PPCOG Communication and Commencement Guide

We all recognize the need and desire to resume gathering together in our house of worship. No doubt, it will bring us joy to resume in-person fellowship and spiritual encouragement. Prudence suggests that the manner in which we begin to re-engage with public worship services should remain in thoughtful alignment with the guidelines provided by the national, state, and local health officials. At the same time, we must ensure that what we do aligns with God’s Word and His direction for our body of believers (Hebrews 10:25).

Biblical Guidance

  • As Part of God’s Flock May We:

    • Maintain good health that we might be able to fulfill our assignment. (Acts 20:28)
    • Embrace a kingdom perspective; one committed to the health and wellbeing of families, communities, cities, states, our nation and the world. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
    • Determine not to respond in fear, but through faith go forth in power, love and self-control, making it our practice to serve our fellow man. (2 Timothy 1:7)
    • Commit to work together to see our nation triumph over this crisis. (Psalm 133:1-3)
    • Emerge from these challenges with our testimony, having matured and blossomed, stronger and more influential than ever. (Micah 6:8)
  • Guiding Principles

    The following factors are the basis of our communication and action plan: 

    • The safety and wellbeing of our attendees and the community.
    • Our prayer for holy wisdom for our fellowship and gatherings.
    • Our public witness.
    • The particular needs and circumstances of our congregation and building.
    • The latest recommendations/orders from the CDC, health and governmental authorities.
  • Community Strategy and Approach

    We know that we are all in different places relative to how this crisis has affected us. Some may be eager to begin meeting as soon as possible while others may prefer a “wait and see” approach. Our intent is not to make individual choices for anyone but encourage each person to prayerfully consider how and when to re-engage as a church family, exercising good judgment and wisdom. To help meet the varying needs of our congregation, we will be offering the following three options in parallel during Phase 1, beginning May 31, 2020:

    1. Sanctuary gathering, with new protocols to enable a safe environment for worship;
    2. Online gathering through live stream via ppcog.com, Facebook, YouTube, Church on Line and the PPCOG app;
    3. On-site outdoor gathering with access to service via an assigned FM radio channel.

    We encourage each individual to determine which of the above options best meet their respective needs.  Certainly, families with small children, seniors, and those who may have health risks may choose one of our more conservative options versus re-engaging in our sanctuary services. We will fully support and respect every family’s decision on which worship option they select.

  • Sanctuary Gathering Protocols:

    Steps to follow during our re-engagement of in-building services:

    1. There will be no nursery, children’s church, or youth services at this time. Children need to stay with their families. This gives families the opportunity to sit and worship together.
    2. Recommend the use of face masks, wherever, and whenever practical.
    3. Encourage the elderly, sick, and at-risk groups to stay home and join online; however, we will provide a designated seating area for those who choose to attend the sanctuary service.
    4. Maintain and respect social distancing guidelines of 6 feet. The balcony will be open in support of this. Follow the seat markings as best as possible for staggered seating.
    5. Please refrain from handshakes, hugs, or other physical contact as we normally would do.
    6. Encourage all of our attendees to take their temperatures before arriving.
    7. There will be a structured dismissal by area of the sanctuary to support not congregating in common areas and support social distancing.
    8. Everyone is encouraged to use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.
    9. Cover all sneezes or coughs with a tissue, or elbow, if not wearing a mask.
    10. If you have a fever, if you are not feeling well, or if you have been asked to quarantine, please remain at home.

    The guidelines and recommendations on the topic of public gatherings are constantly being updated by government and health officials. As such, our intention is to utilize these Phase 1 guidelines for Princeton Pike Church until such time as the church provides updated guidance for the next phase(s). Given we are one church in three locations, we recognize that Princeton Pike West and Power Source Ministry have unique nuances due to their particular locations and needs. Although we expect that most of the approach defined here will apply to their needs, we leave any adjustments to Pastor Josh and Pastor Mike to communicate at their locations in order to safely conduct their on-campus ministry operations.

  • Anticipated Questions and Answers

    1. How long will these guidelines be adhered to? They will be in effect until new guidance from the church is issued. We will be following new local, state and federal guidance and will update as necessary. This will allow for a good due diligence period to allow us to see progress on the crisis as well understand future plans for day cares and schools. Thanks for your cooperation and support.
    1. When will we restart our in-building services? The target at this time is Pentecost Sunday, May 31st at 10:30 AM.
    1. Will online services still be available? Yes, for Sunday morning service, it will be broadcast via Live Stream on ppcog.com, Facebook, YouTube, Church On Line and the PPCOG church app.
    1. Will church offices reopen during the week? Not at this time, without special arrangements for appointments in advance.
    1. What other ministry programs and services will be available now? For children, nursery, youth, seniors, etc.? 
      • We are restarting in-building main Sunday services at 10:30 AM on Sunday May 31st. In parallel the online services will continue. As well, an assigned FM radio channel drive-in service from your car will be available in the South parking lot at 10:30 AM for those wishing to attend in that manner. This will provide 3 options for how you chose to attend our service.
      • We do not anticipate there to be any Sunday school during Phase 1.
      • Wednesday virtual services will continue at 12 noon and 7 PM. There will be no onsite Wednesday services during Phase 1.
      • On-site Children’s church and Nursery will remain closed at this time. Kids are welcome to join their families in the sanctuary.
      • Student, Women’s and Men’s ministry may be potentially open in the building once a month, as long as they adhere to these guidelines. Ministry leaders will forward other details as appropriate and when available. Student ministry will provide a weekly virtual meeting with assistance from the Core Youth leadership.
      • Seniors Ministry potential right next steps will be determined with Pastor Fred and Billie Napier.
      • We do encourage the use of online tools for small groups to meet and continue such as the Women’s Bible Study on Thursday evenings, Aftershock devotions on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, Children’s online services with Pastor Chris Quinn, etc. Several virtual Zoom meetings for online Bible studies will be made available for people to join, as promoted at consistent times during the week.
    1. Will Food Pantry Operations continue at this time? Yes, in fact, it is growing rapidly, and we are determining the steps to relocate this ministry back to our Main Campus at this time. The team there has been doing a tremendous job in handling the growth as well as the relocation. They have employed many of these safety protocols in order to remain in operation.
    1. Will The Potter’s House Childcare Center reopen?  The Potter’s House will open back with limited capacity starting June 8th. We will follow all guidance from local and state authorities upon the restart of this ministry.

We want to thank the entire congregation for their tremendous support, understanding, and giving during this challenging time. There are many examples where we have actually expanded our support to the community during this important time. Additionally, we have all creatively stayed connected and discovered new ways to reach out and serve. Great examples of this have been the continuing of food services from Princeton Pike West as well as Power Source and the Food Pantry operations growth. Romans 13 instructs Christians to be subject to the governing authorities. The civil authorities have a difficult task ahead, and we should seek to be part of the solution through cooperation and service. We know that God is expanding each of our horizons as He gets His bride ready for His return. Please pray for wisdom as we find the new normal and hybrid new ways of accomplishing our God-driven purpose. This crisis will not last forever.  Although it may last longer than we may like, we know that God is in control and will lead us through this (Psalm 91:10 and Jeremiah 29:11).