This past week has been stressful as the Church leadership was evaluating our future at Adrian Christian Church. After dozens of emails and a few in-person conversations, we made the difficult decision to stay closed through May. We know other Churches in our area will be opening, and yet we made this choice. Here are some of the reasons we will remain closed.
- The leadership has prayed about this and sought the Lord’s wisdom and leading. This appears to be his answer to us as we have examined the data. We are in agreement with this decision.
- Businesses are supposed to allow so many people in their buildings according to square footage. If we adhered to that rule, our square footage would only allow us to have 100 in the building and 22 in the auditorium. That number is based on people having enough space for a 6-foot distance.
- We are supposed to adhere to the 6-foot rule for social distancing. That would require two chairs between people in the auditorium and only using every other row to be compliant.
- With social distancing, there is no way for us to have an infant nursery. We currently have several during both our programs. Those kids would then be brought into the auditorium. They could be a distraction, are exposed to more people, and add more people to the room.
- We were not able to figure out a way to keep our children’s worship space compliant. These young kids are often all over each other. It would be difficult to keep them apart. We could not provide a snack unless it was sealed, which could drive up expenses. That means all our children would have to be in worship. There is the possibility of them being a distraction, plus it changes the face of our congregation. We value our children’s education on Sunday morning.
- We have several Senior Citizens who are at risk and should not attend yet. Also, we have a group from the Willow Creek Group Home who should not be attending. This will reduce the number of participants at best. It potentially puts people at risk at worst.
- We have two programs, and we could not figure out and easy way to clean and disinfect areas between programs. That includes bathrooms. It would require numerous volunteers committed every week for this project.
- We poled the congregation on Facebook. 48% of the people said they would not attend in the immediate future. We know that if we meet now, there will only be a handful of people.
- Because of low attendance, we feel like we would still need to continue producing the program on video as we are currently doing.
- Our Church building has a small lobby and entryway with a narrow hall leading toward the children’s ministry area. These tight spaces would violate social distancing. They would also require frequent cleaning from people potentially touching the walls.
- There is a suggestion that we should have separate doors for entrance and exit. This would work fine in the auditorium, but it would be difficult to enforce.
- Our videos seem to be working well. We feel no need to rush back and offer a small program that is nothing like our ordinary worship for attendees, especially parents and guests.
These are most of the reasons we decided to stay closed. We will keep monitoring the situation and adjust if anything changes. Otherwise, we will reevaluate in a month and determine how we will move forward then. Please keep the leadership in prayer as we seek the best for our congregation.