KEEPING YOU INFORMED
From Pastor Bryan, May 27, 2020:
This past Thursday, we heard (along with all of you) the mayor’s announcement that churches can meet onsite again, as long as the CDC guidelines are followed. After much thought and prayer, I wanted to keep you informed with where we are as a church. In short, we plan on waiting to hold worship services here onsite until the end of June, at the earliest.
The next question is pretty obvious: why? There are a number of reasons, but the first is the size of our church family, as well as our campus. KCC has a lot more logistical issues to consider than smaller churches. For example, our Worship Center holds a maximum of 340 adults. In order to practice proper social distancing, we would have to limit each service to approximately 120. If we added the Fellowship Hall as an overflow area, that would give us a little more room. But, the reality is, once we reach a certain number, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate any more people, which could be problematic.
Another logistical issue is cleanliness. Prior to the Covid-19 situation, KCC had one janitor on duty, and it was a big job. Part of the reentry process would include having a team of people who are willing to sanitize the Worship Center, bathrooms, stairs, and other trafficked areas. Currently, we are looking into special filters, as well as UV options, for our Worship Center and Fellowship Hall a/c systems, to provide the safest environment we can.
Perhaps the biggest concern to address is our keiki. When we do return to onsite, we will not be able to have our keiki ministry for a period of time, since most keiki simply do not know how to social distance. Our children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, so they would remain with their families, in worship. Additionally, we have our kupuna who are at a higher risk—and want to protect them, too.
I could go on with additional examples of the logistics of meeting back onsite, but I think you get the point that there are a lot of things to consider.
We have been seeking sound advice from a variety of sources, including pastors from other churches, medical doctors and an OSHA expert.
Here is my heart. Like I have said before, I want to meet now, but I do not think that is a wise decision. I know other churches have decided to meet, and that is there prerogative; however, as the Lead Shepherd of Kaimuki Christian Church, it is my responsibility to look after and care for our flock. And I feel (along with our re-entry team), that we want to continue the course we are on—to re-enter slowly and wisely. This Saturday, the elders and I will work out more details as we navigate these uncharted territories.
Therefore, I do not foresee us re-entering anytime before the end of June. I think we need to see how this virus affects people in this next stage of re-opening, and we need to have our facilities ready, and a clear plan for what our reentry will look like. Across the nation, the harsh reality has been that a number of churches have decided meet too early, and have spread the virus, infecting their congregation.
As I have mentioned before, we plan on resuming worship here on our campus in stages. The good news is we are in the first phase of reopening. The first phase will include having our praise team recording at the church (following social distancing guidelines), which means we are one-step closer to reentry. Phase one will also allow for ohana groups to meet in person (while practicing proper social distancing), if groups decide to do so. This will actually be a clear indicator (if our ohana groups are willing to meet in person) that our church is ready to re-enter having worship services onsite. Ohana group coaches and leaders will have more information and be communicating to their teams.
For the time being, let me encourage all of us to patient. Also, let me encourage us to be unified. Anytime a decision like this is made of this magnitude, there will be people with different viewpoints. Regardless where you fall, let’s heed the words of the apostle Paul, Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
We will keep our church ohana updated. Let’s continue praying, seeking God, and sharing the love of Jesus with others through our actions.
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