May 27, 2020
Update from Elders & Pastors
Dear CMBC Family,
The past number of weeks have been wrought with change due to the effects and consequences brought on by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. From the beginning, we have held onto the following guidelines for reopening our building.
- Calvary Monument Bible Church never closed.
- Calvary Monument Bible Church is stronger.
- We will make decisions that honor God.
- We will make decisions that are in the best interest of the families at CMBC.
- When we reopen our building, things will look and feel different.
We have not wavered from these guidelines, and fully intend to lead by them for as long as the effects and consequences of COVID-19 are a reality in our community.
After much prayer and deliberation, the Elders of Calvary Monument Bible Church have decided to cautiously reopen our building for services starting Sunday, June 14. It is very important for us to clarify what this means and how this will look, so please read the following statements carefully for clarity.
- We will continue to produce online
content at the exact same pace that we have been, on the exact same ministry
schedule, adding new opportunities for mobile fellowship for families who do
not feel safe to gather in our physical building (similar to ABF environments,
but in homegroups). We desire for the church to continue to function as
the church, in the environment where they feel most safe (at home or in the
building), throughout the entirety of this season.
- When we open our building on June 14 , we will open taking the following measures:
- We ask that if you or a family member are sick or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, shortness of breath, cough, or difficulty breathing), please worship from home.
- Masks will be required for all in attendance (5 years of age & older).
- Social distancing guidelines will be followed (6 ft.) between family units.
- Families must sit together where assigned by ushers, no exceptions.
- There will be no physical contact inside of the building except for physical contact within family units. (No handshakes, hugs, high-fives, etc.)
- No child ministry, youth ministry, or ABF ministries will be provided
- There will be no food service (coffee, snacks, or otherwise).
- Restroom usage will be monitored to limit the number of people using the facilities at one time. We are asking that children under the age of 13 be accompanied by an adult.
- Services will be limited to prayer and the ministry of the word (there may be light music but there will be no congregational singing).
- There will be 1 service at 9:00 am.
As the Elders of CMBC, we ask that if you have a concern with even one of the above restrictions that you simply continue to enjoy worshiping and functioning as the church from either your home, or with other families of CMBC in a homegroup environment. We will have elders, staff, and pastors who will continue to worship from their homes throughout this season. We are encouraging them to do so.
We understand that this communication may catch many of you off guard, as you may be confronted for the first time with the realities of large gatherings post COVID-19. We want to lament with you. We, too, will miss the fellowship and function of the way things used to be. We believe that God uses these times of discomfort in our lives to help us grow. We want to walk along side of you in this season of disappointment. We embrace it as an opportunity to grow in a greater love for God and each other.
We look forward to the day when we can begin removing these restrictions and move full steam ahead into the bold, new horizon that Jesus is calling us towards. There is still a mission to fulfill; that mission remains unchanged. We desire to love, live, and lead for God’s glory.
Please walk together with us, cautiously, in whatever environment is safest for you. And remember we are all new at this together. There may be times we need to pull-back and close our building for a time again. And there may be times we can move ahead with less restriction. We will need your grace and compassion to help us lead in this season.
We have anticipated that you might have a lot of questions, so we have done our best to answer some of those questions for you below. Please email email@example.com or call the church office if you have any questions unaddressed below, or if you would just like further clarification.
We love you; we love our church; we desire to honor Jesus. Let’s take this on together!
The Pastors and Elders of Calvary Monument Bible Church
Why have you selected June 14 as the date for reopening the building?
We selected June 14 with our most isolated congregants in mind. There are some in our congregation who have no internet, computer, or cell phone. These folks are very lonely and looking for opportunities for corporate fellowship. We are encouraging those of you who are able to continue to worship from home until future communication comes concerning a broader opening.
Why only one service?
At this point, trying to perform the required cleaning between services is going to be incredibly difficult in the amount of time that we would have between services. We have 4 sections of pews and feel that we can adequately space around 50 people per section, which would allow us to have a maximum of 200 people in a service. At this point, we are prioritizing this service for our most isolated congregants and ask that only they consider attending.
Will there be any special seating available for those with pre-existing conditions?
In order to protect those who are most vulnerable, we will reserve the far left section (looking from the back, the section closest to the windows) for senior saints and those with preexisting medical conditions which have been known to cause more complications for COVID-19 patients, specifically diabetes, heart disease (including high blood pressure), lung disease (asthma, COPD), kidney disease, and those who are immunocompromised (receiving chemotherapy). This section will also be available for those who are pregnant, if they wish to use it. To help facilitate social distancing, we ask the population that would sit in this section to park in the back parking lot (the lot on the window side of the auditorium) and enter through the back door, walking directly through the door and into the auditorium.
Why will you continue to produce online content if the building is reopening?
