Throughout the past 13 months, Autumn Ridge Community Church has sought to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with three aims in mind:
- To honor the clear teaching of Scripture found in Hebrews 10:25: believers should not neglect to assemble together at regular intervals for worship and fellowship.
- To conduct our worship gatherings in such a way that they remained accessible to as many covenant members, regular attenders, and newcomers as we possible.
- To represent the name of Jesus with compassion and grace before the watchful eyes of our community’s unchurched population.
While these aims have remained consistent throughout the duration of this pandemic, our specific responses have fluctuated as we learned more about the novel coronavirus, and as case numbers fluctuated in our community:
- March 2020 – June 2020: we discontinued our corporate worship gathering, and instead encouraged folks to assemble in small, home-based gatherings as they were able. “Worship Webcasts” were pre-recorded and streamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.
- June 2020 – August 2020: as we resumed corporate worship gatherings last summer, we wore face covering the entire time, discontinued our Ridge Kids programming, organized our seating in accordance with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, rigorously sanitized hard surfaces, and more.
- August 2020 – April 2021: As schools opened back up, we also re-launched (and even expanded!) our Ridge Kids programming, and only required face coverings while entering, exiting, and moving about the facility.
By God’s grace, the number of new cases in our community is decreasing, and herd immunity continues to be built both through vaccinations and through folks contracting and recovering from the virus. As a result, Autumn Ridge Community Church is excited to announce the following changes to our COVID-19 response plan. These changes are being adopted in conjunction with relevant public health officials and agencies. These changes will go into effect on Sunday, May 2.
- CDC and WHO both hold that that the risk of contracting COVID-19 through virus particles left behind on hard surfaces is relatively low. Therefore, we’ll discontinue our elevated disinfection procedures and simply clean our facility as we did prior to the onset of COVID-19. Hand sanitizer will still be readily available.
- We will also no longer require face coverings to be worn in our facility.
- We will continue to meet in the Performing Arts Center rather than the smaller Community Room, and seating will continue to be spaced out (every other row) to promote social distancing.
- Moreover, we will offer the far left entrance and the far left side of the Performing Arts Center as a “mask required” entry/section. We have the ability and desire to serve those who would prefer to be surrounded by others who remain committed to wearing a face covering.
- We encourage everyone to at least bring a face covering with them in order that those seated in the “face mask required” section can still fellowship with others…
- As at any other time of the year, pandemic or not – we will continue to ask folks who are (or who have recently been) sick to remain at home, and for those who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 to follow the CDC’s self-isolation protocols.
We recognize that COVID-19 is NOT a non-factor at this point; folks in our community continue to be sick, be hospitalized, and die. Others will inevitably be exposed to COVID-19 in the days ahead, and will simply need the option to remain self-isolated at home due to the ongoing nature of this pandemic. We also understand that folks’ susceptibility to this virus varies dramatically from person to person. For all of these reasons, we will continue to stream our worship gatherings online for the time being. You can access these livestreams on our Facebook Page or YouTube channel.
If you’ve got questions about these changes to our response plan (and how they might impact YOU and the ones you love), reach out to Davis@AutumnRidgeCommunityChurch.com.
Thanks for joining us in this new season of bringing glory to God as we train folks to learn the gospel, love the gospel, and live out the gospel. We’ll see you – and your smiles – sometime real soon!