Reopening Guidelines
 
1.   If you are in a risk category because of your age or being immunocompromised, or you           simply prefer to worship at home, we encourage you to choose one of our other worship
      options (see home page) instead of gathering physically.
 
2.    Health Risks:  Please stay at home if you have a fever (100.4F or higher), cough, sore            throat, muscle aches, headache, new loss of smell or taste or have been in close contact        with someone in the last 14 days who is being tested or has  tested positive for Covid-19.
      (The CDC defines close contact as “anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person            for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until
      the time the infected person was isolated.”)        
 
3.    Social Distance:  Use social distance of 6 feet or more between non-family members at            all times.
 
4.  Masks are required for people 6 and older while in the building.  The only exception is
      when someone is speaking or singing from the stage.
 
5    If you need to cough or sneeze, please cover your cough/sneeze in your elbow.  
 
6    As you enter Central Square, doors will either be propped opened or opened by one
      person to prevent multiple people touching the door.
 
7.   Greeters will greet using social distance of 6 feet or more. Please refrain from                           handshakes, hugs, elbow bumps, or physical touch.
 
8.   The bulletins and communion cups (on communion Sundays)  will be set out on the
       welcome table for each person to take their own (please take a self-contained communion
       “kit” before entering the auditorium  if you want to partake in communion later in the                  service).
 
9.    All four doors to the auditorium will be propped open before and after the service to allow         people to enter or exit using the least traveled route and maintaining social distance                 of 6 or more feet.
 
10.  Aisles will be roped off for social distancing with 8’ between each open aisle. There are            235 seats still open and available on the main floor alone! Each family should sit                      together  and leave at least 4 seats between you and other families.
 
11. The wheelchair accessible platform accessed through the 4th and 5th doors on the right          after entering from the parking lot will be reserved for seniors and those physically unable        to use the general seating.
 
12. The balcony section of the auditorium will be opened for families with small children if
       they prefer to sit away from the main group. The balcony section is large and will provide          plenty of space for each family to have extra room and still have distance between                    families. 
13Children’s church and nursery will be offered with a check-in procedure.  These ministries         may be canceled at the last minute if volunteers are sick.   The nursery and office will be  
       closed for general use. Children’s church packets will be available for use. Families                  should not share packets with another family during the service.
 
14.  There will be no food or beverages served.  However, cups of water will be available to             pick up.  The water will be poured by one person wearing gloves and a mask.  We                    welcome you to bring your own  beverages/snacks for you and your children. 
 
15. The order of service will look different, with worship music being sung at the end. For                those who are especially uncomfortable with public singing, this gives you an opportunity          to exit the auditorium during this portion of the service
 
16. There will be no offering plate passed, however, a box for offering will be set on the                  welcome table. Online offering is always another option and can be done via our website          www.hopecefc.org/giving.
 
17. After the service, people will exit using the proper door for traffic flow. You are                          encouraged to fellowship outside in the courtyard. All fellowship should include a social            distance of 6 feet or more.
 
18. Doors, light switches, bathrooms will be disinfected before and after the service. Hand              sanitizer will be available.  Gloves will be provided for volunteers for counting money and          disinfecting.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Covid Christian
 
Update from Pastor Kelly-May 28, 2020
 
Dear Friends,

It has been decided by the leadership to have one in-person worship service.  In order to gather all who desire to worship in person, our Central Square site needs to be our one site because it allows us the greatest capacity to gather safely for worship. There are 1000 seats and a great amount of additional air space that makes it so much safer. Our one service on May 31st will meet in the Central Square auditorium (105 2nd Ave. NE – main floor) at 9:30am. It is unclear how long we will continue with this schedule as we are making changes as needed based on the current Covid situation and the availability of God’s people to offer these services.

If you are in a risky category because of your age or being immunocompromised, or you simply prefer to worship at home, we encourage you to choose one of our other worship options instead of gathering physically this Sunday. Please check out our home page for the details regarding the 3 online worship options at Hope Community on May 31st.

