Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 edition

Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2020

Table of Contents
COVID-19 INFO
  • Where can I find information about COVID-19
  • What are the current directives to faith communities?
    • ” Outdoor services on the organization’s property (or immediately adjacent property if explicitly permitted by the local jurisdiction) with up to 100 individuals, excluding organization staff. Indoor services at a place of worship with up to 25% capacity or up to 200 people, whichever is less, so long as six feet of physical distancing can be achieved between households.”
    • More information about Faith Communities can be found HERE
  • What Changes can I expect in our church community?
    • Central to the efforts to combat this outbreak are the elements of education with information from verified sources, proper personal care, effective cleaning and appropriate self-isolation.
    • The rapidly changing situation requires creative thinking, flexibility and adaptation.
    • You will observe these changes in;
      • how we access and care for our building
      • the ways you can connect with staff
      • how and where we do worship
      • the ways we remain connected as a community of faith
BUILDING/STAFF
  • Is the church building open?
    • The ministry and work of Immanuel Community Services is a vital part of keeping our neighbors without homes, safe, healthy and fed. Volunteers and guests are asked to adhere to the ICS guidelines for health and safety.
    • Most church business is being handled remotely.
    • Best way to reach staff is via their email addresses.
    • Pastoral Care Emergencies remain a priority. You can reach the pastor via email, or by calling or texting the Pastoral Care number: 425-954-7293
  • Is the church building safe and clean?
    • The staff of ICS and ILC have been working diligently in enacting Health Department sanitation procedures. Throughout this crisis, we are proud to say that our team has been, and continues to be, performing sanitation procedures that exceed the standard recommendation. We are confident that the building is as clean and safe as we can make it.
    • You can help in this effort by doing the following when considering a visit to the building:
      • Follow Washington state directives in their most conservative interpretation. Now is not the time to look for loopholes.
      • Practice “physical distancing.” Ask yourself; Is my visit to the building part of an essential need or service that is only available by my being on-site?
      • If yes, then conduct a self-screening before considering entering the building
        • Have you, or anyone in your household, had a cough, fever and/or shortness of breath or any other COVID symptoms (check HERE for more detailed assessment) in the past 48 hours?
        • Have you been exposed to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within the past 14 days?
        • Have you been notified that a place where you have been, has put you in proximity to someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
        • If you can answer “No” to these screening questions and have a temperature of  98.9 or below, you are cleared to enter the building
      • Make use of sanitizer stations upon entering and exiting the building and maintain physical distancing from staff, guests and other visitors
      • Wash your hands frequently while in the building.before and after use.
  • Is the church office open? What are the hours?
    • Church staff are working remotely from home as much as possible during regular hours of Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm. Office Staff will be in the building on Thursdays. Pastor is available to meet at the building by appointment. Music Staff may be in the building on occasion for the purpose of recording worship, but will not have any meetings onsite.
    • Phone calls are being routed directly to voicemail. Staff are checking voicemail intermittently throughout the business day. Please know your calls are important to us and we will endeavor to respond in a timely manner. Please be aware that the home phone numbers of staff may be hidden from view on return calls.
    • Pastoral Care Emergencies remain a priority. You can reach the pastor:
      • By leaving a voicemail at the church 206-622-1930 ext. 103
      • via email,
      • or by calling/texting the Pastoral Care number: 425-954-7293
    • Deliveries and donations are still being received by appointment.
      • Donations of food can be dropped off on Saturdays and Sundays 10am-1pm.
      • For alternate times please contact ICS staff at info@icsseattle.org to arrange a donation drop-off.
      • Please be advised we NEVER accept donations left outside our doors from unknown sources. We also NEVER accept donations that have been left outside after business hours.
WORSHIP
  • Is worship happening?
    • We are working diligently with our team of leaders and volunteers to post pre-recorded worship services online for our community and to expand that access to those who are not connected to the internet.
    • Worship Premieres on YouTube on Sundays at 10:30am
    • PHASE 2 Worship Plans:
      • Leadership has completed a congregational survey and has determined that there is not significant enough interest/willingness to return to the building, just yet.
      • Contact Council President, Kevin Johnsen, if you would like to participate in “Outside for 5”, Small Group gatherings away from the building with other Immanuel members.
      • Check the Church Calendar for other opportunities as they arise.
      • For more information and to read letter from the leadership team look HERE
  • How do I access online worship?
    • Current services will be posted on YouTube as a “premiere” which will be available for viewing starting at 10:30 am on Sundays. Links will be shared via Facebook and Instagram
    • Plans are in the works for Special worship services via Zoom. Watch your bulletin and e-news for updates.
    • Videos of past worship services can be found:
    • What about Funerals and Weddings?
      • It’s true that the governor’s order banning gatherings of 50+ persons, specifically names weddings and funerals as not allowed.
      • In times of dire need we will continue to be the church. Feel free to contact us to help you plan a small gathering (10 or less people) if the need arises.
MEETINGS & OUTSIDE GROUPS
  • Are outside groups meeting in the building?
    • Sunday By the Book AA meeting has set up their own Zoom meeting.
    • Friday Muslim Prayer has suspended its meetings
  • Are Church Committees and groups still meeting?
    • All church groups are asked to meet by phone or video conference (Zoom).
    • Contact Pastor Priscilla to set up your meeting on Zoom (a video/phone conference system)
  • Have any congregational events been rescheduled?
    • Faith Formation and AntiRacism meetings are ongoing and online. Check your bulletin, the church calendar or e-news for details.

HOW WILL WE Build Relationship and Nurture Community DURING THIS TIME?

  • It is important to note that no matter how we gather for worship, we continue to be the living presence of Christ beyond the walls of our building. So we encourage you to stay connected to the community.
  • Call, text, email and/or write letters to two or three people in the congregation and beyond with words of support and encouragement. Use your church directory as a starting point. One suggestion is to contact the names above and below you in the directory, in addition to at least one other person of your choosing. If you’re feeling energized by this, expand your check-ins and cards to folx beyond our congregation. Think especially of those who are most vulnerable, neighbors who live alone, nursing homes, hospitals, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, families with children at home and out of school, etc.
  • Council and Congregational Care are working to connect with everyone on our membership rolls, to assess resources and needs.
  • We invite your creative ideas for how we can Rekindle Hope and Celebrate and Share God’s Love during this time. Please send your ideas to Council.
IMMANUEL COMMUNITY SERVICES & OTHER ASSISTANCE
  • Are ICS services still happening? What needs do they have?
    • ICS Food Bank, Hygiene Center and Recovery Shelter programs are all considered “essential services” and will continue to operate in some capacity as long as they are able to do so safely. Please see the Immanuel Community Services website and social media (Facebook , or on Instagram @icsseattle ) for updates.
  • Does the church have funds for Emergency Financial Assistance?
    • While there is an Emergency Assistance Fund, we are not presently distributing funds.
    • When funds are available, applicants should know the following:
      • Requests are to be made in person and needs will be verified
      • Disbursements are only in check form and cannot be written to individuals.
      • Applicants can only receive aid once every 90-days and cannot receive aid for the same matter more than once.
      • Disbursements are gifts with no expectations of return. However, volunteer service with our partner organization or donations to the fund are welcome.
    • You can donate to the Emergency Fund HERE.
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