Tuesday evening, Sept. 1, our Shepherds and Ministry Staff met for a monthly “business” meeting. Out of that night’s time together, our Shepherds accepted a plan from the Safety and Security Team to move forward with a full return to Sunday morning Bible classes Sept. 6. Extra steps and precautions are in place to insure the health of each teacher and participant in all classes. Also, two rooms will be ready in the Outreach Building to livestream the Worship assembly should the participation in the Worship Center exceed the space allowed with physical distancing measures in place.
While we are all excited about getting back to a normal routine in our gatherings on Sunday mornings, it is important to remember the guidelines for large, indoor gatherings by the Arkansas Department of Health. If any of the following apply, you are encouraged continue worshiping with us via livestream in your home:
- If you have had a fever of 100.4 or higher in the past two days.
- If you have a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell or other symptoms typical of Covid-19.
- If you are age 65 or older or have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma, or immunocompromising conditions.
Our Northside kids began Bible class again on Sept. 6! Thank you to our teachers who have agreed to teach during this fall quarter (September – November). Here are some ways our children’s classes will be different this fall:
How to HELP us keep the spread from impacting our Northside kiddos
Please keep sick children at home.
Do not bring your child to Bible class if they meet any of the following criteria:
- A temperature of 100.4 or above
- Have had a fever of 100.4 or above in the last 48 hours
- Signs or symptoms of Covid-19 – fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell)
- In the previous 14 days has had contact with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19
Each classroom will have hand sanitizers at the door. We ask that your child sanitize their hands before entering the classroom.
Will physical distancing guidelines be observed?
Physical distancing will be observed as much as possible. At times, children and teachers may be closer than the recommended six feet apart.
When physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained, children (age 5 and above) will be asked to wear a face covering. Classrooms have been rearranged to increase the space between children, but we cannot guarantee they will always be six feet apart. This is all dependent on the number who choose to attend (currently, a survey of parents indicates 50% of children on each class roster will attend the restart of in person Bible class).
Who will be required to wear face coverings?
Following the guidelines of the Benton School District, all volunteers and students (age 5 and over) will be required to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible. Any child with health issues and/or special needs that would prevent them from wearing a face covering will not be asked to do so. In the event that physical distancing is possible, face coverings can be removed.
Will classrooms be arranged differently to protect children?
Yes, classrooms will be arranged to provide as much space as possible between children without limiting their ability to interact and communicate with others in the classroom. Any sharing of supplies or work surfaces will be minimized as much as possible. Each child will have their own supply box in the classroom to limit shared supplies. The supplies and boxes will be provided by the Northside children’s ministry. Children will use hand sanitizer before sharing supplies.
Pre-K1 & Pre-K2
The 4- and 5-year old class continues to be a large class and a decision was made to divide the class into two smaller classes – a younger 4-year old class (Pre-K1) and an older 4- and 5-year old class (Pre-K2). Once you arrive for Bible class on Sunday, check the door for a listing of which class your Pre-K child will be in. We will monitor this throughout the quarter to see how effective it is.
What about Children’s Worship?
Our current plan is to resume children’s worship in October. This will give Kim Rippee an opportunity to see how the 9:00 Bible classes are going for one month. This will also be dependent on volunteers to help lead and teach in Children’s Worship. You are encouraged to sign-up and help provide this service not only to the children but as a blessing to their parents. Kim has purchased new curriculum and she would appreciate you looking it over, trying it out, and offering her your feedback. You can sign up here to volunteer: www.signupgenius.com/go/904044aa8af2ba4fa7-childrens.
What about the Infant and Toddler Nursery?
Parents are welcome to use the infant and toddler nursery during the 10:00 a.m. worship. There is a basket in the classroom to place toys that have been played with which will be sanitized after each service. Feel free to use the disinfecting wipes that are provided as needed. Please change the changing pad on the diaper table after changing your child.
At this time, parents will need to stay with their child in the nursery until we have a full slate of volunteers back to serve in this role.
If you can help, please click this link and pick a date to serve in either nursery: www.signupgenius.com/com/go/409044AAFAE29A2FB6-worship.
In addition to the restart of Bible classes for all ages Sunday, Sept. 6, at 9:00 a.m., we also began LIFE Groups on the following Sunday, September 13. The initial groups are as follows:
● Worship Center led by Randy Mitchell
● Youth Group led by Evan Rippee
● Outreach Classroom 1 led by Todd Ferguson
● Outreach Classroom 2 led by Richard Wallace
● Chad & Kim Graham Home Group led by Tom Davis
● Young Adult & Others Home Group led by Alex Hamilton & Nick Rice (beginning Oct. 4)
● College & Career Home Group led by Matt Wells