We will continue to produce online content for as long as the effects of consequences of the virus are with us. That is, until there is a cure or a vaccine available to eliminate the effectiveness of the virus. There are many in our congregation who are considered ‘at-risk’ in contracting the virus. We are encouraging those of our church who are ‘at-risk’ to continue to worship from home. We also believe that there is great value in spiritual development, spiritual discipleship, and spiritual formation in at-home ministry environments.
What if I have a pre-existing condition?
For those who have a preexisting condition or comorbidity (65+, asthma, cancer, COPD, heart problems, diabetes or immunocompromised), we will have a separate section of our sanctuary reserved for you. Please let our ushers know that you have a preexisting condition when you arrive, and they will point you to reserved seating in our sanctuary.
What if I want to continue to worship from home?
Great! We are encouraging that during this season. We have staff and elders who will also continue to worship from home throughout the duration of this season.
If I have been sick within 7 days of coming to the building for services, should I still come?
We ask that you participate in church online if you have been sick within 7 days of a service in our building.
Why do I have to wear a mask? I have heard masks are ineffective.
We know there is a lot of debate going on in our culture regarding the effectiveness of masks in preventing the virus. We would like to give the appearance that we are doing everything within our power to love and protect the most vulnerable in our congregation, so we ask that all who attend would wear a mask. We are asking that those 5 years of age and older would wear a mask. Masks will be available to those who might forget to bring one.
What if I have a pre-existing condition that does not allow me to wear a mask?
Simply let whoever is greeting you know that you have a medical exemption from wearing a mask. No problem.
Why are you not tracking attendance?
We are asking anyone who would attend a service in our building and later test positive for COVID-19 to contact the office at our building and inform one of our pastors. We will keep identities strictly confidential.
What does it mean for me if someone at a service I attended would later test positive for COVID-19?
If someone were to test positive for COVID-19 after attending a service at CMBC, we would send a mass email to all congregants, along with phone calls to all without email, informing all that we had a positive test. We are not sure how your individual employer might respond if CMBC experiences a positive test. There is a chance that you would have to self-isolate for 14 days in your home if someone who had attended a service at CMBC later tests positive for COVID-19.
My family is planning on attending services in the building. Can I sit with my grown children and grandchildren?
Absolutely. Just let the usher know when being seated where your family is located. We desire for immediate families (parents and children) to be together during our services.
Not even a hug!?
I know. I like hugs too. It’s a bummer. Inside of the building we are going to avoid all physical contact to keep our most vulnerable population as safe as possible.
Why are there no children, youth, or adult ministries?
Right now it is requiring the full focus and attention of our staff, Pastors, and Elders to reopen our building for Sunday morning gatherings. We are hoping to add in other ministries as we continue to move forward, but we do not have a timeline for that at this point.
What about my coffee and donuts!?
For sure, Sunday’s won’t be the same without our awesome café team providing us with great treats. For now, it is recommended that we refrain from bringing coffee and snacks, as partaking in them requires removing our masks.
I haven’t had a bathroom monitor since elementary school. What’s up with that!?
I remember my bathroom monitor too. We want to be careful to encourage social distancing, keeping our bathrooms free from overcrowding. Again, this is so we can protect and keep safe our most vulnerable population who may choose to attend.
Why do I have to accompany my 12-year-old to the restroom?
Not all children follow or know the protocols of proper hygiene following bathroom use. Sometimes children like to play around a little bit in the bathroom. I remember I was a frequent offender as a child. We simply ask that you accompany them to help motivate them to flush and wash their hands.
I want to unleash the majesty of my voice. Why aren’t we singing?
Our music ministry team will continue to create and upload content on our website and YouTube/Vimeo weekly. Please participate in unleashing the majesty of your voice at home or in your vehicles on the way home. When we unleash the majesty of our voices, we also unleash all kinds of germs, and masks are unable to stay in place when singing.
We miss our ABF. When will ABF’s be available again?
We will be looking at adding in another 1-2 online options for Adult Bible Fellowship in the coming weeks. Look for future communication regarding ABF opportunities.
When can we expect a full opening of the building, with all ministries added back in?
A difficult question indeed. At this point, we are simply uncertain. We are hoping to take this week-by-week as we move forward. We have a 4-phase plan that would allow for us add back in ministries as restrictions are being lifted. We are holding this plan with open hands and great flexibility as we observe and anticipate what obstacles we might face as we reopen. We will move cautiously and carefully towards this goal.
When will things just go back to normal?
There will be a new normal. We aren’t sure what that will look like yet. We are stepping forward cautiously, unsure to what Jesus might be calling us towards. We hope we can begin to remove some of these restrictions as we learn more. “Normal” will look different than before COVID-19. We are all new at this, so please work together with us towards our new normal. Let’s take this on, with open hearts, open hands and open minds, together!