Temporary Measures Aimed at Preventing Viral Infections

June 12, 2021 Update – Safe Practice for Public Assemblies

What Has Changed:

  • Kindergarten through 6th grade will meet in the downstairs fellowship area for Wednesday classes. A Zoom class will continue to be offered for this age group for those that can’t be present.
  • Beginning June 20th, an in-person Bible class for grades K-6 will begin meeting in the downstairs fellowship area.
  • 7th-12th Graders will have the option of meeting in-person or on Zoom for Sunday and Wednesday classes. These classes will meet in the old auditorium. Masks will be optional and students are encouraged to space their seating to their comfort level.
  • The mask-required, socially-spaced seating worship area for Sunday morning is now located in the downstairs fellowship area instead of the old auditorium.
  • Temperatures will no longer be checked at the door.

More modifications are being discussed and will be announced at a later time.  If you have comments regarding any of these modifications, the Elders would like to hear from you. Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

What Has Not Changed:

  • Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with an outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.

May 26, 2021 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICE FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

With an increase of the number of those who have been vaccinated and the decrease in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in our region, our elders are making changes in guidelines for safe assembly.  The schedule for the changes is as follows:

Sunday, May 30:

  • The 9:15 adult auditorium Bible class will be open to in-person attendance
  • For now, all other Sunday Bible classes will remain online

Sunday, June 6:

  • Auditorium is mask-optional
  • Old Auditorium is mask-required with socially-spaced seating
  • Masks still required in hallways
  • Live Stream service still available

More modifications are being discussed and will be announced at a later time.  If you have comments regarding any of these modifications, the Elders would like to hear from you. Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with an outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the building using a touchless device.  If you have a fever we will ask you to worship from home so as not to put others at risk.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.

May 13, 2021 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICE FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

With an increase of the number of those who have been vaccinated and the decrease in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in our region, our elders are making changes in guidelines for safe assembly.  The schedule for the changes is as follows:

Sunday, May 23:

  • Ropes removed from Auditorium pews
  • Masks still required throughout the building
  • Socially-spaced seating available in the Old Auditorium
  • Live Stream service still available

Sunday, June 6:

  • Auditorium is mask-optional
  • Old Auditorium is mask-required with socially-spaced seating
  • Masks still required in hallways
  • Live Stream service still available

More modifications are being discussed and will be announced at a later time.  If you have comments regarding any of these modifications, the Elders would like to hear from you. Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with an outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the building using a touchless device.  If you have a fever we will ask you to worship from home so as not to put others at risk.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.

April 14, 2021 Update – Safe Practice for Public Assemblies

With the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world (including our region), it’s vital that those who gather for in-person services of the Central Church of Christ remain vigilant in observing safe practices.

What Has Changed: Beginning April 14th, in-person attendance for our Wednesday evening devotion and adult auditorium Bible class will be opened. This class, as well as all other Bible classes will continue to be broadcast.  The other classes that have been offered online will continue to be offered that way; only the adult auditorium class will be open.  We ask that all safety measures continue to be observed.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • You may worship at either the 10:30 a.m. or the 6:00 p.m. assembly. In order to avoid having too many present for the morning service, we ask that some of you consider attending the evening service instead; this will allow all present to maintain social distancing. There are no age restrictions for either service, assuming children remain with the family under whose roof they live.
  • When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with a 4:00 p.m. outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • If you have recently returned from traveling to an area that has a high frequency of COVID-19 infections, please worship from home for a few days.
  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the building using a touchless device.  If you have a fever we will ask you to worship from home so as not to put others at risk.
  • You are expected to wear a face covering from the time you enter our building until you exit (except during the Lord’s Supper).  Children ages 2 and younger should not wear masks.  If you don’t have a mask, you will be offered one at the door.
  • You are expected to observe social distancing while in the building or in the parking lot.  Some pews have been marked off; please don’t sit in these.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.
  • As you enter and exit the building, be careful to remain six feet apart from others.

Making Your Decision:  It may be best for some to continue to worship from your home.  If you have health conditions that put you at special risk, we urge you to be safe.  Pray for God’s wisdom to guide your decision.  You should not feel guilty in deciding to be cautious.  God knows our hearts and our motives.

Questions Or Suggestions?  The Elders would like to hear from you.  Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

March 4, 2021 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICE FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

With the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world (including our region), it’s vital that those who gather for in-person services of the Central Church of Christ remain vigilant in observing safe practices.

