Updated 6/25/20 as of 4:30 PM
Dear Anchor Family,
After months of preparing and praying, we are now ready to announce the date of our return to in-person services! Our elders have monitored the COVID situation closely, explored all of our options, weighed the risks and the need to gather, and are now excited to announce that Sunday, July 19th, we will be returning to in-person services for all who would like to join us!
Honestly, Sunday services will feel strange for a while, because they are seriously impacted by the New York State safety guidelines. For example, we will only be able to offer worship services plus nursery care initially, but no other in-person classes for children or adults (all kids are welcome to join us in the auditorium). We will likely need you to sign up for the service you plan to attend. We will check everyone's temperature as they arrive to make sure it's not 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above (the CDC threshold for "fever"). We will ask you to wear a face covering unless seated in the Auditorium six feet from anyone who is not in your family. We will use sealed, prepackaged bread and juice for the Lord’s Supper. And we will begin our road back to normal.
While choosing a date to re-gather is not an exact science, we are hopeful that the state’s occupancy allowance will permit us to hold three services in which we don’t have to turn away anyone who wants to come. In order for there to be enough time to clear and clean the building, we've slightly adjusted the service times to 8:00, 9:45, and 11:30 AM. We're aiming for a worship experience that is only an hour long and takes children into special consideration. If restrictions remain tight and our crowds get heavy, we will either offer additional services or find other ways to make sure all who want to attend can do so.
Choosing a date a few weeks out enables us to observe the opening of other churches, restaurants, and other indoor gathering places. This way, we'll be able to modify our plans, recruit and train those who'll serve, and so be confident that our re-gathering will be as safe and comfortable as possible while not unnecessarily restrictive.
We know that some of you aren't quite ready to join us for in-person services yet, and we understand your reluctance. Please feel no pressure to change your mind on that. For you, we will continue to put our services online to involve and serve you as much as we can.
We also ask that if you or your children are even mildly sick (even with cold-like symptoms), that you stay home and worship with our online service until the symptoms clear up. You will be helping us keep the gathering safe and healthy by that consideration on your part.
While we will be following our safety plan that includes sanitizing, face covering, and maintaining social distance, there is still a risk to gathering with the church. Those of you who are most at risk due to age or health conditions should also strongly consider staying home for worship during this season.
Many also won’t like the restriction of the face covering requirement. (Do any of us enjoy wearing them?) But to help mitigate the slightest risk, and if nothing else, to avoid a shutdown order from the government, we ask that all who attend follow these restrictions for now. While we won’t make these requirements any longer than we have to, it's only prudent to practice them for each other and our community.
One more thing… all of this is subject to change at any moment due to these crazy times.
Thank you in advance for your grace and patience as we all work through this. Our staff is really looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Updated 3/17/20 as of 7:00 PM
Dear Anchor Family,
Unfortunately, we will not hold our regular activities on Wednesday evening, March 18, nor our Sunday morning services on March 22. Also, the "Love It or Swap It" women's event and the VBS Planning Potluck -- both scheduled for Saturday, March 21 -- are suspended until further notice. (Aren't you tired of hearing that phrase?) Since guidance from disease control authorities continues to be fluid, we will be developing and communicating further plans for any prudent group activities as the situation unfolds. Our objective, of course, is to work out plans week-by-week that evolve in the direction of "getting back to normal" without jeopardizing the health of the members of our church or community. In the meantime, we will do all we can to make the best of a bad circumstance.
To facilitate home worship this weekend, we are preparing a series of video recordings and written materials that will be available on the church website, www.anchorchristian.org. These resources will include:
An explanation of how to give tithes and offerings to Anchor Christian Church by various means, including the Online Giving Option put into place by our Stewardship Ministry yesterday. It is LIVE now at the bottom of the home page www.anchorchristian.org.
Video recordings of our worship team presenting songs to sing along with. Jerry has also made a recording of hymns for folks who prefer our classic worship service at 8:15 AM.
Kyle Layfield preaching “With Jesus at the Well” from John 4.
A communion meditation from Elder Allan Wells
These resources should be ready for use at your convenience during the weekend of March 20-22.
