COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES

Coming Back Together:
Restarting In-Person Services

Over two thousand years ago Jesus promised to build his Church, and nothing – including a pandemic – will keep Him from accomplishing that. We are the Church and although we’re apart from each other now, we’ll be back together soon.
As we look forward to restarting in-person services at The Chapel, here are the guidelines we’ll be following:

• The safety of The Chapel Family – each one of you, and our staff and volunteers, is our primary concern.
• We will follow the laws and authorities that God has placed around us (Romans 13).
• We will follow the lead of schools, businesses and other churches in our area; we do not need to “be first”.
• Our in-person worship experiences will be welcoming and uplifting to the families of The Chapel while always glorifying God.
• We will remain flexible and open to changing conditions.

Phase: March/April 1 2 3 4
Group Size   10-15 <50 <200 <500
Worship Services Online Campus Only Online Campus Only; In-home "Watch Parties" Online Campus Only; In-home "Watch Parties" Online Campus; Lincoln Park very limited restart. Revised service times and reduced seating. Online Campus; Lincoln Park limited; Montclair and Wayne campuses restart.
Small Groups Online Only Online Only (some outdoor groups) Online and in-home; no groups on campus Online and in-home; some groups on campus Online, in-home and on campus
Kids & Students Online Only Online Only; Online Chapel Kids Camp; Chapel Students Online "Lockdown Games" Chapel Kids online only; limited Chapel Students groups & events Chapel Kids online and In-person during one service; Chapel Students groups & events Chapel Kids online and In-person during one service; Chapel Students groups & events
Special Needs Online Only Online Only Online Only Online and In-person during one service; Limited other in-person activities Online & in-person activities. Special Needs Service launches
Mission Trips No short-term trips for Students or Adults No short-term trips for Students or Adults No short-term trips for Students or Adults Team going to Colombia with ICM  

Coming Back Together: Phase 1

As local authorities begin to lift restrictions groups of 10-15 will be allowed to gather. Worship services, events, and other ministry activities will continue online.

• Worship services and special events will continue at our Online Campus only. All facilities will remain closed, and the Chapel staff will continue to work from home.

• We invite you to host “Watch Parties” to view our Sunday services in your home with family and close friends.

• All of our Small Groups will continue to meet online. Outdoor groups of up to 25 can meet at homes. No small groups will meet on campus.

• Chapel Kids, Students, and our Special Needs ministry will continue to meet online for Sunday mornings. This summer Chapel Kids Camp At Home and Chapel Students “Lockdown Games” will be held online.

• All Short-Term Mission Trips will be suspended during this phase.

Coming Back Together: Phase 2

Depending on current guidelines, in Phase 2 we expect groups of up to 50 will be allowed to gather. Worship services and events will continue online, but some groups will begin to meet in-person.

• Worship services and special events will continue at our Online Campus only. Montclair and Wayne campuses will remain closed, but some facilities in Lincoln Park will be available for approved events. The Chapel office will have a limited reopening for staff only, following strict social distance guidelines.

• We invite you to host “Watch Parties” to view our Sunday services in your home with family, friends, and your Small Group.

• Small Groups will meet online and in-person in homes, but not on campus.

• Chapel Kids and our Special Needs ministries will continue to meet online for Sunday mornings. Chapel Students will begin to meet for small groups and special events.

• All Short-Term Mission Trips will be suspended during this phase.

Coming Back Together: Phase 3

In Phase 3, following local guidelines, we expect groups of up to 200 will be allowed to gather. Worship services and events will continue online, and limited in-person services will restart in Lincoln Park.

• Worship services and special events will continue at our Online Campus. Limited services will restart in Lincoln Park, with adjusted service times to allow for cleaning between services. Reduced seating will allow for social distancing. Montclair and Wayne campuses will remain closed.

• "Touch-less" services will feature online bulletins only, revised greeting times, offering boxes instead of passing plates, and individually wrapped elements on Communion Sundays. 

• “Watch Parties” will continue for viewing our Sunday services in your home with family, friends, and your Small Group.

• Small Groups will meet online, in-person in homes, and some at our campuses.

• Chapel Kids will meet online and in-person during one service. Special Needs ministries will continue to meet online for Sunday mornings and in-person during one service, with other limited in-person events. Chapel Students will meet in-person for small groups and events.

• A Short-Term Mission team is planning on going to Bogota, Colombia in October

Coming Back Together: Phase 4

If local authorities and guidelines allow, Phase 4 will see groups up 500 people gathering together. Worship services and events will continue online, and in-person services will be held at all campuses.

• Worship services and special events will continue at our Online Campus. Services will be held at all campuses, with adjusted service times in Lincoln Park to allow for cleaning between services. Reduced seating at all locations will allow for social distancing.

• "Touch-less" services will feature online bulletins only, revised greeting times, offering boxes instead of passing plates, and individually wrapped elements on Communion Sundays. 

• “Watch Parties” will continue for viewing our Sunday services in your home with family, friends, and your Small Group.

• Small Groups will meet online, in-person in homes, and at our campuses.

• Chapel Kids will meet online and in-person during one service. Special Needs ministries will meet online and in-person. Chapel Students will meet in-person for small groups and events.

