Regathering our Church In-Person
Last updated: 28 September 2020
Dear Family and Friends of International Church of Oahu,
We are praying that you are well and encourage you to keep loving God and loving people, even in the unprecedented circumstances that have been created by COVID-19.
Throughout this time, the pastors and deacons have been cooperating with and following the leadership of our local authorities regarding our in-person worship services. Out of respect for these God-ordained leaders and out of love for people, especially those in higher risk categories, we have been cautious in re-opening! However, we also believe that there is no more essential service than worshipping our God!
Through prayer, research, much discussion, and your input, we are enacting the following Regathering Plan!
Phase 1 | Online Only
Not planned at this time
Technically, churches are able to meet with even stricter social distancing regulations, such as constant mask-wearing and no singing (unless people are separated by ten feet and having barriers in front of them). However, we felt like that wasn’t a feasible or desirable option. We are choosing to err on the side of caution and care for our kupuna and medically vulnerable, and electing to submit to the governing authorities God has put over us.
Phase 2 | Watch Party
Not planned at this time
Lord-willing, we will open up the sanctuary on Sundays again at 10:30 for a “Watch Party” of the pre-recorded service. It will be the same content that everyone has access to via http://intchurch.live, with the added bonus that we can be in the same room together!
It is possible that we may even be able to jump straight to Phase 3 and introduce Live Services. But that remains to be seen.
Consider hosting your own watch party in your home! Perhaps your neighbor, friend, or Life Group member would join you for the worship service (obviously, taking some safety precautions).
Phase 3 | Live Services (We are here.)
Beginning October 4
We will gather on Sunday morning for in-person worship services on Sunday, October 4th at 10:30 am. The service sill also be live-streamed online via http://intchurch.live.
Your health and safety are very important to us!
Therefore, we will be following these health precautions in this phase:
– Masks will be required for all attendees over 5 years old (so sing extra loud). Masks may be removed when you are seated and listening to the message
– Greeters will dispense hand sanitizer to each person entering and exiting
– Chairs and rows will be spaced out so households remain 6 feet apart
– No Keiki ministry. Families are welcome to sit and stay together.
– No Bibles, coffee, food, or drinks will be provided.
– No shaking hands, hugging (we know it’s hard!)
– Communion elements will be pre-packaged
We ask that those who are sick or caring for someone sick join us online.
Those who are medically fragile, our kupuna (65+), and those with high-risk factors regarding Covid-19 should carefully consider their options. While we would encourage you to join online at this time, we also understand and support your preference to join us in-person.
Phase 4 | Keiki Return
Target Date: Unknown
Obviously, we don’t know when things will feel “normal” on Sunday morning, but the return of Keiki Church and Early Childhood Ministry will go a long way to helping families feel settled.
We love our keiki and will continue to include a message for them each Sunday and resource parents to lead their children through Bible lessons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is considered to be at-risk?
Based on what we currently know, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are people over the age of 65 and anyone with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
People who have serious heart conditions.
People who are immuno-compromised.
People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher).
People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis.
People with liver disease.
People with diabetes.
What if someone tests positive for Covid-19?
We will ask the person to stay home and seek medical care if needed. He or she should stay at home for at least seven days after symptoms started AND three days after symptoms are improved and fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications.
We will contact local health officials.
We will inform the congregation of what has transpired.
Any areas we determine the confirmed COVID-19 person visited will be sanitized. Further steps may be deemed necessary at that time.
What are you doing to prepare the facility for services?
At International we have consistently maintained a high standard of cleaning our campus. Some adjustments have been made in order to prevent illness from spreading in our common areas.
Every worker, staff member, and/or volunteer performing cleaning tasks will be required to wear a mask and gloves while working at all times. New gloves will
be put on after completing a restroom or area of the building.
Special attention is given to the sanctuary, door handles, and bathrooms.
A cleaning crew will be working hard before, during, and after the Sunday services on campus.
Share a Need
If you or someone you know has a need created by this virus, please let us know. Whether that is an at-risk individual needing help with errands or getting groceries, a family running out of food, or anything else, we want to help. While we can’t promise to be able to meet every need, we will do our best to serve our church family and community as we seek to do all the time.
If you would like to make yourself available for various service opportunities, please let us know! You can add your name to our database and we will keep you update with different opportunities to serve our community. This might be delivering groceries, packing food boxes, bringing food to the medical community, or any number of things.
If you are interested in being part of our Prayer Team, let us know. As we gather prayer requests, we want to disseminate them to church members who will boldly go before God’s throne and intercede on behalf of various needs.
If you have a prayer request that you want us to share with us, you can do that here.
If you haven’t already done so, we invite you to set up online giving so that we can be well-resourced as a church to meet the needs of our community as they arise. If you would like to give to help those in need, giving to our general fund helps.
You can also contribute to our Benevelonce Fund for church members in financial need.