Dear Church Family,
After a great deal of prayer, research and discussion, the Leadership Team has decided that we will resume in-person worship Sunday, July 5 at 10:15 a.m. It will be a joy to be together again, and while our worship experience will look a bit different, I am excited that we will soon be praising God as a gathered church body. Based on results of the congregational survey and after considering the logistics involved and current state guidelines, we have decided that having one service at 10:15 is feasible and preferable. Worship services will also be live-streamed and available on DVD and CD. In addition, we are excited that Vida Eterna will begin hosting services on Sunday afternoons, also beginning July 5.
As you know, we have been following government guidelines for reducing the impact of the coronavirus. Actions taken throughout our community and nation have helped slow the spread of the virus, but at the same time, canceling in-person worship has been a heavy burden for Broadway and many other churches. The most recent guidance from our state allows churches to move back to in-person ministry while following precautions for social distancing that we have become accustomed to.
Several weeks ago, the Leadership Team appointed a committee to develop guidelines for church gatherings based on resources from health agencies. Their work will help us meet together safely with new cleaning procedures and modifications to how we interact with one another, especially during worship. For example, we will close off every other pew and remove hymnals and Bibles. Ushers will collect the offering from the aisles and we will use prepackaged Communion bread and juice, so trays will not be passed from person to person. These guidelines are attached here.
We want your experience of fellowship and worship at Broadway to be joyful and welcoming, and we will need to work together to care for each other. So, please wear a facemask and refrain from handshakes and hugs. Also, we will limit congregational singing. Hopefully, this will be a short-term sacrifice, but current research indicates singing may pose a heightened risk of virus spread. And of course, if you are not feeling well, please don’t come to church.
As we have seen with many issues related to the coronavirus, conditions and guidelines will likely change in the coming weeks, hopefully in positive ways. We will continue to communicate any changes and do our best to make your experience at Broadway both safe and welcoming. Thank you to our Leadership Team and the health committee for their wisdom and diligence. And a special thank you to Nancy Norman and Kent Drews for their hard work during our online worship services.
I look forward to seeing you in July. May God continue to bless and protect our church family.
Guidelines to Reopening Church
Currently, Illinois is in Phase 3 but will be eligible for Phase 4 on June 26. Our goal with these guidelines is to allow a safe environment to resume our worship.
Do not come to church if you are feeling ill – Fever, cough, headache, sore throat, loss of smell and taste.
Please bring your own mask and hand sanitizer (gloves if you desire).
Safety in church
Masks All people coming into the building must wear masks. We will have masks available at both doors when
services start. (signs will be posted)
Office The southeast door will be locked during the week. If you to need to come in, call Sue (815-399-9296) or
use your key. Sue will keep the office door locked. She will have the front window partially open so she can help
with what you need, including copies. If you need to be in the office, she will step out.
All doorknobs and handles will be wiped down after the church has been used. LeVon will do this as part of his cleaning. We will need to wipe down between our service and the service of Vida Eterna. We will have disinfectant spray and paper towels at both doors. The bathroom counters will be disinfected after a service, Bible study or small group. Spray bottles of disinfectant will be available in all bathrooms.
Phase 4 recommendations suggest 50 people or 25% of building capacity. Our calculations project a maximum of
78 persons currently … which is 25% of capacity. Since our survey suggests that some persons prefer to wait for
a few weeks prior to attending church, we will be able to have one service the normal time of 10:15 am.
Seating We will only use every other pew. There will be signs determining which rows may be used. Social distancing and the wearing of masks will still be required. Family groups may still sit together. There must be six feet between groups. Bulletins will be placed in the pews for use.
Hymnals and Bibles These will be removed from the sanctuary to avoid contact. Both scripture and hymns will be on the screen or bring your own Bible.
Singing and Praise Team Our praise team will be spread across the front of the sanctuary. They will not be required to wear masks while performing. They will be responsible for wiping down their own microphones. It is recommended that people in the congregation do not sing, even with masks. Words will still be posted for worshippers to follow.
Nursery At this point we will not have nursery. The cry/quiet room is available for parents and young children. It will be wiped down after use.
Offering The usher will take offering from the alternating empty rows. Only the usher will need to handle the offering plate. Communication cards may be placed in the offering as usual. The plates will be locked and
allowed to sit for two days before reading them.
Communion We will use disposable packages of juice and wafers. They will be in a bowl in the seats for use during communion.
Dismissal after church The Central Conference has recommended dismissal to be row by row beginning in the front. We will adopt this procedure. Please do not linger in the foyer, rather go outside to visit. Social distancing must be maintained.
Coffee time We are going to discontinue coffee and treat time for now.
Dining room For the current time, we will not use the dining room regularly. Groups that do use it will wipe down the tables and countertops. We will not have Sunday School this summer and will determine fall plans later this summer.
These guidelines will be available to all. We have used recommendations from the CDC, WCHD, Covenant, and our insurer, Gallagher.