COVID-19 Resources Page2020-04-23T16:35:47-05:00

COVID-19 Resources Page

West Florida DCA Church Reopen Plan for Youth/Children’s Ministries

August 27th, 2020|

West Florida DCA Church Reopen Plan for Youth/Children’s Ministries West Florida DCA Church Reopen Plan for Youth/Children’s Ministries The following is the reopening plan adopted by the West Florida District Presbytery for all District Council Affiliated churches concerning Youth/Children’s Ministries. The date for reopening our D.C.A. Churches’ Youth/Children’s Ministry will be September 13, 2020. This plan will apply to Sunday School, Children’s Church, and Wednesday Night Youth/Children’s events for all children Pre-K age and above. A plan for Nursery services is also attached. These plans may also be used as a template for General Council Affiliated churches and can be considered the District’s minimal recommendations for reopening or relaunching Youth/Children’s Ministries in a G.C.A. church. We fully appreciate the fact that: Some churches will choose not to reopen these ministries at this time. No pastor should feel rushed to reopen these ministries. If you are not ready, do not reopen! As most counties have reopened schools, we feel it is time to begin reopening our D.C.A. churches’ Youth/Children’s Ministries. Please note, all D.C.A. Church Youth/Children’s Ministries MUST adhere to all CDC guidelines, as well as those of state and local authorities, as it relates to Covid-19. Local school boards have set forth guidelines and implemented plans for the students in their area. We will do our best to follow the standards they set as it relates to the safety, sanitation, and reporting of any illnesses. The safety of all our attendees is of utmost importance to our team. We especially want to protect all children as well as the elderly and those most vulnerable to infection. Download Youth and

West Florida District Council AG Church Reopen Plan Updated July 22, 2020

July 22nd, 2020|

Download the "Pastoral Agreement to Fulfill the Plan" The following is the reopen plan adopted by the West Florida District Presbytery for all District Council Affiliated Churches.  This plan may also be used as a template for General Council Affiliated churches and should be considered the District’s minimal recommendations for reopening a G.C.A. church.  We fully appreciate the fact that: Some churches will choose not to reopen just yet! No pastor should feel rushed to reopen! If you are not ready, don’t reopen! If you don’t have a solid plan, don’t reopen! If you have a solid plan, when you reopen follow that plan! While working with your leaders to develop a plan, here are some questions you should consider: What is driving us to resume in person services? Do we have a good plan? (See the suggestions below) Can our plan be effectively implemented? (Does it just look good on paper or can we actually make it work?) Are we ready for the new challenges our plan will bring? (i.e. managing services with children in the sanctuary, increased volunteers needed for sanitizing, enforcing social distancing that goes against what we are used to doing at church, etc.) What are the expectations of our church family as they return to in person services? What are the federal, state, and LOCAL (County and City) government’s current guidelines for meeting? The following points should be considered by G.C.A churches and must be implemented by D.C.A. churches when putting a return plan together.  In addition to the recommendations and guidelines presented here, every church is expected to follow the guidelines set forth

District Council Affiliated Church Reopen Plan Update, July 2, 2020

July 2nd, 2020|

MEMO DISTRICT COUNCIL AFFILIATED CHURCH REOPEN PLAN UPDATE JULY 2, 2020 Dear D.C.A. Pastors, I trust this finds you all doing well and staying cool during this hot West Florida summer.  The following is an update on our Reopen Plan for District Council Affiliated Churches from the West Florida District Presbytery.  We are very proud of you and thankful for your leadership during this time.  We want to reiterate our expectations as well as share a few updates with you.  EVERY CHURCH MUST continue the Reopen Plan as presented. The plan includes the strict Social Distancing guidelines each church must adhere to. The guidelines have not changed for gatherings. Social Distancing guidelines are to be kept during all portions of the service including the worship, entrance, and exit of the building.  THERE ARE TO BE NO EXCEPTIONS! Considerations for the next phase expansions are currently on hold due to several developments with churches that have relaunched and the growing number of positive cases in our area. For now, D.C.A churches should continue with only Sunday A.M. services for at least the next two weeks.  We will update you as to the details of Phase 2 of our Reopen Plan as soon as possible. We hope to be able to offer a plan by July 20 that will include resuming midweek services, as well as student ministries and nursery.  Should the situation allow for the resuming of ministry to minors, we will provide basic guidelines and then ask each church to present their individual plan for relaunching these ministries. Each plan will then be reviewed by our

