Recap of Yesterday’s Return to Madison Announcement Plus Additional Details

Thank you for your quick response to the questionnaire.  It is clear that all of you miss being with your church family.  At the same time, you have been appreciative of the way the services have been live-streamed.  We are in total agreement and are grateful for the way the staff, the praise team, and the media team have been able to keep us connected with such reverent worship services and interesting classes.

It is also clear that there are different comfort levels concerning return; so much is dependent on each individual situation.¬†¬†Return should be an individual decision.¬† Only you know your health situation, that of your family, your day to day responsibilities, and other conditions that might determine¬†your decisions.¬† Although this is your choice, we will again remind you of what the CDC, State, and City have stated, “vulnerable populations should continue to remain¬†at home (watch the live stream of the service). Vulnerable populations are defined as 65 and older, people with disabilities, serious respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, and compromised immune systems.”¬†¬†If you feel sick, have a cough or temperature, or have been exposed to someone you know has the virus….please stay home!

We will be doing our best to abide by Davidson County precautions, CDC recommendations, and best practices for all of you who have indicated that you would be back if the building were opened.

The Building will be opened for worship for a limited return on June 7.  This is predicated on the Mayor announcing a move to Phase 3 and based on the number of you that indicated a comfort level with returning during that Phase (that is less than 100). We will accomplish this by opening the balcony and being seated at safe distances throughout the building.  Seating will be marked using every other row downstairs and in the balcony.  Services and live stream will begin at 9:00 AM.  If you plan to attend, it will be helpful for some to arrive as early as 8:30, so we can properly seat everyone.

Those seated on the main floor will enter at the main entrance.  Those seated in the balcony will enter one of the side entrances and then go up the steps to the balcony.  Ushers and the SRT members will guide you.

Upon entry and exit, we highly recommend that you wear masks and retain a 6-foot distance between your family and others. Temperatures may be taken; hand sanitizer will be available.   Masks may be removed during the worship service. Certainly, there is some disagreement about mask-wearing, but we can all agree that by your wearing a mask, you may be minimizing any possible spread to another person.  We know you will want to extend a handshake or hug when you greet folks but please refrain. For the present time, a wave or thumbs up will do.

Communion will be served in self-contained kits.  A gloved greeter will drop one in your hand as you enter.   As you exit, there will be separate receptacles for your used communion kits and for your contribution.

There will be no classes. Roots Cafe will be closed. Please enter and depart without congregating in the building or the parking lot.  The ZOOM classes for our children and teens will begin at 11:00 to allow for families to get home in time for the class.

In order to maintain social distance, given the numbers in the responses to the questionnaire, we may need to have a second service when Phase 4 begins.  It will most likely require that we use the balcony at both services. The decision to move into that next phase will be based on the Nashville guidelines but also on what happens here during our limited opening during Phase 3.  Look for further information as that day arrives.

Now that‚Äôs a lot of instructions, but we do feel they are necessary. ¬†It is our desire to meet as a family, to worship our Creator, remember the sacrifice of our Redeemer, and to encourage each other …while at the same time observing the recommended safety measures. We are also aware that this is a time that we need to be most concerned for others that we may contact who fall into the vulnerable population (could that be physically “our weaker brother?”).¬† This may be someone at home, another relative, or another friend.¬† The last thing we would want to do is to pass this virus along. ¬†If for any reason, you are not able to or do not desire to comply, then we would urge you to continue to participate from home via live stream.

This is only a beginning; we will need your cooperation.  Any outbreak within the church family will cause us to reverse directions for assembly.  The most optimistic projections for a vaccine are by year-end.  This may mean that we will not meet together as a full family for quite some time.  This means that it is still important that we stay connected by phone, email, cards, etc.  This is what families do.

Please continue your prayers for safety and a quick discovery for medicine to lessen the symptoms and provide a cure.

God bless you and keep you,

Buck, Frank, Larry, Marty, Milton, Ron, Steve, Tommy

The Elders