As our region and country begin the process of reopening, our staff is preparing a phased reopening plan that mirrors the strategy outlined by the government.
We currently plan to begin limited, registration-required in-person gatherings on Sunday, June 21. Please take the brief survey below to help us plan and let us know when you and your family plan to return.
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When will in-person gatherings resume?
We currently plan to begin limited, registration-only in-person gatherings on June 21. While we expect our phased approach to open to line up with the phases that have been laid out by the government, everything hinges on the health of our community and the CDC’s recommendations. We have to be more cautious about how we reopen due to the size of our gatherings, so we’ll likely open a little later than other local businesses and churches.
We will only advance through these phases as Sumner County meets the government’s benchmarks to continue reopening.
What will the limited gatherings look like?
We’re currently planning to resume our in-person gatherings with a limited weekend experience that keeps our community’s safety in mind. The first limited gathering is planned to meet on Sunday, June 21.
During these limited gatherings, we will take every precaution according to guidance from the health department:
- We will require pre-registration to attend services, and check-in will be required before you can enter the building. (This is a private, church-only event registration that will allow us to contact you in case we receive reports of a COVID-19 patient who attended the same service)
- We will limit services to 50% capacity.
- Chairs will be arranged in groups of 5-6 so families can sit together, and these seating clusters will be distanced from others.
- Next generation ministries like LH Kids and LH Students will not meet, and on-campus Life Groups will not meet.
- Unless on-stage, all volunteers and staff will wear masks.
- All attendees are encouraged to wear masks.
- Bathroom access will be limited to 1-2 individuals at a time (and we will disinfect restrooms after every use).
- We will not serve coffee or food.
- Parking trams will not run.
- We will not pass offering baskets.
- We will ask attendees to self-screen before attending a service.
- Anyone experiencing fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms should not attend.
- Vulnerable populations should not attend.
Why will you require registration for the limited gatherings?
Like many churches nation-wide, after consulting with health experts in our church and community, we’re starting our reopening process with limited gatherings that will require pre-registration to attend. We know this isn’t ideal, but it provides an opportunity for those who want to attend in-person gatherings sooner with a chance to do that in a way that honors the health guidelines that are still in place.
Pre-registration is required for two reasons: First, it allows us to limit the capacity of our worship centers so that we can properly distance those that come to worship with us. We’ve decided to temporarily limit the capacity of our worship centers by 50% until we can to return to full gatherings, and we need to know in advance when we reach that limit.
Second, pre-registering and using check-in allows us to contact attendees in the event that we learn of a COVID-19 case from someone else who attended the same day. We referred to this as “contact-tracing” in the earlier email, but we’ve since learned that this term has been used in a variety of ways in various news reports and articles where it has a different meaning.
Here’s what our pre-registration process will look like:
- Those who want to attend a service can pre-register their family on our website in the days leading up to the Sunday service. This registration is free and completely private, just like registering for any other church event in the past. Only our staff has access to it for check-in purposes.
- When you show up Sunday morning, we’ll welcome you and quickly check you in at any entrance.
- In the event that we learn of a COVID-19 case from someone else who attended the same day and service as you, we’ll let you know so you can take the necessary precautions at your own discretion.
What we are NOT doing with the pre-registration process:
- Tracking you automatically with your phone.
- Partnering with the government to track you, or sharing your attendance data with the government (or any other business or organization).
- Keeping and/or sharing a record of your health data.
Please keep in mind that this is only a temporary measure until we can return to our normal, no-registration required Sunday services
Will regular activities look different?
While we expect our in-person gatherings to feel the same when we reach Phase 4, like the rest of society, we expect that the way we interact with each other will look at little different for a while. We’re going to continue to modify the parts of our services that required physical contact before (such as passing offering buckets and greeting each other with handshakes), and we’re doing everything we can to keep our facilities clean and safe.
Even if you see more face masks (and a lot more hand sanitizer), when we gather together again in-person, we hope it will feel like coming home.
What about regular yearly events?
In the near term, some of our events will gather as an online-only event, and some will still meet in-person (but look a little different this year). Student Camp is a good example; we’re hoping to hold a reimagined version of camp as a special in-person weekend event later this summer.
How can we gather together right now?
In-person gatherings may be on-hold for a little while longer, but Long Hollow Online has several great ways to gather digitally on a weekly basis. Check out our schedule here, and make plans to join us as often as you can.