Planned Phased Church Reopening
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- When will CCGF reopen?
Our goal is to welcome you and your family in community worship when the time is right, while providing the highest level of safety and reassurance for in-person gatherings. CCGF has a phased reopening plan that is a prayerful, informed, and deliberate approach, with insight from our Reopening Task Force (RTF), Parish Council, and pastoral staff.
- Will CCGF follow any guidelines?
Since the health and safety of our congregation and staff is a top priority, we will take into consideration all county and state guidelines as well as the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Guidelines and recommendations may change over the months to come, but the RTF is dedicated to keeping well-informed of all health and safety precautionary measures. Although our worship experience has taken on a “new normal”, we want you and your family to feel confident in returning to in-person activities as the phases roll out.
- What are other churches in the area doing?
Pastor Craig has been meeting with many church leaders from the Pittsburgh area and throughout the state in discussions of reopening church worship and events, considering multiple factors. While Pastor Craig has the responsibility to shepherd our church, he has prayerfully sought God’s will and has taken wise counsel from not only the RTF and Parish Council, but also other senior church leaders in the area as well.
- What is Phase 1, and who is included?
Phase 1 will be planned events for the College & Career, High School, and Middle School ministries. These age groups are the lowest risk populations to have any serious or life-threatening side effects from COVID-19 infection. High School and Middle School groups are not restricted in number while groups of people 18 or older, such as our College and Career Ministry, are restricted to groups of 25 or less. Phase 1 begins June 1, 2020.
- Where will events take place?
Specific spaces: Middle School and High School Ministry groups will meet in the Youth Ministry worship and game rooms as well as out of doors. College and Career Ministry will meet in the Barn and out of doors, including the fire pit area. Other church spaces may be utilized in the future depending on guidelines and recommendations.
- How should these groups stay safe during events?
Everyone participating in church events has a responsibility to adhere to the following safety measures to protect the health of everyone:
- Maintain social distancing at 6 feet
- Arrive/exit through a single point of entry to the designated church space
- Use available hand sanitizer and wash hands frequently during the event
- Non-medical face masks will be worn at all times by those 18 years of age or older.
- Use specifically designated restrooms
- Refrain from hugging, shaking hands, and touching others
- Stay at home and do not participate if you are sick
- What cleaning measures will be in place?
Our facilities team has a schedule for rigorous cleaning procedures, including sanitizing all seating, handrails, restroom sinks, counters, and toilets, and all doorknobs and handles between each service or usage.
- Will the CCGF leaders of these groups have additional training?
All CCGF ministry leaders and helpers will participate in mandatory health and safety training regarding the new policies that support our planned phased approach.
- What is Phase 2 and when will it start?
In Pennsylvania, churches are considered an essential business that is engaging in life-sustaining activity. When a county has been designated by the governor to be in the “Yellow” phase, businesses are legally allowed to operate at 50% of maximum occupancy while maintaining CDC guidelines, but social gatherings of more than 25 adults (18 years of age or older) are prohibited. Thus, from a view of ultimate protection and caring for our high-risk populations, we will limit in-person groups of adults to 25 or less for now. Pastor Craig and the RTF will continue to work on Phase 2 to include other ministry groups and possibly non-CCGF events, but definitive criteria or dates have not yet been set for Phase 2.
- Why can’t Bible study groups and other small groups meet at the church if less than 25 people?
Right now, other groups are not included in Phase 1 for several reasons. Many of these ministries have participants that are of higher-risk groups for COVID-19 and we do not want to put anyone at risk. Also, we must be strategic to carefully plan additional ministry events at the church to facilitate a proper cleaning schedule and stewardship of limited cleaning supplies.
- When can I return to church with my entire family?
Our ultimate goal is for the CCGF community to worship our Lord together each Sunday in person, in hearing the Word, worshipping with music and song, taking Communion with each other, and sharing God’s love with one another. Given the many variables that must be considered, we are operating with a measured approach as we prayerfully design a plan that outlines when and how we can resume on-site ministry, including Sunday morning worship services.
- What if I have more questions?
We want you to contact us with any concerns or questions that you may have. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We value your thoughts and will strive to answer your questions and comments to the best of our ability.
We understand that this may not be the reopening plan that you were looking forward to at this time, but please know that we are continually in prayer for God’s wisdom and seeking His will as we reopen on a planned, phased approach. Please know that one thing has not changed – our unconditional commitment to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our commitment and love for you and your families. Your church family misses you, and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing you soon!