COVID-19 Update

DuPage County Covid19 Cases/Deaths

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(updated weekly)


August 1, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

The Faith Reopening Team wishes to provide the following information to the Congregation about our plans for reopening Faith CRC. The team includes church members from the Executive Committee, Property Committee, Office, Facilities/Maintenance and our Medical Community. The team is listed below: 


Al DeLosSantos, Property

Mike Hoving, Executive/Property

Ashley Slinkman, Office

Niki Tazelaar, Office

Greg Schuringa, Executive

Matthew Lanser, Executive

Al Tobin, Facility/Maintenance

Todd Lindemulder, Facility/Maintenance

Joy Koopmans, Medical

Heather Lindemulder, Medical


The Team also sent a communication to a large number of medical professionals who attend Faith CRC to solicit additional medical advice and opinions.


The guidelines the Team has been using for our reopening planning activities include:

1. The DuPage County Covid19 Dashboard: Click Here

2. The Restore IL Plan (Currently in Phase 4): Click Here

3. CDC Recommendations: Click Here

4. IL Department of Public Health: Click Here

5. Christianity Today: Click Here


Per the latest communications from the Government and Health Officials, we believe there is still a learning curve to the coronavirus. There have been recent spikes in cases around the country and you can see a similar, but smaller, spike in the DuPage Covid19 Dashboard (link 1 above). Praise the Lord that mortality rates have not experienced a severe spike, but this is still being monitored.


Currently, the team is using Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), Restore Illinois, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Christianity Today (CT) recommendations to guide our reopening decisions. The team is tracking COVID deaths and cases to inform our reopening decisions and compare to Christianity Today's model (see link at the top of the page). Christianity Today's guidelines are the most conservative of those being reviewed regularly.


From a Biblical perspective, the Team is comfortable that as a church we are abiding by the instructions given to us in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. That is, we’re following the instructions and guidelines of Government and Health Officials in light of a persistent pandemic. We trust that our civil authorities and medical professionals are communicating to us in an open and honest fashion.


As a Team, we’ve come to the decision to continue towards a moderate path of reopening in line predominantly with the Restore IL Plan and CDC and IDPH guidelines. We’re planning to move our current in-person worship to Sunday mornings by mid to late August following existing guidelines (50 people, masks, social distance, etc.) In September, we hope to start adding capacity (possibly using the Fellowship Hall and Lobby for overflow) up to the 25% capacity guideline of the IDPH, which translates to roughly 150 people in the Sanctuary, still following safety guidelines.


It is worthy to note that our first two in-person services had an attendance of only 12 and 10 congregants respectively. This may be due to the Thursday night time slot in addition to other factors (social distancing, masks, high risk individuals, etc.)


We look forward to the upcoming outside Service in the Sun currently planned for August 2 and 9. We hope this will afford Faith members another safe mode of worship and fellowship together as we work through these challenging times together.


Please do forward any questions or concerns to the Team via office@faithelmhurst.org or 630.279.1776. The Lord’s grace and peace be with each and every one of us.


Al DeLosSantos

Property Committee Chairman


July 5, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

Registration for the Thursday evening in-Person worship services will go live at 10 AM every Wednesday for that week's Thursday service. Please note that registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis and your space is not guaranteed. A link to the registration will be published at faithelmhurst.org/resources/register under the heading Face2Face Again.


**In order to continue in-person worship, it is crucial that everyone in attendance adheres to the guidelines put in place by Faith CRC and the Faith Re-Opening Team. In doing so, you are truly loving your neighbor as best you can. Although you may not agree with all of the guidelines, many of your brothers and sisters in Christ do, and are hesitant to return to worship. They will be thankful that you are showing them care by following the guidelines! Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive the letter below which outlines all guidelines and safety protocol required to attend a service.


