Join us THIS SUNDAY - online, or ONSITE at 9:30am.
Current Game Plan: A Soft Regathering, not a Grand Reopening.
Join us this Sunday in person or online :-) Our interim regathering plans are gradual, fluid and frankly, not for an optimal experience. There’s a debate among churches. Many larger ones are choosing not to welcome people at all until it’s completely “back to normal”. And I get it –it may feel disappointing to walk into church wearing a mask, staying 6 feet from people while talking, and not having coffee, or childcare. It’s just not the same worshiping in (or preaching to) a building that feels empty. But we’ve decided that since we’re blessed with such a large campus (our attendance has been at about 1/3 of our rated building occupancy for years now), we’ll do what we can for some, rather than wait for things to be at 100% for all. We will make Online Gathering a priority as well as welcome people for in person worship:
What to expect in this Sunday In Person:
We’re going to err on side of safety as we follow all of the applicable government guidance and practices. We’ll continue to revisit and evolve as the data changes. We have for months been discussing how to do this and have a lot of supplies, and options and plans. We've been meeting in person and online for nearly a month now. We're encouraging folks who are not vulnerable or having any symptoms of illness to attend if they feel comfortable.
Our sanctuary occupancy is 400 people. For this week, in addition to our worship team and volunteers we’re able to welcome 75 attenders.
- We are beginning with one worship service at 9:30am Sunday Morning (We will consider adding services and overflow seating in future.)
- Please use the two lobby entrances to enter (we’ll use the other exits to exit).
- Bring your own Bible 😊
- Masks must be worn. (bring one, or one will be provided at door.)
- Hand Sanitation stations are ready to be utilized.
- Families will sit at least 6 feet apart from other families. (we will be blocking off basically every other row to make that easier)
- Children will sit with their families. (There will be no Kids Ministry during this phase of reopening, however, we will be providing kids with an activity each week).
- We will not be having coffee hour, and will encourage folks to exit building quickly and to have conversations outside with social distancing.
Thanks for staying engaged, prayerful, generous, and flexible—Goshen will be stronger as a church on the other side of this. Remember: Even if you’re not able to be here in person our church is open and actively on mission with Jesus serving our neighbors. Please feel free to give feedback and connect with us, any input will help us make better decisions. So see you in person! Or at Church online.
Game Plan for Regathering: Two Guiding Principles for reopening our buildings
We can’t wait to be together again for Sunday Services! However, we are not rushing to reopen our buildings. Simply put - your health and safety of Goshen families remains our #1 priority. Orange County, NY has had over 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases and nearly 500 deaths so we will open more slowly than other parts of the country. While we are eager to be together in person, we want to work hard at safety precautions for our most vulnerable people (i.e.: special needs, senior citizens, those with health conditions). What follows are the 2 guiding principles that have informed our leadership decisions as we move forward,
GUIDING PRINCIPLE #1 Goshen Church has never closed.
Our buildings were temporarily shut, but our church has been more open, alive, and vibrant than ever! When our physical locations shut down, our online presence expanded. In fact, online viewership of our weekly services is now larger than our previous in-person attendance. We’re streaming hope and encouragement right into people’s homes! Our virtual small groups are thriving, we’ve gotten a lot of great resources for families and folks addressing anxiety, worry, faith, mental health and kids development. More people are connecting on the phone than ever before. Our prayer chain is more active than ever. We’re able to help out and make a difference in really amazing ways. Thanks to your faithful giving, we’re financially healthy and stable. We thankfully don’t have any urgent pressure to reopen our buildings and gather in person.
We don’t GO to church—we ARE the church! Our church is alive and thriving!
GUIDING PRINCIPLE #2 The health and safety of Goshen families is our #1 priority.
That’s why we closed our buildings prior to any government mandate. We will always put the health and safety of our children, volunteers, and the vulnerable ahead of benefits to the healthy. Especially:
The Vulnerable: We serve senior citizens, those with underlying health conditions, and we have an entire ministry dedicated to children and adults with Special Needs. One of the best ways to “love your neighbor” is to not get them sick. We believe our response requires sensitivity to everyone’s health.
Our Volunteers: We don’t want to put our leaders in a position where they’re uncomfortable serving. We will err on the side of caution, taking extra time to identify best practices, create new safety procedures, and then retrain our volunteers for their enhanced roles when we return.
We will follow all government and CDC guidelines, but err on the side of caution. We don’t want to regather too quickly and jeopardize people’s health and our witness in the community.