REOPENING AT WELLSPRING
Our goal in reopening at Wellspring is to seek to be COVID-safe even if not COVID-free. Registration will be done in advance to ensure social distancing; contact information given when reserving will be used to inform people if there is a diagnosed case of COVID in their section. Rows will be spaced six feet apart, and multiple empty seats will ensure six feet between between you and other parties. Those with a temperature or exposure to a person with COVID will be asked to refrain from attending. In order to sing during worship, masks will be required of people in the sanctuary. Even with the utmost precautions though, we cannot guarantee a prevention of exposure to COVID- 19, and so we ask those highly vulnerable to refrain from attending in person. If someone in your section or service is diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending worship, you will be notified.
Beginning July 5, we will have a soft launch with worship in person for only 100 people at 9AM in Wheaton. We will send out a link with registration details on Wednesday, July 1, and each Wednesday afterwards. While we will begin with only one service in Wheaton on July 5, we will slowly add in more services in Wheaton and eventually Warrenville as we are able. Because of limited capacity in the sanctuary, weekly attendance in person at church will be difficult; livestream will continue, and we encourage you to organize worship gatherings with others, when feasible, in homes or backyards to worship as well.
Because of the limitations on large gatherings imposed during this season, we want to maximize the role of home groups. For those not currently in home groups we are working on launching new groups in the fall. At the same time we encourage people to reach out to others who might be isolated or simply to connect, whether or not they are in your home group. As we get our bearings with in-person worship, we will also find ways for home groups to worship together in person on occasion at the church. Details for that will follow.
Please pray. Body atrophy is a real danger in this season; just as it is hard to get up when we have not been moving for a while, it will feel awkward when we begin to gather together again, masked and socially distanced. Nevertheless, Hebrews 10:24–25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Even as meeting in person is difficult for a variety of reasons, let us explore creative ways to continue encouraging one another, whether in person, on the phone, or through technology, so that we might continue to stir one another up to love and good works.
We recognize that reopening will be slow and a bit frustrating at first. We also acknowledge that no plan is perfect; this plan will be adjusted and modified as we move forward since we cannot anticipate the hiccups that we will encounter. Nevertheless the Lord will lead us each step of the way. Capacity limitations will limit the frequency of worship in person. Masks and social distancing will affect the way that corporate worship feels. But just as masked and gloved trips to the grocery store were exhausting at first but are now the new normal, so we will adjust to this new normal. Let us not grow frustrated or weary by the inconveniences of this season. Let us continue to grow towards Christ, together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What happens if someone at church is diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending church? Using the information given when registering, we will notify everyone in that service that a person was diagnosed with COVID-19 in a certain section. We will encourage people to follow the CDC guidelines in responding after that. Also we will have a deep cleaning of the spaces used following CDC protocols.
Why are masks required? Since this virus spreads through droplets, and singing dramatically increases the amount of droplets spread, we are asking that masks be used to decrease that risk.
What do I do when I cannot worship in person? Capacity limitations will make it very difficult to worship weekly in person. Livestream will continue throughout this season! We encourage you to worship via livestream with others by inviting people to your home, making a phone call or a video chat with others after service, or worshipping outdoors in a convenient location.
What precautions will be followed? We will clean between services. We have replaced our padded chairs with plastic chairs that can be wiped down quickly. Hand sanitizer will be plentiful; plexiglass screens will be in front of the worship team and at the welcome center. Offering plates will not be passed, but offering may be given online, via mail, or in offering boxes at the back of the sanctuary.
What should I do if I get diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending worship? Please contact Cheryl Baird or Joyce Dalrymple via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 630-653-1555.
What about children’s ministry? We will monitor this as we move forward, but we plan to begin children’s ministry when the school districts begin. Children will worship with their families.
Will we have access to the entire building? No. Water fountains will not be available, and only the bathrooms on the first floor will be available for use. The children’s areas and the area downstairs in Wheaton and upstairs in Warrenville will not be used at this time.
What about Warrenville? As we figure out the process of reopening at Wheaton, then this will set the stage for helping Warrenville reopen wisely and well. In the interim, the Warrenville Leadership Team is planning for opportunities to gather for praise, prayer, and community together.
Our Wellspring leadership teams have been carefully planning for our reopening process and we need your help! Please participate in a brief survey to help us prepare our worship spaces for our eventual reopening. We look forward to gathering together again with you as soon as we can do so reasonably safely.
Click HERE to fill out the survey.
What will it look like for Wellspring to re-open? For some answers to this and other related questions:
Click below to view the COVID-19 Discussion/Interview regarding Gov. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan from 5/17/20.
To show love through social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines, ALL MEETINGS held at both Wellspring Wheaton and Warrenville (including prayer meetings and groups) will be cancelled beginning TODAY (3/18/20).
