Update on the Crosspointe Church Reopening Plan
(submitted by Crosspointe Elders)
Published July 2, 2020
On July 1st, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases statewide and locally here in Allegheny County, Governor Wolf issued a mandatory wearing of masks in public. The leadership of Crosspointe understands this may have raised questions regarding our reopening plan and whether this will affect our recent reopening of worship services.
Does this mandate from Governor Wolf affect our in-person services? The short answer: not really. As our church family knows, Crosspointe has made the wearing of masks and social distancing a matter for each individual to decide. Our church family has always been encouraged to be wise in considering options, because everyone must decide for themselves their comfort level, safety, and health risk. The purpose of continuing to live stream the worship services is so our church family has the option of staying home if necessary until the crises is over.
It likely hasn’t been emphasized enough, but Governor Wolf’s order back in March, and amended many times, actually has a provision in it about churches and other “houses of worship” being excluded from the orders. Here is that paragraph in full from his latest order, dated May 27, 2020:
“Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations established by this Order. These institutions are strongly encouraged to enforce social distancing and other mitigation measures like masking at their gatherings.”
Today, July 2, the Allegheny County Health Department ordered the temporary closure of all gatherings more than 25 individuals for one week, but also contains a provision regarding churches and other “houses of worship” being excluded from the order. Here is that paragraph in full:
“This Order does not apply to religious gatherings held by churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, or other places of worship. Religious institutions remain subject to any requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.”
We do not want to give the impression of being rebellious toward our governing authority. We are grateful to the Governor that he recognizes the freedom of worship our Constitution affords us. We also recognize your freedom to do what you believe is best for your family during this season.
- Hospitality: the hospitality area will remain closed to the church family until further notice. Coffee, tea & juices will not be available. Drinks are permitted in the church building, and the church family is encouraged to bring their own water, coffee, or drinks for their children.
- Children’s Ministry: beginning July 12th we will be offering children’s classes for both services: nursery, preschool & elementary. Classrooms will be spread out as much as possible. Hand sanitizers are available for the kids, and volunteers will help them wash their hands frequently. If parents are not ready to send their children to class, kids are always welcome to worship with their mom and dad. All classroom areas will be fully sanitized after each service. Our goal is to keep the classrooms clean and disinfected.
If you have any questions, please contact either Pastors Mike or Andrew, or any elder in the church. Most importantly, pray for wisdom, health and grace as we proceed through challenging times. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Grace & peace,
The Crosspointe Elders
Reopening Crosspointe Church
(submitted by Pastor Mike Brownfield)
Published June 2, 2020
During the last two months it has been encouraging to have so many of you join one another online for worship services, Bible studies, and life groups. God has truly blessed Crosspointe Church with a strong sense of community and a hunger to be together once again.
This virus has created an ever changing situation and getting exact guidelines for churches from our governmental leaders and authorities has been a challenge. Yet, as our county moves into the Green Phase of reopening, Governor Wolf stated clearly on May 27th, “Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations established by the order.” (https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-issues-updated-green-phase-order-guidance-on-dining-and-professional-sports/) We have also listened to the results of the recent church survey and many people indicated a readiness to begin to gather and to reopen the building.
Therefore, it is with great excitement we can announce that Crosspointe will open it’s doors for in-person gatherings beginning June 14 at 9A & 10:45A. After reviewing current CDC guidelines and the state’s recommendations, we will be reopening with the following appropriate safety measures in an effort to protect everyone attending a service.
Guidelines for the church building
- Masks will not be required inside the Crosspointe Church building; however, masks will be available if you need one, and those who feel safer wearing a mask are strongly encouraged to do so.
- Coffee, tea, & juice will not be served and the Crosspointe kitchen/hospitality area will remain closed for several weeks. Drinks are permitted in the church building, and the church family is encouraged to bring their own water, coffee, or drinks for their children.
- Only the front door will be used to enter the building. Crosspointe will be utilizing an infrared scanner to monitor temperatures of everyone who enters the building. This is done to protect each and every person who attends. Anyone with a fever will be asked to return home for the safety of others.
Guidelines for worship
- You can generally expect to experience a “touchless” worship experience.
- Our check-in computers and the giving kiosk will not be used until further notice. People can continue to give online using mobile devices, during offering in the service, or on the Crosspointe website.
- Offering baskets will be held only by the ushers to prevent too many hands touching the baskets. Ushers will stand at both ends of each row and reach in to receive your offering.
- Doors will be opened for you at the church entrance.
- Greeters will wear gloves to pass out bulletins in order to minimize person-to-person contact.
- Crosspointe Church will eliminate the greeting time during the worship service to minimize contact between people until further notice.
- The people who call Crosspointe their church home have a strong sense of community. It is not uncommon, prior to the pandemic, to see people hugging and shaking hands throughout the church building. We won’t be policing these “signs” of affection, but ask that you think of the interests of the other person and refrain, or at minimum, ask.
- There will be some changes to the overall worship service structure: the message will be at the beginning of the service, followed by a shortened time of singing. Our purpose in this is to acknowledge that singing projects vapors form the lungs into the air at a greater distance than normal speaking. By moving singing to the end of the service, we are extending to each of you the opportunity to leave the worship area as a way to reduce anyone’s concern regarding the risk of infection.
- Surfaces throughout the building will be cleaned before and after each service.
- Please allow 1-2 seats between family groups to allow for proper social distancing.
- We will continue to offer online worship on both our website and Youtube channel during this time. We strongly encourage those who are in the “vulnerable” category to utilize this worship venue until you have determined it is safe for you to gather. This includes anyone with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle pain, headache or chills; or those with underlying medical conditions: chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; immunocompromised; diabetes; chronic kidney disease/undergoing dialysis and/or liver disease.
Guidelines for Crosspointe children’s ministries
- There will be no nursery, preschool, or elementary classes for an initial period of time. We will meet for worship only.
- The back commons room will be available on Sunday mornings as a cry room for families with young children. The nursery and preschool rooms will be unavailable during this time however, we will provide a few toys from the nursery for your little ones to enjoy which will be cleaned after each service. Please feel free to bring your own activities and toys for your children to help them through the service
- The worship service will be broadcast in the back room on the TV screen.
- A designated area for nursing mothers will be available in the back commons room of the church building.
It’s been said before that the church is not a building, and we witnessed first hand this truth over these last two months. God has once again proven Himself faithful, and while maybe not ideal, we are grateful for the many ways through technology that His Church has been able to remain spiritually connected while socially distant. Now, it’s exciting to begin to gather together once again as a church family in-person.
Our church leadership is so grateful for your prayers, support and encouragement through this challenging time. We understand that for some of us, these guidelines feel limiting or restrictive. For others, there may be surprise we would even consider meeting in-person this soon. Some of us will be confident, others cautious, and many might be somewhere in the middle. Our goal has been to consider the interests of a diverse church family, to provide options as we reopen, and to lessen the fears people have. Let us “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,…” (James 1:19) If you have questions or need clarification, contact Pastors Mike & Andrew, or any elder. God has been building a family within Crosspointe that will continue long after this pandemic is over. Let us choose love, extend lots of grace, and live for the glory of Jesus Christ. See you June 14!
Pastor Mike & the Elders