Greetings from the Re-Entry team! We wanted to take some time to update you on where we are headed as we move to reopen our church building. We have separated this update into four main sections: Worship Re-Entry, Connection Groups, HHStudents, and HHKids.
First, we want to be clear that we still highly recommend that if you are in one of the high-risk categories to still stay home and experience church virtually. Online streaming of the service is posted on the Hamilton Hills website as well as the Hamilton Hills Facebook page at 10:30am on Sundays.
Our plan for worship re-entry is to start with a small group and gradually expand the amount of people able to participate in live worship experience. We have implemented several changes to ensure that our church is following all appropriate recommendations for social distancing and other and capacity guidance. Things may look a little different around here than the last time you were at church!
The most important thing to know right now is that all services require pre-registration. If you wish to participate in our in-person service, you will need to register (include all family members who will also attend) on the link on the Church Center app. Registration will close on Friday afternoon, so make sure to sign you and your family up as early in the week as possible. We are using this registration tool to ensure you and your family have a seat and will allow the team to ensure appropriate capacity within the sanctuary. For now, all seats will be assigned. Chairs are grouped together for family groups and are spread throughout the sanctuary to ensure appropriate social distancing. There is a place on the registration form that allows for comments about seat selection. Please use this space to specify if you wish to be seated near an entrance if you may need to accommodate an unhappy child or to be close to a restroom.
When you arrive at the church you will notice greeters holding the doors open for you, so you do not need to touch the door handles. All of our greeters will be wearing face makes, but we will not require you to wear a face mask. We kindly request that you do not socialize inside the church lobby or sanctuary, but please feel free to congregate outside! Once inside, there will be a table with team members to assist in downloading the Church Center app if you need help. In the lobby, you will notice that we have installed several hand sanitizing stations for you to use as your convenience. As you enter the building, please proceed to one of the ushers at the entrance of the sanctuary. The ushers will seat you and your family to your assigned seat(s).
So when are we going to re-open? We believe that our plan to re-open our church follows all state recommendations and ensures that appropriate precautions, cleaning procedures, and social distancing processes are in place:
- As you may be aware, we had a “trial run” live service for our team members and their families on May 24th. This was a great learning opportunity for us to help develop a solid plan for the best way to do service.
- Beginning May 31st, we are opening up Sunday service to 100 people. We will have one service only on Sunday at 10:30am. If you want to join us for our live service, you must register you and your family so we can ensure a seat for you.
- Beginning June 14th, Governor Holcomb has stated that Indiana will move toward Phase 4 of reopening our state, which allows for much larger in-person gatherings. Therefore, at that time, we will begin having two live services on Sundays (9:00am and 11:00am) that will allow us to fill our sanctuary to capacity while still allowing us to maintain appropriate social distancing with our grouping of chairs. We will still utilize the pre-registration to ensure we are mindful of capacity and that everyone can have a seat. We will have a dedicated team to clean and disinfect surface areas between both services to ensure your safety.
Our church just kicked off a special 10 week summer semester of Connection groups! Groups are meeting either online or in-person (or a combination of both!) at the discretion of the group leader and participants. We currently have 25 unique Connection groups represented by over 300 people in the church! Registration is still open on the Church Center app, and it’s not too late to hop into a group!
HHStudents is getting ready to start ramping back up! Students will continue meeting online for now, but the team is considering having a cookout and small group hangouts towards the end of June. Cookouts and small group hang outs will continue throughout the month of July as well as having as many students as possible attend the virtual Motion Conference! Stay tuned for more to come on Motion! It’s going to be amazing! Watch your email or Instagram for more details to come!
We know your children miss worshipping with their classes and are excited to see all their friends! However, ensuring the safety of our children is one of our top priorities, so HHKids will remain closed for the time being. We are continually evaluating when it will be safe to reopen kids programming. For now, make sure to visit the HHKids Facebook page to take advantage of the resources posted throughout the week for your children. Remember, your child is welcome to sit with you in the sanctuary during our live service – just don’t forget to add them when you register your family. We’ll continue to update you once more details are solidified as we know all of your wonderful children are ready to get back to class!
In conclusion, please remember that this plan will continue to evolve as time moves forward. We will continue to provide our church with updates as decisions are thoughtfully and prayerfully made. Please continue to pray for our government leaders, our church leaders and pastors, and our community during this trying time. Thank you so much for your understanding and patience throughout this process.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
The Re-Entry Team
Rachael Hiday, PharmD
Jeb Rice, MD
Thomas Salsbury, MD