Please view the video below about plans to reopen the door of Church of the Open Door.
Hello, I want to take a few minutes and share with you a plan we developed last Thursday to re-open church. Our custodians have used the time since we closed on March 13th, to scrub and sanitize all of our buildings. I want to thank them for the good job they have been doing.
You might think it should be as simple as just unlocking the doors and turning on the lights- but it is not that simple. We are going to re-open on Sunday morning, June 7th, at 10:45. At this time, we will not be having any Sunday School classes. Also on the 7th, we will begin Sunday night services, at 6:00, and then we will begin having Wednesday night services on the following Wednesday, June 10th.
For the short term we will have no choir or orchestra- but we will have special music. There will be no nursery available for now, the busses will not run, and we will have the auditorium set up to allow social distancing. We would like to ask everyone who comes to wear a mask. We are hoping to have masks available- if you do not have one. We also hope to start adding these other ministries as we see how things go in mid-July.
The only rest rooms available will be the 4 in the hallways just outside the auditorium. For the first several weeks, we want those who come to church to limit themselves to the hallway, the foyer, the auditorium, and the 4 bathrooms. The reason for that request is because if we wander around the building, we will have to go behind you and sanitize that area. So, please help us with this issue.
We will not be passing the offering plates but there will be boxes in the foyer where you can drop your tithe. The bulletins will be there on the tables where the offering boxes will be. Also, there should be no hand-shaking!
Now church, please listen carefully and hear what I am saying, but also please hear the thinking behind it. Even though we CAN have services again, does not mean that everyone will feel comfortable coming back into a congregational setting. If you have any of the pre-existing conditions, my recommendation to you would be to stay home and watch the services on the livestream. I do not want anyone in our church family to feel they are pressured into coming back, nor do I want anyone who chooses to come back to shame those who choose not to come back yet. I want this to be guided by your own common sense and choice. We must not judge anyone who chooses to stay home and watch the live-stream.
My dad is 89 years of age, and if he lived here and attended Open Door, I would advise him not to come back for a little while until we see what is going to happen with things being opened up. There are many in our congregation who are young, strong, and healthy; and you may have no problem returning- if so, welcome. But, I let’s be patient with everyone else, and let each person decide for themselves when they think it is safe!
In our meeting last Thursday, I came away so encouraged with the attitude of our staff. As we talked, it was very clear we want to open, but we want to open with you- our family- in mind. Our preference is that you stay home until we see how things will work out. But, if you choose to come, we are going to do every thing we can to make it as safe as possible.
So, as seriously as I can say it, if you have any qualms about returning on the 7th, then please stay home. You will not offend anyone for being careful with your health. I told the staff, and the ushers, that we are not going to stand out in the hallway and act like a bunch of overlords making sure everyone is in compliance with every rule and guideline that has ever been drawn up! We are not going to have the “Compliance Nazi’s standing at each door. We are adults here, and I know we have enough sense to know what is right and what is wrong.
My point is: you have some decisions to make, and I hope you will make the best decision for you and your family. Three more weeks, and the doors will be open- but, as we know- a lot of things can change in 3 weeks! So, stay with us on the livestream for now, and pray and seek the Lord’s guidance about the 7th. Thank you for listening, and may God bless you and your family.
Here is a video of how to setup a Roku device to use the Livestream channel to watch the services.
Here is the initial letter from Pastor about the closings:
Dear Church Family,
Even this will pass away! I know that cancelling church for a couple of Sunday's is a tremendous inconvenience. When the Executive order was announced on last Thursday, I began to wrestle with what to do! Some of my Pastor friends started to call to see what I was planning to do. One of the Pastors said he called the Gibbs Law Firm, and they pulled up the Governor's order, studied it, and then relayed their advice. They recommended we cancel all services and activities for the duration of the order. The argument was if we only had 10 people come to church, and yet one of those 10 were to get the virus and pass away- the media and the community would come after us with everything they have!
I would never be able to forgive myself if someone came to church and the virus hit someone! This will impact the Living Cross, but once the threat is over, we will resume practice and set a date for us to have two performances. We will do the program on a Sunday and a Friday. The announcement about the Living Cross will be made once this threat is over!
It is best for you to stay away from crowds of people, so please watch over the Live-Stream and check the Church website for updates. Please remember that we will still need 38 thousand dollars a week in the offering each week! You can mail that in to the Church office, drop it by the church if you are in the area, or you can give through the website. The staff will be working as usual, so someone will be at the church each day.
This was a difficult decision, but when I read where there is a confirmed case right here in Westminster, I felt we had no other choice. Thank you for your understanding and please pray for our church family, our country and the leadership of our State and nation. I will go in at 10:45 Sunday morning, at 6:00 on Sunday evening, and at 7:00 on Wednesday! We will make the best of this emergency, and "even this will pass away!