Dear Stillwater Family,
We are so thankful for you! You’ve continued to do ministry with us online – worship services, Community Groups, and ministries with Teens and Kids. Our food pantry has continued to serve the hungry, and we’ve continued to support many Dayton-area ministries through our continued support of United Methodist ministries.
We are eager to begin a process of reopening Stillwater Church, and we feel called by God to do this in the most responsible way possible. One of our long-held vision statements at Stillwater is “Everyone welcome.” That’s not just a feel-good sentiment…it’s part of our DNA. It carries a lot of responsibility, because for everyone to be truly welcome, it means that we make special accommodations for special situations.
For example, our Special Friends ministry empowers us to do ministry with those who have special needs. We recently shared a video on Facebook of some of our Special Friends building a house last year at the Parking Lot Build. To make that happen, we purchased and built accessible equipment. Some might say that is an extra hassle. We don’t see it that way. It is an extra blessing to have the ability to adapt to ensure that everyone is truly welcome.
Beginning on June 6/7, we will begin a season of reopening. Our worship service times will be the same at Frederick Pike (5:30pm Saturday, 9:30 and 11am Sunday). The Y Campus will reopen at 10am on Sunday, June 21. Many in our congregation have vulnerabilities because of age or medical history and we will make special accommodations because that is part of our DNA as a church. As your pastors, we are asking you to joyfully make these accommodations as a way of showing everyone that you matter to us and you matter to God.
We’ve met with a team of a few Stillwater healthcare professionals staff, Board members, and Security Team members. Here are some initial changes that will take place at both campuses (unless otherwise noted) when we reopen. Many of these will be phased out in time:
Making space for each other at weekend services
- Live streaming worship is a permanent addition that will not go away when in-person worship resumes (currently Frederick Pike [FP] only)
- Greater space will be provided between rows of chairs
- Lobby furniture will be removed to increase walking spaces (FP)
- Offering baskets will be available by the doors, instead of passing offering plates
- Greeters and staff will great you with a joyful smile and words, instead of physical contact, and we ask you to do the same
- Everyone eight years and older will be required to wear a mask (if you forget one, we’ll have one for you at the door) so that we can sing and interact more safely. While on the stage, Pastors and Praise Team members will not wear a mask but Plexiglas partitions will be used.
- Please enter through the Worship Center or Main entrances (FP only)
- A greeter may take your temperature using a contactless thermometer when you enter
- We will have “watch party” space available in MidPoint if the Worship Center fills
StillwaterKIDS and StillwaterTeens
- StillwaterKIDS and Nursery and Special Friends will remain closed, and children will sit with their family. Parents, feel free to bring entertainment for your children. As always, we consider kids’ talking/singing/playing to be worship to God’s ears!
- The Playland will remain closed
- StillwaterTeens will begin meeting in-person in June, following similar guidelines as listed here
- Hand sanitizer and tissues will be placed at convenient locations
- Doors will be propped open or held by a greeter whenever possible
- Housekeeping staff and servants will clean and sanitize throughout the weekend
- Chair setup will be done by people who are wearing masks and gloves, and chairs will be sanitized after weekend services
- Communion will be served in prepackaged elements that will be placed on chairs before service by servers wearing gloves and masks
- Snacks/coffee will be temporarily unavailable, but you are welcome to bring your own
- Water fountains will be temporarily unavailable
- All meetings/services at the Y will follow Y procedures – www.daytonymca.org/reopening-guide
- Both campuses will meet together at FP Campus for the first two weeks and the Y Campus will open on Sunday, June 21 at 10am.
Additionally, we need your help to keep our church a safe place where everyone is welcome:
- Pray that God will bring healing to the sick and a quick containment to the spread of disease
- If you need prayer, please email email@example.com
- Take your spiritual health as seriously as you take your physical health – spend time praying and reading the Bible each day, and worship with us online if you prefer
- Stay home if you are sick. Jesus still loves you and so do we, and we must obey Jesus’ words to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated
- Give online at stillwaterchurch.org/giving. Your faithful giving empowers Stillwater Church to faithfully live out our mission in unique times like this. We are so grateful for your generosity!
Our leaders will continue to make adaptations as needed. We know that some of you will still be unable to attend for a while, and that’s OK. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 937-454-9405 if we can help.
In Jesus’ Love,
Pastors Jon and Jordan