A New Normal While Still Being The Church
When I read that the COVID-19 virus is about 0.12 microns in size, I had no idea just how small that is and I assume you don't either. So, quick lesson courtesy of Google - A micron is about 1/25,000 of an inch. This virus is one tenth the size of 1 micron. For perspective, a single strand of hair is 70 microns in diameter. So this virus is BEYOND TINY. But the impact is BEYOND HUGE as it has reached every corner of the globe. Society and culture have shifted and changed. It is uncertain as to what changes will be lasting and which won't. But for now The Church has had to fully embrace this "new normal" - however long it may last - in order to accomplish its mission of sharing The Gospel.
The Church is not a building. This sentiment has never been more true than today during this Pandemic. Ways, that Sterling Baptist met the challenges are similar to how most churches met the challenges. We increased our Social Media presence and shared the Gospel entirely through the live streaming platforms of Facebook and YouTube. As Illinois progressed through the Phases of re-opening we eventually were able to have "Drive-In" services in our parking lot. Today, we are allowed to have in person services. The situation is ever changing though and it is likely we'll fluctuate between these Phases.
Things to note:
1. Sunday School classes are preparing for a return on Sunday, August 2nd. Prepare to wear masks and be socially distanced.
2. COVID - 19 Update: We are continuing to monitor numbers here in our state for safety in all indoor services. As long as our state continues to remain in Illinois Phase 4, we can continue to meet inside. Here are some important things to remember:
1) We remain dedicated to keeping our facility clean for worship. It is cleaned twice a week, and sanitized before and after each service. We continue to need your help to make this happen. If your comfort level with being inside remains high, please contact Pastor Ed if you would like to help with the cleaning team.
2) Please use our new hand sanitizer stations located next to the sanctuary and children's area.
3) PLEASE wear a mask. We know they are not always ideal. We know they are not always comfortable. However, they STRONGLY increase our chances of NOT having a case breakout here in our church. Plus - it works the best when everyone can do it. Remember to remind friends and family that you invite to bring one. Remind yourselves and others this is the best way we can love our neighbor and each other during this time.
4) Please watch for ways to keep socially distanced as you find seats during the service.
5) We will continue to dismiss by rows to prevent large hallway crowds. The great thing about our church is how much we love each other! The best thing we can do to keep our services safe, however, is to have those loving conversations outside after service.
6) Please do not feel pressured to come if you are not yet comfortable. Things have run very smoothly here so far - but we still have online services available on our Facebook page and YouTube station. Please forward them to friends and leave comments so we can see who all is with us!
7) Finally - be sure to let us know if you see anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or seems unsafe to others.
Let's work hard to keep both our church and community as safe as possible!
Be The Church and show grace and compassion to others.