West Hills Family,
As we expect most of you have heard, with the ongoing uptick in many key Coronavirus infection statistics in the St. Louis area, St. Louis County announced on Monday the rollback of previously loosened restrictions on businesses and gatherings. The elders and staff are aware of such changes and wanted to update the church family on certain updated procedures in light of the County actions.
Under the updated restrictions, it appears that the increase as of the end of June in the permitted percentage of authorized occupancy to 50% will now revert to the prior 25%, effective this Friday evening. As a result, the additional seats added back at the beginning of July will be removed once again. Based upon the numbers of attendees in recent weeks, at this point we plan to continue with a single service at 9:00 am, but have decided to reinstate the request that those planning to attend Sunday services in person RSVP. Having prior knowledge of those planning to attend will allow us to best plan seating on the floor, the balcony, and understand if overflow seating in the Doxa will be needed. It will also allow us to plan if at some point while these restrictions remain in place whether implementing a second service would be needed or advisable. Please note that unlike during June when the RSVP request was solely for ‘Plan B’ if we were unable to meet outdoors due to inclement weather, the request that parties RSVP at this time is for the one planned 9:00 am service. Seating in the sanctuary will be reserved for visitors and those who RSVP; those who do not RSVP will need to wait until 9:00 to fill remaining seats or use Doxa overflow.
As we have been doing, the following additional policies and precautions remain:
- Adult Bible Study/Sunday School will remain online at 11:00am (for those classes still meeting, and as classes resume).
- We will still not offer WHKids programming at this time (logistics and timing for restarting children’s programming remain under discussion given current circumstances).
- The Doxa will be available for overflow seating.
- All our same procedures will still apply, including:
- please observe 6-ft. social distancing at all times
- masks will be required
- discouraging physical contact of any kind
- shortening the service to approximately one hour
- waiting to be seated / dismissed by ushers
- encouraging any socializing before / after the service to move outside
- strict cleaning guidelines we will continue to adhere to
- We will continue to livestream the service online for those who do not yet feel safe worshipping with us in-person (and ask that you to join us online from home if you feel sick or are in an at-risk category for COVID).
We believe that if we stick to these guidelines, we can continue offering a safe, meaningful worship experience for those of our church family who are able to attend in person as well as those watching online.
If you have questions or concerns, or if we can serve you in any way at this time as your elders, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Otherwise, thank you for your patience, flexibility, grace, understanding, and PRAYER as we continue to try and lead the church through this challenging season.
The West Hills Elder Council