Our *UPDATED* plan to address COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at Edgewater.
At this time, the elders have found it important and acceptable for us to begin to gather again-- with certain restrictions. We will begin gathering June 21 and limit gatherings to just under 50 people. These gatherings will be regulated to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed. Throughout all of the services for the foreseeable future, we will be including a livestream option (on this website, Youtube, or Facebook) for those who either cannot make it or feel uncomfortable doing so.
Over the next three Sundays, we hope to provide an opportunity for everyone to attend church in-person if they feel comfortable. We will be thinking through how to best move forward beyond these three gatherings over the next weeks and hope to provide clear direction for our church into July and August.
However you feel about gathering together, please consider the following guidelines and instructions from Pastor Andy as we move into a gradual reopening:
First, let’s continue to love each other. How? As Jesus did - self-sacrificially, considering others. Jesus clearly expects this: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). In mid-March, we closed in order to love one another - and our neighbors. As we gather again, we must continue to love! Here are some how-tos:
* with love, understand that we vary in comfort about when to personally return to corporate worship. The first survey (70 responses) had 39% willing to return immediately and 56% willing to return soon. However, the second survey (49 responses) had 61% ready to return in June, but 41% choosing to wait until July or later. As you can see, there are differences. The elders have sought to love all well by not returning too hastily, while recognizing the hope of many to return soon. "Lord, let there be no shaming or undercurrent of accusation that would douse our love for one another!"
* with love, understand that not everyone will get to be here this Sunday. We are adhering to Chicago's 50-person capacity guidelines, announced by Mayor Lightfoot on June 6 . As you click on the button below to consider which Sunday to pick and reserve your seat(s), consider others in your choice, too. We all miss church! If one Sunday fills up, please reserve seats for another Sunday. Remember, even if you have to wait, your waiting allows someone else to be blessed by being here. Such self-sacrifice is Christ-love!
Second, with love, understand these guidelines for at least the next three Sundays:
* we will have physically-distanced seating, most likely with assigned seats.
* we will gather in the sanctuary, which will be sanitized. Hand sanitizer will also be available.
* everyone over age 2 is expected to wear a mask. Please bring your own if at all possible.
* if the weather is good, the sanctuary windows will be open.
* we will not have corporate singing, bulletins, offering plates, or greeting time.
* live-streaming will be available for those who are not here in person.
Third, here are instructions for reserving your seat(s):
* after clicking here to go to the Google Sheet, find the column for the ONE Sunday you commit to attend. (For now, we are planning in 3-week increments.)
* type the name of each person who will attend, including yourself & all kids. One name per box.
* there are 40 attendance slots per week (the other 10 slots are for those involved in the service and possible visitors).
* those who reserve seats for this Sunday will receive an email confirmation later this week with further instructions for Sunday morning.
* if you are not able to access the Google Sheet, please email me with your preferred Sunday.
Thank you for praying for EBC as we plan to gather again. May the Lord be glorified by our love for one another - that "all people will know that [we] are [Christ's] disciples" (John 13:35)!
Our Sunday worship services are being streamed online at 10:30a each Sunday morning on Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. You can acces these videos on our sermon page.
Church members will receive an email link to the worship service along with an e-bulletin in advance.
Members will also receive a link in our Mid-Week Update emails to join our "virtual lobby" for fellowship before the worship service each Sunday (at 9:45a).
Weekly Bible Studies and Community Groups
We're are continuing these gatherings by hosting them on Zoom, which is an online video conferencing platform. That means you can attend these meetings "virtually" from home. Invitations to join the online meetings will be sent out via email on the day of the event.
Sons & Brothers (Bible study for men) meets every other Tuesday at 7:00 PM. If you'd like to be invited to join, please click here to email Andy.
Adorned (Bibly study for women) meets every other Tuesday at 7:00 PM. If you'd like to be invited to join, please click here to email Victoria.
This is also a great time to join a community group! To be invited to join in on a Zoom meeting, please send an email to one of the group leaders.
Dear church family,
A lot has happened in our world and in our city, with many normal aspects of public life being impacted by the threat of Coronavirus. Church gatherings are something we should be thinking about, too. Our desire is to be wise and measured in our response. As Christians, we need to trust God and also be good stewards of the decisions He has entrusted us to make. The elders and I have prayed and discussed a strategy for moving forward at this time, paying close attention to the advice of public health experts and seeking to apply Scripture to the moment, and we will continue to evaluate the situation as it develops.
I want to encourage all of us to be vigilant and prayerful, trusting God throughout this health crisis. He is always in control! Fear should never characterize our response. Let us be bold to love others in word and deed, caring especially for the sick and the most vulnerable among us. Let's keep giving of our time, talent, and resources to ensure the health and well-being of the church.
Please keep checking in on one another, and please keep giving financially to sustain the ministry of the church. We trust the Lord to provide all that is needed.
As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We are praying for all of you!
"May the God of peace be with you all." (Rom. 15:33)
On behalf of the elders,