Dear Church Family,
Greetings! Things are beginning to loosen according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services with regard to church services. According to the Governor, all churches are free to have worship services provided that churches follow the state guidelines. The statewide guidelines allow Monday, May 4 for churches to begin the process and Sunday, May 10th for worship services.
According to the Nebraska Department of Health the church leaders are accountable for the safety of their congregations. Quote: “Faith leaders are responsible for the safety of those who attend services in houses of worship and must limit physical participation on the premises depending on the size and structure of the house of worship.” It may appear to some that our government is overstepping its authority in religious affairs, but remember we are free to preach the Bible. However, it does mean that we will have to change the way we conduct our church services. These recommendations are temporary and will change in time and we are eager for the return to services as usual
Since we profess to our community that we are a Bible church we have an obligation to maintain our testimony in our faithfulness to the Bible. The Scriptures say, “Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” [1 Peter 2:15-17]
The physicians in Grand Island wrote an open letter to the churches and asked that they not open until June. Most churches in Hall and Hamilton counties agreed by letter to follow the physician’s recommendation. In light of the state restrictions and the physical arrangements that are needed for us to begin services, we recommend that Countryside Bible Church begin on May 17 following the guidelines from the state as it relates to our facility and church family.
The guidelines from the state and how they relate to our church family are as follows:
(These are subject to change and will be updated as needed)
- We will be having Sunday Services starting May 17th at 10:15 a.m.
- There will be no Sunday School, Children’s Church, or Nursery
- An RSVP link will be put on the website, FB, and emailed to the church body each week as we return. This will help us evaluate and prepare seating for you.
- Due to spacing restrictions, seating will be limited to the first 50 who RSVP.
- If you have underlying conditions or are at-risk we encourage you to stay home.
- Please be attentive to your health and the health of those in your household.
- Please stay home if you are sick, someone in your house is sick, or you are not feeling well.
- All households will stay together as you enter, are seated and leave.
- There will be greeters/ushers at the doors who will hold the door for you and guide you in.
- We will be seating you as you enter to help maintain the six foot distance between households.
- We will dismiss and usher you out household by household at the conclusion of the service.
- Masks and gloves will not be provided, but you are welcome to bring them and encouraged to wear masks during singing.
- Masks are strongly recommended by the health department, and you are welcome to bring and wear them.
- Additional cleaning procedures have been and will continue to be in place for the time being so we ask your consideration as you are in the building.
- Handwashing is encouraged, and a sanitizer station will be provided in the foyer.
- Offerings and Communion will be different, but we will conduct them with careful instructions as we do so.
- We realize that not everyone will feel comfortable returning to the church building at this time and not everyone will feel comfortable with these guidelines. We encourage you to follow your conscience free of judgement from others. We are to demonstrate love and grace to one another as we return and ask for your continued prayers for us as leaders as we navigate these unique times.
In Service to Christ,
The Elders of Countryside Bible Church