As some of you may already know, God answered our prayers through Governor Newsom laying the guidelines so we can reopen this Sunday, May 31st. I love when we pray by faith and He answers.
Having said that, the next challenge is abiding by the State and CDC guidelines and doing what is best in our particular context. Here is what we will do after consulting our staff and elders.
For those who are at high risk, we encourage you to keep watching the Live Stream from home. We will continue Live-streaming the service as we have been.
For those who are planning to attend the service at Coastal, here is the protocol we will follow based on the State guidelines.
1. Masks are Required. I realized this has a sensitive subject when it comes to wearing and not wearing them. There are many opinions when it comes to masks, one thing we all agree on is that we all hate wearing them!
As we sorted through the pros and cons of each position (and there are several), we decided to follow Governor Newsom's mandate for the state, which requires masks to be worn in public settings. There, unless you are a child under two years of age, medical issues make masks not safe, or some of the other exceptions like mental health, we will follow the guidelines of Romans 13 and submit to our governing authorities. If you cannot wear a masks for the above reasons, we would like you to sit on the right side of the sanctuary, social distancing of course, unless you are part of the same household.
Having said that, we still believe it is a good idea to bring a mask when talking to our seniors or those more vulnerable to the virus. A good rule of thumb is that if you talk to someone with a mask on, out of love and respect you should cover your mouth, so there won't be any anxiety from them regarding catching your droplets.
No other precaution will change, we still want those without masks to social distance, unless you are sitting with your family or household.
To assure added safety, the front row will be at least ten feet from the stage. We will also move back further on the stage to remedy not wearing masks while on stage. Afterwards, all staff and volunteers will put their mask back on.
Finally, all the staff will be temperature checked to make sure no one has a fever. Staff that are sick or have a fever will be sent home.
2. The Doors will open at 10:15. As you come to church, ONLY one driveway is accessible, the one furthest south (the smaller driveway). Once you park, there will be a greeter to welcome and direct you to go through the iron gate to the courtyard.
While in the courtyard there are benches and open space to talk with each other until we open the doors at 10:15am. It is important to note everyone will leave through the same door they arrived.
Once arriving, there will be a hand sanitization machine for everyone to use before entering the sanctuary. There will also be some masks if you forget yours. We encourage you to bring your own due to the limited quantity. We will also have some disposable gloves should you desire to wear some.
3. Service Time. We will start at 10:30 sharp and will be keeping the service time 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Ushers will walk you to your seat. The State has mandated that social distancing of at least six feet be enforced. In addition, the sanctuary can only have 25 percent of the the maximum occupancy. What that means is we can have about 50 people in the auditorium maximum. When you factor in those guidelines, then we cannot have folks sit wherever they want.
So, the ushers will take you to your seat. The goal is to start with the first seat at the beginning of an aisle. Couples and households can sit together without social distancing. However, for those not in your household, the ushers will direct you to sit three chairs apart, which is six feet. The golden rule: Three chairs of separation for those not from the same household.
5. Kids. We will not have any kids classes or nursery open at this time. As the guidelines lessen, we will start to incorporate additional classes etc.
6. Offering Collection. There will be a collection box at the entrance of the sanctuary for those who want to give by check or cash. You can still use the online portals as well.
7. Food. Since we won't be serving coffee or treats so you may want to eat breakfast or stop at Starbucks before you come.
8. Social Distancing. It will be hard not to shake hands and hug, but we need to keep our distance as we come together.
9. Cleaning. We purchased specific cleaning supplies meant for disinfecting during this Covid-19 season. We are doing our part to assure you that when you worship with us it will be in a safe and clean environment.
We look forward to seeing many of you this Sunday. As the weeks go by, we hope to open up more and lessen some of these restrictions.
Can you do us a favor and answer this 1 question survey so we can plan ahead for this Sunday? Once you check your answer, it will automatically be sent to us.
Pastor Kene & Ministry Staff