What Guided Our Decisions
In developing Good Shepherd’s response to the pandemic, there are several Bible passages that guided our decisions:
- God is not confined to a space (1 Kings 8:27). He can and should be worshiped at any time and in any place. We are His ambassadors in the world and can be with Him everywhere. In-person worship is a great thing, but God is not confined to our physical space on 7th Avenue.
- We are to obey those in authority over us (1 Peter 2:13-17).
- We are to continue worshiping God, with other believers (Hebrews 10:19-25). We can’t use the pandemic as a reason to stop worshiping God and encouraging other believers. It may look different than before the pandemic, but we are still to support and encourage one another.
- To effectively love and support others, we may be asked to do things we don’t totally agree with but aren’t in opposition to what God says (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). To allow all to worship God, together, we may be asked to do things we are personally opposed to doing (like mask wearing). It is out of love for those around us to allow them to also worship.
- Our goal is to live in peace with our believers, not causing them to stumble in their relationship with God (Romans 14:13-23, James 4:11-12, Luke 6:37-42).
In order to maintain a safe experience for all, the following guidelines have been adopted:
If you are physically vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, we encourage you to worship on-line
. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Older adults (65 and older)
- People with underlying health conditions: those with asthma, those with liver disease, those immune suppressed, those with disabilities, those pregnant and breastfeeding
Out of love for your neighbor and our community, we are requiring masks to be worn in the building, including during worship
. The masks are there to keep us all healthy, and to allow us to continue meeting on a regular basis. Our position on mask wearing is driven by medical community recommendations. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided to you.
We ask that you practice social distancing and maintain a distance of 6 feet from non-family groups.
- The nursery will not be staffed at this time and should not be used on Sunday mornings.
- Feel free to bring your own coffee/water to the service. Coffee and food will not be served at this time.
- The restrooms will be open. The restrooms will be cleaned after the conclusion of the services, but not between services. Be aware if this causes you any concern.
This is a constantly changing environment, so we will update you as modifications are necessary.
Our goal is to provide a safe worship environment for all
, so our guidelines are balancing that need.
What will Sunday look like?
- By the entrance, there will be a table with masks and with hand sanitizer if you need them. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the upper level.
- We ask that you remain on the upper level of the church building. We ask that only those with a reason to be in the lower level do so (picking up children from a classroom, using the elevator).
- We are requiring masks or facial coverings to be worn throughout your time in the building.
- Communion practices: You will receive the bread and the wine as you enter the worship center. We will take Communion as a congregation at the indicated time.
- You may remove your facial covering to take Communion.
- Offering can be placed in the plate either as you enter or leave the worship center.
- We continue to encourage online giving. If you need assistance in setting up online giving, please contact the church office.
- The expectation is that masks will be worn during the service except as Communion is taken.
You may see the worship teams, pastors and scripture readers not wearing masks when in front of the congregation. That is a recognized mask-exception with six feet of distance.
- At the conclusion of the service, please wait for the ushers to dismiss you, to maintain appropriate distancing as we leave.
- We encourage all social gathering to be done outside of the church to allow appropriate traffic flow for those leaving the sanctuary.
Any questions or issues can be directed to an Executive Team member or Staff member.
Please pray for those affected by COVID-19.
Pray for those who are most vulnerable.
Pray for medical professionals who tend and care for them.
Pray for those who are affected by this health crisis economically.
Pray against a spirit of fear.
Pray for health and well-being for all of God’s people.