Guidelines for Churches who have people with positive COVID tests

June 12th, 2020|

This week has brought to light the reality that, as we begin to gather together again with in-person services, several new challenges are arising.  With that in mind, here are some guidelines for responding when you learn a person who attended one of your services has now tested positive for Covid-19. We trust this plan will never be needed, however the possibility is there. Please let us know if there is anything our Team can do to help you in any way. Download “Local Church Response to COVID-19 Positive Attendee”

COVID-19 Superintendent’s Memo, May 2

May 2nd, 2020|

MEMO West Florida District Coronavirus Update, May 2: Well here we are already on the month of May.  This week has brought some progress, but we are still not where we all wish we were.  As ministry leaders, you are all doing a great job leading and caring for your flock.  The challenges are real and so is the pressure on you to keep things moving forward in what seems like a time-warp. I look forward to meeting with you next week via Zoom to talk about how you are personally dealing with the stress of these tough times. As of Monday, May 4, we will officially enter Phase 1 of Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step / Plan For Florida’s Recovery.”  While some things are more rlaxed under his latest order, much remains the same.  There are numerous interpretations of where Churches actually fall in these new regulations. Here are a few things that we do know: Governor DeSantis continues to be very careful to protect our religious liberties and personal freedoms. Churches are not being treated more restrictively that other business and organizations in Florida.  (We know this is not the case in all states and are very appreciative of our leader’s position.) The “All Clear” has not been sounded, nor will it be for some time to come. While Governor DeSantis has repeated stated that he has not, nor does he have the constitutional authority to, close any churches. Governor DeSantis does expect churches to abide by all C.D.C., state, and local government guidance. The Church is expected to set a good example in their community. We

COVID-19 Superintendent’s Memo, April 24

April 25th, 2020|

MEMO West Florida District Coronavirus Update, April 24: We trust you are all doing well.  Between Covid-19 and severe weather, it’s been another crazy week.  The creativity and leadership you have all been exemplifying during this difficult season is to be commended. We continue to operate under all of the previous guidelines and recommendations we have set forth.  Nothing has changed for the state of Florida at this time. We are all looking forward to better days ahead. Here are a few things for you to consider as we approach April 30, which is the initial date set for readdressing the current guidelines we are operating under. Governor DeSantis has formed a task force and will be addressing how we are going to move forward in Florida.  He reiterated today that he has not set any “definite dates” at this time. As leaders, we should be preparing for a staged and managed transition from where we are to the “new normal.”  This will impact every church differently based on their size.  We believe larger churches will be most impacted and will have to be more creative for a longer period of time.  It would be advisable for all churches to begin now to use their leaders to dream about what this will look like for their church. Every church should be developing a plan, with special attention given to social distancing, children and youth meetings, small groups, and possibly multiple services.  Also, this plan should reflect the very fluid situation we are in and allow fro flexibility. I would encourage you to: Only announce a definite plan when you know

Download “Phasing Into a “New Normal” by Gene Roncone

April 21st, 2020|

Phasing Into a “New Normal” A practical resource to help RMMN churches transition into a post-corona “new normal” By Gene Roncone The coronavirus pandemic has and will continue to change the landscape of modern life. In many ways, our lives and ministries will never be the same. Now is not a time to coast or “wing it.” Ministry in a post-corona world will require discernment and intentionality. Like Israel in the wake of a national crisis, we will need men and women like the sons of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV). The COVID-19 “shelter in place” or “stay-at-home order” did not happen all at once. It was the result of nearly a month of escalating actions. The purpose of phased mitigation was to give our communities time to adjust within the parameters of their emotional and practical capacities. Returning to a “new normal” will require the same kind of phased intentionality. Wise leaders will know we cannot in one moment switch to “full-throttle” normal. Not only will we need to identify what our “new normal” is but also to phase into it slowly, discerningly, and intentionally. That is why this planning resource was created for our RMMN churches. Knowing it is always easier to make something better than to create it, I have drafted this four-phased template with the input of some very gifted friends whose names are listed in the footnotes.1 I believe it can help you and your church wade into the waters of post-corona ministry. Use it, improve it, or cut and paste it to suit the

