Below you will find frequent updates and protocols from our Church Staff on how we will be functioning and operating as a Church during this season.
Beginning on Sunday - May 2, 2021; East Side will be updating a few of our COVID Guidelines to reflect a more open atmosphere for worship and interaction. Here is what we are looking to achieve on that Sunday and going forward:
1) Masks are optional - please be respectful of those who choose to wear a mask and those who don't
2) Seating in the sanctuary will be completely opened in certain sections
3) Both the floor and balcony sections will have socially distanced sections available
for those who feel more comfortable in sitting in those sections
Additionally, beginning on Mother's Day - May 9, 2021; we will begin to have kid's worship meet in their space in the kids wing. We will communicate how drop off and pick up will work for kids more clearly as we approach this date so parents can be prepared.
We continue to be thankful that with these guidelines we have been able to avoid any transmissions of COVID-19 within the ministry of East Side throughout this pandemic and as we continue to open up, please continue to pursue good hand sanitizing as you walk throughout the facility and please join us online if you are not feeling well or are running a fever. We are so thankful for the diligence with which this congregation has protected others by adhering to these guidelines and being responsible with their personal health! If you have any questions about these changes, please reach out to Pastor Matt through email - email@example.com
As we continue to make our in-person worship accessible and safe for those that wish to attend, we will be placing a few previous requirements on hold for the current season. in kicking off 2021, we will be moving away from online registration and in person registration to start the year. If we are requested to restart registration by the ADH or the governing authorities over us for contact tracing purposes, we will resume registration at that time. Please plan to come to our in-person worship at our normal 10:30am time slot here on campus or join us online at Facebook and YouTube to participate in our digital services at the same time.
Additionally, as we meet in person, we want to continue to encourage families with 1st-6th grade and preschool children to arrive early to check them into the venues for Kid's Worship and for Pre-School Care and Education. You are always welcome to have your children join you in service, but we want you to be aware that these engaging opportunities exist to pour the gospel into your kids at their respective age levels and are fully operational at this time in our ministry!
Lastly, As we conclude our in-person services going forward, we will dismiss our congregation to leave on their own as opposed to dismissing by section. We want to encourage our congregation to make wise choices as they depart our sanctuary by following these simple procedures:
1) Make sure to wear your mask when walking throughout the building
2) Please feel free to congregate outdoors but please do not congregate inside
3) As you pick up your kids from their respective areas, please follow the clearest path to our exits as directed by our signage & personnel to keep people from creating congestion by moving against the pattern of traffic designed by our teams.
Hey Church Family,
This weekend we will begin our launch into Stage Two as we continue forward in reintroducing ministries and processes back into our weekly church activities. This Stage brings with it some key elements:
- Kids Worship (1st-6th Grade) - located in chapel
- Preschool Care and Education (Birth-K5) - major check in procedures update
- Student Ministries on Wednesday (7th-12th Grade) - beginning on 9/16
The most dramatic change we have in our Stage Two elements would be in Preschool Care and Education. Because we place the care of your family and your children at such a high priority, we have changed our check in procedure for this area and the way your kids will be cared for in this age range. We will have a procedure for check in that will include us taking every child (participant) and adult's (teacher/directors) temperature before they enter the Preschool Wing and no one will be admitted if they have a temperature over 100.4 - this keeps transmission rates extremely low. Additionally in this area, we will not have parents escort their kids back to the child's room. Our care and safety teachers will be guiding kids to those rooms and carrying infants and toddlers to their rooms from the check-in point.
Each of these details and more are discussed in our video released today with more specific instructions concerning check in locations, procedures, mask wearing for kids worship, and other important points of communication heading into this weekend. We can't wait to see you and your family in person this week if you are returning, and if you are waiting for the time that is right for your family, we look forward to worshipping with you online. See you in person or online this weekend!
Find out how our church is responding to reopening. We will plan to have in person services again on June 7th.
Hey East Side,
Great weekend time of worship - we’re so proud of our teams who created, produced, prepared, and posted our worship experience and we can’t wait to enter into that worship environment again with our church family.
As we move forward in this new season of church activity, we wanted to make you aware of a few things that we are committed to doing every week moving forward. We are calling them “Anchor Points” that hold our weekly communication to a standard and offers our church family consistency in specific spots so they can engage in worship and ministry with their family. Here are our anchor points moving forward:
Sunday Mornings – 10:15am – Worship Service on Main East Side Facebook Page, YouTube, and on the homepage of our Website
Wednesday Evenings – 6pm – Student Ministry encouragement/teaching on East Side Students Facebook Page and East Side Students Instagram (links on our main Facebook page)
Wednesday Evenings – 7:30pm – Worship Wednesday – Worship Service with a devotional thought from one of our staff – on Main East Side Facebook Page
Thursday Afternoons – 5:00pm – Teaching and Family Worship Resources distributed from our Children’s and Student Ministry to direct family discipleship heading towards our next Worship Service on the weekend – Resources located on East Side Kids Facebook Group and East Side Students Facebook Page (Links to those resources will be posted on our Main Facebook Page)
Connect Groups will meet at the direction of their leaders.
