Regathering for Worship

Regathering on June 21, 2020

We are so excited to welcome you back on campus for in-person worship at ABEFC. We have missed you! As we gather back together on June 21, 2020, we are doing so in a way that seeks to honor the guidelines outlined for us by our state and county authorities. These guidelines make it necessary for us to significantly change the way we gather and we want you to know what you can expect.

Even as there is great excitement in regathering, the temporary changes we have needed to make could be a source of frustration and annoyance for some. We understand that and feel it too. But this is also a moment for us as a church to trust God, die to self, and serve others in love. It is a time for us to walk in the Spirit and manifest His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is a time for us to walk in a manner worthy of our common calling in Jesus Christ:

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:1–3

Before You Come

  • Plan to be patient and gracious with one another. Don’t assume that everyone’s preferences, opinions, and convictions are the same as yours! (Romans 14:13)
  • Please remain flexible and patient. It’s likely that we will need to make more adjustments to our plans as the situation changes.
  • Because space is limited, you will need to reserve your service time and venue ahead of time using our online reservation form. You will find the link to the weekly reservation form on our website, on the ABEFC app, and in the e-bulletin. The reservation link will be available each week from Tuesday at 9:00 am until Friday at midnight.
  • Plan, pray, and prepare your family before Sunday morning.
  • If you are sick, have been in recent physical proximity with someone who is sick, or you
    are in a high-risk category, please enjoy the livestream from home.
  • Please be mindful of social distancing. Please try to stay six feet apart and avoid
    handshakes and hugs. Waving hello, bowing, nodding, thumbs up, and other non-contact greetings are best. Elbow bumps and fore-arm smashes are better alternatives than handshakes and hugs.
  • Masks for worship participants are required in the building at all times, with the exception of "individuals ten (10) years old and younger or individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering" (CO State Executive Order D 2020 138).
  • Please use the restroom before coming to church to limit restroom use. Restrooms for the Family Livestream are in the gym. Restrooms for the sanctuary, Fireside Livestream, and Safeguard Livestream are in the main foyer. Restroom space is very limited so please be courteous, patient, and mindful of social distancing.

When You Arrive

  • Service Times  We will have two service times, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Venue Options  In addition to the sanctuary, there are three livestream venues to help
    make room for more people and to provide options for different needs. See map for locations.
    o   Sanctuary - Our largest venue accommodating up to 100 people where masks are required and the congregation sings along with the worship team. Please check-in before the service at the welcome table at either the east or west main doors. Restrooms for the sanctuary are in the foyer.
    o   Family Livestream (Gym) - In this family-friendly venue of up to 70 people, masks are required, and the congregation sings along with the songs. A good choice for those with very young children or for those wishing to serve others by freeing up seats in the sanctuary. Please check-in before the service at the welcome table at the outside gym doors on the west side. Restrooms for the Family Livestream are in the gym.
    o    Fireside Livestream (Fireside Room) - This venue features fewer people than the gym (30 max.), masks are required, and the congregation sings along with the worship team. A good choice for those wishing to avoid larger groups of people or for those wishing to serve others by making more room in the sanctuary. Please check-in before the worship service at the welcome table located at the outdoor stairway on the east side of the building. Restrooms for the Fireside Livestream are in the main foyer and must be accessed by exiting the building from the outside stairs and then re-entering at the main entry doors.
    o   Safeguard Livestream (Room 301) - This venue features the fewest number of people (25 max.), masks are required, and the congregation does NOT sing along with the worship team. This room is intended for those who wish to take greater safeguards. Please check-in before the service at the welcome table at the outside gym doors on the west side. Restrooms for the Safeguard Livestream are in the main foyer and must be accessed by exiting the building and then re- entering at the main entry doors on the west side.
  • Congregational Singing  In most of our venues we will be singing together as a congregation. Masks are required and doors will be left open (when possible) to encourage greater ventilation and airflow. Those wishing to avoid the greater exposure and risk that is believed to be associated with indoor congregational singing should consider either joining our livestream service from home or attending the Safeguard Livestream where masks are required and there is no congregational singing.
  • Social Distancing  Please be mindful of social distancing. Please try to stay six feet apart and avoid handshakes and hugs. Waving hello, bowing, nodding, thumbs up, and other non-contact greetings are best. Elbow bumps and fore-arm smashes are better alternatives than handshakes and hugs.
  • Eliminating Common Touchpoints  We have sought to eliminate common touchpoints by doing things such as propping open doors, eliminating handouts and bulletins, removing pew resources (hymnals, pew bibles, connection cards, notes pages, etc.), and discontinuing the passing of offering bags and communion trays.
  • Hand Sanitizer  We have touchless hand sanitizer stations located on the walls inside or near every venue.
  • Offering  We will not be passing offering bags during the service, but there are offering boxes available in every venue for your convenience. You can also continue to give online or mail your offering to Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free Church, 3435 Maizeland Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.
  • Communion  We look forward to celebrating communion together in our services on the first Sunday in July. We will not be passing communion trays, but will have each person pick up a prepackaged communion container as they enter their venue.
  • Bulletin  There will be no paper bulletins handed out. The order of service and other announcements will be available in the e-bulletin and on the ABEFC app. Sign up for the e-bulletin here. To download the ABEFC app, go to your devices app store and search “Austin Bluffs EFC” or “ABEFC”.
  • Families with Children  No childcare is being offered at this time. If you have children, please keep them with you and under your direct supervision at all times before, during, and after the worship service. The nursery and other children's classrooms will not be available for use. The Family Livestream in the gym is a great option for younger families.
  • Livestream Check-In  If you are a visitor, member, or regular attender watching the service via our online livestream, we would love to know it! Please fill out our Livestream Check-In on the ABEFC app.
  • Before Church and after Church Fellowship  County guidance requires that there be no congregating in common areas indoors. All before and after service fellowship should be enjoyed outside the church building.
  • Drinking Fountains and Coffee Service  Our drinking fountains have been turned off and we have temporarily discontinued providing coffee. You are welcome to bring your own water bottle or travel mug filled with coffee from home.

ABEFC Preparations

  • We will have adequate hygiene supplies, such as hand soap, tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent alcohol), and non-surgical masks available.
  • We will space out seating in all venues for attendees who do not live in the same household to at least six feet apart when possible.
  • No items will be passed or shared among congregants.
  • The worship team will keep a safe distance from one another on the stage.
  • The ABEFC Cleaning Team will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. They
    will seek to remove from use items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. They will ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep them away from children.
  • If you have any questions, email office@abefc.org and a pastor or staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.