In the month of March 2020, Americans have seen coronavirus invade our country. And, it has changed our way of life, at least for a while. There is no need to panic, but there is a need to plan well and wisely. This is not just sports teams, businesses, or our school campuses, but also our church, your family, and you. Please read through our current response below:
VIDEO FROM PASTOR SHAWN
LETTER FROM PASTORS SHAWN AND DEANNA
Hello Destiny family!
We are grateful to announce that we are planning for worship gatherings to resume, on-site, on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, 2020! We have taken many steps to ensure that, for those who will choose to continue to view online, that live stream services will also continue to be available. Statistics nationwide, and locally, suggest that we will have about half of us on-site and half viewing online. And that’s okay! Regardless of what you feel the Lord is leading you to do, we want to be here for you.
When we began our time of prayer and fasting on May 26, we knew that our hearts would be leaning in to hear when and how would be the way for us to gather on-site again. God knew! And after nearly three months of doing ministry, solely, in a different way, He has made a way for us to enter our facility again.
We realize that there are many different perspectives regarding the appropriate way to gather. It is our conviction that it is important to honor our government officials and community leaders and to follow the guidelines that they’ve outlined for us (Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17). It is not something we are being forced to do. It is something we are choosing to do for the safety and health of our community. As a result, the logistics for gathering will be a bit different for a while. In that regard, we are grateful for the privilege we have to gather and worship. And we will do everything we can to both show honor to the leaders God has placed over us and to ensure intentional care for all members of our church family (Romans 12:10; I Peter 2:17; I Cor. 13:4-7; Phil. 2:3-4).
Currently, the Rapid City occupancy limit has been lifted, but we have organized our sanctuary in order to help achieve 6 ft. social distancing health and safety recommendations. Based on the projected attendance numbers from our survey, national and local statistics for re-gathering, and the city’s capacity guidelines, we plan to host our regular worship service times at:
- 8:30 to 10:00 AM (in person)
- 10:30 to 12:00 PM (in person and live-streamed online)
With all of that in mind, please carefully read through the following guidelines to ensure that we gather together in a way that’s honoring to all involved.
For His Kingdom,
Pastors Shawn and Deanna
COME BACK GUIDELINES
BEFORE YOU COME
- If you have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, such as high fever, dry cough, loss of smell and taste, sore throat, muscle pain, or chills, please remain home and watch the live-stream at 10:30 AM. In addition, please submit a prayer request so we can contend for your healing!
- If you have high-risk factors, please consider remaining at home and watching the live-stream.
- If you have been recently and knowingly exposed to COVID-19, please consider remaining at home and watching the live-stream.
- There will be no coffee or food services at this time. You are encouraged to bring your own with you to service, should you so desire.
- Wearing masks is not required, although, it is encouraged by health guidelines. If you would like to wear a mask, feel free to do so. We will leave this decision up to your own conscience and judgment and will honor whatever decision you make. Masks will be available for you to pick up in the entry area.
- Important note: We will politely ask congregants to clear the sanctuary between the 1st and 2nd services to allow our team to sanitize. This is generally between 10:00 and 10:15 a.m. To accommodate this, we will ask our 1st service attendees to clear the sanctuary shortly after the service has finished, unless they are getting ministered to, or serving on the altar ministry team. Thank you for your understanding and grace in this matter.
- Our kitchen area in the sanctuary is closed off for use.
- Our plan is to make operational decisions in phases. We will re-assessing every couple of weeks while the recommended guidelines are still in place.
- On-site nursery care and ministry will be available, 10:30-service only, starting Sunday, July 19.
- On-site children’s ministry, for older kids, will be available, 10:30-service only, starting Sunday, July 26.
- Children also have the option to stay with their families/guardians during service. Destiny will provide some worship tools/activities for your children to use. We will have a limited amount of round tables in the back of the sanctuary reserved for families with small children.
- Our on-site Wednesday night nursery, children, and teen ministries are starting back up on Wednesday, September 9.
- Connect with what our children’s ministry is offering online.
- Connect with what our youth ministry is offering online.
- Get more details on the safety precautions our NextGen department is taking for on-site ministry.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
- Please maintain social distance (6 ft of space) on your way into the church building, while in the sanctuary, and when leaving. We will have marked entry and exit doors to help with traffic flow and to discourage bottlenecking.
- We will have a church team member at the doors to greet you, and to hold the door open, to ensure a “touchless entry.”
- You are encouraged to use hand sanitizer, which will be available upon entry.
- Giving envelopes and Connect Cards may be picked up at the Welcome Area while entering and dropped off in a secure dropbox location that will be placed at the exit. Individual facial tissue packs are also available for pick up.
- We ask for grace and flexibility as we do our best to navigate our new occupancy maximum guideline and to show care for those who’ve already arrived.
- If our seats are taken and there is not space for social distancing, please show grace as we attempt to adjust and provide a safe environment for worship. From assessing our survey results, we expect to have room for everyone, as long as we spread out between the services. We may have to adjust if it does not pan out that way.
- We have set the sanctuary up with wider rows (6 ft distance). When picking your seat, please allow for empty chairs between your family/household and others outside your family/household when seated in the same row.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE
- Please practice social distancing with those not in your immediate family/household.
- If you DO want to hug or touch someone, please ask them first to make sure they are comfortable with it. This is a way to honor those that are attending. Show lots of grace.
- We want to allow freedom for you to worship and dance in the spaces that are available. Please just be aware of the space between yourself and other worshippers. Initially, we will not have Destiny’s flags and/or banners out, but you are welcome and encouraged to bring your own.
- Prayer and ministry times will not include physical touch without express permission.
- We will not be handing out bulletins in order to help ensure a paperless service. Details about events, updates, etc. can always be found at mydestiny.family, subscribing to our e-news, text updates, and on social media. You can sign up for these services on our Subscribe and Follow page. You can also download fill-in-the-blank notes each week.
- We will not have a greeting time, nor will we pass any objects during service. This will help to lessen hand-to-hand contact.
- If you must cough, please cough into your elbow or sleeve.
- Please note: all high traffic touchpoints, surfaces, and bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each service.
- Please show grace for all the various members of our church family. If someone is wearing a mask, show grace. If someone is not wearing a mask, show grace. In all situations: show grace.
WHEN YOU DEPART
- When the 8:30 service is over, please do not congregate inside. Consider taking your conversation outside. Our team will be disinfecting directly after service. Again, thank you for your grace.
- Please use the designated EXIT and ENTRY ways and help prevent bottlenecks.
- If you develop COVID-19 symptoms within a couple of days after our church service, please contact the church office at (605) 348-7958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONNECT GROUPS AND SMALL GROUP GATHERINGS
- We are going to trust our Connect Group and class leaders to use wisdom in gathering and leading your communities. As a part of the Destiny family, please follow health guidelines when meeting on-site and/or off. Take into consideration the size of our classrooms when making these decisions. Talk to the Destiny staff about the possible use of other, larger spaces on-site, if available.
- Please use extra precautions if serving food (not recommended, unless pre-packaged) or sharing any other touched surfaces. Please do your best to match the guidelines, listed above, for our weekend services.
- Certain areas of the facility, including the kitchen facilities, will be marked off-limits for a season.