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 somewhat following local (and our own) guidelines. In Adams County, we're currently under "Safer at Home" guidelines, which means maintaining a 6' distance from others not in our family group and avoiding gatherings over 10 people, among other things. However, as an organization that has been declared essential, we are also able to allow smaller gatherings (up to 50 people) to take place, 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:
Additionally, here is the Safer At Home Order issued by Adams County: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RLNy2vAgVvebgqfwBpJGIPph6lzlPBrM/view
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.
Do I have to stay in my car for the Drive-In Prayer Nights and Services?
Not necessarily. We do recommend that you hang with your famiy group that you've been quarantining with. But you can sit in the bed of your truck, bring lawn chairs, etc... We do ask that you respect the social distancing requirements.
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 on July 17 and 31st for K-5th graders. Due to the Stay At Home order earlier this year, we do anticipate needing additional nursery volunteers in the next 9-12 months. ;)
What precautions are being taken for when the building opens up?
We've started prepping for that since the MVF Work Day. We'll continue with deep cleaning inside and outside the building. 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...
2020 has been CRAAAZZZY! So, seriously, is this the End Times?
We agree, it has been crazy! While this may or may not be the end times, they certainly are always getting closer. Scripture tells us in Matthew 24:36-44 "But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the Ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect him."
Let's keep watch together!