The Paradise Adventist Church will once again gather together for in-person worship services beginning Sabbath, June 20. We will hold a service at 9:30 am outdoors on the east side of the church campus at 5720 Academy Drive in Paradise. This area is relatively untouched from the Camp Fire and the trees frame a suitable space for allowing appropriate social distancing while we worship together.
The service will be earlier in the morning, to take advantage of the coolness of the morning, and Sabbath School classes will continue to be held via Zoom and will be conducted at 11:30 am. This will allow for Sabbath School teachers to participate with the worship services as they choose and still have time to return to locations where they can participate with the online Sabbath Schools.
Areas will be sectioned off so that families can sit together and safely social distance from other family groups. Those who choose to remain in their vehicles will be allowed to park near to that area. Masks will be encouraged to be worn as family groups find their locations but will not be required for the entire service. Bring your own chairs and blankets for seating. The area is shaded in the morning, and services will be kept to approximately one hour.
We strongly encourage those of our church family who are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 (due to age, underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems) as well as those who are experiencing any illness of any kind to continue to stay home.
We ask that personal greetings to each other be completed with respect to social distancing requirements. Air hugs and other non-physical, friendly gestures are encouraged. Let your creativity flow as you find ways to share Christian greetings with each other while practicing social distancing!
Emailed bulletins will contain necessary information for worship services, including any lyrics for congregational singing. Participants will be asked to bring their own “printed” bulletin from the email, or to use their devices to reference the bulletin during the service. No printed materials will be shared. No offering will be taken; church members are encouraged to continue to use the online giving options or to mail their tithes and offerings to the church office.
All worship service participants will be separated from the congregation by at least 13 feet, and a single use microphone process will help to reduce possible risk of sharing germs by service participants. The service will be amplified by a sound system, and there is the possibility of using a radio frequency to support listening in a vehicle.
Hand sanitizer will be available, and an emergency porta-potty will be on site. Users will be asked to clean it after use so that it is sanitized for the next user.
Online services will continue to be provided, as we know that some members of our church family will still be hoping to connect with us online for a time. As those details are clarified, we will share those aspects with you. However, it looks very much like we will provide a video component with some worship elements, then switch to a Facebook Live option for the sermon only.
We recognize that as a church family we are all at different stages of opinions about this situation. However, we believe that we are best serving our church by taking the necessary steps to find ways to come together again in a safe and responsible manner. We have spent many hours in conducting research, listening to church members’ concerns and assessing local, state and national requirements, along with NAD and NCC guidelines. In addition, we have participated in several meetings and multiple seasons of prayer in the development of this plan. We want you to know that we have very carefully and prayerfully created this plan.
We understand that not everyone may be ready to join us on June 20, and we recognize that this choice is not always an easy one. We miss each other as a church family, but it is very important that each one of you makes your own decision for your return to an in-person worship service based upon what is best for you and your family. We support your personal choice in this matter. We also want to be clear that individual choices for when someone returns in person as well as how they return is perfectly acceptable. We respectfully ask that you do not impose your own guidelines and perspectives about personal safety on others.