Relaunching Your Church in a Post-COVID19 World

April 19th, 2020|

Thursday, April 23, join the "Relaunching Your Church in a Post-Covid-19 World" webinar. This webinar will feature Alton Garrison and the Acts 2 Journey Team. This will help pastors and church leaders make the most of this launch opportunity using New Testament Church principles. Relaunching Your Church Webinar: April 23, 6-8 PM CDT

The 8-Step Plan to Reopen the Church

April 17th, 2020|

Having a plan to reopen the church is something pastors need to develop now, if they haven’t already done so. If you’ve struggled to respond, even with the practical tips for churches during COVID-19, you’re not alone. All churches have entered a new, temporary realm of ministry that no one expected. In this blog, we will look at 8-step plan to reopening the church: Article: The 8-Step Plan to Reopen the Church

Reopening The Church: A Discussion On Leading After COVID-19—April 20 Webinar

April 17th, 2020|

As we move beyond Easter and settle into the new norm COVID-19 has created for us, it’s time to think about what happens when our churches reopen. How can we begin to start preparing for operations after such an unprecedented change in the way we preach, gather, and worship? Now is the time to determine what values and processes will remain consistent, what innovative strategies you've uncovered in the past weeks that need to be further integrated into your church, and what needs to be completely restructured for our congregations to experience God to the fullest capacity when your church doors open again. Join us for this free, live discussion on Monday, April 20 at 1 pm CDT, for this panel of esteemed church leaders on the path forward after COVID-19. Register to join our panelists, including: Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church Eric Gieger, Senior Pastor, Mariners Church Dave Dummitt, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church Josh Surratt, Lead Pastor, Seacoast Church Dr. Rich Kannwischer, Senior Pastor, Peachtree Presbyterian Church Vanderbloemen Webinar Registration: April 20

Equipping During COVID-19

April 17th, 2020|

Below are two links to the G02020 evangelism material that will help serve you and your people in the prayer, care, share approach to relational evangelism. If you click the link below, it will take you to the Go2020 COVID 19 Package. This package includes faith for the five video and sermon series and the my five card. You may also find more materials at: GO2020 GO2020 COVID Evangelism Materials Download

Recommendations for Drive-In Services

April 5th, 2020|

Recommendations for Drive-In Services Since many churches are holding drive-in services, we have compiled the following regulations for such meetings.  Again, these are the requirements for District Council Affiliated Churches and  the recommendations for General Council Affiliated Churches in the West Florida District. Permission must be granted by local authorities for each drive-in service. All vehicles must be parked at least 6 feet apart. Vehicle windows should remain closed as much as possible. (Realizing every church does not have FM transmitters, then hearing and ventilation could be an issue.)  No one may exit their vehicle for any reason before, during, or after the drive-in service. All restrooms on campus are to be closed. Sitting in the back of pickup trucks or on the hoods of vehicles is not allowed. No lawn chairs or other seating will be allowed on the premises. Collection and distribution of any items, such as offerings, communion elements, printed materials, must be done without personal contact.  Services should be limited to less than one hour. (this is primarily for comfort reasons) The Pastor shall be expected to inform their leadership team of these regulations and shall use that team to make sure all of these, as well as guidelines previously issued by the West Florida District, and any other social distancing guidelines set forth by the federal, state, and local authorities, are strictly adhered to before, during, and after the drive-in service.

COVID-19 Superintendent’s Memo, April 2

April 2nd, 2020|

MEMO West Florida District Coronavirus Update, April 2: The COVID-19 pandemic becomes more real and personal each day.  We continue to hear of the spread of the virus and the impact that it is having on everyone.  As we have previously stated, the situation is changing constantly and attempting to keep up is sometimes overwhelming. Everyone is feeling the stress and uncertainty of sailing through these uncharted waters. As His Church, we should have greater assurance than anyone else in the world. Jesus said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”(Matthew 16:18)  While the rest of the world is shaking around us, we have a solid foundation that can never be moved. We must not be fearful, but faithful and wise in all things as we move forward for the next few weeks.  May I reassure you that you are not alone. Our entire team is continuing to lift you up and to make ourselves available to serve you in any way that we can during this difficult time.  As of April 1, 2020, the President of the United States has extended the social distancing guidelines, that were originally set forth for 15 days, for 30 more days.  He continues to ask that there be no meetings of 10 or more people in attendance until at least April 30.  Meanwhile, Florida’s Governor, Ron Desantis, has made additions to the executive order he issued on March 9, 2020. Here is an excerpt that we shared with you in our

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