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Further Clarification on Small Groups

by on March 14, 2020

Initial Further Clarification—IHN, Small Groups, and Leadership Meetings

Friends of Faith,

Since announcing that worship has been cancelled from March 15 through April 5, two recurring questions have surfaced: What about IHN host week beginning April 5 and what about small groups?

Since we’ve never cancelled worship over a lengthy duration before, we are working this out as we go—building the plane as we fly, so to speak. Though our ongoing research may modify the recommendations we are offering now, we want to provide some initial further guidance in line with the most conservative precautions.

We encourage the continued gathering of small groups of ten (10) or less, whether at the church or at people’s homes. The host location will need to be thoroughly disinfected prior to and following the gathering. People should wash their hands immediately upon entering the location. Greetings should not include physical contact. Seating should be generously spread. Any food served should be done individually, not family style. Of course, if you feel sick, are at increased risk, may have been exposed, or are overly anxious, do not participate in a small group. But do let your other members know.

Should your group exceed the conservative 10 person limit, it will up to your members to decide whether to meet. Until we know more, we encourage the limit, especially if the group meets at the church.

With regards to IHN host week, we’ll be in touch with IHN early next week to put together a plan. While we will not worship April 5, setup that day and hosting that week should still be able to occur without interruption. At this point, we are planning on having Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil services (April 9-11).

Another form of small group is the leadership team. Session has found using Google Meet to be an effective way to facilitate remote meetings of limited numbers. People can use their computer or telephone to participate. If your leadership team needs to meet and wants to avoid the precautions outlined above, a Google search on how to use Google Meet will yield a tutorial you may use to learn how to make use of this technology.

You can count on more guidance from us on an ongoing basis as we continue to research and adapt solutions to our congregation.

Thank you for your patience with and care for one another through this uniquely challenging time. Let us remain in prayer for our church and the world.

Prayerfully,

The Session

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