How Can I Help Fearful Members and Dismissive Members Get Along?

On deciding when to begin meeting again for corporate worship: "I think it is likely that 80 percent of the members in your church understand that there is no clear-cut answer to this question. They know there are good arguments on both sides, and are willing to submit to whatever you and your fellow elders prayerfully decide is best for the church. But among the rest, 10 percent don’t believe you should have stopped gathering for worship in the first place, and 10 percent can’t believe you’re even thinking about resuming corporate worship anytime soon." - 9 Marks

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JD Miller's picture

We are in an area with few COVID cases.  Our whole state has only had 24 covid deaths as of 5-5-20 so we decided to resume services with caution.  We spaced the rows farther apart (we have chairs so this was easy).  We are also a small group.  We only had 30 people on Sunday.  Our largest family is 7 people so we put only 7 chairs per row and moved the one side against the wall.  Since the rows are so far apart there is practically an isle in front of each row.  This made for a larger center isle so we then put only 2 chairs on the other side of the isle and spaced them even farther apart.  We also put chairs around the wall and let people know that they should not approach anyone sitting next to the wall in case they were choosing to social distance farther.  

We also did the Lord's supper.  A few days earlier, I disinfected my hands and poured crackers directly from the newly opened box into zip lock bags from a new box of baggies.  I then took small bottles of grape juice and wiped them down with disinfectant and place the crackers and juice on the piano and a desk and spread them around so people could take them without touching the one next to it.  Instead of having them passed out. we let the people come and get them.  We let them take their time so that they could social distance (we are a small enough group that this was not a big deal).  

Here is a portion of the letter that was sent out:

We understand that within our church family there will be different levels of comfort concerning social distancing. We also must realize that some individuals may have jobs that require them to have a higher leveling of distancing than others. We also realize that some people may chose or be required to stay home until the threat has passed. For this reason we plan to continue the online options.

Further, we plan to take extra precautions within our facilities to increase safety.

Weather permitting we plan to prop the front door open so that door knobs do not have to be touched. If weather is a problem, then we will assign someone to open and close the door.

The front row of chairs will be moved farther from the pulpit and additional chairs will be placed around the outside of the room. Please keep extra distance from the people who choose to sit in the chairs along the wall and allow them to approach you at their comfort level.

Please refrain from shaking hands and maintain a 6 ft distance

We plan to initially refrain from congregational singing, since singing has been shown to spread virus containing droplets much farther than talking or breathing.

Children will not be called up for children's church.

No snacks or drinks will be set out during the fellowship time. Feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks if you so desire.

We must also realize that some may chose to reduce their exposure and might leave quickly after the service while others choose to stick around longer and fellowship. Please do not pass judgment on those that make different choices in these matters.

Beginning this Sunday May 3rd we are planning to gather in person once again as a congregation of Christian believers. We look forward to seeing those of you who will be there and hope that the rest of you are able to join us via Zoom.