Updated 10:00 AM

May 29, 2020

C O N T I N G E N C Y   P L A N

F O R

C O V I D -1 9 

Dear beloved LWWC church family and friends,

 

I pray that this letter finds you and your families faring well under the Shelter-in-Place restrictions. You remain in my prayers.

 

As many of you already know, on Monday April 27, Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that he was ending the statewide ban on public gatherings on April 30 and issued new guidelines for statewide re-openings, due to go into effect this Friday, May 1.

 

Because many of you may have questions relating to how the new guidelines for re-opening will affect Living Waters, I have scheduled a church family gathering via Zoom video conferencing for this Sabbath afternoon, May 2, 3:00-4:00 pm. To attend the event, please use this zoom link: 

 

Zoom offers a 'chat' feature that will allow you to type in your questions or comments which I and others in the conference will be able to view in real-time. There is also a 'raise your hand' feature that will allow me to see those of you who would like to ask a question.

 

Also on Monday April 27, the Texas Conference of SDA administrators hosted a Conference-wide Town Hall meeting via a live presentation on the Texas Conference Facebook page. Several hundred members from across the Texas Conference were able to view the presentation and ask questions of the Conference administrators on a variety of subjects related to the impact of COVID-19 on Conference operations. To review a number of these questions and more, visit the Texas Conference FAQ web page at https://texasadventist.org/?s=faq.

 

One of the most significant pieces of information that was given at the Town Hall meeting were new guidelines that the Conference has issued in response to Gov. Abbott's re-opening guidelines. You may view these guidelines by visiting https://texasadventist.org/churches/returningtochurch/, or they are attached to this letter for you to download.

 

As always, thank you for your patience and faithful support of our church during these trying times. I look forward to worshipping with you this Sabbath. May God continue to bless you and your families!

 

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you..." (Philippians 1:3)

 

Yours in pastoral love and service,

 

~Pastor Perkins

RETURNING TO CHURCH

 

For Texas Conference Churches

As we prepare to return to our beloved churches, we want to provide phases to reopen that will ensure the health and safety of all of our members, guests and communities while following local municipalities guidelines. This will not be a one-size fits all recommendation for Texas Conference churches. Churches are not required to open if they feel it best, for the health and safety of their members, to continue online worship services and connections.

When churches do open, ministries models should be adjusted to accommodate the decisions of the government by slowly phasing gatherings for the well-being of their community. Texas Conference’s recommended Welcome Back phases follow in conjunction with the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Governor of Texas and the White House.

On April 27, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration released minimum standard health guidelines for reopening churches and places of worship. OpenTexas Checklist for Churches & Places of Worship

PLEASE NOTE: If there are any Covid-19 cases that develop within any Texas Conference churches, those churches will return back to the recommendations for closure implemented by the Texas Conference in March 2020.

The following three (3) phases are required to open churches within the Texas Conference. It is recommended that the pastoral team and church board meet to determine an appropriate date to open noting that local authorities where the church is located has the first and final word on when this period should start and continue.

PHASE 1*

Since the State of Texas has issued a declaration to reopen places of worship, Texas Conference churches may proceed with Phase 1 following its local county size recommendations for gatherings.

  • Vulnerable members are encouraged to remain home to enjoy worship online.

  • Churches will open for Sabbath morning worship service ONLY. No other services, including Sabbath school, should be held at this time.

  • Deep cleaning and sanitizing should take place before and after the service. Take photos of cleaning the church lobby, sanctuary and bathrooms and post on social channels with the hashtag #welcomehome to assure members and guests proper steps are being taken for their health and safety.

  • Create cleaning and sanitizing teams (one for each Sabbath of the month or multiple teams for specific areas) to maintain the health and safety of the congregation and not exhaust members with the extra work required to ensure a safe and healthy environment for worshippers.

  • Practicing social distancing requirements (maintaining a six (6) foot distance from each other) will remain in place in and around church facilities.

  • No potlucks or large gatherings for a minimum of eight weeks, more if Covid-19 continues to rise in the community.

