UPDATE MAY 27 2020:
Praise God! We will be regathering THIS SUNDAY, May 31! This will be our first gathering since the Stay-At-Home order was put into place. We are beyond excited to meet again and are looking forward to worshiping alongside you. As you would expect, this meeting will look much different than our normal gatherings. Please read the following plans that we have put in place to keep us all as safe as possible.
Attending the Regathering Service:
- We ask that you do NOT feel pressured to come if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable! As much as we look forward to seeing you, we do not want you to do so if you feel unsafe. There will be a time when distancing guidelines will let up, and being out in public will be much safer, so no pressure if you feel unsafe at the moment! In the meantime, keep worshiping with us online at https://riversidelife.org/Live-Stream.htm or call the office and ask us to make you a CD of the service (504-737-2373).
- We ask that if you have been exposed to someone who has had COVID-19 within the last two weeks or if you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 within the last two weeks, PLEASE DO NOT COME. Join us online at home instead. We want to see you, but we can wait a couple more weeks if it means we are taking extra measures to protect those in our congregation who might be more susceptible to getting the virus.
- If you have or had common cold or flu-like symptoms in the past two weeks, PLEASE DO NOT COME. Join us online at home for the same reason stated in the point above.
What You Should Do at Our Regathering:
- Arrive early to avoid crowding
- Use the restroom BEFORE YOU COME so that exposure on surfaces will be limited
- Practice social distancing measures even if you think the other person is ok with closeness
- Use the FRONT DOORS ONLY where our ushers will direct the flow of traffic
- Attempt to contain your children to your immediate seating area to limit exposure
- DO NOT linger in the sanctuary to fellowship but converse in the parking lot at a safe distance
- Use the seat markers if you wish to maintain distance in the sanctuary. PLEASE DO NOT SIT IN A SEAT WITH A SEAT MARKER ON IT.
- Remain seated in your area from the time the ushers seat you until you are dismissed
- Follow any instruction given in the service
During this time:
- There will be NO observance of the Lord’s Supper. We will pick that back up soon!
- There will be NO refreshments such as coffee
- Instead of passing the offering plates, place your offering in the stationary offering boxes located on the Welcome Table (the black boxes)
- There will be NO bulletins. Any important announcements will be on the screens
- There will be NO childcare or nursery, so please allow your family to sit with you
- Although not required, you are MORE THAN WELCOME to wear a mask if you choose
What to Expect:
- As you come in the front door, an usher will be holding the door open for you.
- Walk to either side of the sanctuary you choose and look for the usher to point you in the right direction. WE WILL BE SEATING FROM FRONT TO BACK FOR SAFETY. You probably won’t get your “normal” seat, but please help us out by following the usher’s directions.
- If you choose to have distance between you and the next person, let the usher know so he can put the seat markers down so that proper distance can be achieved.
- If the seats fill up in the sanctuary, there will be an overflow room where the live-stream can be viewed upstairs in the second-story building. The ushers will direct.
- The service will be shorter in length with NO greeting times.
- At the end of the service, Pastor Jarrod will give further instruction on exiting procedures.
- The ushers will dismiss areas at the proper times so that there will be no overcrowding upon exit.
- There will be two stationary offering boxes on the either side of the Welcome Table. If you plan to give, please have your offering ready to drop in one of the boxes so that there will be no overcrowding upon exit.
And that’s it! We know that this seems like a long list of instructions, but we want to take every precaution to keeping our church family and anyone that attends safe. We have sanitized everything according to the CDC guidelines and will continue to do so for all of our safety!
One last thing. We know that everyone has different opinions about this virus and everything that has come with it. We ask that for the sake of unity, that you be respectful of everyone! Please keep your opinions to yourself while we are gathered. We do not want to make light of anyone’s view, and the worship gathering is not the place to debate over those issues. Thank you! We can’t wait to see you Sunday or whenever you decide to regather with us!
UPDATE MAY 14 2020:
A happy thought: when churches finally start gathering again, what a happy reunion it will be! It will be like a little foretaste of heaven: so much waiting, and then finally together again.” (Gavin Ortlund)
I can’t wait for the day when we are able to re-gather as a congregation!
I use the term “re-gather” rather than “re-open” because the truth is that we never closed. Each week we continue to meet in discipleship groups through GoToMeeting and Facebook Live, we have been walking through the book of Proverbs together seeking to come out of these days as wiser people, and we continue to meet weekly online for Sunday Worship. I also trust you are finding ways to connect with neighbors and friends.
