What's your decision process regarding fully opening the church?
We created two teams composed of Pastors, Elders, and staff members to make these decisions. The Homecoming Team is responsible for everything up to getting back into the building (including when), and the Midian Team is responsible for our first Sunday back in the building and moving forward. The Homecoming Team developed a set of priorities to guide us as we proceed. Our goal is to:
- Glorify God
- Maintain a great witness in the community (and not appear either reckless or fearful)
- Encourage the spiritual and physical health of the MVF Family
- Enable continued effective outreach
- Respect the Federal, State, and County authority placed over us.
Why are we not already open? President Trump said churches are considered essential and other churches are open, so what are we waiting for?
Yes, we're essential, but we are still following local (and our own) guidelines. In Adams County, we're currently under "Safer at Home" Level 2 Guidelines, which means maintaining a 6' distance from others not in our family group and avoiding gatherings over 50 people, with great preparation before the event (cleaning, ensuring social distancing in seating, etc...); the MVF Work Day and Women's Bibles and Breakfasts are two examples.
But if we're essential, shouldn't that mean we can just open back up?
We are submitting to local authority. Currently, businesses are allowed up to 50% of their work force to be in place, and restaurants are allowed up to 50 people. These guidelines still don't work for a Sunday service. We don't want to have 50 people in the auditorium and spread others into different rooms to watch on a screen- we're already doing that in our own homes. And the people that would be most vying for one of the 50 slots in the auditorium are more than likely already believers who are able to feed themselves. Believers have the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and online services and studies among other resources to stay connected; we have the tools, we just need to use them. Also, see the recommendations below from Adams County specifically regarding churches:
j. Houses of worship and Life Rites may operate at 50% of the posted
occupancy limit indoors not to exceed 50 people, whichever is less, per
So then, when will we be back in the building?
We can't say for sure, but please know it will be as soon as the Pastors, Elders, Homecoming Team, and Midian Team are comfortable with it!
When the building opens back up, will I have to wear a mask?
Masks are strongly suggested, especially if you're in an at-risk group. But they will not be required.
What about the MVF Kids Ministry?
Because we want to protect our youngest family members, MVF Kids will open when things are fully open up again- schools, malls, etc... At this point, we aren't sure when that will be and what systems will be in place to keep them safe, but we're working on it. In the meantime, we are hosting smaller gatherings of kiddos like our Friday Fundays and kids are also encouraged to attend our outdoor Sunday services.
What precautions are being taken for when the building opens up?
We're already prepping for that. We'll continue with deep cleaning inside and outside the building, and we've purchased a special spray for our auditorium chairs. We're also increasing our volunteers because there will be a need for cleaning and disinfecting restrooms, door handles, and hospitality supplies during and between services, youth group meetings, and other large gatherings. So if you're looking for a place to jump in...