Update May 8 | 2:30 PM
Two updates in one day probably seems like a bit much, but we rather over-communicate than under-communicate during this season. When we released our Multi-Stage Return Plan this morning, we mentioned the word “tentative.” Well, now that we have heard from Governor Ivey this morning, our plans have already changed! Our state officials are now removing all number restrictions for group gatherings. This means that our Multi-State Return Plan can no longer function on the basis of gathering size-restrictions, because there are none. Technically, churches of all sizes can begin to gather in-person immediately if they maintain 6-feet of distancing between individuals outside of the same family. This is really exciting news! However, we believe that prudence dictates that we continue to move forward with great caution. We have been in communication with our local health authorities, and they have encouraged us to continue our online worship services only at this time. Some areas of Alabama are beginning to experience a decline in the spread of the virus. Prattville, Montgomery, and the surrounding River Region, however, are all currently experiencing a spike in the percentage of the population infected, positive COVID-19 cases, and hospitalizations, especially as more tests become available. In addition, it is quite impossible for our church to maintain 6-feet of social distancing in hallways, bathrooms, classrooms, and common areas if we simply return to normal scheduling. For these reasons, we feel that is wise to only move from Stage 1 of our plan to Stage 2. That means that we will expand our worship and media teams for our online worship service beginning this Sunday. Also, Sunday School classes and small groups are encouraged to gather in homes, backyards, parks, and other spaces if they are not in a high-risk category and can maintain social distancing recommendations. In the coming days, our staff will slowly work toward resuming regular office hours on a rotational basis. We want to rejoice in our state’s release of many restrictions, but we also want to use wisdom in working toward a full return to on-campus worship. Stay tuned for updates, but for now, let’s enjoy Stage 2!
You are loved,