[ UPDATE: We plan to resume gathering for worship in our facility starting Sunday, July 5th! | COVID-19 UpdatesLivestream Sundays @ 10am ]

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June 22nd Update

Hello!

Lord willing, and after nearly four months, we plan to resume gathering for worship in our facility starting on Sunday, July 5th, 2020! Please click on the link below to see a video containing a brief overview of what our gathered worship will look like when we come back together.

https://youtu.be/Utb0KuVtakY

Additionally, please see below for a letter with even more detail:

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June 22, 2020
Hello Clay Church Family!
As we shared in our last update, Sunday, July 5th is the date we've tentatively selected for resuming our gathered worship services. By God's grace, COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates have continued to fall across New York State. Additionally, state and local guidelines for churches have been somewhat relaxed, and are no longer in conflict. With these things in mind, we believe it is time to "reopen."
That being said, it's essential that we resume our services in a faithful and responsible manner. The Strategic Leadership Team and the Trustees have been prayerfully developing a safety plan aimed at serving the greatest number of our members, while remaining flexible enough to support those who need other options. Today we are able to share more of the details of the plan with you.
Upon arriving for the service, you'll notice several things almost immediately:
  • The doors will open at 9:45 am, and our greeters will be VERY excited to welcome you! Unfortunately though, we won't be able to shake hands or hug one another quite yet.
  • Masks or facial coverings will be required to enter the building. We will gladly provide one for any individuals who don't have one of their own.
  • There will be marks on the floors to help us maintain a 6-foot physical distance, as well as reminders posted around the building, in accordance with government guidelines.
  • A hand sanitizer dispenser will be installed in the foyer, and supplies for hand-washing will be available in both bathrooms. The bathrooms will be limited to two people at a time.
  • Only the foyer, bathrooms, and sanctuary will be open. The kitchen, classrooms, and nursery will not be available for the time being. 
  • Unfortunately, this does mean that our ClayKids ministry will remain paused. Kids are certainly welcome to worship with us. They will sit with their parents/family and must be under their direct supervision at all times.
  • Coffee and other refreshments will not be served at this time.
  • Also, our Choir ministry will remain on pause for the time being.
As much as is feasible, we're aiming to make our time together a "contactless" experience:
  • There will be no printed bulletins for the time being.
  • All pew Bibles and hymnals will be removed from seats and stored for future use.
  • An offering container will be made available so we can avoid passing collection pates.
  • Bathroom doors will have foot plates installed to enable hands-free use.
The worship service itself will feel similar to what we're used to, but will have some notable differences:
  • Each household will be seated together so as to maintain physical distancing guidelines. You'll have the same seats each week.
  • We will continue to incorporate the ministry of the Word, prayer, singing, and observing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper into our services.
  • The congregation will wear facial coverings or masks throughout the service, except for briefly when we partake of the Lord's Supper. The bread and juice for this ordinance will be made available in factory-sealed, individually wrapped containers.
  • After the service concludes, the congregation will be dismissed to the parking lot row-by-row, so as to maintain physical distancing guidelines.
We are so excited to resume our gathered worship services as a church family! Christianity is a shared faith, and for twenty centuries the followers of Jesus have gathered on the Lord's Day to worship, grow, and fellowship together. 
However, we do recognize that not everyone will be ready to come back together on July 5th. 
  • If you have a fever or other symptoms that indicate you may be sick, or you have been exposed to someone who is, please do stay home. Be sure to let us know so that we can be a support to you!
  • Likewise, if you are immunocompromised, or have significant concerns about social interaction in this season, please feel free to stay home as well, and know that we love you and affirm your choice.
  • Our YouTube livestream will continue for the foreseeable future, so anyone who cannot yet join us in person should certainly continue taking advantage of it.
No one should feel pressured to return, but we are ready to welcome all those who are. If you’ve been out in the last three months, you have a good picture of what to expect when you come to worship with us in this season. No one can guarantee 100% safety, but we've labored to provide the church body with an environment that is safe and clean, being disinfected after every service. If you have questions about this plan, or any other concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know.
We love you all, and can't wait to connect in person!
-- 
Denise Gerould
Trustee President
On behalf of the Trustees and Strategic Leadership Team