Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
 
Your Shepherds have been in prayer seeking God’s guidance as it relates to our church family here at Kingwood. Our prayers have led us to again meet publicly for Sunday worship at the church building.  For some, worshipping together can return some sense of normalcy and stability to our fellowship. At the same time, our online outreach will continue to serve those who find it beneficial for their family.  We believe both avenues of worship are vital. 
Beginning Sunday, August 9th, we will offer auditorium meeting at 10:15 a.m. for worship as well as our live-stream. For now, classes and other ministries will remain offered online. 
 
We understand that COVID-19 still poses risks and will likely continue to do so for some time. COVID-19 has become part of our lives within the community and within our church family. No one is immune and we must be mindful of that risk. Some might ask, “what is different?” or “why now?”. We suspended services initially to give time to our health care community to understand the disease and prepare for treatment, and to support local authorities as they sorted safety precautions. We suspended the second time due to the exponential escalation of local COVID-19 cases following what appeared to be a disregard for adequate safety precautions by many in the region.  We also had to acknowledge that our own adherence to safety protocols within our auditorium was at times lax.  Over the course of the last month, we have come to believe that members are willing to be diligent in following safety precautions if it means we can restart in-person worship services.  Living COVID-SMART is a new mantra we know we can and will adhere to, including social distance at all times, wearing a face mask when in close proximity to others in larger groups, and frequently washing your hands. 
 
As your shepherds, we beseech you to follow those same smart practices in our auditorium services, allowing us to achieve a safe return to face-to-face worship. We know that churches are exempt from local meeting restrictions, yet we are not exempt from the hazards of exposure to this deadly disease. So please, don’t let your guard down anywhere, not even at our church services. We are fully capable of worshipping God in a COVID-SMART manner. 
 
Please read the attached sheet very closely. Please follow these practices and demand it of others. If in doubt, don’t come out. For those ready and able to return, we will see you Sunday. Otherwise, we will all be joined together via our live-stream services. Christ’s church has experienced, and overcome, many troublesome times in its history. Today’s challenges are not too great for the God of all creation. We will persevere in this, and in all future challenges, through God’s power working in us.  Whether in-person or online, continue to love and worship God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and also love and respect others.  Find a way to encourage someone this week.  May God richly bless you and keep you safe.
 
Your Shepherds
Kingwood Church of Christ
August 3, 2020 
 
ATTACHMENT
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

COVID-19 remains at alarmingly high levels for our area.  But we feel that most of us have been managing this new COVID smart lifestyle and we have decided to extend it to our worship.  We are praying for a return to some level of normalcy, but until then the elders believe we can have congregational worship if we adhere to these restrictions:

 

1)  If you are sick or have someone in your family who is sick, DO NOT come to church. 

2)  If you have been in contact with a COVID positive person in the last 21 days DO NOT come to church.

3)  If you consider yourself at high risk, DO NOT come to church.  If you are wondering if you should come or not, please just stay home and stay safe.

4)  Please use the bathroom at home before you come to church.  While the bathrooms are available, it is our intent to minimize their use.

5)  100% face mask or face shield compliance is expected.  The reason to cover your face during singing is that studies have shown that the six foot rule doesn’t effectively create a protective area around you while shouting, yelling or singing.  Children under 5 and those on stage are the only exception.

6)  Hand sanitizing stations will be available as you arrive and as you leave services. 

7)  We have touch-less infrared thermometers.  Expect to have your temperature checked as you arrive.  Those with temperatures above 99.5˚F will be asked to return home.  

8)  Social distance from those not in your immediate family at all times.  Assume that everyone not in your family is a carrier of corona virus.  That means no physical contact — but it does not mean you cannot visit before or after services outside the building.  Just keep your distance and wear your mask / face shield.

9)  Families must sit together.  For now, pews will be blocked off and worship attendance will be limited.  Because of the pew restriction it is possible that there may not be adequate seating in which case alternate seating will be offered.  

10)  Communion packets will be available as you enter the building.  If you desire to donate by check or cash, the Joash Box will be available so as to avoid physical contact.

 

Why are these “rules” stricter than restaurant or grocery store entry requirements?  Because it is our desire to make every effort in providing a safe worship experience for our families.  The elders feel that this is a manageable and appropriate level to re-start our worship.  It requires us all to act responsibly and respectfully.  We love you.  We miss you.  We pray daily for your health and safety.  If your family is ready, we welcome you back to worship.  Thank you in advance for conforming to these new standards as we strive to praise God and stay safe.