Check back here for the most up to date news on how
Gate City is responding to COVID-19.
BEING THE CHURCH IN THE MIDST OF CORONAVIRUS
Keeping everyone up to date is a large priority for GCCC right now. Here is the latest updates and encouragement during this crazy time. We know that the world is a crazy place, and things can even be scary at times. In the midst of uncertainty and fear though, we absolutely want to remind you that Jesus is on His throne in the midst of chaos. We can also be reminded that the church is always the church and isn't going anywhere. Even when things change, or circumstances demand something, or locations are different, God's church will always remain.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, our leadership has put a plan together for our church that needs to be communicated. Here are some important updates on this weekends services, our programming going forward, and our policy on COVID-19.
Safety Update for Gate City Christian
Governor moves state back to Stage 3 - How does this affect Gate City?
Some key points from Gov. Little's announcement to temporarily move Idaho to Stage 3:
1. There are MANY more cases recently and the hospital and health services of Eastern Idaho are being stretched to capacity.
2. According to the guidance received from Southeast Idaho Public Health the restrictions of "50 for indoor events" and "25% of capacity for outdoor events" does NOT apply to worship services. However, it DOES apply to other events such as youth group, and other large group activities. Since reopening we have not held any large events that have had more than 50 people attend other than our Food Pantry and they are practicing the appropriate Safety Guidelines given to us by the Idaho Food Bank and Southeast Idaho Public Health.
3. We are thankful and blessed to have had NO positive cases traced to a church-sponsored event or worship service! This includes serving 1000's of people in numerous events since we reopened May 03.
So here's our message: THANK YOU! Clearly, your willingness to practice safety here at Gate City has been effective. You simply cannot get better than ZERO cases traced to a church event. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your grace, kindness and thoughtfulness to others. Thank you for being willing to inconvenience yourself for the sake of others. Thank you for not condemning or judging others.
We want to continue be a model of responsibility and concern for our community, family, friends and co-workers. Experts are telling us that the recent increases are largely due to people “letting their guard down” especially in gatherings like weddings, funerals and social events. I ask you to please pause and calmly view the current situation from a perspective of love for others and remain vigilant -- and cautious -- and thoughtful of all who you interact with. As John said about Jesus: "I must become less and He must become more." Whether we agree or not, we practice the following out of love for our neighbor and an example of Jesus Christ:
1. If you are showing even mild symptoms, please stay home until symptoms are completely gone.
2. Please socially distance consistently, this includes when you visit either before or after services.
3. Please, when you are unable to distance, wear a mask as a way of protecting others.
4. Please wash your hands throughout the day.
5. Most importantly commit to showing the love of Jesus to all in our words, attitudes and actions.
These practices have resulted in the best possible results at Gate City and I simply want to encourage you to "Keep it up!!" With God’s help and your diligence we will get through this difficult season and while we wait we can watch the Kingdom of God continue to grow as ours and other likeminded churches continue to share the Gospel message.
Remember, you can attend our services in person at 9am and 11am on Sundays or watch live or recorded on our YouTube channel. You can make an offering of thanksgiving via electronic giving. WE ARE STILL THE FAMILY OF GOD, regardless of whether we are together or apart. It is Christ that unifies us -- who forgives us -- who strengthens us -- who saves us and who will see us through.
Please keep the families in our community and around the globe affected by this virus in your prayers as we continue to ask God for his grace and protection for all.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during these past months. As many of you may now be aware the Governor gave permission to Churches to reopen beginning May 3rd. We have reopened our 9am and 11am service. Below are the precautions and protocols we are taking that are consistent with the guidance we have been given. Life Groups have begun meeting in homes "where appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed . . ." Our Youth Group 6th-12th grades is currently meeting Sundays at 11am and Wednesdays at 7pm and are also practicing appropriate distancing and hygiene recommendations. Also we are starting up our Children's Ministries during the 11am service only beginning 7/4/2020. Please see the additional guidelines below for our Children's Ministries.
PROTOCOLS FOR WORSHIP SERVICES
We know these precautions may sound rigid and overcautious, but the Governor of Idaho has placed his trust in Churches to lead the way in demonstrating how group gatherings can be safely conducted. We will be watched closely by many and this is our opportunity to lead by example as Jesus would have us do. You can view the State Protocols we must follow HERE. We have consulted with the Governors Office, Health Officials and we met with 10 other area Pastors where we jointly planned and agreed to take similar precautions as we begin to offer services again. We will need your help and cooperation to successfully and safely hold services.
Church Services Guidelines and Safety Protocols
1. In accordance with the guidelines from the State of Idaho we:
a. Encourage anyone who enters the place of worship to wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to or just after entering the building. (Sanitizer will be available at each entrance and throughout the building).
b. Encourage staff, volunteers and/or worshippers to wear face coverings as a regular practice. This is not a requirement, but we strongly recommend it.
c. Ask all staff, volunteers and worshippers to self-monitor for fever or symptoms of COVID-19 and refrain from entering the building if there is any concern about possible infection.
d. Ask you refrain from, handshaking, hugging and other physical contact with other attenders.
2. We will have volunteers that will help you maintain appropriate distancing as you enter and leave.
3. When visiting with other attenders please maintain the appropriate distancing (6ft). You should consider visiting outside either before or after the service where there is more room for distancing.
4. Please do not linger in the foyer or the hallway. There will be a table with bulletins if you desire one. You can always use the YouVersion bulletin on your digital device.
5. In the Worship Center you will notice that there is limited seating. A Volunteer will help seat you. We ask that families and couples sit together. There must be two chairs between attenders not of the same group.
6. We will not have any toddler or elementary children's programs available. If you bring children, they must sit with you. Please plan accordingly.
7. The nursery will be available but not staffed for parents who need to take advantage of it. We ask if you use the nursery to maintain appropriate distancing (6ft) from other individuals. If you use the changing station or other items, we ask you wipe them down with the disinfectant wipes provided when you are finished.
8. Only one person or family group will be allowed to use the restroom at a time. Please wash your hands thoroughly before you exit.
9. At the end of the service please remain seated, we will release you by sections from the rear to the front.
Who Should Stay Home:
1 If you are sick or experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please stay home. (The CDC recommends if you have a fever above 100.4, cough or shortness of breath you should contact your health care provider to determine if you should be tested.)
2. The CDC recommends if you are over 65 you should consider staying home, avoid crowds and practice social distancing.
3. You should stay home if you have serious chronic medical conditions like:
o Heart disease
o Lung disease
Children’s Ministries Safety Protocols
We will be limiting the number of children based on classroom size. If a class is full we ask that your child/children sit with you. We will do all we can to safely accommodate your family’s needs.
Below are the steps we will taking:
1. Temperature Screening
We will ask that you allow us to take a no-touch temperature of your child/children.
2. Screening Questions
If their temperature is normal we will ask if the child has:
• HAS A COUGH YES / NO
• IS EXPERIENCING SHORTNESS of BREATH YES / NO
If the ABOVE are NO and their temperature is normal, the child can now enter the classroom.
If ANY of the ABOVE are YES, the child WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to enter the classroom and we recommend that they return home.
3. We ask that your child/children either wash their hands or use sanitizer before having any contact with other children or other staff/volunteers. Younger children may need your help with this.
4. Face masks are not required but will be available if you want your child to use one.
We believe if we can take these simple precautions we can significantly reduce the risk to your child/children and volunteers. Thank you for being so understanding as we navigate this ever changing Covid-19 situation.
I want to say thank you for partnering with us as we do our best to assure our Church family and guests that their health and safety is important to us all. We will continue to our stream services online for those who can’t attend.