Tuesday Update from Pastor Scott

July 21,2020

This Fall at Westwood……

Greetings Westwood Church,

I trust you all are doing well as this strange summer marches on.  I wanted to update you on some decisions our leadership team has made about the coming fall, as we continue to adapt to deal with the pandemic crisis.  This might seem kind of sever, and that is obviously not our intent.  But we take the health of our families and ending this COVID-19 thing VERY seriously. 

Before I lay out our plans I do need to give you one caveat.  All of these plans depend on 3 factors:

  • We need enough volunteers willing to serve to make these plans happen.
  • We need enough families willing to return to worship, Sunday School and WNL to justify these plans.
  • We need there not to be another major outbreak in our area.  If schools shut down, we will shutdown our kids activities also.

So, given that, here’s what fall MIGHT look like at Westwood:

In General

Masks

Because the science clearly shows that wearing masks slows the spread of the virus we will be asking all adults and all kids kindergarten and above to wear masks at our programming (Sunday School, Wednesday Night Live and youth group) whenever 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.  This applies to adults serving in any capacity as well as parents dropping their kids off.  Masks for kids below kindergarten are suggested by not required.  At worship on Sunday mornings masks will continue to be suggested but not required.  PLEASE BRING MASKS FROM HOME as our supply here at church will be limited.

Social Distancing

Please continue to social distance (6 feet apart for those not in a family group).  This applies to classrooms, hallways and, of course, our worship venues. 

Hand Washing

We will ask all our kids and adults to wash their hands well upon entering our classrooms.  Adults will be around to help the kids do just that.  We’ll also have hand sanitizers placed throughout the facility for your use.

Stay at Home

As always, if you are ill or your child is ill, please stay home till you are better.  This means if you or your child has any fever, has cold or flu symptoms or is just feeling very fatigued, please take that seriously.  If a student has a fever, we will have thermometers available in our classrooms, we will ask a parent to take that student home immediately.  We are grateful for your help.

Sunday Mornings

Worship

We will continue to have one service at 9:30, livestreamed and then recorded and available on our YouTube and Facebook spots (Westwood Church Omaha).  However, we are praying that in person attendance might grow to the point that we can open up a second in person worship at 11 on or by August 16th.  Our services will also continue to be livestreamed.  Remember our livestream landing points (westwoodchurch.net, YouTube and Facebook).  Our worship center will continue to have seats blocked off with a rope to insure social distancing.  We will ask you to NOT sit on seats covered by a rope.  Once we officially begin fall programming (on August 16th) we WILL have nursery available for both services, but other kids programing will ONLY be available during the 9:30 service.

Sunday School

Sunday School is schedule to begin on August 16th.  We will offer classes as normal, although some classes may be combined and more broadly graded due to the lack of volunteers.  See our mask guidelines above for all our Sunday School classes, kindergarten and above.  Sunday School will start at 9:30 and finish at 10:30. 

Wednesday Night Live

WNL Dates

WNL will begin on September 9th and end on December 2nd.

WNL LiftOff

Unfortunately, we can see no way to safely have this event this fall. 

WNL Meal

Unfortunately, we can see no way to safely serve a meal on Wednesday nights this fall.  We hope to go back to meals in the spring.

Kids Classes

We are shortening the evening this fall because of our inability to offer all of the evening events we have in the past.  WNL will be 6:15-7:30. 

In order to be sure our attendance stays within safe limits; we will ask parents to register their children for WNL classes.  Registration materials will come out soon.  Watch for an email.  Registration will be electronic.

See our masks policy above. 

We will keep all our kids in their classroom each Wednesday night and bring music to them verses having them travel to a music room.  So, once they check into their classroom, they will stay there for the entire time.

At this time, we are sad to say that we will not be offering our regular full-blown Christmas program that incorporates all grade levels of kids.  We MAY offer a smaller show, done on a Sunday morning, that makes use of the 5th graders only.  We will make that decision as the fall begins and we see how things are shaking out.

Youth Group

Both of our youth ministry groups (middle school and high school) will meet on Wednesdays this fall, but they will not meet together.  See our masks policy above.

Adult Options

We will not be offering a fall choir this year.  There MAY be another adult option in the fall on Wednesday nights, but we are not sure at this time.  Stay tuned.   

            So that’s where we are at for the fall right now.  Remember this is a very fluid situation so some of that might have to change.  We will continue to do our very best to communicate clearly and transparently with you.  We welcome any suggestions.  As always, if you have questions or comments about these decisions, I’d love to hear them. Give me a call, drop me an email and we’ll chat. 

Blessings my friends,

Pastor Scott