May 23, 2020
Our Valley church elders and ministry staff are committed to providing our church and community with the programs, resources, and care they need to grow in faith, experience meaningful Christian fellowship, and connect with ways to serve. The current pandemic crisis poses significant obstacles for accomplishing these goals, but we believe God has been providing and leading us each day. What’s more, we see ways that God has been blessing and teaching us through these unexpected challenges.
As our government and health officials try to determine guidelines for how and when we will pull out of the current health directives, our church leaders are working to determine how Valley will transition into the next phase of operation and programs. We will do our best to ensure that the needs and best interests of everyone in the Valley family are being addressed.
While we are looking forward to being able to gather once again for worship and ministry programs, we need to take every precaution to consider the health and well-being of everyone. We must do our best to guard the health and safety of our children, our families, our elderly, and those with compromising health concerns.
Now that Minnesota has moved from the Stay Home MN phase, and launched into the Stay Safe MN plan for the weeks and months ahead, we will need to rethink and reshape the ways we do church. Rather than a shift back to what we were doing before the pandemic, we will be working to build an entirely new approach:
• We will continue our efforts to minister through online platforms (video, social media, blogs, etc.) and expand upon those programs.
• We will innovate and develop our plans for gatherings and in-person programs. We are eager for gatherings, but we are committed to not rushing ahead in ways that are unsafe or not yet sustainable. The Stay Safe MN plan provides us with guidelines, but our actions will be measured against what is best for Valley.
• Outdoor events with appropriate social distancing measures will be the very first steps toward gatherings.
• Smaller indoor gatherings with established and predictable participants and manageable social distancing will be the first step toward indoor gatherings. We will begin with staff and volunteer meetings, gradually move into some small fellowship and Bible study opportunities, and expand from there as each phase of the Stay Safe MN plan rolls out.
• Gatherings for children, especially small children pose the greatest challenge. Unfortunately, they will need to come later in the process. We will need to eliminate and/or restrict the shared use of beverages and food (including communion) for quite some time. All larger indoor gatherings will need to come later in the process, as the CDC and State guidelines allow.
• In-Person pastoral care visitation will be based on the needs of individuals and the appropriate health precautions needed to keep our ministry staff healthy and safe.
Future communications will explain plans for Adult Discipleship, Youth Ministries, and Childrens Ministries.
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VALLEY'S NEXT STEPS DIAL
STEPS TOWARD DIALING UP
WEEKLY WORSHIP SERVICES:
• Online Sunday Morning Worship via Zoom and Pre-Production
Next Steps (Starting June 7):
• 45-Minute Online Sunday Morning Worship service produced live from Worship Center with up to 60 in-person participants and up to 15 leaders and volunteers. Participants should pre-register.
• Group Size Subject to Change, State Health Guidelines Followed
• Weekly Sunday Night Praise Drive-Ins with Worship Team (recorded and posted to YouTube Channel)
More Next Steps:
Steps and Dates TBD