IN-PERSON WORSHIP HAS RESUMED. JOIN  US!

After a nearly four month shutdown of our in-person worship, Sunday groups, and other ministries, we've resumed in-person worship! During the shutdown we created AN 18-PART VIDEO SERIES that offered encouragement three times a week, posted AN ONLINE FORUM for people to connect with each other on issues local and global, and hosted a weekly phone-in worship experience on Sunday mornings. Given improvements in the state of Illinois' battle with COVID-19, and its amended guidelines, recommendations, and requirements related to the pandemic, we've decided to resume in-person worship on July 12. Here's everything you need to know about the changes we're making:

  • We cleaned/disinfected surfaces in the building on Saturday, July 11, the day before the resumption.
  • We clean/disinfect all accessed surfaces every Sunday, immediately after worship. We will welcome (and celebrate) your help with that cleaning! 
  • We've installed a touchless hand sanitizing station on each level of our building. 
  • We ask that everyone who enters the building for Sunday morning activities wears a mask, unless medical conditions advise against that practice. We will provide a disposable mask to anyone who does not have one when they enter. 
  • When Bill Coley speaks during worship, he will not wear a mask but will stand at a greater distance than usual from people (approximately 15 feet from the nearest possible seating location). At all other times while people are in the building on Sunday mornings, Bill WILL wear a mask. 
  • We practice social distancing - a minimum of six feet of separation between people not of the same household - while on the church grounds for church functions, including worship. 
  • To implement social distancing during worship, we have clearly designated the pews in which people may sit. Please do not sit in pews other than those so-marked. In those pews, please maintain at least six feet of distance between your household and members of others
  • We have removed live singing for worship, at least in the opening weeks/months of our return. Instead, we are using recorded music. (And yes, that means our worship will be shorter than in the past. NO CELEBRATIONS ALLOWED!) 
  • We've implemented communion distribution safety measures, which will be upgraded within the next couple of weeks when we begin using pre-packaged communion elements.
  • We do not serve refreshments in the lobby before worship, at least for the foreseeable future. 
  • We do not permit access to our drinking fountains. You may bring bottled water with you, if you desire. 
  • To reduce the amount of cleaning we have to do after each worship, we ask people to clean up after themselves in their pews
  • The 8-4-0 Prayer group HAS resumed (Sundays, 8:40 a.m.) and will meet, with proper social distancing, in the Memorial Room, if possible. If distancing is not possible, the group will meet in the worship center. 
  • At the moment, one of our two 9:00 a.m. Sunday groups - the one that explores the question, "was Jesus God?" - has resumed, with appropriate steps to assure social distancing. It's not yet clear when the other group will resume. Those group members are welcome to join the group that has resumed. The group that meets in fellowship hall is likely to set up rectangular tables to assist social distancing during its sessions. 
  • People unable to join us in-person for worship are welcome to join us by phone. Scroll down for more information.
  • We will not allow use of our facilities by outside groups, at least in the initial weeks/months of our reopening.

Can't make it to our in-person worship? call in!

We're excited that our in-person worship has resumed, but we understand some people will choose not to join us in our building, or don't yet feel comfortable with joining us for in-person worship. SO, we offer the next best thing: Join us by phone!


THE PROCESS IS SIMPLE:


STEP 1: Call (727) 731-7339. That's it! One number and you're done. [NOTE: We must tell you there's a good chance you'll get a busy signal or an error message of some sort the first time you call that number, and perhaps the second and third times. We don't understand why that happens, but we do understand how to work around it: Hang up and call again! If you hear anything other than a welcome to our free conference call service, simply hang up and dial the number again, then keep dialing it until you make a connection. You WILL get through, but you might have to try a few times.]


When you make a successful connection, you'll hear a welcome to our conference call service from our pastor, Bill Coley, followed by a report of how many  people are already on the call. What ELSE you hear will depend on some other factors, but here's what you need to know: 

  • Although you *might* be able to  talk with other callers for a short time once you connect, just before worship begins we will mute ALL callers' phones so that the only sound any caller hears will come from the worship service. 
  • So don't be surprised if when you call you hear the word "muted." That only means no one else will be able to hear you, but you WILL be able to hear the worship. If you don't hear the word "muted" right away, you will before worship begins. 
  • And you will also hear a report that the service is being recorded. We record the service so that we can post the audio of the sermon to our website. But since we'll mute all phone lines except the one broadcasting the service, you don't have to worry about being on the recording.
  • Since we mute all phone lines other than the one the broadcasts the worship, you may listen to the worship via the speakerphone on your device, if you wish. No sound from your location will be heard by any other caller.
  • We'd love for you to take communion with us when you call in. If you'd like to do so, please have whatever you want to use as your "bread and cup" within your reach so you can take them when invited to do so during the worship. It doesn't matter what you use for each element, but it does matter that you have them within your reach.


FCCEM