 

You have questions...

These are unsettling times, and we all have more questions than answers! We’ve tried to answer some of the questions you’re asking here, but feel free to email Pastor Ted with anything you’re wondering about.

How confident are you in these Phases?
Not confident at all! We all want to know “when” we can get together again, so we put our “best estimates” out there based on what we know now. Things are changing so quickly, and these phases will probably change too. Also, we’ll likely go back-and-forth between phases for a while, so we all need to be flexible.

Will it be safe to gather together?
The health and safety of The Chapel family are so important to us, so we’re asking ourselves this same question. We are in discussions with local authorities, the Board of Health, and other experts and we won’t restart our in-person services until we feel it’s safe for everyone involved. When we restart, we’ll have clearly marked entrances for families and individuals, with signs inside to direct you through the building to minimize “traffic”.

Will Sunday services be different?
Sunday mornings will have the same great teaching from Pastor Dave, and great music from our worship teams. Things will feel different though: Our services will be "touch-less", meaning there will be a revised greeting time, no paper bulletins, and we'll provide offering boxes in the lobby instead of passing offering plates. We'll have more time between services to allow people to enter and exit more easily and to allow for wiping down and sanitizing surfaces before the next service begins. Service times at Montclair and Wayne may change also. 

Do I have to wear a mask in church?
We are closely following the guidelines provided by the CDC and our local Board of Health. As we restart services in Phases 3 and 4, we will follow their lead regarding the wearing of face masks, as well as any other recommendations. Of course, you are welcome to continue wearing a mask if you feel it’s necessary.

How are the buildings being cleaned?
Our maintenance staff and outside contractors have continued to clean and sanitize our facilities each week, even while the campuses are closed. When we begin to meet in-person again, we will change our service times to allow for all surfaces to be wiped down in between services. We’ve always cleaned and sanitized the Chapel Kids areas and toys each week, and this will continue. We are also adding hand sanitization stations throughout our facilities and will have volunteers (with gloves) to open doors and assist with check-in.

Will seating be limited if we’re “social distancing”?
Definitely! To keep everyone safe, we will remove chairs (and rows) to maintain social distance of at least 6’ between each of us. You can sit with people from your own house but will need to be apart from everyone else. We may ask you to RSVP for a particular service so we know how many people will be attending each one. If you didn’t RSVP, you may need to attend another service.

Why are Montclair and Wayne waiting until Phase 4 to restart?
This is new for all of us, and we want to do everything we can to make sure you and your family are safe. We feel we can do this best by restarting in Lincoln Park first, where we have the space and resources available to accommodate many people most safely. We’ll take what we learn at Lincoln Park to restart Montclair and Wayne as soon as possible.

What about Chapel Kids, and Chapel Kids Camp this summer?
The Chapel Kids has been providing online activities, videos, and more for our kids, and they’ll continue to do so. In Phase 3 we will restart our Chapel Kids classes in-person at Lincoln Park during one of the services. This way we can ensure that everything your child touches – the chairs, tables, toys, everything! – is sanitized and safe. This year’s Chapel Kids Camp will be held online. The team has already begun working on this, so stay tuned for details! You can find out more and sign up here.

What about Chapel Students and Impact Games this summer?
The Chapel Students team has been providing Middle School zoom classes; High School small groups via zoom and facetime; teaching videos; social media engagement and more for our students. This summer, the Student ministry team is moving the Impact Games online as the Lockdown Games! You can find out more and sign up here. Chapel Students groups will resume their in-person meetings and small groups in Phase 3. 

What’s available for Special Needs families?
The Special Needs team will continue providing online activities and supports for our special needs community, with limited gathering during Phase 3 as typical kids’ and adults’ programs restart. Look for the launch of our in-person Special Needs Service for adults on Sunday mornings, and the return of larger events like in-person Night Out respite events during Phase 4.

What about Communion and Baptism?
When we restart our in-person services in Phases 3 and 4, we’ll provide individually wrapped juice and bread that you can pick up as you enter into a Communion service. For now, we will wait until we know more before scheduling our next Baptism service.

Will the Café be open at each campus?
Even when services restart in Phases 3 and 4 the Café at each location will remain closed to ensure the safety of our volunteers, and each of you. We’ll continue to think of ways to provide your morning coffee though, so stay tuned!

My Small Group used to meet at church. When can we do that again?
At this time all of our groups are meeting online, but we expect groups to start meeting in homes again during Phase 2. We may allow some groups to begin meeting on campus in Phase 3, but please reach out to before scheduling anything.

I am a volunteer at The Chapel. What if I don't feel ready to return in Phase 3 or 4?
We totally understand! Some of us may not be ready to serve when our ministry restarts, and that's okay. Please reach out to the leader of your ministry area now so that we can make any needed adjustments, and let us know when you're ready to return and we'll get you plugged in!

What about holding services in the parking lot, like a drive-in movie?
Many of you have asked about this! As we think about different ways to hold services, we want to make sure the overall experience is safe and worthwhile. Right now, our online campus provides the best place to meet for Sunday services and other events. We will continue to think of fun and innovative ways to bring The Chapel family together, so stay tuned!