After much prayer, seeking the Lord’s wisdom, meeting with our staff, consulting medical professionals and conferring with other pastors from our association, we have decided that Sunday May 31st will be our target date to re-gather. We will begin with our Sunday worship service only and incorporate in-person Sunday School and Bible Studies at a date yet to be determined. In the days ahead we will have more details of what re-gathering will look like.
Please note that if you are vulnerable, have been exposed to the virus, or still feel hesitant to attend once we re-gather, please don’t feel pressured to return immediately and continue to join us online returning when you are ready.
There is no doubt some are ready to meet now and others will still not feel comfortable meeting together once we re-gather. Wherever you are on that spectrum and whatever opinions you may have regarding our current situation as a nation, remember we are family. We should look different than the world. Respect one another, encourage one another, check on one another and love one another.
Until then, let’s keep striving side by side for the Gospel wherever the Lord has us!
MARCH 15 2020:
While we don’t have a timeline for when we will meet in person again, we anticipate and plan on being on this schedule for several weeks.
Though nothing compares to the church gathered in person, thankfully, technology will allow us to stay connected while we love our city by doing our part in stopping the spread of this virus.
Sunday Morning Bible studies will continue virtually.
One of our ladies’ classes will continue through Facebook Live on that class’ private page (contact Kim Smith for info). Riverside has also activated an account on GoToMeeting.com. The class led by Keith Muller will be set up through GoToMeeting to host a virtual class.
Please contact JD or Aaron if you want to see about getting your class set up virtually through GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting also includes the option of calling in to the meeting via landline for those who may not have internet access.
Contact your Sunday School leader for plans specific to your class.
Sunday Morning for Kids will continue through our Riverside Church Family Group. If you are not a part of this group, please let us know or simply find us on Facebook and request access to the group.
Adam will be uploading all of the fantastic Gospel Project content you are familiar with. Each week, he will upload the Bible Story videos (both kids and preschool) as well as the other digital resources (worksheets, coloring sheets, Bible verse pictures, etc.). If you would prefer the content via email, contact Adam.
NOTE: This content could be used Sunday morning with your kids AND throughout the week. What a great time to start taking ownership of discipling your kids at home with these awesome resources!
Our Sunday morning worship will stream live at 10:30am on Sunday mornings with live musical worship and live preaching.
You can stream the service from any device by going to our website or on our Facebook page via Facebook Live. You can also watch services on your TV by downloading the Boxcast channel and searching for Riverside Church on your Apple TV (newer models), Amazon Fire TV or Roku player.
For those without access to the internet, we will be distributing recordings of the service on DVDs and CDs. Call the church office for more info.
In addition to our Sunday School classes, we will continue our mission in being disciples who make disciples.
Small Groups will continue through virtual meetings. Each group will have access to our GoToMeeting account or they can choose another service if they’d like. Contact your leader for details specific to your group.
D-Groups will also continue through virtual meetings. Contact your D-Group leader for more details concerning your group.
Though the day, time and medium through which this happens is yet to be determined, keep your eyes open for a weekly prayer meeting. This will likely take place in the evening through Riverside Church Family Group on Facebook or through GoToMeeting.
Roundtable discussions are in the works. My goal is to set up a day and time to give you the opportunity to ask questions from Sunday’s sermons. This will happen either through Facebook Live or GoToMeeting.
Additional Bible study opportunities are also being discussed among the staff. There is a good chance that we will launch a virtual study using resources from RightNow Media.
As we continue to minister in these uncertain days, there are 3 ways to give:
*In-Person: Many of you give during our worship service on Sunday morning. Given the current climate, we ask that you consider using our other two giving options.
*Mail: You can mail checks to Riverside Church or have your financial institution do so through BillPay.
*Online: You can give online through PayPal by going to our website and clicking on “Giving”. You can also give through the Tithe.ly app by downloading the app in your app store and searching for Riverside Church.
It seems like the best thing to do right now is to STAY PUT. This doesn’t mean you, your church family or neighbors need to be isolated.
Check on each other! Call each other! If you need numbers, let us know!
Also, please let us know how we can assist you in ministering to your neighbors. We’d love to help in any way we can.
Resources to Download:
GoToMeeting – download the app for your computer and/or phone
Boxcast – download the app or channel on your Apple TV, Fire TV or Roku device. Search for Riverside Church.
Facebook – join the Riverside Church Family Group
RightNow Media – This resource is FREE to you! If you haven’t received access to this resource, go to the resource tab at riversidelife.org.
Tithe.ly – search the app store on your device to use this resource.
PayPal – set up a PayPal account and go to our website (riversidelife.org) to give.