Lastly – As we continue forward in these uncertain times, we want you to know that we are being good stewards of the funds you have given and are giving for ministry to continue forward. We have shut down sections of our campus so as to not incur expenses from heating or A/C, water/sewer, lights, resources, etc… We are doing everything that we can as a ministry to continue to operate with excellence on smaller expenses, even with the unique restrictions that our governing authorities have asked us to observe. Your tithes and offerings continue to make our ministry operate. As you are able to give, you are enabling ministry to continue in these very important times. If you are worried or concerned about giving online, please contact our finance director, Holly Spencer, and she can assist you with online, mail, or drop off giving.
Be reminded of John 16:33 as we continue in this season – We serve an overcoming God!!
- Senior Leadership Team @ ESBC
Hey there East Side family,
As we approach this weekend, we want you to be encouraged with a few things, so Pastor Chad and Pastor Matt recorded a video (see below) to let you know about some important realities we are walking in as a church. Heading into this weekend we want you to be aware of the following opportunities:
There will be no activities on campus on Sunday.
We will join for corporate worship at 10:15am on our Facebook Page and not at our facility this weekend.
Worship with us by singing with your family as you watch; studying the Word; listening to the encouragement in our sermon; and giving online, by mail, or by drop off.
Capture a picture of your family worshipping and post it so our church can see how we are gathering, being reminded that we are all together even though we are not all in the same building.
As we look towards next week, we will be releasing a programming guide to our community for how we will continue to worship, fellowship, study, and grow as a ministry. As these steps are presented to our church body and beyond we anticipate unique and incredible opportunities for spiritual growth, discipleship, and interaction in areas that are unique to the methods we have access to. Be open minded about trying a new way to read God’s Word, how you attend a Life Group, ways to support each other with your Discipleship Group, and where you find fellowship with your Connect Groups. Furthermore, if you have a personal need that you wish to speak to someone about, please reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch with you to see how we can assist. We look forward to worshipping with all of you on Sunday via Facebook. We also look forward to the interactions that are coming as we continue ministry in this season of East Side. Stay safe, be wise, reach out if you need help, and remain connected with communication!
Check out this special message from Pastor Matt & Pastor Chad on how our church is responding during this season.
Dear Church Family,
We are continuing to stay out front with our communication concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it is affecting our weekly processes and activities here at East Side. On Sunday, March 15, in a press conference, Governor Asa Hutchinson recommended that all schools be moved from in person to online teaching to achieve a more effective Social Distancing campaign within the state. The goal of this campaign is to reduce the amount of people gathering in enclosed spaces and thereby reducing the spread of COVID-19. Shortly after this conference, the CDC made a broad recommendation that all gatherings of 50+ be discontinued for a period of 8 weeks (time to be evaluated and determined by extensive factors for each community). Due to these requests made by our state officials and the implications they carry for the way we go about gathering for ministry, we are moving into a unique and unprecedented phase of ministry over the next few weeks. Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, we will operate under the following temporary guidelines for ministry:
- All Sunday Activities will be suspended and Corporate Worship will be available on our Facebook page.
- Our giving will continue to be available on our website (www.myeastside.tv/give), mail-in contributions, or by using our drop box at the entrance to our office area (this will be checked daily for those that would normally give in person and who wish to physically drop off their tithes and offerings).
- All Wednesday Night Activities will be suspended until further notice.
- All events, meetings, and activities that utilize our facilities will be cancelled or suspended.
- All staff interaction will be limited to digital communication to minimize personal interaction.
- Our offices will still be operating, but our staff will be under strict guidelines to work in the office so they can continue to do ministry through creative interactive opportunities while eliminating physical contact with others.
- Our Food Pantry Ministry will continue forward under extremely strict interaction policies.
- These policies will be re-evaluated on 3/30/20 for our next set of updated instructions and guidelines.
As we step into a season of the unknown, we want to honor our governing officials and the intent they are guiding us to with these specific community changes to slow the spread of COVID-19. While Social Distancing is not a convenient reality, it is our reality. More importantly, God knew it would be our reality and He has designed something very specific for us as a church to accomplish in this season, we just have to look beyond our patterns and conveniences to see it.
