Gathering Together Again!

Dear Church Family,
 
We are excited to announce that we will begin offering in-person services beginning Sunday, June 21st! As an Elder Board, we have been blessed by your efforts to follow our lead during this pandemic as we attempt to minister to our spiritual health even as we protect the physical health of one another. You have continued to function as the body of Christ, worshiping online, creatively encouraging and caring for one another, serving in various ways, and continuing to give. Great job, EBC!
 
As we move to this next step, regarding one another higher than ourselves continues to be our focus and we hope this will be yours as well. We move forward with caution and also in accordance with government guidance. We encourage you to use wisdom in determining your participation in on-site services. Please note that virtual services will continue as well, and you are urged to join us online until it is wise to join in person.  
 
Sunday, June 21st will be our first gathering with a single service at 10:30am offered in both the Multipurpose Building and simultaneously broadcast to the Chapel, allowing a total of 100 people to be present that day. This initial Sunday will allow us to gauge the demand of in-person services and to add an additional service if necessary for following weeks.
 
As we gather, things will look quite a bit different than what we’re familiar with when attending a church service. Please expect this and begin preparing your families for these changes. We, the elders, desire to abide by WA state guidance. For the sake of worshipping together, submitting to authority, and in consideration of the witness to our community we lay aside some of our own preferences by doing this. Should you not agree with all of these guidelines, we request that you, too, put aside your personal preferences as we all seek to follow biblical instruction by submitting to our governing authorities.

Service Guidelines (Quotes are from WA state guidelines for religious services)
Services are limited to 50 people each per building. We will be using a registration process for services. Please only come if you have registered for that service.
Social distancing must be followed. No handshakes or hugs for the foreseeable future. (We know this is tough and something some of us have been doing for decades. We hope this will ONLY be short-term.) Seats will be placed at least six feet apart and designated for households based on registration.
1 “All organizations must adhere to physical distancing requirements and have six feet of space between the congregation’s seats, pews, and benches or have physical barriers between them. Members of the same household may be seated together as a single unit.”
Masks must be worn at all times before, during and after the service. This includes children over age 2. Don’t have one? We’ve got you covered! We hope this is temporary but your cooperation will be helpful.
1 “All employees, members, and visitors in attendance shall wear face coverings before, during, and after the service (whether indoor or outdoor).”
“No choirs shall perform during the service. Singing is permitted, but individuals must not remove their face coverings to sing – it must stay on for the duration of the service.”
Please do not come if you or anyone in your household is sick. If you begin feeling ill or having symptoms after you’ve registered for a service, please contact us to cancel your registration. Key questions before coming to church, self-test each week: Am I and everyone in my household feeling 100% well today? (If yes, come meet with the church in person! If no, please worship with us from home and Lord willing, we’ll see you next week!)
1 “Inform all employees, members, and guests that they must self-screen for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at the location.
Request employees, members, and visitors to take their temperature before attending a service. Any individual with a temperature of 100.4°F will not be permitted to attend the service or attend work at the organization.
Any individual with a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or with symptoms of COVID-19 (including a fever above 100.4°F) may not attend the service or attend work at the organization.”
Restroom use is limited to 2 people at a time in each restroom. Please use the restroom before you come.
1  “All services may provide access to restrooms, provided that access is controlled and limited to no more than 2 people at a time. Individuals waiting to use the restroom must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each person.”
No coffee or refreshments will be offered and the kitchen will be closed. Bring your own beverage (with a lid, please!)
1 “There may be no direct physical contact between servers and members or visitors. Anything to be consumed may not be presented to the members or visitors in a communal container or plate.”
Increased sanitation of frequently-touched surfaces will be implemented. To aid in our sanitation effort, some areas of the church buildings will be closed off.  

To increase ventilation, as recommended, doors will be left propped open throughout the service. It might be chilly, so be sure to bring a jacket.

No Sunday school, nursery, or children’s ministries will be offered at this time. Please note, parents, that children will need to sit only with you and remain by you before and after the service. They should not sit with friends or extended family members.  

No bulletins or paper items will be distributed. Email, the EBC app, and the website will continue to be utilized for communication.

Offering baskets will not be passed. Giving boxes will be available in each building.

Although we greatly miss the privilege of observing communion with you, we plan to wait until the entire church body can meet together as one before resuming this observance.
Remember that we take these precautions out of love for one another. Even with all these changes, it will be wonderful to gather together again! We can’t wait to see you! As we meet, let’s do so with a heart of love for Christ and grace for one another.
 
The Elders of EBC
Pastor Jeff, Pastor Ryan, Eric, Pat, Paul and Jeff
1 Phase 1 and 2 Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements (WA State)
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