Grace & Peace, FCR 'Ohana - be sure to enjoy these gifts from our Lord Jesus to those who believe that remain unaffected by the ever-changing conditions of our society.
Regarding what's permitted for churches based on the latest emergency order announced by the Mayor on Tuesday and signed by the Governor yesterday afternoon, nothing has changed from last week. In-person spiritual services are considered an essential service; and indoor singing with a physical barrier is permitted. For those who choose to attend the in-person service, we must each week recommit ourselves afresh to observing the 3W's in good faith: Watch our distancing; Wash hands frequently; and Wear masks diligently (always when indoors).
I've attached the full text of the latest order to peruse at your leisure. Below, I've pasted the parts that are most pertinent to us for you to read now.
As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
In times like these, there's nothing more important than for us to gather to worship our God and bring our requests to Him as a community of faith. I look forward to joining with you this evening for our time of prayer at 7pm.
August 25, 2020 OFFICE OF THE MAYOR CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU EMERGENCY ORDER NO. 2020-25 (COVID-19 [Novel Coronavirus]) SECOND STAY AT HOME / WORK FROM HOME ORDER
Order 8: Singing and/or playing a wind instrument is prohibited. In general, singing, and/or playing a wind instrument, and similar activities that increase the presence and propulsion of respiratory droplets in the air are prohibited. However, such activities are permitted provided they are performed at a gathering/business/operation authorized under the Order, and the following mitigation measures are taken:
A. If the activity takes place outdoors: 1. Any person(s) singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. shall maintain physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet from any other person(s) while singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. Members of the same performing group singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. may be closer than ten (10) feet together while performing, provided the group consists of less than ten (10) persons. 2. To the extent reasonable and practicable, a physical barrier (e.g., plexiglass) of sufficient size to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 shall separate any person(s) singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. from any other person(s), but not including members of the same performing group.
B. If the activity takes place indoors: 1. Any person(s) singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. shall maintain physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet from any other person(s) while singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. 6 2. A physical barrier (e.g., plexiglass) of sufficient size to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 shall separate any person(s) singing and/or playing a wind instrument, etc. from any other person(s), but not including members of the same performing group.
F. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” must comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the extent applicable and reasonably possible, except that all persons shall comply with the face coverings requirements set forth in Order 5 of this Order. “Essential Businesses” means:
28. In-person spiritual services. In-person spiritual services may be conducted provided Social Distancing Requirements are adhered to including, but not limited to, the wearing of face coverings and physical distancing.
Aloha, FCR Family,
I want to thank everyone in these unprecedented times for your walking in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, and eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3) I'm blessed to shepherd such a loving and compassionate church family and look forward to seeing your faces this weekend as we gather for worship in a beautifully remodeled "sanctuary" that's now ready to receive us. (see attached picture)
Our leadership team met Tuesday night to prayerfully develop guidelines for the reopening of our live services this coming Sunday, June 7th, at the Susannah Wesley Community Center. Many thanks to those who helped us in our deliberations by sharing your perspective on various considerations for our reopening. Our goal was to establish a protocol for FCR that would both glorify God and be an expression of loving consideration for all who will be joining us in person.
As best we can, we want to ensure a safe and healthy setting to allow all who gather to worship freely in spirit and truth with guidelines that are in concert with our community standards and the widely-broadcast guidance provided by official and government sources. In so doing, we hope to conduct ourselves as the Body of Christ in a manner that garners favor with both God and man during these delicate times.
Here are our good faith guidelines for in-person worship services at SWCC:
1) Social (Physical) Distancing -
We will do everything reasonably possible to maintain a six-foot physical distance between those who are not members of the same household or living unit.
Seating for the worship service or times of fellowship must follow this six-foot distancing rule with only members of the same household or living unit allowed to sit together in a cluster if they wish to do so.
2) Face Coverings -
We will all wear face coverings whenever we are inside the SWCC facilities. However, when we are seated in place for worship or fellowship, we may choose to remove our masks. Children ages 2 and under are exempt from wearing face coverings, as are those who cannot safely wear a mask.
3) Screening Upon Arrival -
Entrance to the facility will be permitted through a single entrance adjacent to the SWCC office facing their main, mauka parking lot. (Prior to 9am, those arriving early to assist with set-up may also access the facility from its makai entryway fronting the rear parking lot.)
At 9 AM our cheerful greeters will:
a) Help us remember our masks
b) Remind us to maintain social distancing.
c) Screen us for fevers with an infrared thermometer.
d) Offer the optional use of a hand sanitizer.
If you or anyone in your household is ill and having cold symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, fever, or shortness of breath, please rest at home for your own benefit as well as for the health and safety of our church members and guests. Should you arrive on site with a fever or other symptoms of illness, you will regretfully be declined entry and asked to leave and return on another day once you are well.
4) Touchless Greetings -
As unnatural as this may be for our loving church family, everyone is asked when we gather to forego any greeting by physical touch (hugs, kisses, high fives, etc.) and to employ touchless greetings (waves, shaka, smiles, etc.); members of the same household or living unit are exempt from this requirement.
5) Sanitation Practices -
a) The set-up team will disinfect furniture and high-touch areas prior to the start of service; high-touch and high-traffic areas will be disinfected as needed during and after the service.
b) Various signage reminders of best-practices for preventing the spread of germs and proper hand-washing techniques will be posted in prominent locations on-site.
c) Food and drink, if and when provided by anyone, must always be in a self-contained container or wrapping and made available on a grab-and-go basis; no family-style, buffet service or self-service dispensing of drinks into cups will be permitted.
d) Supplies of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, paper products, and masks will be available and their use encouraged.
6) Youth service & Childcare -
a) Separate breakout sessions for the youth will be provided during the Sunday sermon; they will typically be held in the Craft Room where social distancing practices will be employed.
b) We will hold off on providing Nursery/Childcare at this time. Parents & guardians of little children (age 6 and under) will be responsible to oversee their children while on campus.
7) Communion -
We will continue to celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month by using the individualized "Fellowship Cups" which contain both the pre-packaged wafer and juice.
We will continue to update you with any further instructions as needed, and we will be reviewing our guidelines over the coming weeks and months to determine if any adjustments are warranted based on our first-hand experience and any changes in the local and national pandemic containment guidelines.