online this Sunday!
Dr. Johnny E. Thomas, Sr