This first phase is the phase we are currently in. We will continue to worship and have small groups meet exclusively online. In addition, we’ll continue to engage age-specific groups through digital platforms.
When or if guidelines open up to allow small groups to meet together, we will encourage our groups to once again meet together in homes. We would love to have our groups meet on Sunday morning and engage our live stream service together or if it’s more convenient for the group, they may gather a different time during the week. We will not have our building open for groups, but we will allow specific ministries, such as youth and older kids, to meet together as long proper social distancing standards are met.
Additionally during Phase 2: We are looking into occasionally offering outdoor weekend worship services with social distancing, (pre-recorded worship online will also be available for those who choose not to attend). During this phase, no childcare or in-person Kids Ministry will be provided.
We anticipate that when the guidelines allow for us to meet in-person that there will be specific social distancing standards that we must meet. We believe that these standards will be centered around how many people we can safely have in our building and still be appropriately distanced from one another. We are working on plans that allow us to have in-person services and still follow whatever guidelines are put in place. These are some possible plans during this phase:
During this phase, we will continue to provide a great online worship experience. Once we begin to gather together, we will deep clean all of our facilities and provide hand sanitizing stations throughout our campus. Those in our community who are elderly or immune deficient will be encouraged to continue to gather online until the threat has passed.
We know that there is a time coming when there will be no restrictions on how and when we gather for worship. When that day comes, we will continue to use caution and engage in the best practices for large group gatherings. This includes both enhanced cleaning and social distancing practices. While we look forward to when meeting in large groups is normal again, we do believe that digital engagement at Waterstone is here to stay. We will continue to live stream our services indefinitely and use whatever digital resources available to us to help reach our communities and engage those who attend Waterstone.
We are monitoring the situation and working in conjunction with state and local authorities. When the guidelines allow for larger gatherings, but not large enough for in-person services, we will move to Phase 2. When large group gatherings are permissible, then we will move to Phase 3.
Although Vacation Bible School, youth camps and service projects have all been canceled, ministry has not stopped! We are planning some exciting experiences and special events for our families to neighbor and serve in our community.