If you decide to gather with us physically, you should expect to experience and apply a number of safe practices that we will ask of God’s people in order to do our part to protect others from needlessly catching Covid-19. These decisions were made after spending much time in research, discussion, thought and prayer. The following is a list of what you can expect:
  • As you enter Central Square, doors will either be propped opened or opened by one person to prevent multiple people touching the door.
  • Greeters will greet using social distance of 6 feet or more. Please refrain from handshakes, hugs, elbow bumps, or physical touch.
  • The bulletins and communion cups will be set out on the welcome table for each person to take their own (please take a self-contained communion “kit” before entering the auditorium if you want to partake in communion later in the service). There is communion this Sunday!
  • Traffic will be one way into and out of the auditorium. Enter and Exit signs and arrows will be posted.
  • Aisles will be roped off for social distancing with 8’ between each open aisle. There are 235 seats still open and available on the main floor alone! Each family should sit together and leave at least 4 seats between you and other families.
  • For those who want an additional safe buffer away from others, please consider sitting socially distanced on the wheelchair accessible platform accessed through the 4th and 5th doors on the right after entering from the parking lot.
  • The balcony section of the auditorium will be opened for families with small children if they prefer to sit away from the main group. The balcony section is large and will provide plenty of space for each family to have extra room and still have distance between families.
  • There will be no nursery or children’s church at this time. The nursery and office will be closed for general use. Children’s church packets will be available for use. Families should not share packets with another family during the service.
  • There will be no food or beverages served. We welcome you to bring your own beverages/snacks for you and your children.
  • The order of service will look different, with worship music being sung at the end. For those who are especially uncomfortable with public singing, this gives you an opportunity to exit the auditorium during this portion of the service.
  • There will be no offering plate passed, however, a box for offering will be set on the welcome table. Online offering is always another option and can be done via our website www.hopecefc.org/giving.
  • After the service, people will exit using the proper door for traffic flow. You are encouraged to fellowship outside in the courtyard. All fellowship should include a social distance of 6 feet or more.
Doors, light switches, bathrooms will be disinfected before and after the service. Hand sanitizer will be available. According to the CDC, masks are recommended in large gatherings, we are leaving the choice to the individual.  Gloves will be provided for volunteers for counting money and disinfecting.

As some of us gather to worship, and others continue to worship with us online, I want to encourage everyone to recognize that we are all experiencing this very unique and challenging time differently because of our individual situations. In view of this, I will close with 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
 
We may not all agree on how we view Covid-19 or how to respond, but it is essential that we keep Jesus and his mission as the main thing that brings us together to work in unity, love, compassion, and humility. Let’s pray for a powerful and life-changing time in worship and in God’s word for this special weekend that we call “Pentecost Sunday”.
 
In Christ,

Pastor Kelly
 
 
Letter from Pastor Kelly-May 24, 2020:
 
Dear friends,

The call of the hour is to put aside whining and complaining, in favor of a call to action and advocacy. On the issue of advocacy, I would encourage any citizen to reach out to our representative government and voice your concerns regarding safety and God’s people. As you advocate in this way, make sure you do so with gentleness and respect knowing your testimony is on the line (1 Peter 3:15-16). A simple Google search will reveal avenues to share your voice.

I’d like to go long and deep on the issue of a call to action. If you search your heart for what it is that you miss most about gathering with God’s people, I think you’ll find that some of the missing elements are the support, encouragement, and inspiration we receive from being with fellow believers (Heb. 10:24-25). I would challenge that we have plenty of room to tap into the power of prayer and God’s people within the “10 people or less” requirement that has been asked of us. Even if we gathered 100 of God’s people, would you talk to more than 10? So here’s your call to action. You are released to invite others who feel well enough to get together with you for fun, fellowship, prayer, and mutual encouragement. Making this happen can be super simple: 
  • 1. Think of something you want to do that others could join you in. Campfires, beach gatherings, small groups, bike rides, Bible studies, walks, and picnics in the park (each family brings their own food) all come to mind.
  • 2. Make a plan for how you will apply safe practices where people can maintain a 6-foot social distance between people from various households. Think through what new practices you will apply that take away the need for people to handle common items like doors, eating utensils, chairs, and other common items. You’ll want a plan for disinfecting things prior to people’s arrival.
  • 3. Clearly communicate your plan for what you’re inviting people to do, how you’’ll ensure their safety, and who’s invited. By doing this you give them a sense of what they are getting themselves into. Avoid open invites that may balloon your gathering to well over 10 people, but instead prayerfully consider who to invite and humbly follow the guideline set before us.
  • 4. Follow through with safe practices so you do not needlessly endanger others since you cannot know for certain that you and your guests are not carriers of Covid-19.