What Has Changed: The elders have decided to make available 3-4 separate self-serve nurseries beginning this Sunday (March 7).  There will be no attendant present; each parent will be responsible for their own child.  We also ask that nursery spaces not be shared, but there will be different rooms.  Each room will be sanitized before the next worship assembly.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • You may worship at either the 10:30 a.m. or the 6:00 p.m. assembly. In order to avoid having too many present for the morning service, we ask that some of you consider attending the evening service instead; this will allow all present to maintain social distancing. There are no age restrictions for either service, assuming children remain with the family under whose roof they live.
  • When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with a 4:00 p.m. outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • If you have recently returned from traveling to an area that has a high frequency of COVID-19 infections, please worship from home for a few days.
  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the building using a touchless device.  If you have a fever we will ask you to worship from home so as not to put others at risk.
  • You are expected to wear a face covering from the time you enter our building until you exit (except during the Lord’s Supper).  Children ages 2 and younger should not wear masks.  If you don’t have a mask, you will be offered one at the door.
  • You are expected to observe social distancing while in the building or in the parking lot.  Some pews have been marked off; please don’t sit in these.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.
  • As you enter and exit the building, be careful to remain six feet apart from others.

Making Your Decision:  It may be best for some to continue to worship from your home.  If you have health conditions that put you at special risk, we urge you to be safe.  Pray for God’s wisdom to guide your decision.  You should not feel guilty in deciding to be cautious.  God knows our hearts and our motives.

Questions Or Suggestions?  The Elders would like to hear from you.  Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

February 20, 2021 Update – Safe Practice for Public Assemblies

What Has Changed: In addition to the February 8 update, beginning February 21, you may attend worship at either the 10:30 a.m. or the 6:00 p.m. assembly. In order to avoid having too many present for the morning service, we ask that some of you consider attending the evening service instead; this will allow all present to maintain social distancing.

February 8, 2021 Update – Safe Practices for Public Assemblies

With the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world (including our region), it’s vital that those who gather for in-person services of the Central Church of Christ remain vigilant in observing safe practices.

What Has Changed: Effective February 14, 2021, the elders have announced that there will be no restrictions on any age group of people from attending our 10:30 a.m. Sunday assembly. Families with young children may attend the 10:30 a.m. service, assuming children remain with the family under whose roof they live.

When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with a 4:00 p.m. outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • If you have recently returned from traveling to an area that has a high frequency of COVID-19 infections, please worship from home for a few days.
  • Your temperature will be taken as you enter the building using a touchless device.  If you have a fever we will ask you to worship from home so as not to put others at risk.
  • You are expected to wear a face covering from the time you enter our building until you exit (except during the Lord’s Supper).  Children ages 2 and younger should not wear masks.  If you don’t have a mask, you will be offered one at the door.
  • You are expected to observe social distancing while in the building or in the parking lot.  Some pews have been marked off; please don’t sit in these.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.
  • As you enter and exit the building, be careful to remain six feet apart from others.

Making Your Decision:  It may be best for some to continue to worship from your home.  If you have health conditions that put you at special risk, we urge you to be safe.  Pray for God’s wisdom to guide your decision.  You should not feel guilty in deciding to be cautious.  God knows our hearts and our motives.

Questions Or Suggestions?  The Elders would like to hear from you.  Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

January 1, 2021 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICES FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

The elders have prayerfully decided to remain virtual through January.

DECEMBER 7, 2020 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICES FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

Dear Central Family,

The elders have been following news reports regarding the incidence of COVID-19 in our area, including the number of new cases, rates of positivity in testing, hospitalizations, and fatalities. Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases in our area, we have decided that it is in the best interests of the congregation that we have virtual-only services for the remainder of December.

While we are reluctant to forego in-person services during this period, we believe it is of paramount importance to not put any of our members or visitors at risk, given the present conditions. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 reports and will reassess whether we can safely go back to in-person services toward the end of this month. Meanwhile, our prayers continue for the spiritual, physical, and emotional health of each one of you. 

Please feel free to contact any one of us with your thoughts or questions regarding this decision, or you may reach all of us collectively at elders@gracemine.org

May God bless you.
The Central elders

Below, you will find a video from Steve Ingram, one of our elders, speaking to this decision as well:

November 23, 2020 UPDATE – SAFE PRACTICES FOR PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

What Has Changed: Effective November 23, 2020, the Elders have announced that Central will go all-virtual for the next two Sundays (November 29th and December 6th).

What Has Not Changed: All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.

Questions Or Suggestions?  The Elders would like to hear from you.  Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

October 30, 2020 UPDATE – Safe Practices for Public Assemblies

With the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world (including our region), it’s vital that those who gather for in-person services of the Central Church of Christ remain vigilant in observing safe practices.

What Has Changed: Effective October 30, 2020, the elders have announced that there will be no restrictions on any age group of people from attending our 10:30 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. Sunday assemblies. Families with young children are now welcome to attend the 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. services, assuming children remain with the family under whose roof they live.

When weather conditions permit, the 6:00 p.m. service may be replaced with a 4:00 p.m. outdoor service. Please check our Daily Focus emails for updated details.