“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

How to prepare for in-person worship at Faith CRC:

  • If you are sick – especially with a fever or cough – please stay home. This is extraordinarily important!
  • Arrive at Faith CRC no earlier than 6:50 PM for the 7:00 PM start.
  • Wear a mask/face covering at all times - for the sake of others
  • Enter through the Main Entrance (West Entrance) or North Entrance
  • The Main Entrance and North Entrance doors will be propped open for Entering and Exiting.
  • Keep a physical distance from others of at least 6 feet at all times.
  • Sanitize your hands upon entry (hand sanitizer will be provided)
  • Keeping a physical distance of 6 feet, please move directly from the doors into the sanctuary.
  • Enter sanctuary and find a row that is open (every third row will be open to adhere to social distancing guidelines.)
  • Single-use bulletins and sheet music will be waiting for you at your seat. Please take them home as you go.
  • We will NOT be taking an offering. We encourage you to continue to give at faithelmhurst.org/give or by mailing a check to the church.
  • Please note the coat rack, mailboxes, water fountains, nursery, office, classrooms, fellowship hall and all other gathering areas are closed.
  • Please note that the sanctuary windows will be open, and fans on. Dress accordingly.
  • Avoid the washrooms if possible, though they are open if necessary. Please do not fill them to capacity, but wait for others to exit before entering.
  • When the worship service is finished, please exit the sanctuary and building promptly, once again maintaining physical distance.

These decisions have been made by the Faith Re-Opening Team, Pastors, Staff, and Elders after considering the joys of good theology and proper practice as well as the demands of sanitization, staffing, and safety.

As data and circumstances change, we will adjust our practices and gradually move back to the normal rhythm of our life together.


Thank you for your patience and grace as we begin this transitional period of worship!

The Faith Re-Opening Team





June 28, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

Save the date! The Faith Re-Opening Team has scheduled a "soft opening" in person worship service for Thursday, July 16. Congregants will be able to reserve one of the 50 spaces available to join the pastor and worship team in the sanctuary for the service. Details regarding how to make your reservation as well as required safety protocol for those in attendance will follow. Watch upcoming bulletins, weekly emails, and social media for further information.


June 11, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

As the Faith Re-Opening Team continues to discuss when and how to resume in-person worship, we encourage you to take 2-3 minutes to fill out a survey. It will help us as we continue the development of our re-opening strategy. We appreciate your input! You can find the survey by Clicking Here.


May 27, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

Dear Faith CRC Elmhurst friends,

 

As a church we acknowledge and appreciate President Trump’s May 22 statement ordering state governors to allow houses of worship to open immediately, and declaring them “essential” to American life in all states. 
 
These past many weeks our church leadership has been monitoring the situation and gathering information about how best to meet again “face to face” (1 Thessalonians 2:17) when the time comes.
 
As we look towards that day with greater hope and energy after the President’s statement we will discuss details on how to do that as soon as we can—details like numbers of people to have in the building, and how to meet safely, especially considering the most vulnerable among us and around us.

 

As we’ve watched the opening up of church buildings in other states, we see that when we do start meeting together in our church building, it will likely happen in stages and steps over some time. Also, we’re noticing the number of details we need to consider would realistically involve a number of weeks of planning and preparing.

 

When that day comes, we’ll want to respect those who will make the decision not to come immediately back to worship in the building out of health concerns and instead continue to make use of the online worship services.

 

We know that God’s design for His people to grow best in faith is to gather physically together, though there have been other times, besides ours, in church history when it hasn’t been possible for God’s people to do this. At the same time we know the reality that the church is not a building but a people. In that sense we have never been closed, but by God’s grace and with the means he’s provided, Faith has been continuing to grow in faith and to be “open” wherever each one of us is present because we are all “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

For now our services continue to be online. Our main worship service will be available as usual on our website, in video or audio format, on our YouTube channel, on aimchristian.com and the AIMTV Roku channel and on the Elmhurst 19 Public Access cable channel at 7:30 PM Sunday evening. Our “second sermon” is available on our YouTube channel and website.


May 1, 2020 Covid-19 Update:

The Illinois Shelter-In-Place mandate has been extended through May 30 consequently pushing back our plans to open the doors for worship in the near future. Now through at least May 30, we will continue to worship virtually, here at faithelmhurst.org/listenwatch and also via YouTube. Be sure you are connected to our three weekly emails: Faith-Full Reflections, Faith Forward News, and Seeking Sabbath for up-to-the minute news and updates regarding worship and events. To register for those emails, Click Here. Also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have any questions, concerns, or needs please email office@faithelmhurst.org.




April 1, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

As expected, Governor Pritzker announced in his press conference yesterday that the Shelter-In-Place mandate is extended through April 30. We will continue our online worship services weekly, but want you to be aware of some new and exciting ways to connect we hope you can be apart of:

  • Virtual Ministries: 

    Many small groups have begun gathering virtually using Zoom. Contact your ministry leader for details.
  • Faith Prayer Time: You are invited to join with your fellow Faith members on Tuesday evenings for a church-wide prayer time via Zoom.

