COVID-19 Update

September 5, 2020

Church Reopening Announcement

These last few months have been challenging, revealing, painful, yet filled with the demonstration of God’s grace as we all have had to adjust and navigate this COVID-19 crisis. Some of you have had to endure more loss and hardship than others. Through all of this, I have been so encouraged by the way this church family has adjusted, worshipped, cared for others, filled in gaps and walked alongside so many in this local fellowship. You have demonstrated that although the church’s building was closed that the church, the body of Christ, was not only open but strong!

Our leadership has continued to meet to pray and plan during our quarantine to know how best to care for this local body. We have also been strategizing and planning for our reopening as state and local officials have already begun to reopen Indiana.

Allow me to provide an update on our phased reopening now that some of our restrictions have been loosened. These phased guidelines have been developed by our leadership team in accordance with State, Local and CDC guidelines and medical advice from trusted partners. We have also, kept your safety and well-being in the forefront of our discussions and plans as we seek to reopen over time.

Solid Word Bible has developed guidelines for reopening the church, which has 3 phases that lead to full in person gathering by September 13, 2020. Please know that for the safety and well-being of all, when we finally gather in person, how we worship, and fellowship will be in such a way that we minimize the risk of exposing each other to a virus.

All dates have been and are tentative, based on the COVID-19 status at the time of the proposed phase’s beginning.

Phase 1: Staff Returning to Office – Limited Visitors

During phase 1 (May-18-June 19), the church staff return to the office with some on limited schedules. Our part-time staff will be back to their office days but there are no in-person meetings. Staff meeting are still held virtually. Visitors are only allowed for pickup or drop-off. All staff and visitors entering the build must wear a protective mask. Proper social distancing is still required.

· Worship services, Sunday School, Community groups, Pastoral counseling, Staff meetings and Prayer meetings are exclusively done virtually.

· Children’s ministry provides tools and resources that help children stay engaged with ministry virtually and or with their parents.

· The church has received a full disinfectant cleaning while closed to the public.

· Rophe Free Clinic reopened with new procedures for patients and volunteers on May 23rd.

· Marion County is in Stage 3 of their reopening strategy.

Phase 2: First In-person Service (Parking Lot) Livestreaming

During phase 2 (June 20 – September 6, 2020), We have had our first in-person gatherings in the church parking lot. Singing and preaching has been done under a canopy (weather permitting).

· Services will be held either in the church parking lot or inside by livestream with no attendees’ present.

· Staff fully back in office, yet in-person meetings have not yet reconvened.

· Staff continue Social Distancing practices. including keeping a 6-foot distance from each person, face masks are worn, hand-washing, etc.

· Worship services, Sunday School, Community groups, Pastoral counseling, Staff meetings and Prayer meetings are still done virtually.

· Children’s ministry continues to provide tools and resources that help children stay engage with ministry virtually and or with their parents.

· For contact tracing purposes, visitors must sign-in and have their temperature checked.

According to the CDC, individuals over the age of 65, and people of any age with the below conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC Medical risks for COVID 19). You are therefore advised to continue attending services on-line. Please consult your doctor to determine if you have a medical condition that increases your risk for Covid-19.

· Cancer

· Chronic kidney disease

· COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

· Weakened immune system

· Obesity

· Serious heart conditions

· Diabetes

· Sickle cell disease

Phase 3: Reopening of the church

During phase 3 (September 13, 2020) The church fully, yet cautiously opens up for in-person worship services. There are no government restrictions on travel in and out of the state of Indiana and no restrictions on congregational gatherings of more than 250. Yet, there remain risks of transmitting COVID-19. To minimize the risk of exposing each other to a virus, the following changes to the worship service will be implemented.

· Virtual will remain an option.

· We will initially offer one service at 10:30am with the ability to add an additional service at 8:00am as the need arises.

· Communion will be by self-contained packets, picked up as congregants enter the sanctuary

· Seating – Every other row seating with a maximum seating 50% of 140.

· An air purifier will be in operation.

