ReGathering for Worship at Ephesus has begun on Sunday mornings at 9:00 and 10:30!
Our Live Stream Worship continues online at 10:30 each week.
Please Note: We are not offering Nursery, Preschool, Children’s Church, or LifeGroups for Now.
It has been exciting to move into this first step of ReGathering even though we understand that not every person is ready to gather in person yet, and that is totally fine. While we cannot guarantee that someone will not be exposed to COVID-19 at church or in any situation, we are taking important steps for minimizing the risk as much as possible without making things feel overly restrictive. This is certainly not an easy balance to find, so thank you in advance for your patience and for showing grace and cooperation even if you personally feel that the precautions are out of balance one way or the other. We’re all in this together! Thank you for taking time to read the important information below carefully.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHETHER TO COME?
Anyone who feels sick, has a fever, or has reason to believe that they may have COVID-19 is strongly urged to stay home and engage online with the Live Stream Worship service.
Everyone else needs to continue to evaluate the currently available information about the spread of COVID-19 and make a personal decision about when they will return for in-person worship.
Below are some who may decide to stay home for now and continue to engage through the Live Stream:
- Elderly adults.
- People with depressed immune systems or who are considered to be the most vulnerable to life-threatening complications of COVID-19.
- People caring for or living with the elderly or the vulnerable.
- Families with younger children.
- Anyone who does not feel comfortable yet with gathering in larger groups of people.
Again, this is a personal decision in which all will need to decide what is best for them.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THOSE WHO COME?
You are asked to do your best to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from those around you for the duration of your time on the church campus
Please allow three empty chairs between you and the family group on either side of you in the service. (At the current time, we are only seating people on every other row in the worship center.)
Please note that your family group consists primarily of those who live with you. However, if you want to sit with a person (or persons) with whom you have been spending a lot of time without social distancing, you may include them as part of your family group (with their permission, of course). Only one person per family group needs to fill out a registration form for the service.
Please refrain from handshaking and hugging. This will be really hard – but remember, it’s okay to just smile and wave for now!
Masks are welcome but not required. Some will wear masks and some will not. (We actually have some masks available for anyone who wants one.)
When you are inside the worship center, please move directly to find a seat. It will be tempting to want to go around and speak to all of those you haven’t seen for awhile, but we need to keep the aisles clear. Please remain at your seat.
Please do not congregate in the hallways. Make sure to do any socializing in the parking lot outside the building before and after the service while still distancing.
WHAT OTHER STEPS IS THE CHURCH TAKING TO MINIMIZE RISK AND MAKE THIS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE?
The chairs in the worship center have been rearranged to provide an extra aisle and to have more end-of-row seats so that we can space out more effectively. Ushers and signage on the seats will help family groups find seats which have the required spacing from others.
We do not have spacing markers on the floor or one-way directional signs. You can enter the worship center from any of the three entry doors. We are trusting our people to be considerate of others through intentional self-distancing.
Overflow areas are be set up to use if needed. We need some servant-hearted people who will be willing to sit in this area if necessary because we can only seat so many people in the worship center and we would not want to turn anyone away who comes to worship. (There is a place on the registration form to indicate your willingness to help in this way if needed.)
The church building has been deep cleaned and will be cleaned well each week as usual after services.
Special attention will be given to making sure that restrooms are kept extra clean. If you notice a problem with the cleanliness of the restrooms at any time, please let us know.
Doors will be propped open or held open as individuals enter and leave the worship center.
We have hand sanitizing stations throughout the building.
We are suspending our Greeting Time during the worship service for now.
We are not passing the offering plate at the current time. If you want to give your offering at church, there will be a place to leave it near the exits of the worship center. (Remember that you can also give securely either on the church website or by texting the keyword ebcgivenow to 73256 and following the instructions. Many have discovered the convenience of giving like this over the past several weeks.)
For the time being, we do not have coffee available on Sunday mornings.
The pens in the chair backs have been temporarily removed. Please bring your own pen.
Michelle and Lori have prepared Children’s Worship Packets. These packets, organized by age group, contain activities for children and will be available on either side of the platform at the front of the worship center. Parents are welcome to pick one up for each child before the service starts.
DO I NEED TO LET SOMEONE KNOW I’M COMING?
YES, PLEASE! This is very important. We will not turn anyone away at the door, but we are asking for everyone who is coming to let us know now which service you plan to attend. We need this information as soon as possible each week, so please let us know if you’re planning to attend. If you are willing to go to either service or sit in overflow, let us know that. We want to make sure that the numbers in the services are balanced and that we have plenty of overflow space if necessary.
If you have trouble registering online, you can call the church and leave a voice message.
If you are planning to continue doing LiveStream, you don’t have to let us know in advance, but please know that you are still WITH us just like we’ve all been able to be “together” over the past several weeks.