Harvest continues to place your health, and the health of all in our community, as our highest priority. COVID numbers have begun to move in a promising direction in Manatee county because a vast majority of people have banded together to do their part to stop the spread. The sacrifices that so many are making is having an impact. Of course the greatest sacrifices are being made by families who have lost a loved one as a result of this virus.
The potential life-threatening and life-altering (Mayo Clinic) nature of COVID means that Harvest will take every precaution as we enter into limited phases of reopening the campus. We do this with the knowledge that it ultimately will quicken our return to robust, in-person, worship and ministry. The sooner that COVID is contained in our community and larger society, the sooner we return to a more normal experience with church and other facets of life.
Harvest Limited Reopen – Phase 1
· Sunday morning outdoor modified worship gathering
· Projected date: October 4 at 8 AM
· You may be wondering, “Why wait a month? Why not now?” There are two primary reasons: the weather should be cooler and drier, and it will take the next month to train volunteers who are willing to welcome people back to the campus.
· Family groups/individuals to be spaced at least 6 feet apart
· Mandatory mask wearing
· Bring your own lawn chair
· 25-30 minutes of prayer, scripture, and presentation of song
· No corporate singing or communion
· A creative plan for families who wish to bring their children is being developed
· People in high-risk groups, and members of their same household, should strongly consider their level of risk and take appropriate steps to protect themselves (CDC guidelines)
· Anyone experiencing any symptoms of illness is asked to stay at home
· Reservations will be requested so adequate preparations can be made, and a check-in system will be used in the event that contact tracing is needed
· A host team of Harvest volunteers will be needed to make this gathering happen. Training will be provided. To let us know you are interested in serving, please Click Here.
This is a general summary. There will be plenty more details and reminders to come. And, as we are learning so profoundly during this time, everything is subject to change. An increase in COVID cases in our area, and/or the onset of a serious flu season could impact our plans.
This first gathering will serve as an opportunity to gauge congregational interest and assess how these logistics play out for a real-time, in-person event. The manner in which these dynamics play out, along with the ongoing monitoring of COVID spread statistics, will impact the future frequency of these worship gatherings. Harvest will continue to offer full worship experiences online at 9 and 10:30 a.m.
Future phases of reopen will progress toward outdoor small group gatherings throughout the week, leading to small indoor gatherings, ultimately moving toward larger indoor gatherings. Cooler weather in the coming months will aid the scheduling of outdoor gatherings under the porticos on the front of the building as well as the Memorial Garden in back. The thorough work being done over the next month on the Harvest ventilation systems will give our indoor spaces the best possible air circulation and sanitization when that phase of reopen happens.
You have our sincere gratitude for your graciousness, your cooperation, and your support. Patience and perseverance have been key for us so far, and as people empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, we will continue in this way. Let us not waver in our love for God and neighbor. May we give thanks for each step in the direction of wholeness and reunion for our people called Harvest, and for our society as a whole. We miss each other. We love each other. We will continue to hold one another in care.