Welcome Back!

In-Person Services Available each Sunday.

Restarting In-Person Services

A Message from Kevin Rogers, Interim Lead Pastor

Dear Covenant Life,

I’m thrilled to announce that on Sunday, August 16 we will restart in-person, indoor worship services! It will be different. And we’ll miss those who will need to continue to participate online. But I’m grateful to be gathering again with as many as we can very soon. 

No doubt there are lots of questions about the details. You can read our full plan here. We’ve included the basics below along with some anticipated FAQ’s. If you have any questions about the plans for in-person worship or if you’d like to volunteer to help, contact our Director of Operations, Dave Wilcox.

See you on Sunday!

Kevin

One Church

TWO SERVICE OPTIONS

Covenant Life is committed to provide safe and strengthening worship services for everyone in the church. To that end, we are offering two service options, one in-person and one online. Attendees of both services will sing the same songs and hear the same message. May God continue to build our unity in Christ!

Online Service – Watch HereIn-Person Services – Register Here

What You Need to Know about In-Person Services

Masks, Distancing, Registration, and More

  • In-person, indoor services are available each Sunday, in the main auditorium.
  • Register to attend here. (Maximum capacity is 130 households, including staff and volunteers.)
  • Households will be seated together at a physical distance from each other in the fixed seating sections as well as in chairs in the gyms behind the main seating area.
  • Everyone in attendance should wear a face covering (per Montgomery County order, with exceptions) and maintain 6-feet of physical distance while in the building.
  • Singing will take place at both the beginning and end of the service.
  • Offerings can be given online or via collection boxes as you exit the auditorium. No collection plates will be passed.
  • Restrooms will be open with a very limited capacity.
  • Children’s ministry will not yet be open at this time. Households should stay together throughout the service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should come?

If you or others in your household are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, please continue to watch the service online. Also, if you are not comfortable coming to the in-person service under the conditions we’ve outlined here, please feel free to participate online until conditions change. In this season where many are providentially hindered from attending corporate worship, please feel the freedom to participate when and how you can.

Will we continue to have services online?

Yes! We will live stream our Sunday service each week at 10am. The sermon, songs, and announcements will be the same as the in-person service. 

What has been done to prepare for a safe indoor worship service?

We commissioned Healthy Buildings International to conduct a Proactive Pandemic Site Inspection as part of a Re-occupancy Building Inspection Program. During the inspection, the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems were examined, the ventilation rates and filtration standards were reviewed, overall maintenance levels and janitorial effectiveness were assessed, and representative samples of indoor air and water were collected for analysis. The conclusion of their investigation includes the statement,

"All qualitative and quantitative analysis conducted during this proactive inspection indicate excellent indoor environmental quality in this building. Covenant Life Church demonstrates a commitment to providing high standards of indoor environmental quality and janitorial effectiveness for building occupants and staff."

You can read their executive summary here.

In addition, we’ve intensified cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation throughout the building. We’ve ensured we can and will meet the CDC and Montgomery County guidelines for religious services. And we’ve consulted with church members who have medical and public health expertise on every aspect of our building reopening plans.

Why do I need to register?

Pre-registration will help us ensure we are within the 130 household capacity in the auditorium. If it appears we may exceed our present limitations, we will explore alternatives for expanding capacity. Registration also enables us to contact anyone who has attended a particular service if contact tracing or other notifications become necessary.

What’s up with social distancing and face coverings?

For many, this will be the toughest part about gathering under the current conditions. Physical expressions of warmth, friendship and affection are a natural and God-glorifying part of our normal life together. And nobody likes wearing masks. But due to the way COVID-19 spreads, the near universal guidance from public health officials and civic leaders is that we should maintain social distance from each other, especially in larger gatherings. Directives on face coverings have only been expanded both nationally and in Maryland over recent weeks. 

We are complying with these directives not because we are ceding the church’s authority to the state. We have not and will not. We are complying out of love for neighbor, respect for government, and witness to the world. Religious communities currently have significant latitude for gathering compared to other groups and organizations in our area. We don’t want to squander this opportunity to be good witnesses and good neighbors as we move ahead with in-person gatherings. We want to do our part as good neighbors to slow the spread. 

While we navigate the public health protocols, we are also navigating relationships. Individuals in the church will have varying levels of comfort with physical proximity and contact. While you may be completely fine with closer proximity or touch, many others aren’t. We can love our brothers and sisters well in this season by expressing friendship and warmth in ways that don’t violate another’s conscience. As we’ve heard, “there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

What about singing?

Public health organizations have warned that congregational singing may pose greater risks for the spread of coronavirus. For that reason when we first started in-person services in August we moved the singing portion of the service to the end to allow those concerned to leave after the message. However, over the last few months we have observed that very few have actually left the auditorium early when the singing starts. Because of this trend, we altered our in-person services to include a song at the beginning of the service as well as added additional songs at the end.

What about Sunday Serving Teams?

Sunday Serving Teams are the backbone of normal Sunday services. However, in this unique season, we have simplified our Sunday operations so that every member can decide, without any pressure, whether he or she is ready to attend and serve in-person. The same criteria as shown above in “Who should come?” applies to serving teams: if you are in a high-risk population or simply are not ready to return, we want you to participate online without any reservation. However, if you are ready to serve in-person, we could definitely use your help. Contact Dave Wilcox or your team leader if you'd like to be involved.

Testing Emergency Announcement