3027 38th Street Columbus, NE 68601 (just east of Lost Creek School) - get directions

Covid-19 Updates

 

May 23, 2020

Dear Columbus Berean Church family,

We are excited to inform you of our church’s plans to physically gather again. We want you to know that we have spent much time in prayer and preparation to allow for this to happen as best as we can under the circumstances. This decision has not been made lightly, and we have sought by God’s grace to be good stewards of His church.

Before we get into the details, we all need to acknowledge that it is necessary to extend grace to one another as we take steps to gather again. There are many varied opinions concerning this pandemic, but one thing is sure and that is that God has called the people of His church to build each other up in love (Ephesians 4:15-16), and to treat others as more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). We are being called to show grace to others who may differ from our own approach to this circumstance.

We are planning on resuming our physical gatherings on Sunday, June 7, at 10:00 a.m. We have all longed for the day in which we can gather again and are excited to do so. However, our gatherings, for the foreseeable future, will be very different than what we are used to. Under the current Directed Health Measures we are complying with the “Guidelines for the Conduct of Faith-Based Services…” by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. In meeting, we are committing to the following:

1)      You are encouraged to stay home if you are at-risk:

  1.       The elderly
  2.     People with underlying medical conditions
  3.       Family members who live with or are caretakers of elderly people or those who are at risk
  4.     People who have access to those at risk in nursing situations

2)      It is vital that you stay home if:

  1.       You or one of your family members have a fever
  2.     Please check everyone’s temperature before leaving for church.
  3.     You or one of your family members have upper-respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
  4.       You have COVID-19 or live with someone with COVID-19
  5.     If you have COVID-19 please follow your doctor’s directions about the timeframe for you to follow to be in public again.
  6.     You or a household family member has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

3)      When you arrive at church you will be ushered to chairs that match the size of your family household. According to the guidelines, you may only sit with those that live in your household.

  1.       As you approach the building, there will be a line since ushers will be seating everyone. Please stand on the marks that are placed six feet apart as you wait.

4)      The household chair units will be arranged according to household size.

  1.       At least for the first few weeks, we are going to ask that you RSVP if you are planning on coming so that we may set up the seats accordingly and allow space for possible visitors.

5)      From the time you exit your car, until you leave after the service please maintain social distancing of six feet away from anyone not in your household.

6)      We are unable to pass anything physically between people, so:

  1.       We will discontinue physical bulletins for the time being.
  2.     We will not be able to use chair Bibles or hymnals. Please bring your own Bible, if you do not have one at home we would love to give you one that you can keep. Just let Pastor Justin or one of the elders know.
  3.       We will have an offering box in the foyer as you exit to allow for worship through giving. Worship through giving will also continue to be available on our website.

7)      Due to the DHHS guidelines, at this time we will not be able to:

  1.       Offer Nursery
  2.     Have Fellowship Time
  3.       Have Sunday School

8)      We know that it will be difficult, but please refrain from the following:

  1.       Handshakes
  2.     Hugs
  3.       Other greetings that require physical contact

9)  The CDC still recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, in addition to other social distancing guidelines. Therefore, while some may choose not to, people over two years old are encouraged to wear a cloth face mask to limit the contribution of respiratory droplets that may be produced. Please respect each families’ decision concerning face coverings.

10)   Due to the spacing needed to accommodate social distancing, the fellowship hall will be used as overflow seating, equipped with live video and audio of the service.

11)   We will thoroughly clean and sanitize the facility between services.

12)   While our restrooms will be available for urgent needs, please try to mitigate their use by using the restroom before you come to church, if at all possible. 

13)   At the conclusion of our service, you will be dismissed and ushered out. Please be patient with us as we work on this.

14)   We will continue to Live Stream our worship services on our YouTube channel. We know that it will not be the best plan for everyone to return to physically meeting, at least for now.

  1.       Please extend each family grace as they make the best decision for their family at this time. Some people will need to stay at home due to being at risk, while others may need to stay home because the social distancing restrictions may prove difficult to the point of distraction from the purpose of our gathering.

We are excited to offer the ability to gather physically once again. We know that these guidelines are not ideal, but we are seeking to do our best in being good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.  Please remember that attending puts you at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but we will do everything possible to mitigate this risk.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Justin or one of the elders, we would love to help. We are excited to see you again, when the time is right, and respect the decision you and your family make.

Pastor Justin and the elders


May 1, 2020

Dear members and attenders of Columbus Berean Church, 

We are writing to update you concerning our church’s plans for the coming weeks. On April 24, Governor Ricketts announced that our health district would have a new DHM beginning on May 4, that would allow for churches to meet under strict guidelines. The guidelines that he gave at that time were that each household had to sit together and be 6 feet away from other households, and that nothing could be passed between people. We have been and are continuing to work on the best setup for our facility to allow for this.  

However, the Columbus medical community and East Central District Health Department Chief Public Officer Chuck Sepers are urging that we do not loosen to those restrictions at this time.  In an article by News Channel Nebraska on April 29, he said, “We are urging area businesses to maintain tighter restrictions than those that are being proposed to go into effect as of May 4.” They are requesting this because they believe that we are just entering the peak period of the pandemic for our area. 

As elders we have spent much time in prayer and contemplation for our best route forward. This has been in no way an easy decision to make. There is no perfect decision here. We all need to extend grace to others in this situation as we all have and are processing it differently. As followers of Jesus we are commanded to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39) and to treat others as more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). So please, extend grace to those who are navigating this differently than you.

In light of all of these factors we have decided to not resume our worship gathering on May 10. We will continue to monitor the situation and hope to have more clarity in the coming weeks as to when we can physically gather (socially distanced) again. To help you process this situation with some of the information we have received, we have attached the “Guidelines for the Conduct of Faith-Based Services…” that has been put out by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for the new DHM. This will help you understand what it will look like to gather physically when that time comes.

When we are able to gather physically together we will also need to livestream our service for those who are at-risk and need to stay home (according to the attached document). Therefore, we have decided to start livestreaming our service on Sunday, May 10,  at 10:00 a.m. via our YouTube Channel. This will be a step forward to “normal”, as we will be able to reintroduce a time of worship through singing together. If you are unable to access the service online, please let Pastor Justin know and we would love to supply you with a DVD copy afterwards.

Please know that we are seeking ways to enable fellowship within our body as we adhere to social distancing and we are hoping to resume our gatherings soon. Thank you for your continued ministry to the people of our church and for your sacrificial giving during this time.  We are praying for you all and are still desiring ways to specifically pray for and serve your families. 

In Christ,

Pastor Justin and the elders

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