  • Create worship services with smaller groups and exercise social distancing while following local county recommendations for gatherings. The church can have two to four different services on Sabbath to accommodate the entire congregation thus limiting the size of the groups provided the church is able to clean and sanitize the areas before and after each service.

  • Provide socially distant, limited visitation by select members to those that maintain the “stay-at-home” order.

  • Consider having a special service for the elderly.

  • Maintain online services for those that remain home and others who have started following your services online.

PHASE 2*

After four weeks of Worship only activities, without new COVID-19 cases and/or spikes, and continued guidance from local county health officials, the following may be added:

  • Sabbath School and other small group meetings may resume within the church facilities.

  • Routine cleaning and sanitizing of facilities before and after services are the new standard.

  • Church staff may return to regular office hours while retaining health and safety guidelines.

  • Maintain online services for those that remain home and others who have started following your services online.

PHASE 3*

After eight weeks of no new cases or spiking within the community, county, city or country, and with approval from local county health officials, Phase 3 may be activated.

  • Introduction of one (1) meal a month for the church family. It is important that extra health and safety precautions be taken to ensure the health and safety of those participating in meals, fellowship and gatherings.

  • All services and programs, including club ministries and prayer meetings, may restart within the church facilities and properties while maintaining health and safety guidelines.

  • Maintain online services for those that remain home and others who have started following your services online.

PREPARE YOUR CHURCH

  1. Consider where your community stands emotionally to guide them most appropriately. If you know a large population of your church suffered emotionally or financially due to the pandemic, offer messages tailored to their current needs. If the congregation was overall fortunate enough to fare well, consider providing words of service and love to those in the community. Seek to meet the needs of the population in any way the church can help.

  2. Over-communicate the precautions that will be taken at your church. People will hold new health expectations after this COVID-19 crisis. Some ways to communicate that you’re taking precautions are to implement and assure parents that children’s ministries areas are consistently being disinfected. Eliminate handshakes and hugs until Step 3 has been initiated and continue to provide numerous disinfecting stations.

  3. Deep clean your entire church where germs can be transferred such as shampooing carpets and sanitizing pews. Bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, water fountains, kitchens and microphones must be cleaned and sanitized before and after each service.

  4. Pay special attention to the family/mother’s rooms, preschool and children’s areas. Consider removing everything nonessential from the room to limit surfaces for potential cross-contamination and do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing in between uses.

  5. Post signs about not shaking hands and the importance of non-contact greetings. Consider creating a new, appropriate hand signal greeting for your church family to share with each other in place of touching. Maybe share a video on your social accounts about the new greeting so members and guests become familiar with it. You could add the hashtag #youmatter

  6. Communicate with your congregation through flyers around the church, email and social media how the church building is prepared for their arrival. Be sure to use the words “clean, safe and mindful of health needs and issues in preparation for a non-touch experience” or something similar.

  7. Encourage members and guests to view or join services online if they are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone who is ill. Educate worshippers on how each person can be a carrier of viruses even if they are not showing symptoms themselves. It is important to be diligent not to spread germs.

SERVICE TIMES AND LOCATION

  1. Keep an online meeting/service option for those who are afraid or unable to attend your service in person as well as those who have just started watching the service during the stay-at-home orders.

  2. You can offer multiple services to encourage a higher degree of social distancing. One way to ensure your services are evenly spread is to have people sign up for a service. You can use Facebook events and have people mark which event they’ll attend. Have a limited number for each service to minimize large gatherings. If you have questions about this, please contact Texas Conference Communication & Public Relations by email at communication@txsda.org.

  3. Stay informed of your local municipalities’ guidelines to ensure you are following all recommendations for your area.

AMENITIES: BULLETINS AND HAND SANITIZER

  1. Restrooms: Keep restroom usage to a minimum. Station a volunteer to offer hand sanitizer to those exiting the restroom. Conduct spot cleaning and sanitizing of restrooms every 10 minutes and monitor to ensure social distancing is followed.