What Has Not Changed:

  • All Bible classes and worship assemblies will continue to be offered online.
  • Those who are having any symptoms of illness are asked to worship from home until those symptoms resolve.
  • If you have recently returned from traveling to an area that has a high frequency of COVID-19 infections, please worship from home for a few days.
  • You are expected to wear a face covering from the time you enter our building until you exit (except during the Lord’s Supper).  Children ages 2 and younger should not wear masks.  If you don’t have a mask, you will be offered one at the door.
  • You are expected to observe social distancing while in the building or in the parking lot.  Some pews have been marked off; please don’t sit in these.
  • You should not enter areas of the building that are marked off or locked.
  • No handshakes or hugs, please.  Smiles are always welcome, as are air hugs.
  • Communion trays and collection plates will not be passed during the assembly.  On your way in, please pick up a communion set.  Baskets for your contribution are in the back of the auditorium at each of the three exits.
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer.  These are located throughout the lobby.
  • If you visit the rest room, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving, and also use hand sanitizer.
  • As you enter and exit the building, be careful to remain six feet apart from others.

Making Your Decision:  It may be best for some to continue to worship from your home.  If you have health conditions that put you at special risk, we urge you to be safe.  Pray for God’s wisdom to guide your decision.  You should not feel guilty in deciding to be cautious.  God knows our hearts and our motives.

Questions Or Suggestions?  The Elders would like to hear from you.  Pray for them as they lead us through extraordinary challenges.

June 10th, 2020 UPDATE

This Sunday – Another Step Forward:  Beginning this coming Sunday anyone 65 or older is welcome to attend the morning worship assembly if you feel your health does not put you at heightened risk.  Some will be wise to continue worshiping virtually because of certain health factors.  Also, the age of children recommended to attend is now 10 and above, provided they remain under the close supervision of parents / members of their household.  Our elders feel the state of our region is such that these changes can be safely made.

What Does Not Change is the expectation that all who attend our Sunday morning worship assembly will wear masks and practice social distancing.  We will have ushers available to help ensure everyone maintains proper distancing, and masks will be available at the entrances for those who may not have them, including any children (10 and older) who may be present.

Another Factor To Consider: If you have traveled to an area where the incidence of COVID-19 is greater, please choose to worship virtually for a few days to make sure you have not picked up the coronavirus in your travels.  Let’s practice the Golden Rule and be considerate of one another.

In The Development Stage is a Sunday gathering for families with young children.  We don’t have any details worked out yet, but within a few days expect to hear more about this opportunity which we hope to have ready before the end of June.

June 26 Edit: Information regarding the Sunday gathering for families with young children can be found here (July 19th edit – this link was removed to reflect an update in policy).

May 9, 2020 Update

Reopening The Church’s Building
After much discussion and consultation with our medical professionals, the elders have set a tentative date of Sunday, June 7 to resume meeting at the church’s building on a very limited basis.  In keeping with government recommendations, face coverings are encouraged and physical distancing is to be observed.

Everyone 65 years and older, people with disabilities, people with serious respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, people who are immunocompromised, and others who may be at higher risk for infection should not gather in person until a later time.  Families with children under 14 years of age are also encouraged to remain at home during this time.  We encourage those who cannot attend to join our assemblies and classes via Live Streaming/Facebook Live/YouTube Live/Zoom.

Other items to be noted: the nursery will be closed, water fountains will not be available, communion items will be available as the prepackaged sets which we have been using recently.  More information will be provided as additional details are worked out.

Please review the recommendations from Governor Lee and the CDC.

We look forward to a time when we can all meet with fewer restrictions.

Elders, Central Church of Christ

March 17, 2020 Update

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

After much consideration, consultation, and prayer, the elders of the Central Church of Christ have decided to cancel all public worship and Bible study assemblies at our building until the end of March. As more information comes to light, they will decide what our course of action will be from that point forward.

This is admittedly a drastic measure, but one that is necessary for the good of our community. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly contagious, and limiting our exposure (social distancing) is the best method to prevent overwhelming our medical system. Though its presence is barely realized in Northeast Tennessee, it is almost certain to make its way throughout the U.S., just as it has in China, Italy, Iran, and other nations. (73 cases have now been confirmed in Tennessee at the time of this update.)

Steve Ingram stated it well when he said, “The church building will be closed, but the church will remain open.” We are blessed to have technology that will enable the vast majority of the congregation to stay connected. Click here for the class and worship schedule along with information on the technologies that will help us stay connected. You can also connect using the Central app for your smartphone or tablet.

There will be other ways we will seek to stay connected as a family in Christ during this time, and we’ll be sharing that information with you in the days ahead. Check your email daily to find out how we propose to do that.

We continue to stress the importance of physical presence at church assemblies. For the present time, however, that physical presence could be dangerous to the health of those among us who are vulnerable, and it could facilitate the more rapid spread of this virus. That’s why we’re asking you to be patient, stay connected, and pray for God’s help as we navigate these unfamiliar waters.