Dear Glad Tidings family,
On Sunday, May 17, 2020 we will resume in-person services at Glad Tidings.
While we are not willing to "operate in fear," we believe we should "operate in wisdom, with caution, and in love." With this in mind, we will be operating under "phase 1 protocols" as directed by and in cooperation with the President's guidelines at https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/ and with the Louisiana Fire Marshal's recommended guidelines for houses of worship. We believe these steps and requests are reasonable.
Please be prepared emotionally as "church services" may not look or feel "normal" for several weeks. These should be considered temporary measures and will NOT become a "new normal" for worship.
(These guidelines and goals are subject to change as appropriate).
During Phase 1:
We will hold two identical Sunday, 45-50 minute, "family" services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
We will not have children's church until we have all of the resources (volunteers and equipment) we need to operate safely and with appropriate social distancing protocols. In the meantime, please keep your children with you at all times (as you enter and exit the building and in your household's seating area).
The nursery will is open for children ages 0-3 years old.
We are asking that each household leave 4 (four) empty seats and/or 2 (two) rows between your household and the next household.
We are asking that no one use the common areas for congregating. (We will not be opening the Cafe or Bookstore and have temporarily removed all foyer seating.) This is in cooperation with the Fire Marshal's guidelines. With this in mind, we are asking that everyone arrive no sooner than 30 minutes before service start time.
Upon entering the building, we are asking that everyone come directly into the auditorium, find seats for your household, and visit with those around you (i.e., not visiting in the foyer, halls, or aisles). I know! This will not feel normal! We are asking that everyone remain at their seats during the entire service (of course, you may use the restroom or leave early if necessary). Please remain at your seats during worship and prayer. (This is a temporary measure).
Our ushers will be asked to serve as "Crowd Managers," in cooperation with the Fire Marshal's guidelines, to assist with social distancing protocols and in the event of an evacuation. Our ushers will not be "policing" the congregation but providing guidance. We are asking everyone to be responsible for themselves and their household in loving consideration of others.
After the service is over, we are asking everyone to exit the building in an orderly manner, observe social distancing, and wait until you are in the parking lot before visiting with friends.
We are asking that everyone plan to attend only one of the services (unless you are serving as a volunteer for both) in consideration of others.
We will not have Sunday School, Sunday Night services, or Wednesday Night services during phase 1 (Wednesday Nights will continue as "online only").
During Phase 2:
We will hold two identical Sunday 60 minute services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
We will resume children's church services (if we have not already, and provided we have all of the resources we need to operate safely and with "phase 2" social distancing protocols).
We will resume Wednesday Night services.
We will resume limited Cafe services and seating areas in the foyer.
During Phase 3:
We will return to one Sunday Morning service at 10:30 AM.
We will resume Sunday School at 9:30 AM.
We want every household to make their own decisions about their level of health, vulnerability, and comfort during this time. Any of our attendees are welcome to wear face masks and/or gloves without fear of judgment.
We are asking that every person who calls Glad Tidings their home church to help us responsibly maintain "phase 1 protocols" in social distancing and keeping the building reasonably sanitized. We highly recommend that you bring your own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes so that you may sanitize any surfaces that you contact.
For any of our members who do not feel comfortable resuming in-person services, or are not healthy, or are immunocompromised in any way, we recommend you continue joining us in our online live-stream of our services.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these unprecedented times. These are temporary measures and will NOT be a "new normal." As always, we are available to listen to any questions, comments, or concerns.
I love and appreciate you all so much and cannot wait for us to begin meeting "in-person" again!
P.S. I hope and pray that we all will work very hard to not judge one another's choices during this phased re-opening. Let's all allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in peace and love. (Negative criticism is never helpful to anyone.)