STAGE ONE – WORSHIP AT HOME
For the safety of everyone, we have been worshiping together from our homes. Online worship has been a blessing, yet we are eager for the next stage.
STAGE TWO – CAMPUS TO HOME LIVESTREAMING (Begins July 19)
In this stage, we will continue to worship from home while a small team of volunteers livestream our services from the church campus. This will allow our campus volunteers to implement safe practices, address any potential issues, and train helpers prior to a full relaunch. This stage will begin on July 19.
STAGE THREE – CAMPUS HOMECOMING (Date to be determined)
In this stage, we will resume worshiping together on the church campus while following all of the state and county guidelines. We will abide by certain safety procedures such as wearing face-coverings, registering online for services, and maintaining social distance. We will also continue to provide a robust online worship experience for those who choose to worship from home. Our Youth and Children’s Ministries will not meet on Sunday mornings at the start of this stage. All other groups may resume meeting in-person if they feel comfortable doing so.
Guiding Principle 1: Our church has never closed.
Since our first online worship service on March 15, we have witnessed EFree Church in action in a big way! The gospel is being shared. People are coming to Christ. Lives are being touched. Each week, our online worship service gets hundreds upon hundreds of views on our Facebook page, and that doesn’t even include our church website. On Easter Sunday alone, our facebook stream received 1310 views. Praise God! In addition to Sunday worship, our groups (from children to youth to adults) are gathering online throughout the week and staying connected, not only with individuals here in our immediate area, but with those in other parts of the country and the world! And you continue to give generously to support the ministries of our church in these uncertain times. All this to say, our church has never closed!
Guiding Principle 2: We want to be a good witness to our community.
At EFree Church, our desire is to represent Christ in the best way possible to those in our community. We want to “love our neighbors” and have a spirit of cooperation. We want to honor our leaders. Gathering back on campus too soon can potentially hurt our witness and communicate to those in our community that we don’t care about them or that we’re out of touch. As a representative at the EFCA West District says, “There’s no prize for being among the first churches to reopen their doors.”
Guiding Principle 3: We’ll gather back on campus when it can be an uplifting and safe experience for everyone.
Our staff and elders are working hard to ensure that when we eventually make our way back onto our campus, everyone can have an uplifting and safe experience. By now, we all know that social distancing is not easy, and it requires much preparation and cooperation on everyone’s part.
Guiding Principle 4: We will remain flexible.
As our plan of re-entry continues to take shape, we will remain flexible and revisit plans as needed. In this ever-changing season, we can be confident that God never changes and that He is always ready to give us guidance so that we can make wise decisions.
How are we preparing to reopen our church campus?
- Studying the recommendations by the California Department of Public Health and the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health on how to safely open churches
- Conducting a thorough cleaning and disinfecting
- Modifying the space (e.g. Worship Center seats, floor markers, etc.) for social distancing
- Purchasing equipment (touchless hand sanitizers, safety signs, livestreaming cameras etc.) to enable efficient and safe operations
- Creating teams (e.g. production/streaming, welcoming, facilities)
- Creating policies, procedures, and contingency plans
- Praying for God’s wisdom