Here are the latest updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and steps being taken by Christ Church.
Last updated Friday, July 3, 2020, 3:30 PM
Read Pastor Greco’s article “Some Thoughts About Coronavirus”
Read Nick Batzig's article “The Church after the Coronavirus”
Precautions and Changes in the Life and Ministry of Christ Church
We are experiencing the challenges and difficulties surrounding the appearance and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world, including Fort Bend County, Texas. Our Session and staff are seeking to apply Biblical principles to the life of the church. These principles include: the importance and primacy of gathered worship (Heb. 13:5), love for our neighbor (Mark 12:31; Gal. 5:14), obedience to the Law of God (particularly the Sixth Commandment), and submission to the governing authorities the Lord has instituted (Romans 13:1-7). Our Session and Deacons continue to update guidelines for worship and church activities. We want to strike the right balance between serving the Lord and showing love to the congregation and community through safety measures. Governor Abbott has released Executive Order GA-26 (dated June 3, 2020) which makes clear that there is no occupancy limitation for "religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship." Guidance was with respect to Minimum Standard Health Protocols on May 26, 2020. The Attorney General has issued his Third Revised Guidance for Houses of Worship and Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Churches have been published.
Worship and Sunday Services
JUNE 25 UPDATE: CHANGE OF FACE COVERINGS POLICY
On June 23, 2020, Judge KP George issued an Order Regarding Use of Facial Protection for Fort Bend County (where Christ Church is located). This order was then extended until July 31, 2020. The order states that all “commercial entities… must require that all employees or visitors to their business premises or other facilities wear face coverings.” There is a specific exemption for “churches or other places of worship,” so Christ Church is not specifically covered under the order. However, the Christ Church Session met to consider recommendations with respect to worship gatherings in light of the community and governmental guidelines. Starting on Sunday, June 28, 2020 (and subject to modification on future Sundays) our policy will be as follows:
- At our 8:30 AM service, face coverings will be required. You do not need to have a medical grade or special mask. Any face covering, including a scarf or bandana, will be sufficient. If you do not have a covering when you arrive at this service, one will be provided for you upon entry.
- At our 10:30 AM and our 6:00 PM service, face coverings will be not required, but we are recommending that all attendees wear them. Both of these services will continue to be live streamed if you prefer to watch at home.
We are modifying our previous standards to be consistent with concerns that the Governor, the medical community (and a video from the Texas DSHS Commissioner here and a webpage from Houston Methodist here), and other governmental authorities have regarding the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. We are asking you to balance your own opinions and concerns with love and care for others in the church. The church should not be a place to pass judgment on each other or criticize each other (Romans 14:10), but rather a place where love and grace abound. For this reason, we are not requiring face coverings of everyone at all services, but instead are allowing for a service where those who are more comfortable with face coverings being worn know that everyone will have a covering. We are also asking everyone, especially as they enter and exit the building, to wear a face-covering for the protection and assurance of others. Finally, we realize that the COVID-19 situation is still very fluid and we expect further modifications in weeks to come. Please be patient and pray for your pastors and elders as we navigate these unusual times.
UPDATE: IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICES HAVE RESUMED
Christ Church has resumed in-person Lord’s Day worship services. We have two morning services (8:30 AM and 10:30 AM) and one evening service (6:00 PM). We will continue to live-stream the 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM services. While churches are not subject to mandates regarding other businesses (e.g., 25% or 50% capacity limits), we are seeking to follow the health protocols for the safety of congregants. We offer the following FAQ (download PDF) to assist you in making a decision to attend in-person worship:
Who may attend?
Ultimately, the decision to attend rests with families and individuals. Christ Church is neither mandating nor prohibiting attendance at the in-person worship. To that end, we will be continuing live stream of our morning (10:30 AM) and evening (6:00 PM) services for those who believe it is best for them to stay home. We are also strongly encouraging (in accordance with governmental health protocols and guidelines) all those who are in an at-risk category to stay home and watch the live stream at this time. Please take a few moments and fill out THIS FORM to designate which service you will attend and how many are in your family unit. It is very important that you fill out this form and not just “show up” so that we can plan for the maximum attendees at each service. If you just show up, there may not be seating available for you. In the event that maximum capacity is reached, we will have several overflow rooms with video capability.
Who is in the “at-risk” category?
The Texas State Health Services, together with the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Attorney General, define as being “at-risk” those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system. If you fit one of these categories, or live with someone who does, we strongly encourage you to stay home and watch the live stream at this time
How will we enter and exit the service?
We will enter and exit only through the main front doors. The back doors will remain locked at all times (although they have crash bars and may be exited in case of emergency). We ask you to plan to come to worship at least 10 minutes prior and no more than 20 minutes prior to the service. Families should enter as a group, rather than straggling in one by one. The doors will be opened by our greeters wearing masks and gloves and the interior doors will be open to limit contact with door handles. We will dismiss by family groups to avoid contact. You may visit with friends after the service, but we ask that you follow the health guidelines from the authorities. That would mean visiting outside instead of inside (for proper ventilation) and maintaining social distancing.
