9:00AM Sunday BIBLE STUDY
10:00AM COFFEE & DONUTS
10:30AM WORSHIP SERVICE
2:00PM SPANISH SERVICE
June 10, 2020
CBC Family & Friends,
We miss you. It has been FAR too long since we we have seen you and been able to gather together and worship the Lord in person. Though the past few months have been dark and difficult for most of us, we continue to trust in Christ our King and his reign over our world. We believe that through and in the midst of this terrible pandemic, God has worked, is working, and will continue to work for the good of the Church and our church. We praise God and celebrate the fact that even a worldwide pandemic that has brought the world to its knees cannot stop the church from being the church, the gospel from being proclaimed, or Christ from being King. Even though we have lost family members and church members, even though we have suffered spiritual struggles, taken financial hits, and our world has been turned upside down, God is still good, he is still on his throne, we are still his beloved, and nothing can or will ever change that. To Him be all glory, honor, and praise!
Though the past few months have been very difficult, we have some good news! The pastors and deacons have been praying, discussing, watching, learning, and trying to discern our path forward. Things have been changing so quickly that it has been difficult to keep up and keep everyone informed. If we have under-communicated, we apologize. Thank you for your patience with us as we’ve tried to lead through an entirely new and ever changing time. But with where we stand right now in our nation, state, city, and church, the time has come to move forward.
We are writing this letter to inform you about our tentatively hopeful plans to return to a “new normal”. Though we hope to normalize things as much and as soon as possible, the reality is that certain aspects of our ministry will have to be adjusted as we move forward. In accordance with our state and local governments’ 5 Phase “Restore Illinois” plan, we have begun to sort through several phases of our own as we begin to move toward regathering for services. Right now, we are in Phase 3 along with the majority of Illinois. Our state has been segmented into 4 regions. We are in the Northeast region, which has been hit the hardest by far in terms of total cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. In fact, Cook County is one of the hardest hit counties in the nation. That being said, we must temper our expectations for reopening accordingly - knowing that while other portions of our country and state have progressed faster than we have, it is because the situation has been much less severe in those areas.
In Phase 3, as many of you no doubt know, some things have begun to reopen. However, gatherings of more than 10 people are still not recommended. In order for the Northeast region (and other regions) to progress from Phase 3 to Phase 4, in which gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, we must see: At or under 20% positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14 day period AND no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days AND available surge capacity of at least 14% of ICU, medical, and surgical beds and ventilators. IN addition, testing must be available regardless of symptoms or risk factors and contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of diagnosis for more than 90% of region’s cases (https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/ restore-illinois-phase-3).
In light these realities and requirements by the state health department, here is CBC’s several phase plan to reopen for worship services. As we progress, we will be developing and communicating more specific safety guidelines for each of our ministries.
The Phase 3 Plan - As long as our state is in Phase 3, we will continue to adhere to the state’s guidelines and recommendations for public health. This means we will continue live-streaming Sunday worship services and keep all of our other ministries online for the time being. This plan will stay in place as long as the Northeast region remains in Phase 3.
The Phase 4 Plan - When the IDPH changes our status to Phase 4, we will begin to implement some changes. This means we will continue live-streaming Sunday worship services but will resume all other ministries and church related gatherings of fewer than 50 people. Small groups, Bible studies, youth group, Crossroads, and all other ministry gatherings will be allowed to take place. These groups will follow the safety guidelines that we are currently working on developing in accordance with the CDC’s, IDPH’s, and our insurance company’s recommendations to ensure that we are all kept as safe and healthy as possible as we begin to regather. After 2 months we will reevaluate. If Phase 4 is looking like it’s going to last a while, we will prayerfully contemplate other options for our Sunday services, knowing that gathering for services during this time would require: Multiple worship services with less than 50 people, face masks, social distancing, entry screening, capacity limits, staggered arrival and departure times for each family, no congregational singing, no meet & greet time, offering adjustments, Lord’s Supper adjustments, no person to person contact, no children’s church, no water fountains, and lots of dedicated volunteers to wipe down and disinfect bathrooms, pews, door handles, microphones, etc. between uses.
The Phase 5 Plan - When the IDPH changes our status to Phase 5 (which currently requires a “Vaccine, effective and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time”) we will resume gathering in person for Sunday morning services, following the safety guidelines currently in development. All other ministries will of course continue meeting just as they did in Phase 4.
The Pastors and Deacons are in unanimous agreement that this is the best option for our church at this time. If things change or come to light, we will adjust our plans accordingly. We are all incredibly anxious to see your faces, fellowship together, and return to gathering regularly. We long to be with you again, to see your smiling faces, to study God’s word together, and to sing praises to him. Continue to love one another, pray for one another, comfort one another, commune with one another, and encourage one another through this time. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church we have been, “...torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart.” We are with you in heart and spirit and we long for the day we can be with you again in person. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or needs that we can address.
Pastor Noah, Pastor Scott, & the Deacons
You can find us at:
551 Arlington Avenue Elgin, Illinois 60123.
We would love to have you come and join us!