June 8, 2020
Hello Sunrise Family and Friends,
On Friday of last week, The Washington State Department of Health granted Whatcom County permission to move into Phase 2 of the governor’s Safe Start Plan. Moving into this phase allows us to have gatherings in our homes and gatherings at the church.
We are excited to initiate our 3-pronged approach to ministry during this pandemic by (1) continuing to provide our online worship experience for those who wish to remain at home. (2) For those who wish to gather in home groups, we hope the same video format with discussion, prayer, and kids’ worship guides will give you what you need to expand your worship experience to include others in your neighborhood or circle of friends. (If you want to be a part of a home group and are not sure who you can gather with, please call us at the church and we will do our best to help you get connected.) The video will be made available at 9:00 am every Sunday (instead of 10:00 am as we have been doing) on the Sunrise Facebook page, our Sunrise website and the Sunrise YouTube channel. (3) We also plan to provide 3 different service times for Sunday morning worship at the church, starting this Sunday, June 14. In order to manage the numbers appropriately, we are asking you to consider coming at the following times determined by the first letter of your last name. First Service: A-H, 8:30 am; Second Service: I-R, 10:00 am; and Third Service: S-Z, 11:30 am. Each service will be 1 hour in length and the content will be very similar to what people will be viewing online.
For those who wish to return to worship at the church we have created a list protocols and expectations that are in keeping with the guidelines (CDC, WCHD). By following these we hope to provide a safe, healthy, and manageable environment in which we can worship together:
- Please enter and exit through the front doors of the church. Other doors will need to remain locked.
- Wearing masks will be required out of respect for others. Please bring your own as we have a limited quantity available for those who forget.
- The service will be held in the sanctuary and seating will adhere to social distancing rules. Families can sit together with a distance of 6 feet separation between others. Every other pew will be available and overflow chairs will be appropriately spaced to help provide appropriate spacing.
- Attendees should bring from home what they need, ie. Bibles, pens, etc. Discussion guides, prayer guides, and children’s worship guides are accessible through the website.
- Unfortunately, our nursery will be closed at this time and Children’s Church will resume when less stringent restrictions are in place.
- We ask that children and youth please remain with their parent/guardian at all times.
- The hallways outside the sanctuary and leading to the bathrooms, including the handicap accessible bathroom will be open, but all other hallways and portions of the building will not be accessible.
- Use of the bathrooms should be limited to 2 people at a time.
- Disinfectant wipes will be in the restrooms and people are asked to wipe down the areas they touch as they enter or exit.
- Unfortunately, no coffee will be served in the foyer and all “visiting” should be done outside.
- Offerings to the church can be given by placing them in the boxes just outside the sanctuary or at the Community Life Desk, or through online giving, by mail, or dropped at the church office during the week.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at different locations for your use.
- Please continue to use standard hygiene practices: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, cover coughs and sneezes with the elbow, wear a face covering while in public, stay at home if you are not feeling well.
- We certainly wish we could have everyone attend with no limits and protocols in place but cannot. We ask those of you more passionate about “opening the doors to everyone” to have humility and respect as we begin the process. These guidelines/protocols listed will be in place (subject to change) and ask for your support even if you disagree. If you are unable to support, we ask that you enjoy the online service at 9:00 am.
We believe one of the most important tests occurring during this whole ordeal is the testing of how the church is to respond to one another with our differences of opinions and perspectives on what is happening around us and to us. In closing, we would ask that each of us take the time to read the following article that was put out recently by the Gospel Coalition [Click here to read the article]. It is an article that, we believe, will help us respond appropriately, honoring the Lord, in the midst of the changes and transition that we are making and will continue to make.
In His service,
Deacon Board Chairman
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"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus"
- Romans 15:5