RE-GATHER & RE-LAUNCH UPDATE & FAQ
Things look a little different at Hope Covenant Church these days. As we re-launch and re-gather for in-person worship services, it’s important to know what to expect.
First, we want to welcome you! Hope has always been a place where anyone can come just as they are (after all, our sign does say “No Perfect People Allowed”). We are a community that is passionate about sharing God’s unconditional love with others. That won’t change as we re-gather.
But we take your health and the health of the wider community seriously. That’s why we’re being careful about how we re-gather. We are committed to being guided by safety and wisdom.
- To begin, we’re limiting the size of our Sunday services to 50 people each. We meet at 9AM (and if needed, we will add an 11AM option this fall). You must RSVP and claim your ‘ticket’ via hopecov.com/register
- We are offering children’s classes for ages 4 through 5th Grade. You'll need to RSVP so we can plan accordingly when you register. At the moment there is not a nursery team, but parents can use the nursury and listen to the stream.
- Youth ministry is meeting online via Zoom on Sunday's at 10:30am, and in-person on Wednesdays at 7PM.
- We’re also taking extra precautions: We have instituted enhanced sanitation practices and are asking everyone to wear a mask and practice physical distancing, following the latest local, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
So, what does that look like in practice? Below are answers to common questions. Want to know more? We’re happy to chat! Email Pastor Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org, Pastor Jim at email@example.com or contact the church office at (480) 899-7255.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes. As of June 20, Maricopa County and the City of Chandler have made wearing a mask mandatory for anyone age 6 and above. Wearing a mask is a good way to help keep others safe. Our greeters and sanitation teams will be wearing masks, and we’re asking all volunteers to perform temperature checks at home before coming to serve at HOPE. If anyone feels sick, we ask you to stay home (and be sure to email how we can pray for you at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Why limit services to 50 people?
We’re following best practices issued in state and CDC guidelines because we want to keep everyone safe. In the current phase of re-gathering, those are the recommended guidelines. Services will be limited to 50 people each so we can effectively practice physical distancing in our Worship Center. Chairs will be configured so families can sit together, but also so we can space individuals and family units at least six feet apart.
This is why we’re asking everyone to use the online ‘ticketing system’ to RSVP and claim the seats needed for themselves and families each week at one of the services. This will help us best prepare the Worship Center for you.
How do I get a ticket? What if the service I want is ‘sold out’?
Tickets for service are free (of course) and available through a link on the church website, hopecov.com. But if your preferred service is ‘sold out’, you can still livestream the 9AM service via Facebook.
What about socializing before or after service?
We are a friendly, welcoming church. We love when you reach out and catch up. But we ask that everyone practice physical distancing – so, yes, we’d like to limit hugs and handshakes for now (huggers, we know this is tough. We’ll get through this). We’d also like to keep the lobby and entryways relatively clear, so if you’d like to chat before or after service, consider doing it outside the building.
I’m not comfortable attending in person. Can I still worship online?
Of course! In fact, if you are in a high-risk group – which, per the CDC, includes those over 65 and those with underlying conditions – we hope that you will continue to join us from home. We will still livestream the 9AM service on our Hope Covenant Church Facebook page. We want to keep in touch with you even if you’re not physically here, and you can continue to email prayer requests to email@example.com.
How are you sanitizing the building?
We have teams that will be sanitizing bathrooms and all high-touch surfaces in the entrance and Worship Center before the first service and between services once we add additional options. We’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer available, but we will not have handouts, printed bulletins or pens. Bring a pen and your Bible from home. (Need a Bible? Just ask staff or an usher and we will be glad to give you one!)
We won’t be passing offering bags (you can continue to give via check, online at hopecov.com/give or the GivePlus app) or through the offering box on the back table. On the weeks where we offer communion, individually wrapped packets will be available for each family unit.
Could these re-launching plans change?
Absolutely. We are watching state and CDC guidance closely, and our elders are continuing to pray for wisdom to lead during these times without giving room to a spirit of fear. We have a phased plan to scale up services over time and will review our operations weekly for lessons learned. Keep in mind, however, that this is a fluid situation. If local or state conditions change, we may need to modify our procedures or scale back meeting. If that occurs, we will be sure to communicate the changes clearly. Above all, we want to ensure that everyone feels safe, comfortable and welcomed while worshipping at Hope Covenant Church.