  2. It is recommended to not distribute bulletins at this time. Share them online ahead of time. During the service, project announcements and service schedule or provide verbally. Continually update the church website and social channels to better communicate with members and guests. Arrange visitation or phone calls for members who do not utilize Internet resources.

  3. Potlucks and group meals should not begin until Step 3 and only with extra precautions for the health and safety of those participating.

  4. Be sure to post signs about washing hands in bathrooms with appropriate guidelines for doing so. Posters and placards can be ordered through Texas Conference Communication & Public Relations Printshop.

  5. Place hand sanitizer stations throughout the church.

  6. Encourage members to wear masks, if it increases their comfort levels.

STAFF: GREETERS AND VOLUNTEERS

  1. Provide security and enlist ushers to be both inside and outside greeters. Instruct them on how to greet post-quarantine: NO handshaking or hugs.

  2. Consider creating a new, appropriate hand signal greeting for your church family to share with each other in place of touching. Maybe share a video on your social channels about the new greeting so members and guests become familiar with it. You could add the hashtag #youmatter

  3. Keep doors open for members and guests to minimize the need to touch the doors as well as provide air circulation throughout the church, including the sanctuary. Clean and sanitize doors every 10 minutes.

  4. Consider a temperature check for all staff and volunteers engaging with members and guests.

SABBATH SCHOOL AND SMALL GROUP MEETINGS

  1. It is recommended that you have your church members enter the building and immediately go into the worship service. Congregating in the lobby or other church areas is not recommended at the time. It is better to have socially distant conversations in the parking lot to lessen cross-contamination of air droplets within the church premises.

  2. That same rule applies when Step 2 is implemented, and Sabbath school and other small groups are able to meet. Make sure to communicate with members and guests if, and when, these classes will resume.

  3. When small groups resume, consider dividing your groups to maintain social distancing standards.

  4. Remember to clean doorknobs, water fountains, and other high traffic areas in between uses.

  5. Until in-person classes resume, provide online opportunities for your School teachers and leaders to continue engagement with groups. This time is still an excellent way to build classes and communities.

PRESCHOOL AND CHILDREN

  1. Preschool and children’s ministries activities may resume in Phase 2.

  2. When preschool and children’s classes resume, pre-register children to limit how many are in any room at a time. Consider the size of the room and follow socially distancing guidelines when meeting. That may require a limited number of people in each room at a time.

  3. Leaders in the preschool and children’s areas should not have pre-existing conditions and/or be over 65 years old as those are considered in the vulnerable category.

  4. Have extra volunteers help in the preschool area where some children may suffer from separation anxiety having been home with parents for a long time.

  5. Have only one person handle child check-in stations and do not pass the check-in device or sign-in.

  6. Do not let parents past the “entrance door” to limit the number and exposure in the classroom. Instead, create a welcome desk for registration and drop off.

  7. Have a visual checklist of what’s been cleaned and when in each room, so it can be seen by all.

  8. Develop a list of procedures for your volunteers. Train them on this list through Zoom before the first gathering.

  9. Volunteer background check requirements still apply to all those assisting in children’s areas.

WORSHIP SERVICES

  1. Celebrate the return and welcome members and guest back home! Encourage praise, provide times of testimony, and a sermon that spurs people to embrace life changes God has revealed to them during the quarantine.

  2. Clean and sanitize the baptismal tank and schedule a baptism Sabbath for those wanting to be baptized. For the health and safety of both, consider wearing a mask during the baptism.

  3. If people are from the same household, they can sit together. Follow social distancing requirements by spacing out other groups.

  4. Remember to avoid handing out bulletins, and instead project all announcements on screens. If you don’t have the technology to project, then read the announcements for the congregation.

  5. Avoid passing or sharing microphones on the stage. Remember to clean each microphone before and after each use.

  6. Praise team sizes must be limited at this time following social distancing requirements.

  7. Communicate the importance of faithful giving. Discuss extra expenses incurred by offering online options. Provide full disclosure of church finances, including debts, and create a focused prayer time for all facing financial challenges at this time.

