With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and the Lakeland City Commission approving a city-wide mask mandate beginning Thursday, July 2, we would again like to remind all Heritage members and guests of behaviors that help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although our property is located just outside city limits, our desire to lead in humility and serve our Lakeland neighbors informs the recommendations (not requirements) listed:
*Please stay home if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
*Please stay home and monitor your health if you have had close contact with a person who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
*Please use face coverings while entering and exiting the Worship Center. Once seated (properly social distanced), feel free to remove your face covering if desired.
*Please abide by social distancing recommendations of six feet or more between individuals and family units
*Please wash your hands often and make use of the sanitation stations across campus
With this in mind, our pastoral staff, in coordination with the health and safety task force and deacons, have approved a plan and process for one worship service beginning Sunday, July 5th.
How? When? Where? What?
- We will offer one worship service at 10:15am
- We will continue to offer a modified one-hour format
- We will continue to designate seating with proper social distance between individuals and family units
- We will require all staff and First Impressions team members to wear a face covering
- We will strongly recommend all members and guests to utilize face coverings while entering and exiting the Worship Center (see first paragraph for details)
- We will provide a "safer area"* for those with immunodeficiencies and underlying health concerns--we ask that all seated in this area wear face masks.
- We will provide nursery** beginning July 5th during the 10:15am hour; face coverings are required for volunteers and recommended for parents during drop-off and pick-up
- We will record and upload audio of the preaching segment by Sunday afternoon to our website
*This section will be located in the front, right of the Worship Center nearest the stage. Heritage attenders will be able to enter and exit through the front, right double doors of the Worship Center allowing for immediate access to this section.
**Nursery will: (1) Encourage the use of Elexio Remote Check-in; (2) Require temperature screenings of all volunteers and babies; (3) Be reserved for ages 0-23 months
Our Confidence as Christians
As Christians we realize that our hope and well-being is tied into something, actually Someone, much greater than a virus--Jesus Christ. As a church, we desire to lead from a position of humility to a watching world. One of the best ways we can lead in humility and serve our Lakeland neighbors during this present crisis is in our deference to civil authorities in abiding by publicly endorsed health recommendations. As a church corporately and as Christians individually, we will continue seeking ways in which to minister the love of Christ. We believe the measures outlined above prioritize the primacy of the gospel in our lives while humbly abiding by federal, state, and local recommendations.
How should I respond?
As we move forward with in-person gatherings again, we encourage you to:
(1) Pray for patience, understanding, and unity of mind as we enter this new phase of ministry together.
(2) Stay connected to the church body through in-person gatherings or online engagement.
(3) Continue to faithfully give financially in a spirit of benevolence to our church family and on-going ministry efforts—you will find a link to Elexio Giving above and contribution boxes will be available in the Worship Center on Sundays for cash or checks.
(4) Eagerly await Christ's return when he brings about a day without sickness, suffering, and death. What a glorious day it will be!