  • Second Sermon: In lieu of our evening service, a weekly Second Sermon Reflection will begin this weekend. Watch your Faith Forward News for details.

  • Sermon Discussion: A church-wide sermon discussion will be held via Zoom every Sunday at 6:00 PM. 


March 19, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

Recommendations from the Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker, as well as the DuPage County Health Department have led us to suspend worship services and mid-week and weekend church sponsored activities (small groups, Bible studies, youth and children's ministries, etc.) for the near future.


Our plan for now, for worship on Sundays is as follows:

A worship service will be recorded with pastors, musicians and technology staff on hand. It will be uploaded to Faith CRC's YouTube channel for you to view on Sunday as well as to our website faithelmhurst.org, under the Watch/Listen tab. Anyone can also request through the office a DVD or CD of the service through the mail. We would encourage you to set a specific time aside with your household to watch and even to participate in the worship service, as much as you are able (with singing, praying, responsive readings, taking sermon notes, etc.) 


For church ministry and prayer updates check the most recent bulletin by visiting the Resources tab on this website.



March 13, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

Recommendations from the Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, as well as the DuPage County Health Department have led us to cancel worship services this weekend. All mid-week and weekend church sponsored activities (small groups, Bible studies, youth and children’s ministries, etc.) for the near future, beginning today through at least Sunday, March 22 have also been cancelled.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation, re-evaluate and communicate any changes and updates to the church as we move forward.

 

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker’s office and the city of Chicago communicated the following, with both bullet points 2 and 3 relevant to us as a church:

  • The State and City are mandating all large-scale events exceeding 1,000 individuals be cancelled for the next 30 days. The City of Chicago will be enforcing this ban.
  • Additionally, the State and the City are encouraging that community events of 250 people or more should be cancelled or postponed until May 1. This includes personal and social events. Residents should use good judgment about canceling events in their own communities.
  • For events less than 250 people, residents should closely consider who is likely to attend the event and, if it includes vulnerable populations, strongly consider canceling.

We came to this decision with the safety of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters especially in mind.

 

Our plan for worship this Sunday is as follows:

A worship service will be recorded with pastors, musicians and technology staff on hand. It will be uploaded to Faith CRC’s YouTube channel for you to view on Sunday. You will also have the option to receive a DVD or CD of the service that will be sent out on Monday, March 16.

 

We realize this is not ideal, but we trust that this temporary measure will be used by God to keep us close to Him and to each other during these trying days. We will also consider other special measures we can take to stay connected as a church family during this time and to continue our mission of Experiencing God’s Word, Expressing God’s Love and Equipping God’s People until we can resume normal worship services and church activities.

 

To stay up-to-date with any changes, rescheduled meetings, and worship service status, please continue to check back here.



March 12, 2020 COVID-19 Update:

Being able to praise our Lord and fellowship together as a church every Sunday is a blessing God has given us. With that said, we need to be aware of the current news with COVID-19 and the steps we can take as a church to continue to worship and fellowship together while keeping everyone safe.


For a full overview of the virus and steps you can take to prevent transmission, the CDC website is a great resource and can be found

here.


We are closely monitoring this situation. In addition to steps we’ve already taken, we are looking at various options in the event that we are unable to have Sunday worship services in the near future. We will be sure to communicate any updates via our website, email, social media and by phone chain (for those without email).


WHAT FAITH IS DOING

Faith is taking the following precautions in advance of worship services this Sunday, March 15:

  • A thorough disinfection of the facility. Paying special attention to frequently touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, drinking fountains, counters, etc.).
  • Additional hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the building.
  • Offering baskets will not be passed through the congregation. Instead, Deacons will be at the doors of the sanctuary to receive offerings as we exit.
  • Elders and Welcome Team members will NOT be shaking hands at the entrances to greet you. Feel free to offer them a wave, elbow bump or a cheerful "Hello!"
  • Hand washing signs are posted in every bathroom.
  • Signs are posted at building entrances as a reminder to avoid shaking hands.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please consider the following recommendations that have been provided by the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands immediately.
  • Consider alternatives to shaking hands such as “fist bumps” or "elbow bumps" as a way to greet each other to lower the chance of spreading disease.
  • Lastly and most importantly, please pray for those that are currently struggling with this virus today, pray for our leaders that they make the right decisions to limit the impact of this disease and that we as a church body will be safe through these difficult times.


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. 

Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9