May 7, 2020
Aspen Ridge Family,
We very much look forward to the day that we may all reunite and worship together in person. We do want to return to normal as soon as possible; however, we will respect local and state guidelines which consider the safety and health of our community. Please understand that we are not leading with fear or anxiety, but with justified caution to keep you and your loved ones safe.
When can we gather again at Aspen Ridge Church? As of now, we are holding online services through the end of May. These may be found at AspenRidgeChurch.org/sermons/. Further, these may be found at our Aspen Ridge Church Facebook page. We are also providing a Saturday night Facebook live-stream at 5:00 PM. Our hopes are to be able to open and hold worship services in-person the beginning of June with precautions, including physical distancing, etc. This is subject to change, but this is our goal.
What if our worship gathering is initially limited to no more than 100 people? We will utilize our Saturday night configuration at all services by using tables and chairs spread out to serve needs for physical distancing. We may also utilize the Student Center as an “overflow” area when we reach numbers that exceed the safe capacity of the Celebration Center on Sundays. We will live-stream the service into the Student Center.
What about Youth Camps and Vacation Bible School for the summer? As of right now, both our high school and middle school camps are still going to happen (God willing). High School camp will begin June 28; we have over 31 signed up for such camp, which is a 25% increase over last year. Middle School camp is scheduled for late July and spaces are available until we reach a threshold of 20 students. Vacation Bible School – we have rescheduled to July 20-24. Please understand that it may look different than previous years. We will respect guidelines considering the number of people who gather and of course, consider physical distancing. We will provide more information as we are able.
What does small group life look like? People may gather in person for small groups with no more than 10 people. For the month of May virtual platforms, or a hybrid of in-person plus virtual, is available for small groups larger than 10. We will re-assess these state requirements in late May. As we enter the warmer months, we encourage small groups to meet outdoors and at homes rather than on campus. All small groups should physically distance and use discernment on every detail of meetings based on the unique demographics and specific needs of each small group. The summer months provide an excellent opportunity to join a fun small group and invite neighbors to join you in outdoor physical activity, which is known to strengthen the immune system and refresh the soul.
What is Aspen Ridge doing as far as cleaning and sanitizing the church building? Our Properties Ministry team and church custodian have been diligently been cleaning and sanitizing our building. They will continue to do so and adapt as time progresses.
What adjustments will we make to the Lord’s Supper? Our service ministry team is investing in self-contained communion “units” to give special sanitary precautions, at least initially.
What does the traditional “pass the plate offering” look like? Thank you for your generous giving alongside this pandemic. God has been faithful to provide for His church. It is noted that 70% of our giving in past months has come through the “giving” tab on our website, and this is encouraged. Since we will use our Saturday night set up, there will be containers at each table to receive communication cards and offerings. As is our custom, on the first weekend of the month, we will receive a retiring offering for our benevolent fund.
What does Youth Ministry look like? When we open for regular worship services, we will begin in our summer schedule format, which includes two weekend services (Saturday at 5:00 PM; Sunday at 10:00 AM). We will provide a student ministry “weekend” experience opposite our 5:00 PM Saturday service. This will be held in the Student Center. This summer we plan to have a monthly back porch event supplemented by a student meeting onsite at the church.
What does Children’s Ministry look like? With guidelines that require six-foot distancing, Children’s Ministry may have to subside for a time. We suggest that children attend service with their parents. Ms. Deb will provide activity sheets for the children. Regardless, Ms. Deb will continue to provide lessons and God-centered activities to families online.
Are you continuing to provide coffee stations? Coffee Ministry team plans to go to a BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee) format and we will have bottled water set out on the table where we normally serve coffee.
Will you continue offering virtual online worship? Yes! We want everyone to be able to join us for service whether it is in person or virtually. We are currently offering live-stream services on our Aspen Ridge Church Facebook page Saturdays at 5:00 PM. When we rotate back to our regular meeting schedule, we will shift our live-stream to our Sunday worship service. An opportunity exists for monthly volunteer support to this Sunday morning live-stream initiative.
Will you continue offering virtual online youth and children’s ministry? Youth Ministry: Yes! We are doing a Zoom youth group every week and plan to continue to do this until we can meet in person. Children’s Ministry: Yes! We will continue to send lessons, activities and videos each week. We encourage parents to use these resources at home.
What is your strategy to clean and sanitize the church in real time? Our Properties Ministry team is in the process of buying hand sanitizers and other sanitizing products to be readily available when we return to in-person worship services. Further, our custodian has been working for several weeks to deep clean and sanitize the church building.
Do greeters do their job differently? This ministry may be more important than ever, to welcome people and remind them of physical distancing as people enter. In the warmer weather months, greeters may stand outside with doors propped open as to limit touching door handles.
How is Aspen Ridge ready to support COVIC-19 related addictions? Our pastoral team has a list of resources that are available in our area to support recovery from addictions and freedom in Christ. Further, we are in partnership with Colorado Christian University providing free counseling. Simply reach out to our pastoral team for such resources.
How do we go forward with Wednesday night dinners, Student Meetings and AWANA in the fall? We are exploring what the fall will look like and one of the options includes taking a fall “sabbatical” from Wednesday night dinners over concerns with sanitization and distancing. Student meetings and AWANA will be determined later as we see requirements about numbers of people who may gather and distancing restrictions.
Aspen Ridge Staff & Elders Team