As we continue to move forward and adapt to the ever-changing conditions of our world, country, and state, we wanted to reach out and inform everyone as to what we have been doing and what we are planning for the near future.
As hopefully most of you know by now, we ARE again meeting on Sunday mornings in our building on Sayre Rd. State guidelines allow us to gather in sizes no greater than 50% of the building’s total capacity, and so far that has not been an issue. We have overflow options available, but we have not yet needed to use them, so we do encourage you to come in person if you are willing and able. We are thankful for technology as a backup for when we can’t see each other in person, but nothing is a true replacement for gathering face to face.
In accordance with state mandates, we do require all visitors to wear a mask when entering the building or leaving your seat. However, if you are sitting six feet away from anyone other than people you live with, feel free to remove your mask. To facilitate such seating arrangements, there are chairs set up in various groupings and spread apart. Feel free to adjust this configuration to fit your group and free up extra chairs for other families to use. We have sanitation measures in place to make sure all common areas are cleaned between each use, and there is hand sanitizer readily available near the entrance.
It has been a huge blessing getting to be around many of you in person once again for the teaching & preaching time! That said, we have really been missing two other elements of worship the past two months, and we still haven’t resumed them: music and communion. However, we are hoping to reimplement both in the month of October.
Of course, as we have adapted in other ways, the music and communion time will both look a little different than they did before. This is partly so we can comply with state law and stay reasonably safe, but we have also taken this opportunity to evaluate how we can best function as a family in these corporate acts of worship. If you have been around NCF for a while, you are no stranger to change! Long before COVID-19, change has been part of our DNA: from the transiency of our military population to the order of services and variety of ministries we offer, God is constantly leading us through seasons of change. That’s part of life for anyone, and especially, it seems, for us!
On that note, music will be different in some ways totally unrelated to COVID-19! The music team has gotten smaller, as multiple families who were previously involved have since moved away. If you think you could help fill in some of that gap once we settle into the new routine, please contact Mike and let him know!
The “routine” we were used to will look different in a couple of ways. Firstly, the state requirement for singing is that everyone who is singing must stay twelve feet apart, OR wear masks. With the average size of our attendance, in the size of our building, staying twelve feet apart will just not be possible. That means when we’re singing, everyone will need to wear a mask. We know that won’t be very comfortable for most people, but it is a small inconvenience compared to not singing together at all! We will only enforce this for as long as it is required to by law. Secondly, we will be moving the time slot for music. We want to continue live-streaming and recording the teaching via YouTube, but copyrighted music presents an issue when uploaded to YouTube. As such, our plan is to have music from about 10:15—10:45, followed by some time to meet and fellowship, then begin the teaching and live-stream at 11am, as we have been doing. Of course, this means that if you want to join us for music, you will have to do so in person.
We will also be using this earlier time slot to spend time in prayer, as well as to celebrate the Lord’s supper together. On weeks when we will be having communion, individually packaged cups with wafers will be set up on the back counter. As you walk in, you will be invited to take one to your seat if you wish to participate, and one of the elders will lead everyone in partaking together.
Lord willing, we will move forward with this plan starting Sunday, October 18th
We are very much looking forward to bringing back these important aspects of worship in our church body, and we hope that you will consider joining us. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, do not hesitate to reach out to us.