  8. Encourage online giving options. Sign up for AdventistGiving, if the church had not done so previously. Have secure stations around the church where people can give offerings without having to pass a plate or offering bag. Consider allowing members the opportunity to bring their tithes and offerings to the front during testimony time.

  9. Create a plan to dismiss in an orderly way to ensure social distancing.

 

* PLEASE NOTE: If there are any Covid-19 cases that develop within Texas Conference churches, those churches will return back to the closure recommendations implemented by the Texas Conference in March 2020.

Good morning beloved LWWC Church Family and Friends,

 

As you may have heard, on Thursday May 28, the first of five new coronavirus testing sites designed to serve some of the Dallas County communities that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 will open in Oak Cliff. This first testing site will be at the former Friendship-West Baptist Church location in central Oak Cliff at 616 W. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, TX, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday. 

 

Please note that this location is the former location of Friendship-West Baptist Church, not it's current location on I-20 E.

 

Living Waters Worship Center is located in Dallas County and we simply want to make this news available to our church community.

 

According to the Dallas Morning News, four additional testing sites--each connected to a church in Dallas County--will open over the next three weeks. The locations of these additional testing sites have yet to be announced as of the time of this writing. The new testing sites will be staggered in the days that they are open so as to provide as much schedule flexibility to the public as they can. All 5 testing sites will be "walk up" sites, meaning that you don't have to schedule an appointment to be tested, and they are all free as well.

 

To read the entire article on the testing sites in the Dallas Morning News, click here, or contact the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department (DCHHS) at 214.819.2000.

 

Have a blessed day--and stay safe!

 

The Communication Department

 

Other Links - Spiritual Content:

 

Children's resourceswww.childmin.org

 

CD Brooks Sermon Serieshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui0wr4R8jxk&list=PLf-IpRZKhBRjJhkm6omWfVzAKewFCai3P

 

Breath of Life Television Ministrieswww.breathoflife.tv

 

Three Angels Broadcasting Networkwww.3abn.org

 

Other Links: Safety

 

Dallas County Limits 'Recreational' Gatherings to 10 People to Slow Cases of Coronavirushttps://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/03/18/dallas-county-limits-gatherings-to-less-than-10-people-to-slow-cases-of-coronavirus/?utm_source=pushly

 

If You Get Sick...https://texasadventist.org/ifyougetsick/

 

U.S. Department of State travel advisory page linkhttps://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 linkhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
 
World Health Organization COVID-19 linkhttps://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
 
CDC COVID-19 Resources for Households linkhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html

PERSONAL PREPAREDNESS

There are many common-sense steps that you can take to limit the spread of COVID-19. For 80% of cases, it is a relatively mild illness that does not require hospitalization. While there is currently no way to eliminate COVID-19, we can slow down its spread and protect our vulnerable population by:

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water (singing the Happy Birthday song twice will ensure you’ve scrubbed long enough).

 

Not touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes) with your hands.

 

Staying home if you feel sick until the illness is resolved.

 

Covering all coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

 

Staying away from others who are ill when possible.

 

Meeting Remotely 

VIRTUAL SERVICE TIMES

Call the virtual sanctuary for services:

Morning Devotion, Monday-Friday, 6:00 am (CDT)

· “Group Therapy” Prayer Meeting, Wednesdays at 7:30 pm CDT (also available in Zoom video conferencing – link emailed to you weekly)

· Friday Evening Vespers, 7:30 (CDT)

· Sabbath Morning Manna, 7:00 am (CDT)

· Sabbath Worship Service, 11:00 am (CDT) 

· Youth Service, Sabbath afternoons, 5:00 pm (CDT) – Zoom only

FACILITY CLOSED

LIVING WATERS WORSHIP CENTER OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Pastor Marlon T. Perkins Sr. 

7221 American Way

Dallas, Texas 75237

972-780-1037

© 2020 by LIVING WATERS WORSHIP CENTER OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS