Our Plans to Resume Public Gatherings
At State Street Community Church, we take the health and well-being of our congregation, staff, and community very seriously. We have culled through the recommendations of the CDC, White House, and Indiana's Back on Track plan to discern what are the wisest steps going forward for our church community. After meeting with the State Street Leadership Team, and consulting with the staff, here is our current plan of action.
- Continue to have online gatherings. The current statewide recommendations leave much room for churches to discern what is best for their local community. But, they do include recommendations worth following. These recommendations from state and federal sources include (1) not having children's ministry, (2) not having corporate singing, (3) not having any coffee bar, (4) setting up the sanctuary for social distancing, (5) no handshakes or personal contact, (6) wearing masks, and (7) not including people who are high-risk like those 65-years old and older. Also, outside of the faith community, the governor does not recommend groups larger than 25-people assemble currently. The Leadership Team and staff will reassess this decision in the first week of June. In the current plan, the governor does not encourage groups of 250+ to start meeting until June 14th.
- Assemble COVID Sanitizing Kits. Each classroom at State Street will have a sanitizing kit with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and a thermometer, among other things. In addition to being cleaned before and after services, we want to make sure our children, parents, and volunteers are as safe as possible once we resume in-person services. We will also have hand sanitizing stations throughout the church.
- Develop best practices for cleaning. Not only are we assembling a sufficient amount of cleaning supplies, but we are also working on our best practices for cleaning before, during, and after meetings.
While preparing the church to meet in-person again, we will continue the work at the Pax Center's Food Pantry. Our gardens and green space continue as well. Each of those ministries has individual plans and policies moving forward that leverage safety and efficiency.
Please know that State Street is NOT reopening. WE NEVER CLOSED! We continue to do the same vital ministries as before, but they all look a little different. Our pastors are meeting with people, groups are meeting online, the Pax Center is helping the hungry, and our services are available on the internet. We will have in-person services again. In a few weeks, we should have a better understanding of how COVID-19 responds to the increasing warmth and larger groups.
I encourage you to continue to pray for those in our community suffering from COVID-19, those who are helping, and those impacted adversely from this disease because of unemployment or depression. Please reach out to those you haven't heard from in a while. In this season, it can be tempting to think only about what's best for us. But, in times like these, we must continue to love our neighbors well.
To stay connected, follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.) Also, watch our Sunday morning gatherings and our Midweek Update online each week. If you haven't joined our Facebook Group yet, please do. You can also donate online if you haven't yet. It's safe, simple, and secure. Next week, our staff and leaders will be setting up Zoom meetings with our ministry teams. Please be looking for that invitation in your email. We look forward to "seeing" everyone.
Grace and peace to you!
Lead Pastor, State Street Community Church
HOW CAN YOU HELP STATE STREET?
Pray for those in our community who will undoubtedly become ill during this outbreak. Pray for those who are sick and those who will take care of the sick. Pray that this pandemic comes to an end soon. Most importantly, pray that we can be a blessing to those in need during this season of disorientation.
We know that this outbreak will have an impact on those that are hurting most in LaPorte County. Your donations to State Street help continue the work at the Pax Center. Every dollar counts. If you can use this time to set up online and/or recurring donations, it would be beneficial. Go here to donate online.