Covid-19 Update Letter
Greetings Church Family and Friends,
As you know, the health concerns due to COVID-19 continue to present challenges to businesses, churches, and other social organizations in our communities. It’s important for all of us that stay attentive to changing conditions and be willing to modify protocols accordingly.
With this in mind, we want to update you as to how the Highland church is dealing with this unusual set of circumstances. Some of what follows is a continuation of what we have been doing but there are also some modifications and clarifications.
Please read carefully.
We recognize that we are all members of a larger community and that we all need to do our part to curtail the spread of COVID-19. To that end, some organizations, including churches, have chosen to discontinue meeting in person for a time. We support and applaud these efforts to keep constituent groups safe. We recognize that every organization is unique and face different challenges. The physical health of our friends and neighbors is important to us.
We also recognize the importance of spiritual health. Because of this, the Highland church, in consultation with the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, has chosen to remain open (with modifications, such as discontinuing fellowship meals and other non essential programing) so as to offer our members and friends the opportunity to worship God together as a unified body of believers. We recognize that corporate worship is God’s design for His people and is, for the believer, an essential service. Separation from from one another puts the individual believer and the body of believers at risk.
We do not take this position lightly and we do not want anyone in our community to infer by our actions that COVID-19 is not a serious health concern. It is. We also do not intend our actions to be a commentary on the protocols of other churches or organizations. As stated above, every organization is unique and face different challenges. As a responsible church family, facing its own unique situation, we are simply trying to strike a healthy and reasonable balance between physical health and spiritual health.
To strike this balance we offer the following worship options to our community:
1. Recommended Option: It is our recommendation that anyone in a high risk category stay at home and use the on-line option for worship service. Our service will continue to be tailored to the on-line experience.
2. Alternative Option: We are open to serve those who desire to worship in person. Please help us meet the following guidelines:
Be sure you’re healthy. In lieu of health screening at the door of the church, we are asking you to screen yourselves and your family before coming to church. This is the most important step in keeping our community safe. If you or anyone in your family can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, please stay home.
- Do you have a fever? (temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees)
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
- Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
- Have you had a new loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
If you are healthy and not in a high risk category and choose to attend in person, please help us meet the remaining guidelines:
- Please wear a face covering (This Tennessee state guideline will help us remain open).
- Maintain at least a 6-foot distance between household units at all times (This includes seating arrangements).
- No handshaking, hugging, etc.
- Limit the sharing of printed material, or other objects.
- Limit the use of restroom facilities and drinking fountain to as little as possible.
- Utilize hand sanitizer often (available at each entry way)
- Monitor your children, ensuring their compliance with all of the above.
In closing, we want to reiterate the position that is guiding all of our decisions as to COVID-19. We believe that corporate worship is an essential service for the believer. With that in mind we will continue to conduct our worship activities with wisdom and care.
The Bible teaches us that the last days will be difficult. We believe that we are in those difficult, last days. Knowing this, we should not be surprised or discouraged at what we see taking place in our communities. We will continue to monitor changing conditions and adapt to our difficult world without compromising our gospel commission.
As always, you and your family are in our prayers.
-Pastor Roger & Pastor Steve