Elders Update 06/02/20

Dear Hickman Community Church,
We are planning on regathering June 7th in Kinser Park at HCC.
We are thankful for the freedom given on May 21 by the State Governor for churches to begin regathering but under strict guidelines. These guidelines mean that things will not be back-to-worship as usual. The purpose of this email is to provide guidance by giving you the necessary information you need. This is so we can regather safely, providing the maximum mitigation of any virus spread amongst ourselves. These guidelines are based on the Californian Department of Health recommendations for Places of Worship – https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/New-Release-2020.aspx released May 25, and Stanislaus County Guidance http://www.schsa.org/pdf/press-releases/2020/20-22-safe-worship en.pdf  released May 26.

We would ask that you consider one another and take the necessary steps to prepare for regathering on June 7th. For parents who have children, this will require you to shepherd your children along a path of modified expectations, as things will be different for them.
The major changes that you will see upon returning are as follows:

  1. June 7th and 14th Outdoor Worship Services in Kinser Park (HCC), @ 8:30 am – Canopies will be set up for shade. We look forward to everyone coming and finding a safe spot to sit while social distancing. We will participate in communion in a different but safe way, and magnify our Lord together in prayer, song, and testimony. If you have little children, you might want to bring a blanket for them to sit and play on. If you are unable to attend, we hope to have this service live streaming, which means you will need to listen in at 8:30 am from home (details will follow).
  2. Depending of the Stanislaus County Health, June 21st we will return to the Family Center with a limited capacity of 150 per service.
    1. First AM Worship Service 9:00 am
    2. Second AM Worship Service 10:45 am
  3. You may be requested by email to register online as to which Sunday AM service you will attend, to avoid going over the maximum numbers allowed per service.
  4. Please take the time to wash your hands and your children’s hands before leaving home.
  5. Sanitizer will be provided for you as you enter HCC.
  6. Greeters will take your temperature as you enter the property by a non-invasive inferred thermometer.
  7. If possible, park every other parking space in the South Parking lot, except for ADA parking.
  8. Bulletins will continue to be online in the form of an email. Later, they will be found on your seat/ or handed to you by a Greeter on arrival.
  9. Communion will not be passed along the row from person to person but handed to you by our Greeters.
  10. Giving will be taken at the end of service in receptacles as you exit. If you are currently giving online, please continue with that.
  11. We request that you maintain 6 feet distancing protocols, avoid handshakes and hugs.
  12. Families of a household are welcome to sit together without social distancing from each other. We will seek to accommodate this for your family size. All others must separate by 6 feet.
  13. Children should remain in the care of their own family during the time they are on campus. Please come together, stay together, and leave together.
  14. Parents, you are encouraged to bring something quiet for the children to do during the service as they will not be dismissed to GOG initially.
  15. There will be no Nursery provided until considered safe to do so.
  16. There will be no GOG until considered safe to do so.
  17. Services will be shorter in duration during this time – approx. 70 minutes.
  18. There will be no Equipping Hour for a while.
  19. No coffee or donuts until considered safe to do so.
  20. Playground will be closed until safe to open. There will be no provision for basketball or soccer.
  21. Water fountains will be closed, so bring water from home. Greeters will have water bottles to hand out if necessary.
  22. We ask that you do not congregate in common areas such as the lobby but move outside to have fellowship even though distanced from each other.
  23. Please stay at home If you are unwell in any way or if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  24. Remember that frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol), is the best way to fight against spreading the virus
  25. You are welcome to wear a face mask. If you decide to wear one, please follow these guidelines. Remember:
  • Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
  • Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Face coverings should be washed after each day’s use.
  1. All staff/volunteers are trained in COVID-19 prevention policies.
  2. All bathrooms and common use areas will be sanitized before, between and after Sunday services.
  3. Other things we are doing to improve the safety of regathering are:
    1. Upgraded filters in the Family Center AC
    2. More Hand Sanitizing units around campus.

If you find yourself in one of the vulnerable categories of low immunity, pulmonary issues or 65 years plus, we want you to feel free to stay at home as long as necessary. Our plan is to live stream our services going forward. If, however, you do come we advise you to attend the first service on Sunday as this will be the least contaminated.

It is our desire to see that we do everything we can to make our initial gatherings as inviting and safe as possible, so people feel comfortable to come back and worship the Lord together. We ask that you be patient with us as we figure out all the details of this new process. Not everything we plan will work well and we are sure there will be things we can do better and that will need to be adjusted as we move along. Please let us know if you observe something you think will help make things better.

May we come together again with worshipful hearts and minds ready to give God the glory. May we make much of the Lord Jesus Christ in song, prayer and the preaching of the Word.

We look forward to seeing you all soon,

The Elders (Andy Woodfield, Andrew Callaway, Darryl Shakeshaft, Gary Acosta)