COVID-19 Update & FAQ
As you probably have heard, Indiana is beginning to reopen in phases. We are sure that raises some questions for you about how church ministry is affected and when we can gather again for Sunday worship.
For the next few months, our plan is to continue worshiping together online. The data and recommendations about reopening are still very fluid and we want to move forward slowly to make the best and safest possible decisions.
In the meantime, we will continue devoting our energy, attention, and resources toward our other available ministry avenues: our Sunday morning live stream, virtual ministry and resources, providing resources for families, and serving our community. We miss seeing you but are also encouraged to see God at work through praying for one another over the phone, fostering group life through video calls, giving generously, and finding other ways to connect. We commit to you that we will gather again as soon as we can do so in a safe and welcoming way.
At the same time, we are exploring creative and safe ways for our congregation to engage together beyond in-person worship gatherings. For example, we are working on a number of ideas and are excited to offer an opportunity as soon as this Saturday, May 23—a Drive-Thru Prayer Event from 9-10:30 a.m. at the church.
Also, as detailed below, in Phase 1 at your discretion you may consider watching the Sunday live stream service with other individuals or another family unit, of 10 people or less, while following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) guidelines regarding hygiene, social distancing, masks, and vulnerable populations.
Below is a set of frequently asked questions and our phasing plan for how we plan to re-engage in in-person ministry.
What are the guiding principles for how College Park plans to meet again on Sunday mornings?
Our elders and staff greatly miss being together for regular ministry and Sunday services. We can’t wait to be back together worshiping with the congregation.
- Health & Safety
What inputs are we considering in regard to re-opening?
We are monitoring input from state and local officials, as well as internal and external subject-matter experts from a wide variety of perspectives to make the wisest possible decisions regarding plans and timing. We are also learning and preparing plans for effective facility sanitizing procedures and are assessing room capacities in light of social distancing recommendations.
We want to ensure that we are properly equipped and trained to address the complexity involved in opening a church of our size and demographics.
When and how can we meet in person in a limited size group?
The first step (Phase 1) we are taking to re-engage in-person ministry is as follows:
- Groups of 10 people or less that adhere to social distancing guidelines from the CDC and ISDH, are able to meet off-site as of May 16. That number increases to 25 people on June 1.
- Keep six feet apart from one another
- Wear masks (recommended for ages 2 and up)
- Meet outdoors if you are able
- Include at-risk members by providing a virtual way for them to participate in your group meeting
- Keep a record of in-person attendance to notify attendees if there is a confirmed COVID-19 exposure
- If and when you choose to meet, please:
These limited size groups include Small Groups, Bible studies, Titus 2 groups, and discipleship groups.
Can we gather together in homes to watch the Sunday service?
At your discretion, you may consider watching the Sunday live stream service together with a few other individuals or another family unit, provided that your group is 10 individuals or fewer and you are following CDC and ISDH guidelines regarding hygiene, social distancing, masks, and vulnerable populations.
There are a variety of factors and levels of risk for each individual and family; therefore, we want to offer a few guidelines and allow each individual or family to decide what makes the most sense for them. If you are at-risk or feel uncomfortable or unsafe hosting or being hosted, we encourage you to stay home.
In compliance with CDC, ISDH, and local guidelines, we encourage all participants of College Park group gatherings to: (1) maintain a safe social distance; (2) wear protective masks; and (3) support healthy hygiene behaviors in their homes such as regularly washing hands, providing hand sanitizer, and taking proper home sanitation measures.
To combat the spread of the virus, we also ask you to consider meeting with the same individuals or family each Sunday during Phase 1. While we understand the desire to see more of our church family, keeping the same groups together will help isolate cases.
What are we doing for church membership events? How do I pursue joining the church during this time when we are meeting virtually?
Our membership events are still happening virtually. If you are new to College Park, we encourage you to attend our digital DISCOVER event to get to know us and help us get to know you. If you have already attended DISCOVER, contact Kelli Ellis to learn your next steps.
Has anyone in the College Park family been impacted by COVID-19?
Yes, many in the College Park family have either been directly impacted by the virus or experienced job loss or other economic hardship due to the pandemic.
If you are in need, we would love to serve you in some way. Contact us at yourchurch.com/next to connect with our team. If you would like to support our COVID-19 ministry efforts, we encourage you to make a gift at yourchurch.com/give.
If I have a need, whom do I contact?
We would love to connect with you. See below for ways to connect.
- Are you new? Want more information about the church? Or would you like prayer, counseling, or financial coaching? Connect with us at yourchurch.com/next.
- Are you receiving regular emails from us? Ensure you receive our weekly email updates by signing up for our all-church newsletter.
- Are you a healthcare professional? We would love to hear about ways we could come alongside you in this season. Fill out this form.
- Are you a member wanting to contact an elder or deacon in the region of the city you live? View the elder map to review the information for your parish.
As our church continues meeting virtually, how can I engage more?
Our building doors might be closed, but ministry is alive and well at College Park, and now is a great time to get connected. We encourage you to:
- Check out new resources each weekday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Facebook and at cpcresources.net.
- Join a digital Men’s & Women’s Bible study
- Review our resources for families on the Help at Home page for a complete list and more information to take a next step
Anticipated Phases for College Park Ministry
The below phases summarize our anticipated progression through steps to engage in in-person ministry. In all phases, we will continue offering virtual ministry including the Sunday live stream, and encourage you to refer to CDC and ISDH guidelines for safety and sanitization. For the next few months, our plan for Sunday worship services is to continue worshiping together online. We will update the church regularly as we progress through the phases.
Please note: this plan is subject to change if state or local guidelines or shelter-in-place orders change.
Phase 0: Virtual ministry only (March 12-May 15)
Phase 1: Off-site gatherings with 10 people or less (May 16-June 1); then up to 25 people (June 1-TBD)
- This applies to Small Groups, Bible studies, student groups, or in-home live stream watch gatherings
- Groups should follow CDC and ISDH guidance; social distancing and masks are recommended
- Keep a record of attendance for in-person church group gatherings to notify participants in the event of a COVID-19 exposure
- The church office and building remains closed through June 12, at least
Phase 2: Limited on-site groups, & off-site gatherings of less than 100 people (TBD)
Phase 3: Larger size on-site gatherings; limited in-person special services (TBD)
Phase 4: Introduce Sunday morning in-person worship services with protocols and capacity limits (TBD)
Phase 5: Return to full Sunday mornings (TBD)