When will we begin on-campus worship services again? Like you, this is the question that we have been asking for weeks now. Last Friday, Governor Ivey gave us a glimmer of hope by announcing that churches can begin to gather for worship again with some precautions. Since the Governor’s announcement, we studied the guidelines produced by our county (https://www.jcdh.org/SitePages/Misc/PdfViewer?AdminUploadId=762), state (https://alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-worship.pdf), and national (https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/) officials. We reviewed the surveys submitted by our faith family. We read emails and texts and listened as members of our faith family reached out to us to share their thoughts. We sought the advice of medical professionals and of ministry leaders. And we spent a great deal of time digesting, thinking through, and praying over the information we gathered.
So, when will we begin on-campus worship services again? No matter what date is set, some of us will think it is too far away. And others of us will think it is way too early. We realize that there are many opposing views regarding when and how to reopen churches. Remember, our primary goal is not to gather in a building, but rather to glorify Christ. While we may have differing opinions, we will glorify Christ through this process by being gracious, patient, and loving to one another. As we move forward, let us seek His glory and others’ good by adhering to the Apostle Paul’s instructions in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
So, really, when will we begin on-campus worship services again? If the Lord wills, on-campus worship services will begin on Sunday, June 7th.
As we move forward toward June 7th, we will need your help. We will need you to sign up to let us know what service you plan to attend. We will need volunteers to sanitize the sanctuary and other areas between services. And we will all need to be gracious, patient, and loving to one another.
While we do not have all the details worked out yet, we do want to share with you what we know for now. Below you will find several questions and answers. Please invest the time to read through this information carefully. If you have any questions, we will be glad to listen to and answer those at your convenience.
We look forward with great anticipation to Sunday, June 7th! Please begin praying now that God will be glorified that day.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Why are we waiting until Sunday, June 7th?
We want to ensure that we can provide a safe environment on campus for worship and children’s activities while continuing an excellent Live Stream for those who choose to remain at home for a while longer. In order to do all of those things well, we need a few weeks to organize teams, order equipment and supplies, prepare processes for cleaning, set up a scheduling system, test equipment, etc.
We are also waiting a few weeks out of respect for the recommendation by Dr. Mark Wilson, the Jefferson County Health Officer, that people avoid large groups for at least two more weeks. (https://www.al.com/news/2020/05/health-officer-in-birmingham-recommends-two-more-weeks-without-large-gatherings-for-jefferson-county.html)
How do I make a reservation for the service on June 7th?
To make your reservations, please click here.
Should I wait a little longer before I return?
We realize that every individual and family will have a different opinion regarding when they should return and we are okay with that. We will continue the Live Stream on YouTube to enable those who choose to remain at home a little longer to remain connected with our faith family. At this time, we encourage the following groups to consider remaining at home.
- If you are sick, please stay home.
- If you have had a fever in the last 48 hours, please stay home.
- If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please stay home.
- If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please stay home. (Symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting, or diarrhea)
- If your current health puts you at greater risk or if your immune system is vulnerable to disease, please stay home.
- If you are over the age of 65, please consider staying home.
What will the worship services look like on Sunday, June 7th?
Our plan is to offer two identical worship services that day – one at 9:00am and one at 10:30am. The worship services will look similar to the worship services that we have had throughout the pandemic. Due to social distancing precautions, we are unable to seat the choir in the loft at this time.
How long will the services last?
The services will be scheduled to last one hour.
How many people will be allowed in the sanctuary?
Due to social distancing precautions, the number of attendees in the sanctuary will be limited at each service. We are working now to determine our capacity and will take reservations for each of the services beginning Monday, May 18th. At this time, we are only able to provide Bible studies for preschoolers and children at the 10:30am service, so we are asking those who do not have preschoolers or children to plan to attend the 9:00am worship service.
What happens if both services fill up?
If both service times fill up, we will open a third service time.
What happens if the sanctuary is filled when I arrive?
If the sanctuary reaches capacity during one of the services, an overflow room will be available where you can view the service.
Will the Live Stream continue to be offered on YouTube?
Yes, we will continue to Live Stream our 10:30am worship service on our YouTube channel. You can access our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/TheChurchatLibertyPark.
Will I have to sit next to someone?
People of different households will be encouraged to sit different pews. We will seat groups at alternating ends of every pew. In other words, one group will sit on the right side of the first pew and the next group will sit on the left side of the second pew.
Will I have to wear a mask?
We will leave the decision whether to wear a mask up to each individual and family. We will have masks available for you if you decide you would like to wear one.
Will I have to open a door to enter the building?
Unless the weather prevents us from doing so, we will prop open the exterior doors to the building to allow you to enter without touching the door.
Will hand sanitizer be available?
Yes, we will have hand sanitizer available in the Commons.
Will the offering plates be passed?
No. We will place a locked box in the Commons in which you can place your offering as you enter or exit. We also encourage you to consider giving online at www.libertypark.org/give or by texting “TCLP” to the number 732-56.
Will refreshments be available at the Coffee Bar?
No, we are unable to serve any food or beverages at this time.
Will adult Bible Study Groups meet on campus?
No, not at this time.
Will student Bible Study Groups meet on campus?
No, not at this time. We are currently exploring ways to safely gather the students for Bible study and fellowship at another time during the week.
Will preschool and children’s Bible Study Groups meet on campus?
Yes, with some precautions. We will offer one hour of preschool and children’s Bible Study Groups at 10:30am. We do ask that you make reservations for your preschoolers and kids, so that we can provide adequate care for them. We will begin taking reservations for preschool and children's Bible Study Groups on Monday, May 18th.
We will use the following precautions for our preschoolers and kids.
General Precautions for Preschoolers and Children
- If you think your child might be even a little sick with anything, please stay home. If we are concerned that a child in class is ill, we will ask the family to pick up their child and head home for the day.
- Please send only one parent to check in or pick up your kids.
- Each child will be asked to sanitize their hands as they walk into the Kids Hall.
- We will social distance the kids in their Bible Study Groups.
- The rooms, chairs, and other surfaces in the rooms will be sanitized between Sundays.
- The rooms, chairs, and other surfaces will be sanitized between Sundays.
2s and 3s, PreK Class
- We will limit class sizes to 5 kids and 2 adults in each room.
- We will provide organized play schedules to minimize toy sharing.
Babies and Toddlers
- We will limit class sizes to 3 kids and 2 adults in each room.