Dear Fillmore Church Family,

We are excited to share with you our plans to re- engage in our building.  Allegany county entered Phase 2 of the state’s approach to reopen on Tuesday, June 2. The state also changed the phase that churches are allowed to begin re-engaging in their building, to Phase 2 (formerly in Phase 4) On Friday, June 6 the state issued a statement that houses of worship can meet at 25% of their occupancy.

The staff and your local board are working diligently to figure out the times and the right ways to resume all of the ministries here at Fillmore Wesleyan Church.  We will continue to follow the guidelines of our state and county health officials. Keeping in mind that no one has been through this sort of challenge on this scale, your leadership will strive to give grace to our local and state officials as we walk through this together.

As I am sure you have already noticed, such unprecedented challenges often lead to frequent changes in approach.  We will continue to alert you to these changes and how they impact our re-engaging plans.

Thank you for your patience, encouragement, support, and prayers during this time.  We are so grateful for each one of you and long for the day we can see you again!

Your church Leadership

Rob Engler, church staff, & LBA

 

Latest Plan – June 10, 2020

 

Facility use by ministries

  • The ability to now meet in our building at 25% capacity allows those ministries and meeting engagements that fit those numbers to use our indoor facilities. Leaders of such groups, please take notice of the below practices that are mandatory for indoor meetings (italicized and highlighted in green).  Please contact us so we may go over all aspects prior to the initial scheduling of such meetings.

Sunday morning worship service Re-engagement

  • While following all WNY District, local, and state guidelines, church leadership (staff and LBA) has decided to begin meeting for Sunday morning Worship when we are allowed to meet at 50% capacity.
  • In order to comply with 50% capacity, we will schedule 2 Sunday morning Worship services.
  • The facility will be disinfected by the staff before and after meeting in the facility.  Areas for disinfecting include high touch surfaces such as door knobs, light switches and hand rails- as well as the restrooms
  • The back door that enters the foyer will be used for entry while the back door through the fellowship hall will be used for exiting.
  • The chairs in the sanctuary and other rooms will be set up to accommodate the required social distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances, as well as near the restrooms.  We strongly encourage those entering the building to use the hand sanitizer.
  • The congregation will be encouraged to practice appropriate social distancing measures while on church grounds.  Sadly, this refers to hugging and handshakes at this time.
  • While it is mandatory for all congregants to wear masks in the building, we are choosing to wear masks at FWC in consideration of those who are most susceptible to illness.  While no one enjoys wearing a mask, we are choosing to do so as a group out of consideration for those who would only feel comfortable attending while wearing a mask.
  • Face masks will be available for those who do not have their own.
  • Those that have a fever, or who feel unwell, should stay home and watch the service online.
  • We strongly encourage those at high risk to stay home and view our worship service online.
  • The nursery will not be provided during this initial re-engaging phase.  However, there will be a screen available in the foyer for those who need to step away with their child.  We will be sure to alert you to any changes in policy as restrictions are loosened.
  • There will be no Junior Church during the service.  Kids are asked to sit with their families.  The church will be intentional in contouring our service to better engage all age groups.
  • Our online presence will continue for those who are unable or who would prefer to remain away at this time.

 

FAQs

 

What will the times of these 2 Sunday morning worship service be?

There has been preliminary discussion on times but nothing has been decided.  Once the state approves 50% occupancy, we will alert you to those times as well as a way for you to sign up for one of the services.  Signing up will be important as to make sure that we are in compliance with state guidelines.  Both services will be the same in content and style.  Further details are to follow.

 

When will kids and student ministry meet again?

Kids and student programming will not start right away.  The good news is that we are close to the summer and usually do not meet during this time.  However, we are monitoring what our local school district policy will be and intend to follow their lead as to when is an appropriate time to reassemble our kids and student ministry in person.

 

What about baptisms?

We already have a rather unique tradition when it comes to baptizing folks by going to “Fillmore Beach”.  The outdoor event decreases the risk to all involved.  We can further decrease the risk by having both the baptizer and the one about to be baptized, briefly wear masks for the baptism.

What about funerals?

In the event of a funeral, FWC will follow WNY district, local and state guidelines.  While there are limits on the number of people that are allowed to be present, these limits are slowly but surely loosening.  While not ideal, the family does have options and we will accommodate so long as they do not conflict with WNY District, local and state guidelines.

 

What’s the plan for communion and offering?

Our online giving is always a great option during this time to both streamline the process as well as to reduce our points of contact.  There will also continue to be a box at the back of the sanctuary for those who prefer to do so.  We have also discussed ways to participate in communion without intinction or passing plates.  Those details will be relayed to you once they have been finalized.

 

That should do it for now.  As is now the norm, we anticipate what sounds good today in our best attempt at planning- to need tweaking in the days to come.  Be on the lookout for our updates.

We will continue producing online services and content for the months to come as we attempt to ramp back up our in-person gatherings.  For those of you who are high-risk or just not comfortable returning quite yet, rest assured that your church family will continue to meet you where you are.

Have a need?  Know someone who does?  Have resources you wish to share?  Let us know.