Pastor’s Page

July 1, 2020

Dear Nameoki Friends,

We are in interesting times! Thank you for your faithful encouragement, affirmation, and support, as we work together to continue to be the church even when we cannot be together in person. I am grateful to everyone who has been calling and checking on members and participating as you are able in the various ministry offerings and opportunities.

I am also grateful that our bishop has called us to follow the health department guidelines. In the church, we know that we are connected to one another, and we are responsible for looking out for our brothers and sisters in Christ. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:
God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

As we make plans to move forward into this next season, please continue to be flexible and ready to adjust if the situation changes, keeping in mind the need to protect the most vulnerable among us. It only takes one person who has been exposed to covid and is unknowingly carrying and transmitting the virus to spread it quickly to others. As a result, there are several measures that we will be taking that have been shown to help reduce the risk.

A. First, the safest place for you to worship is still at home, especially if you are immune compromised or otherwise in a vulnerable population for complications from COVID. We know some will continue to worship from home, and we will continue to offer our online ministries so that you can still join your church family online. We will continue to send weekly bulletins by email and by mail to those who do not have email. We will continue to stay in contact through phone, email, mail, Facebook, and Zoom, and ask that you let us know how we can help you to feel connected. If you would like a visit, or have a prayer request or other need we can help with as your church family, please call Susan or Linda.

B. Second, for everyone’s safety, for contact tracing, and for sanitizing requirements, please observe the following when you need to come to the church building during the week:

  • 1. Please call the church office prior to coming. We are in a state of transition back to the building and working out the best way to manage that safely. When you call, Linda will be able to give any instructions to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • 2. To protect the health of everyone, please limit time in the building. The telephone or outdoors are still the safest options for longer conversations.
  • 3. Due to the need for contact tracing and sanitizing, it is important if you come inside the building to use hand-sanitizer and sign in and out, indicating areas accessed.
  • 4. Please always wear masks and maintain 6′ distance anytime you are in the building. The administrative office and bathrooms are not conducive to distancing.
  • 5. If you would like to meet with others or a small group at the church building, please arrange that in advance with Linda, in order to work through the details of scheduling, guidelines, and sanitizing. Please do not linger inside the building after your meeting.

C. We are preparing to begin offering in-person worship in the sanctuary hopefully on July 12. Things will be different, but we will do our best to work together for everyone’s safety. Under the Phase 4 guidelines, we are allowed up to 25% of our capacity in the building. Please carefully read and observe the following if you would like to worship in person:

  • 1. We are required to keep logs of everyone who is present for contact tracing if there is a covid exposure. Please sign-up by Thursday noon for Sunday to facilitate planning and check-in. We will be sending a link to sign-up, or you can call or email the church office to let us know how many plan to attend from your household.
    2. Check your temperature and your health before leaving home. If you have a temperature over 100.4 or symptoms of cough, feverish, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, fatigue, stomach upset, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, or if you have traveled to an area with high incident rates or have been exposed to someone within 14 days, please stay home and worship with us online.
    3. Please wear a mask covering your nose and mouth whenever you are in the building. We will have extra masks if you forget or for those who do not have one. If you are not able to wear a face mask, please worship from home until face masks are not required.
    4. Please maintain 6’ distancing from anyone not in your household everywhere in the building – foyer, bathroom, sanctuary, hallways, entry and exit doors.
    5. Please do not linger in traffic areas. These spaces need to remain clear for safe passage to and from the parking lot and sanctuary.
    6. If you would like to visit with someone, please step outside (away from the doors), where there is more space to visit safely.
    7. When you enter and before you leave, please use hand sanitizer.
    8. Please stop at the check-in desk. Please keep a 6’ distance from the check-in volunteer and others waiting while your attendance is recorded for contact tracing.
    9. Once you have checked in, please proceed to be seated in the sanctuary. The ushers will help you find a seat. Please do not sit in rows marked with a red paper. (See seating chart for examples of 6’ spacing in pews.) Please note that the first six rows on each side are reserved. This is to accommodate the requirements for distance between worship leaders and the congregation
    10. Please do not move about the sanctuary. Greet friends and neighbors with a wave from your seat and wait to visit outside the building after the service
    11. During worship, we have to ask that congregation members:
    • a) “Sing in the Spirit” (We will have music but no congregational singing)
      b) “Wave a Peace Sign” (Offering peace is important, but please keep distance from your neighbor)
      c) “Give at the Door” (offering plates will be at the doors, not passed)
      d) “Hands Free” (no bulletins, no hymnals, no attendance pads)
  • 12. If you use the restroom, please be sure to wash hands with soap and water and spray bathroom stall and sink area with antiviral spray.
    13. At the conclusion of the service, please wait for the ushers to dismiss by row. Please exit the sanctuary by the side aisles.

D. If you use a classroom on Sunday:

  • a) Schedule any small groups with Linda in advance
    b) Please do not serve food or drink. Those attending may bring their own drink from home.
    c) Please use the log sheet to register those in attendance for contact tracing.
    d) After meeting, sanitize the room by spraying table-tops and chairs with cleaning product and wipe, and spraying the room with aerosol spray, so that it can safely be used by the next group.
    e) Sign the cleaning log and leave it with cleaning products, indicating the room has been cleaned.
    f) Put the attendance log in Linda’s mailbox or under her door.

For more information, please visit the IGRC Coronavirus website: www.igrc.org/coronavirus.

Pastor Susan

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Cape Town, South Africa