Hickory Creek Indoor Gatherings Protocol
Beginning in August (1st & 2nd) we will begin regathering for in person services at Hickory Creek Church. This has been a long time in coming and I know our leaders and staff as well as many in our congregation are excited to be worshiping with others in the same room! It is an exciting time to be able to begin transitioning back to in person services.
But even though we are moving in this direction, things are not going to be normal – as in exactly how they were before this pandemic hit. There will be things that change from week to week as we see how things are working or not working. Please be patient and give grace to the staff and leaders as we all try to learn and adjust to best keep people safe and comfortable so we can all continue to be worshiping the Lord corporately in a safe way.
We will be cleaning and sanitizing the church regularly each day when the church is being used. Additionally, the bathrooms will be cleaned and available while ministry is happening in the building.
Our Hickory Kids Ministry will continue to be online during this time of transition. Your children are welcome to attend with you in the main worship center.
Corporate Weekend Worship
Reservations required to help with Social Distancing
As we begin to meet corporately, we will be limiting our in person attendance at each service to about 125 or so, but we will be live streaming our services so that you will not have to miss even if you can’t attend. To limit those in attendance you will need to make a reservation to attend a particular service in person. If you have a guest you have invited at the last minute, feel free to bring them with you as we will always have room for a guest or person you are ministering to.
Additionally, to help promote social distancing, we will have ushers seating you as you come into the worship center. I know that this may mean you don’t get to sit in your usual seat or in your usual area, but we ask that for now, you please follow the instructions of the ushers and sit in the seats that they direct you to so we can best accommodate all who wish to attend.
Self Assess Your Health
We also ask that if you or any member of your family is not feeling well or having symptoms that include fever, sore throat, runny nose, breathing difficulties, headaches, loss of taste or smell, cough, or stomach/intestinal issues, etc, or if you know you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive in the last 14 days, or traveled to an area with a high concentration of infection, please do not attend, even if you have made reservations. Stay home and worship with us online that day.
Masks Required in the Building
Given that this virus continues to spread through respiratory droplets from individuals, we will be requiring masks at every service while inside the building. We ask that you bring your own mask, but we will seek to have additional masks on hand to accommodate those who forget. While this is not everyone’s ideal, we ask that if you are going to come to service at Hickory Creek during this time that you please abide by these protocols to not only help not spread this virus, but out of respect and love for those who may feel more uncomfortable than you do.
Masks should be worn everywhere inside and during the whole service. If at any point you feel like you need to remove your mask, feel free to exit the worship center and building and do so outside.
The only areas of the building that will be open to people are the foyer/lobby, the restrooms and the worship center. All other areas of the church will be closed to the public during this time of transition.
To better limit the time spent together during this time, we will also be seeking to keep our services to less than an hour (closer to 45 to 50 minutes) understanding that wearing a face covering is not the most ideal. Those on the platform will not be wearing masks, but we have moved the front row back and we will be moving those on the platform back further than normal.
Proper Mask Wearing
Proper wearing of a Face Covering requires that you have BOTH your nose and mouth covered by your Face covering.
We will not be passing offering baskets going forward. We will have a box available at the back of the church to drop an offering or feel free to continue to give online or by mailing in a check.
We will not be handing out bulletins, but will provide announcements and our sermon inserts through email or through our app. Click Here to Download Our hcc App!
The church will have hand sanitizer available at the entrances to the building and the worship center and we ask you to please use it as you enter and exit the facility.
Entering and Exiting
We ask also that when entering or exiting the building or the worship center that you please use the doors to the right. That way the people going in the opposite direction as you will be using the other set of doors. Additionally, the south entrance (the small entrance facing Rt 30) is closed due to the expansion project that is occurring.
At the end of our Worship service, we will release people from back to front in order to avoid a large group bottleneck at the worship center doors. When released please promptly leave the church building so we can prepare for the next service. You are free to speak with others (from a distance please) after exiting the building. You probably won’t want to be hanging out in the foyer anyway as we do not currently have air conditioning in the foyer due to the construction that is occurring (the worship center does have air conditioning).
Signs of Affection
We know Hickory Creek Church is a loving place where we love to give hugs and shake hands, but we ask that during this time of transition that you give each other a friendly wave and please refrain from hugs, handshakes, fist bumps or any other activity that will require a lack of social distancing on your part. We know that some may be comfortable with giving hugs, but we ask that you don’t put people in positions to make a decision whether to reject your offer of brotherly or sisterly love. For some people it is not themselves they are concerned for, but a loved one who may be vulnerable to more extreme impact or symptoms than they are. Please – no hugs or handshakes. Just give a warm Hickory Creek Wave from a distance!