Regathering Updates

GraceWay Church has resumed in-person worship services. We made a number of changes to our Sunday mornings to keep everyone healthy and safe. We ask that you take a few minutes to read through the new procedures. Thank you!

While we are happy to be together again, for the health and safety of our church family, this is not a return to “normal” – at least not yet. After consulting the guidelines from state and local health officials as well as the CDC, we have made changes to what our Sunday mornings will look like for the time being. Please note, this is a fluid situation and recommendations change frequently. We will do our best to communicate the most up-to-date information, but ask for your grace and flexibility as we come back together during these unprecedented times.

We know not everyone is going to feel comfortable returning to church just yet – and that’s OK! Each household needs to prayerfully consider what is the best decision for their situation. For those who are most at-risk, we encourage you to remain at home for a while longer. The 9:00 a.m. worship service will be live-streamed on our website and a video of the service will be available after 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

Children’s Ministry

Nursery (birth-2 years) and Children’s Church (3 years old – 2nd Grade) are available during the worship service. Parents, nursery is located upstairs, room 203. Children’s Church will be meeting in GraceWay’s Chapel, located upstairs at the end of the hall (please check-in with one of our Children’s Church volunteers). Mask are recommended, if able, to be in compliance with the state mandate. We will do our best to have kids spread out. The number of toys (nursery) has been reduced to aid in cleaning. Questions or concerns can be directed to Anna at anna@gracewaysaukprairie.org.

Worship Services

On Sunday mornings, we will offer a one-hour worship service at 9:00 a.m. with two venue options (detailed below).  The two venues will allow us to accommodate more people while still maintaining social distancing.

General Principles

  • In the Sanctuary, chairs are set up in rows and household groups sitting together is fine (10 or less in a group). Non-household groups or individuals should have three empty chairs between themselves and other household groups or individuals. Ushers will help families get settled as necessary. *A household group can consist of people who are already interacting with each other (i.e., a family and parents who live in different houses) as long as the group is less than 10 people.
  • Our county Health Department is urging residents to continue preventive practices to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We encourage all who are able to consider this request as we continue the in-person regathering process. Know that those speaking or singing from the stage will do so without a mask so as to be clearly understood. The livestream and recorded worship services are available online and a gathering with extra precautions is offered in the church gym (see details below).
  • After the service, please head out to the parking lot. If you decide to have conversations in the parking lot, please maintain social distance.

Sanctuary (Main Venue)

  • Preaching will be done live; congregational singing will occur late in the service to limit exposure.  
  • Wearing a mask/face covering is encouraged (see info above about the Governor’s order). Please understand that those addressing the congregation from the platform will not be wearing a face covering so as to be clearly understood.

Gym (Extra Precautions/Overflow)

  • Worship will be live streamed from the sanctuary; music is replayed from the sanctuary and singing along is ok as long as you wear a face covering.
  • Wearing a mask is required. While we do have some masks available for use, our supply is limited and ask everyone to bring their own if possible.
  • Seating will be limited in each location to allow for social distancing.
  • On occasion, we will have preaching (or other worship service components) done from the gym. The person speaking will do so without a mask, but we will ensure there is plenty of distance between the speaker and audience. We will do our best to notify in advance when this will take place.

Cleaning & Safety Measures

Bottles of hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the building. We encourage you to sanitize your hands upon arrival and again when leaving the building.

Reduced Touch Points 

No passing of offering bags or communion plates. Offering boxes have been installed by the sanctuary doors and the kitchen area in the gym. Online giving is another no-touch option.

Using non-touch greetings, such as a smile or a wave rather than handshakes, fist bumps, etc.  

Exterior and interior doors will be propped open during arrival and exit times, weather permitting.

Church Library will be kept locked to avoid potential spreading of germs.

What We’re Asking of You

We understand there are many different opinions about the COVID-19 situation. But in order to regather and follow recommended guidelines, we need your help. Here is what we’re asking of our church family.

  • Social distancing: please follow the “6-foot” rule when interacting with others. No shaking hands, hugs, etc. We miss it too, but we’re not there yet. 
  • Be respectful of our volunteers and others: everyone has a different comfort level with social interaction in a post COVID-19 world. Please be mindful of that. Also, our volunteers are being asked to implement these guidelines. If you are asked to move where you are sitting or any other requests, we greatly appreciate your cooperation. If you have concerns with any of the guidelines, please contact Pastors Bryan or Rod
  • Not feeling well?: if you are under the weather or have symptoms of COVID-19 (or were recently exposed to a possible/confirmed case), please help us protect the health and safety of the congregation by staying home. At this time, we will not be doing health screenings. The service will be live-streamed and video posted each week for those unable to attend. 
  • Please bring your own Bible, pen, paper, face covering. If you forget to bring a pen, paper or face covering, please check with an usher and they will help you locate one or all of these items (limited supply). If you forgot your Bible, we have Bibles located on the book rack under every third pew chair in the sanctuary and gym venues.
  • Use of church facilities: while the bathrooms will be available, we ask that you limit use while in the building.
  • Patience and grace: it’s been a long few months and we understand we’re all ready to get back to “normal.” In the meantime, we ask for your patience and grace (with the church and each other) as we navigate this situation. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
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