The Anchor staff and elders would like to extend the offer for us to come to your home to deliver communion and pray with you if you would like. If you have any other need or are low on basic supplies, contact us. We are eager to live out the example of the church in Acts 2 who went the extra mile to share with those in trouble.
We love you all and are praying constantly for you. And we know you're going to shine!
Chris, Jerry, Kyle, Tom, and Debbie
Your ACC Staff
Update as of 3/14/20 at 9:15 PM
Dear ACC Family,
Due to the ever-changing status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we feel it is best to cancel all Sunday morning services and classes for tomorrow, Sunday, March 15. This was an agonizing decision, because we need to spend time in the Lord's presence, and we need each other as well, now more than ever. However, out of an abundance of caution and after much prayer and consideration, this seems like the best course of action. Of course, we will be re-evaluating day by day going forward. We are not fearful, and our decisions will not be made from fear but from love and concern for the physical and spiritual well-being of our congregation and community.
Though we won't be able to gather at 375 Beaver Road, this is a great opportunity for those of you who have children in your home to show them that God still comes first. Have worship together as a family in your home. Sing some Christian songs that you know, or sing along with some favorites that you can find on the internet. Pray together. Read the Bible together. Have communion if you have bread and juice. Watch a church service online. One we would recommend is the service that will be streamed at 10:00 AM by Northside Christian Church in Wadsworth, Ohio (the home church of Allan Wells's parents). You can find it at www.northsideweb.org. Of course, if you don't have kids in your home, you can still worship the Lord in these ways.
We want everyone to know that we are praying for you as you navigate school and workplace closings, caring for family members, and the updates coming at you from so many different sources. Please pray for us as we struggle to provide the best leadership possible for our church. Also, pray for any who are sick, all the medical personnel who are in the middle of all this, as well as governmental and other civic leaders who have to make difficult choices that impact us all.
Finally, put your complete trust in God and talk to Him continually about any concerns you have. (1st Peter 5:7) He is not surprised by this new form of coronavirus, and He will get us through whatever we face!
Stay well and we'll see you soon,
Chris and the Elders
Update as of 3/13/20 at 12:00 PM - We will update this page with any future changes.
Dear Anchor Family,
As we're all aware, there's a rapidly growing worldwide concern over the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I want you to know that we are taking the situation seriously, and we want to assure you that our top priority is the safety of all those who come onto our church property. Precautions are in place, and we want you to be aware of some changes we're making in response to recommendations from the CDC as well as local and state officials.
As of today, our Sunday services will continue according to their regular schedule. However, please know that our church leadership is closely monitoring the situation and all government recommendations and mandates. Again, our number one priority is to keep you and your family as safe as possible. We will continue to be proactive as this health concern develops.
When you attend church this Sunday, please note the following:
1. We have already done a thorough cleaning with sanitizing solutions of all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, light switches, water fountains, etc. And we will do this same kind of cleaning after services as well. We will take extra care to carry out these measures in all children's areas. (It is our standard practice to sanitize the toys and furniture in children's classrooms, but we want to remind you about our procedure.)
2. All staff members and volunteers will wash their hands frequently while serving.
3. Let's refrain from shaking hands during this time of concern. This may be hard to remember, since we're so used to sharing "the right hand of fellowship" (Galatians 2.9). But for the time being, let's enjoy "air high-fives" or "fist bumps of fellowship"!
4. Communion will be served in two cups with a piece of bread in one cup and the juice in the second cup on top of the first. This way, you will only touch what you take.
5. Staff members and volunteers who feel sick will not be allowed to serve in any capacity.
6. If you feel sick, please do not attend. Stay home, rest, and get better quickly so that you can come back soon.
7. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of coming to church and decide to stay home, we understand. You can listen to the sermons by Monday afternoon each week through our Sermon page here.
8. Join me in praying for those affected by this virus as well as the many on our prayer list stricken by terrible maladies and injuries.
9. Should the governing authorities require that we not hold services, we will of course comply and work to let you know as soon as possible.
I realize that this situation is creating quite a bit of uncertainty in many of our day-to-day activities, but God's got this, and He wants us to live in faith and not in fear. If you have friends that are living in fear, invite them to church because God, who is in control of all things, offers hope and healing. And we are going to get through this together!
Chris and the Elders of ACC