Explicit Guidelines for Re-Entry to Proximity

It has been called to my attention that many in our church community need more clarity as to what re-entry into proximity is going to look like. The statement was, “Please be explicit!” So here is the most explicit blog I will write!

HarvestDowntown is committed to providing a safe environment for you and your family:

  • We do not allow children to be monitored by other children

  • Every person who is in a position of trust will be background checked

  • We will follow the current health, fire, and building codes to the best of our ability (although the health code seems to change daily!)

  • Parents are responsible for their own children

HarvestDowntown is committed to honoring the law of the land as long as the law does not specifically restrict our Biblical mandates as a community of Christ:

  • Current Colorado Department of Health Guidelines for Houses of Worship:

  • Maximum attendance of 50

  • Social Distancing of 6’

  • No food

  • Facemasks are strongly recommended (exceptions: <2 yrs., those with respiratory illnesses, and those incapable of putting it on by themselves)

  • Mandates of the Church as we perceive them:

  • The Apostles’ Teaching – Interpretation of the Scriptures (sermon, meditation)

  • Prayer – Corporate intimacy with the Father (singing, recitations, readings, and prayer for the sick)

  • Breaking of Bread – eating together in Jesus’ name (communion)

  • Fellowship of the Saints – practicing community (creatively engaging one another while respecting guidelines)

  • Having everything in Common – your needs are my needs and the community will give generously

  • HarvestDowntown Response:

  • We request that you reserve a spot for each member of your family at a service – click HERE

  • Please respect the social distance requirements between households while in our building – seating has been positioned accordingly

  • The South-facing patio doors will be our only entrance and we ask everyone to exit through the mezzanine doors

  • The only food allowed in the sanctuary will be individually wrapped communion elements spaced out on Mezzanine railings

  • Facemasks are strongly recommended for everyone except for those actively speaking into a microphone

  • We are going to be wiping all hard surfaces down in between services – if you are attending, we would love some help with this

  • We will continue to broadcast our service on our YouTube channel: VirtualHarvest

  • There will be no kids’ program during our services until June 21st. This will allow the guidelines to be refined, and hopefully we have clarity by then. Until then, we have curriculum for the kids – we hope that is in your hands by June 7th

  • HarvestYouth are meeting in two groups through the summer. Ben@harvestdowntown.org would love to answer any questions about how that is working and how to engage your teen in our youth ministry.

  • Coffee will be served by a food service professional – no personal cups, but you can bring your own water bottle

  • If you are willing to host a MicroHarvest Church of 10 or fewer people, please let us know. We would love to give you the specifics on what that should look like – your home is YOUR home!

As frustrating and restrictive as these guidelines may seem, let me remind you that we are only asking that you follow them for 1.25 hours of the week. I am sure that many of you want to protest and suggest that it is impossible to abide by them and still be the Church. We need to look not only to our interests, but also the needs of others. I would like to remind you that we have continued to be the church over the past three months without gathering in one building – the building does not define the church community.

As frustrating and liberal as these guidelines may seem to you, let me remind you that we will continue to offer the services on YouTube. You will need to be responsible for your own health and know your limits. We are committed to view those who are restricted from larger group gatherings as members of the Body of Christ and we will value your decision to self-isolate. I would like to remind you that we have continued to be the church over the past three months without gathering in one building – the building does not define the church community.

If I missed something that you think should be considered, or you think we as elders are being inconsiderate, I am happy to take your calls or emails. Please understand that this season is difficult to navigate and not everyone values what you value – not even your immediate family! We have debated this as church leaders and elders, and we will continue to adjust as the days go forward. I personally am submitting to authority on this as an act of worship to God, and I invite you to do the same. I am naturally a grumbler and complainer, but I am reminded that I can’t just quote the first part of Philippians 2 without also quoting verse 14, “Do everything without grumbling, complaining, murmuring, disputing, or arguing.” (I am fully aware that your version only has two of those words, but I wanted to include all the versions.)

Let us know who we are in Him. Let us be the family of God – not just in spite of our differences, but because of our unity. May He be glorified in us – to the praise of His glory.

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Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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