Furthermore, both buildings will be CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE as the buildings will be thoroughly disinfected at this time.
Sunday Worship for Wheaton and Warrenville will be held jointly via livestream starting this Sunday at 9AM at our website: http://wellspringalliance.net/livestream. For those who will join in later than 9AM, you’ll have the luxury of rewinding to the beginning!
If you haven’t done so already, consider joining our 21-day prayer challenge. You’ll receive a daily email containing a brief devotional thought and a prayer guide with specific church-related prayer requests. Sign up at http://wellspringalliance.net/prayer.
Finally, keep an eye out for new resources for family worship that we will provide for you before this coming Sunday!
Clarification RE: Sunday Worship on 03.15.20
Regarding Sunday Worship on 03.15.20:
In WHEATON, we strongly encourage you to join us in worship via our livestream at 9am or 11am. There are two ways to access the livestream:
- A link will be emailed to you by 8:30am Sunday morning.
- Go to our website (www.wellspringalliance.net) and click the “STREAM” button at the bottom.
In WARRENVILLE, we will be meeting for service as usual.
As the situation continues to develop, we will communicate next steps on our website, social media, and via email.
If you missed yesterday’s video, click below!
COVID-19 Response 3/13/20
In response to Governor J.B. Pritzger’s directive to cancel gatherings over 250 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage those in Wheaton to join us in worship via our livestream at 9 and 11 AM this Sunday; we will not have Sunday morning children’s, youth, EQUIP, or other programming in Wheaton. Doors will remain open on Sunday at Wheaton; you may join a small, live “studio” congregation for our livestream at 9 AM or 11 AM this week if so led. Warrenville will meet as usual in person, and midweek gatherings such as Wednesday & Saturday prayer meetings will continue unless otherwise directed. Women INC will not meet. Next Sunday we will only have one livestream from Wheaton at 9 AM; those who come in later may watch a recording of that.
We have formed a task force at the church to monitor information and respond as needed, and information will be posted on our website and through the E-news mailing list.
As I have been praying for our church, the Lord is laying a few thoughts on my heart that I want to share with you as we respond to this pandemic:
(1) WASH YOUR HANDS
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Wash your hands you sinners…” Obviously James is concerned not with the spread of viruses but the spread of sin, but we should be concerned with both. We should take appropriate precautions for our hygiene— washing our hands thoroughly, not going out if we are feeling sick, and generally following the protocols from the Center on Disease Control. Those who are sick, elderly and/or have underlying conditions should take special precautions at this time. In addition we should also draw near to God in this season.
(2) COMMUNITY STILL MATTERS
Even as we increase social distancing to reduce the spread of this virus, we must fight the danger of isolation by meeting together to encourage one another (Heb 10:25). We can can do this both virtually and in smaller groups.
As you worship on the livestream, don’t do so alone. Gather with your home group, some friends, or another family to worship; this can be done in person, on the phone or through video conferencing technology.. We will provide questions for discussion after the message so that you can process and pray with one another, as well as resources for the children.
As you worship on livestream, don’t do so passively; post comments on the feed, sharing a virtual and hearty “Amen” and encouraging others with your presence. Please sing with the lyrics on the screen with the worship team. If you have not signed up for online giving, we strongly encourage you to do so now as well; use this link to signup. Do not let fear make you passive; let us continue to give God the worship that He deserves.
(3) PRAY TOGETHER
As this microscopic virus brings the world to its knees, may we as the church rise up from our knees. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Ps 50:15).
Beginning on Monday we invite you to join us for a 21 day prayer chain. Each morning we will send a brief devotional thought and some prayer requests. Please pray for these requests. Also find a prayer buddy to pray with daily for these 21 days, and each day make a time that you will pray with one another. Let us pray that the power of God would break through in this time of pandemic!
(4) COMBAT FEAR WITH FAITH — NOT MORE INFORMATION
During the Ebola crisis in Africa, Pastor Jeter shared of the temptation was to quell anxiety through more information. Yet an incessant quest for information inevitably leads us to rumors and unverified statements that may cause more fear and anxiety. Receive your information from a couple of reliable sources (e.g., www.cdc.gov; dupagehealth.org), and live in trust of God.
(5) THE LORD REIGNS. PERIOD.
As schools close, graduations get canceled, and life is massively disrupted, any illusions of control are quickly dispelled. Yet the reality is we were never in control in the first place. James 4:14 says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Let us remember the One who is truly in control and respond to His shaping hand in this situation.
The speed and severity of the spread of COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise. The NBA has canceled their games and March Madness has become March Sadness. We are joining our community in taking steps to mitigate the spread of the disease. But most of all our hearts should be filled with faith in the living God.
Praying with you,