ARC & COVId-19 response: what you need to know

Church has become a very different experience since March 2020. The rise and spread of Covid-19 has changed the ways we engage with our church community, but it hasn't stopped us from engaging. We still welcome. We still worship. We still know. We still serve. We still share.


Below you'll find resources with information on the how, what, where, and why of operations at American Reformed Church amid this pandemic. If you want to get involved, or get more involved, please contact the church office at americanchurchoc@gmail.com or 712.737.4430.

  • in-person worship protocols

    ARC is meeting in person at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Services are also live-streamed on ARC's page on Facebook.

     

    Please keep in mind the following protocols, which are vitally important as we seek to protect the health and safety of all—especially the most vulnerable among us. Watch the YouTube video at left for a visual tour through the church.

    • Doors will be unlocked and held open at 9:15 a.m. to prevent pre-service conversations in the facility. Please do not try to enter the facility before the doors are opened for you.
    • Sanitization stations will be provided, and all who attend will be expected to sanitize hands immediately upon entering.
    • Masks will be required to be worn throughout the building for all adults, high school youth, middle school youth, and upper elementary school students. It is up to parents of young children as to whether their children wear masks in the building. (The CDC does not recommend that children under age 2 wear masks.) Please wear your own. Disposable masks will be provided for those who do not have masks. Please keep your mask on your face the entire time you are in the facility. If you use a disposable mask, please wear it out the doors and dispose of it once you arrive home. Do not remove your mask and dispose of it or leave it anywhere at church.  
    • Seating will be clearly marked to ensure spatial distancing. Families who live together may sit together. Additionally, those who are friends who are sharing the same “contamination circle” may sit together. Those who do not live together or are not a part of the same contamination circle should maintain spatial distancing.  
    • No physical touching—no hugs, no handshakes, no fist bumps, and no elbow bumps. No exceptions. Please do not ask your neighbor for permission to do so either, as it may put your at-risk neighbor in a difficult position, feeling the pressure to say “yes” when that at-risk neighbor should say “no.”
    • Instrumental music will be included. There may also be a vocalist in the very back of the balcony. But there will be no congregational singing. The science is clear that it simply is not safe to engage in congregational singing at this time.
    • The upper-level restrooms will be available for emergency use only. The lower-level restrooms are closed. Please use the restroom before coming to worship. The service will be shorter, with a target length of about 45 minutes.
    • There will be no bulletins or sharing of items. 
    • The congregation will be dismissed by row and will be asked to leave the facility immediately. If you wish to talk with your neighbor, please do so outside the facility.
    • The 9:30 a.m. Sunday worship service will continue to be livestreamed via Facebook Live, and will also be broadcast on local cable access television stations on Sunday and Saturday evenings.
    •  The nursery will remain closed.

    The ARC Facilities Reopening Planning Team will evaluate and adjust these protocols as needed. It is important to acknowledge that if there is a spike in coronavirus infections in our area or there are other complications at any services, it is possible that in-person worship for future Sundays will be suspended and we will focus to virtual worship only.  


     

  • news from ARC: email newsletters distributed on thursdays

    No weekly bulletins means no outlet to communicate important news to church members and friends. This spring we began sending out weekly ARCOC Pastoral Newsletters, and that has evolved into News from ARC, which is sent by email on Thursdays (and printed and mailed to those who don't receive email). If you're not on our mailing list and would like to receive these newsletters, please email americanchurchoc@gmail.com.

  • NEW DOOR ACCESS CONTROL & VIDEO INTERCOM SYSTEM INSTALLED

    In an effort to provide greater safety for ARC staff and the ARC building, the consistory approved a project to install a web-based door access control and video intercom system at church. Because ARC hosts the Orange City Food Pantry, we often have guests present in our facility. We want to ensure that when those friends are being served, there are at least two staff persons present, and that all persons are screened before entering the building. We also want to ensure that the lower-level main entrance vestibule is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday for food pantry donations. Finally, we want to make sure there is greater consistency for the main doors on the upper and lower levels being unlocked and locked at the same time for worship on Sunday mornings and on other days and times for other events. Our new system allows us to schedule times for these events. Please note that during normal office hours, once the building opens again (it remains closed due to the pandemic), you will need to ring a “doorbell” so that office staff can grant you entry. (This is similar to what is done at our local public schools.)