· Narthex(lobby) will be closed for gathering.

· Preaching and welcome will be done from on the platform

· Praise team will be no more than 3 people singing.

· Sunday school will continue with our zoom platform offered until it is decided safe and prudent to have in person classes.

· Children’s church will resume at a later date to be determined.

· Signs will be placed inside and at entrance reminding congregation of social distancing and dismissal procedures.

In closing, until further notice everyone must wear face coverings when entering the church building. If you don’t have one, you will receive one before entering. While at church we ask that you please practice good hygiene. A few suggestions are as follows….

· Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.

· Avoid touching your face.

· Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.

· People who feel sick must stay at home.

May 8, 2020

As you may know, on May 1, 2020, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that on May 8 churches can reopen, but with continued social distancing practices. Today, in light of the city of Indianapolis extending its stay-at-home-restrictions to May 15 and that the positive cases and deaths of COVID-19 has not consistently decreased, Solid Word will not reopen on May 8. We will continue the stay-at-home procedures that we are currently using. We encourage you to continue to enjoy our virtual worship services.

Please know that our reopening will be based on prayerfully following: government guidelines, church leadership discussions, what other like-minded and EFCA churches are doing and the unique needs of our own congregation.

With the Lord’s guidance we will reopen in phases (to be shared with you later), ensuring that there are safety and precaution measures in place, designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, while allowing us to gather in person. In the meantime, we will continue to provide updates regarding our worship services and other planned events.

Senior Pastor, Curtis Coston
Solid Word Bible Church

March 27, 2020

As we continue to follow the guidelines from our government officials, and out of a continual abundance of caution, we are suspending our Sunday service gathering through April 5th of 2020.

We will continue to assess the situation and follow necessary guidelines as we approach Easter Sunday, updating you before that time.

My prayer is that you continue to experience the calming presence of God as you trust in his faithfulness during these difficult days.

Join us for a message this Sunday starting at 8:00am at solidword.org/special

Giving is available online at solidword.org/give and you can also mail your gift to the church. One of our business team members will ensure your gift is safely collected during the week.

Senior Pastor, Curtis Coston
Solid Word Bible Church

March 15, 2020 Video Message

Scripture reference: Galatians 5:256:10

During the series we heard and learned how to be:

· The Church: A light in a Darkness
· A United Church in a dark world
· A Serving Church in a Selfish World
· A Generous Church in a Stingy World
· A Truthful Church in a Confused World
· A Joyful Church in a Suffering World

BECAUSE YOU ARE FREE IN CHRIST YOU CAN:

I. LIVE DAILY BY THE SAME SPIRIT THAT GAVE YOU LIFE
II. LOVE DAILY RESTORING THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN
III. LEARN DAILY TO CARRY YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES IV. LOOKOUT DAILY FOR WHAT YOU ARE SOWING

Questions for Reflection:

• Who is restored because of your help in coming alongside them?
• Whose burdens are being lifted, when too heavy, by your help?
• How are you being persistent and consistent in doing good when it is tempting to quit from weariness?

March 13, 2020

In light of the rapidly changing situation surrounding COVID-19 we want to share some information with you concerning our ministry.

In an abundance of caution and with extreme care for both our Solid Word family and our Indianapolis community, we as a leadership team have decided to cancel our in-person worship through March 22nd, 2020.

We are closely monitoring all information and guidance from officials with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with our partners from the Rophe Clinic.

We will make all future decisions based on the circumstances present at that time.

This Sunday March 15, 2020, we will have a special video sermon from Pastor Curtis Coston that will be available at 10:30am at solidword.org/special

All of our community group gatherings and church activities are suspended immediately until further notice. We will continue to update you as the situation changes.

Giving is still an option by either your bank’s bill-payment service or by mailing your gift to the church. One of our business team members will ensure your gift is safely collected during the week.

We love our Solid Word church family and our city and want to be a strong part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and it’s threat to the health of those in our communities who are most vulnerable.

Senior Pastor, Curtis Coston
Solid Word Bible Church