How will we sit?
We will sit by family units (or those who travel to the service in the same vehicle). We will sit in every other row – with the 8:30 AM service sitting in the odd rows marked by green paper and the 10:30 AM service sitting in the even rows marked by purple paper. This will keep the separation required as well as having only one person sit in a seat each week. You must leave two empty seats between your family unit and another. To that end, our ushers will be advising families where to sit to make the maximum use of our seats. Please be gracious – it is more important that everyone be able to have a seat rather than that you have your “usual seat.”
What about bulletins and hymnals?
To limit possible cross-contamination through frequently touched or shared objects, we will not be using hymnals or songbooks. We will have ushers with gloves hand out paper bulletins for those who want them, but we encourage you to print out your own bulletin at home or use the electronic version on your device. As we have been doing for the last several weeks, the electronic bulletin will include copies of the songs with music. We will also have available on-site a limited number of single use copy packets of the music. The words of each of the songs will be projected on our screen for the congregation to use instead of hymnals.
What about the Lord’s Supper?
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the fourth Sunday of the month, but we will be taking additional precautions. As a result, the Lord’s Supper will “look different” than usual. We will not be picking pieces of bread off a common loaf. Instead, our communion preparation volunteers (wearing masks and gloves) will put small crackers in the cups that are normally used for the juice/wine. A cup with the juice/wine will then be filled and placed into the cup with the cracker (creating a double stack of cups). The cups will be placed in every other “slot” in the communion trays. Our elders, wearing face coverings and gloves, will bring the trays around to serve you. Once all have been served, we will partake together, first of the cracker, and then of the juice/wine. We ask that you keep your family’s cups and throw them out in the trash receptacles on your way out.
What other precautions are being taken?
As you enter into the church, we will have hand sanitizer to spray on your hands. We will have hand sanitizer available in the lobby and soap in the restrooms. Please follow the guidelines for hand washing in the restrooms (and make sure your children do!) and use the paper towels to turn off the faucets and open the restroom doors as you exit. We will be installing foot pulls for the restroom doors soon. We have ordered infrared thermometers for use in the church to determine if some has a fever. We will be cleaning all door handles and common hard surfaces between and after services and spraying down the chairs with Lysol afterward. We will not pass offering plates but instead encourage you to give online. For those who wish, we will have a plate available for your offering in the lobby. There will be no nursery and no coffee or food will be served.
What about masks?
Consistent with the actions taken by many individuals across the state, consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when entering a church, congregation, or place of worship, or when within 6 feet of another person who is not a member of the individual’s household. If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
Continuing Live Stream
Our live stream services are available on either our Facebook page, YouTube channel, Vimeo, or our website. The live stream will only be visible during the service. You will not be able to see anything until Sunday morning or evening. If you are having difficulties (audio or video) on one platform, the best thing to do is to switch to another platform. The feedback we are receiving is that the YouTube Channel is the most stable. The worship service will be available afterward on our Facebook and YouTube pages and our Livestream Archive.
Download the bulletin (including hymns) July 12, 2020
Please consider making your gifts to the ministry safely and securely online through our website or via text at www.cckpca.org/give. You may also mail checks to the church. We have established a mercy fund to help those in need at this time and you may make a designated gift to that fund online.
Christ Church Programs - UPDATED JUNE 19, 2020
All Sunday school classes (children, youth, and adults) will be held online only through the end of July, and perhaps August.
All non-worship activities are suspended or online only through the end of July. That includes Sunday school (see above), Christ’s Kids, Youth Group, ESL, Ladies’ and Men’s Bible Studies, Group luncheons/gatherings, and Community Groups. We hope to begin phasing back in our normal ministry activities in August.
Use of our Facilities by Outside Groups
All non-Christ Church activities are suspended through the end of July. That includes all meetings, school activities, music recitals, and previously approved building requests. Building use requests for August and beyond may be submitted. Please note that if building use is approved, you will need to follow additional health and cleaning protocols.
How You Can Stop the Spread Of Germs
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Video
- Anyone with symptoms of illness should stay home.
Symptoms of COV-19
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure: fever, cough, and shortness of breath
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Health and Community Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources:
The President’s 30 Days to Slow the Spread (PDF) (March 16)
Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-26 (June 3)
Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18 (April 27)
Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-16 (April 17)
Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-14 (March 31)
Texas Attorney General’s Third Revised Guidance for Houses of Worship (April 27)
Texas Attorney General’s Revised Guidance for Houses of Worship (April 21)
Texas Attorney General’s Guidance for Houses of Worship (March 31)
Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Resources:
Harris Country Resources:
Governor Abbott has issued an April 17 executive order, which includes a declaration that "schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance by students and shall not recommence before the end of the 2019-2020 school year."