In all these things, I implore you to invest deeply in a relationship with God, His people, and those who have not yet trusted Jesus as their savior!

In Christ,

Pastor Kelly J. Mahoney
 
 
 
Unusual Times Serving Our Extraordinary God

In this unique time, we are so thankful that God has given His spirit to empower us, His people to support, encourage, and inspire us, and His work to give a passionate purpose to our lives. In this time, the body of Christ has an essential role to play in passing on the hope found in Jesus and the life that He died to secure for us (John 10:10, 2 Cor. 5:17). Every person was made for an intimate relationship with God, community with other believers, and to have a redemptive impact upon the people and places where they live. Sheltering in place, keeping groups smaller than 10 people, and staying 6 feet apart do not prevent any of these relationships. However, to embrace the life God made us for, we must change our routines and habits and find new ways to adapt. The following is list of ideas on how to live out the 3 relationships God wants us to invest in until Jesus returns. These are tangible steps we can take as we face COVID by faith.   

Intimacy with God

You were made for a relationship with God! This break from the normal, busy, recreation-filled schedules has freed up time to invest more fully in a relationship with God. We encourage you to press in to seek the Lord now more than ever before in reading His word, time in prayer, and time doing family devotions.
  • Personal time devoted to seeking God (Devotions) — It can be as simple as pray, read, pray, and then walk.  Pray before you read and ask God to guide you in understanding what God is saying to you.  Read a chapter from the Bible, or a passage (from one heading to the next) seeking to understand what it says. Re-read it a couple times and consider how the different thoughts and ideas relate to each other and how they apply to your life. Pray and ask for God’s help to walk out the truth in the power of His Spirit. 
  • Family Devotions — This time could look a lot like personal devotions (see above) but could include using a children’s bible.  This can be a life-shaping time talking about God and his purposes as you seek to raise up a household of faith. See COVID-Kids for a wide variety of ways to help children grow in this time. 
  • Personal Worship — You can spend time giving thanks for all you have (instead of focusing on what you do not have). Praise God for what he has done, who God is, and what his word promises he will do. Music can be springboard for praise in this way. 
  • Prayer walks — When you go for a walk with a friend, you tend to talk openly about all that matters to each of you.  Walk and talk to God as you would a best friend.  Be sure to take time to listen for His thoughts as well. 

Community with Other Believers

We were made for community! The need of this hour goes beyond getting good biblical content to download, we need community! Before the fall of man, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone . . . (Gen. 2:18)”. As believers, we are to build up one another, and to be built up by others as part of the greater body of Christ (Eph 4:16).  For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to use calls, texts, social media, and tools like Zoom to continue to stay connected to God’s people!
  • Small groups via Zoom — a great way to fellowship before and after our 10:30 Sunday services and to engage in mid-week small groups is to click one of the many links for all of our meetings found on our homepage www.hopecefc.org.
  • Calls, texts and cards — using the phone directory we emailed out, you can continue to stay in touch with one another.

Redemptive Relationships within the World

We were made to make a difference in this world! God has given His spirit to each believer so that we may be gifted (1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 18) to make a difference in the church and throughout the world (John 15:7-8).  As we shelter in place, we must remember that God is at work, and he wants us to continue to join him in his work (John 5:19-20). Paul didn’t let prison keep him from sharing the good news! Jesus’ message of hope, life, and new life in Him must not stopped by the walls of our homes that we’re sheltered behind. 

  • Share His Story and Your Story — Those who are in Christ, have crossed over from death to life (John 5:24). Because of Jesus and what he has done, we have the promise of eternal life right now (John 11:25-26). As a result, we need not live in fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). If you know His story, and He’s given you this hope, you should share your story with the many friends and loved ones who are gripped by fear in this time. 
  • Support God’s Work — You can help God’s people continue to engage in God’s work by continuing to support His church and His missionaries. 
  • Serve the Needs of Others — We are the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Jesus. You can make a difference in the simplest ways right now by simply seeing needs, and sharing what God’s given you to help care for people’s needs. A few simple ways to serve others are:
      • Offering to do errands like pharmacy and grocery pickups for people. 
      • Doing chores, yard work, or projects friends and neighbors need done. 
      • Sewing facemasks to help prevent the spread of COVID. 
      • And many more great ideas found at — https://www.facebook.com/groups/helpinghandsalex/