Moving forward in the days ahead, our staff will still be available through e-mail or phone. We will be posting all of our ministry updates to our website (www.myeastside.tv/covid-19), to our Facebook page, and through our E-Link email subscription system. Our deacons are specifically focusing ministry efforts to care for our widows and widowers. Our Missions Committee is looking to care for the remaining senior adults of our congregation. Emily Watson is overseeing our efforts to assist our single parents. Pastor Chad is overseeing the development of ministry opportunities for adults, working with Pastor Mike to minister to students, and coming alongside Ashlee Smith and Sheila McCormick as they minister to our children and preschool. All of these opportunities for ministry will be unique – much like this season. You have an opportunity to minister as well to your neighbors, to those in need, and to the extent that God allows you to feel comfortable and safe in achieving these unique ministry opportunities. East Side, we can do something very special in this season, we just have to consider that God might be asking us to do that differently in this season.
If you don’t know what to do, want to find out if there are things to do, or are unsure of what is safe to do, please reach out to Pastor Matt and he can encourage and guide you in those efforts. Let’s keep our eyes on Christ and not on all the unprecedented things that can distract us from His purpose for this season.
- Senior Leadership Team @ ESBC
In an act of continuing and ongoing communication, we are still planning on having our Connect Groups (9am) and Corporate Worship (10:15am) tomorrow at East Side. We want to again bring reference to a few important things as we come to campus tomorrow:
1) Please make a conscious choice to not physically engage others (hand-shakes, high fives, etc…)
2) If you or a family member are feeling ill, please join us in corporate worship online through our Facebook Live stream instead of joining us in person on campus.
3) If you live with, regularly associate with, or would qualify as an individual who is elderly, have a compromised or susceptible immune system, or are taking immunosuppressants please consider what is best for yourself, your family, and friends in considering your attendance tomorrow. We invite those with any worries in this category to join us online in our Facebook Live and control your environment instead of worrying about a public one.
4) Regardless of which environment you choose (online or in person), be engaged in worship tomorrow with your church family and hold fast to the continuous hope and assurance we have in Jesus Christ. Sing with conviction, be encouraged by the teaching of the Word, give with a heart of generosity, and fellowship with the body of believers.
Tomorrow is going to be a great day of worship – we look forward to sharing it with you in person or online!
As we approach this unique and historical moment in our country and within our community, we want to walk in wisdom and not in fear as a ministry and as a community. We are reminded in 2nd Timothy 1:7 to observe this truth as believers and to walk in it. With that as a backdrop, we wanted to continue to invite our community to be a part of our worship while also sharing with you a few things we are observing at East Side over the days ahead as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) challenge is unfolding in our community and across our country:
1) We will continue to have Connect Groups at 9am and Sunday Services at 10:15am in our sanctuary unless otherwise directed by our local or state officials.
2) We will be streaming our Sunday Services on Facebook Live for the foreseeable future, starting at 10:15am.
3) We would highly encourage those that are sick, feel sick, or are worried about becoming sick in large groups to rest at home and participate in worship through Facebook Live.
4) We would encourage those that are elderly, have a struggling immune system, or are
taking immunosuppressants to rest at home and join us through Facebook Live.
5) For those attending our services on campus, please consider the following:
a. Limit or eliminate personal and physical interaction (handshakes, hugs, high fives, etc...) – it’s not impolite to be safe in this season.
b. Be aware of personal space for all who are attending in person.
c. Utilize good hygiene and sanitization with hand washing and covering any cough,
sneeze, etc... with a tissue or using your upper sleeve and not your hands.
6) In addressing concerns about the sanitary precautions taken in our facility:
a. We are disinfecting all rooms, surfaces, interactive items (handles, doorknobs, light switches, etc...) and entertainment items for our children (toys, writing utensils, crafts, etc...) with hospital grade, EPA Certified, CDC Recommended, antibacterial disinfectant which keeps our facility running with optimum health conditions.
b. We have placed multiple hand sanitizing stations around our campus to encourage and assist our guests and members with proper hand sanitization.
c. We have changed the types of games and interactive activities that our children will be participating in while on campus to minimize physical interaction.
We are thankful for such dedicated staff and lay leaders who make these things possible now and in the days ahead. We will communicate regularly through our Facebook page, our website, and our E-Link email system with any important information or direction we want our church and community to be aware of. At any point along the way, if you have questions, please direct them in email to email@example.com and we will work to get you answers quickly.
The greatest thing about all of this is that the gospel continues forward – the goodness of God is still alive and well – the power of prayer still changes things – and the steadiness of the believer can be seen as we interact with this challenging season. While anxiety in our world exists, as believers we have the joy and blessing to point people to something better, something encouraging, and something practical. Let’s keep people pointed to Jesus – See you Sunday!
- Senior Leadership Team @ ESBC