VCL Reopening Policy
In accordance with the State of Illinois’ Shelter-in-Place order, Village Church of Lincolnshire (VCL) has not met as a congregation since March 8th, 2020. As Illinois follows Governor Pritzker’s reopening plan, VCL will be taking every precaution to keep its congregants and local communities safe. Because of this, the elder board is moving forward toward reopening according to Governor Pritzker’s plan, which is broken up into five phases:
- Phase 1: Rapid Spread
High rate of infection among those tested, number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing.
- Phase 2: Flattening
Rate of infection and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, flattening or even moving downward.
- Phase 3: Recovery
The rate of infection is stable or declining. Hospitalizations and ICU capacity remains stable or is decreasing.
- Phase 4: Revitalization
Continued decline in infection rate. Hospitals have capacity and can quickly adapt for a surge.
- Phase 5: Illinois Restored
Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state. Either a vaccine or treatment options are readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period.
For these phases, the state has been divided up into four regions, and VCL finds itself in the “Northeast” region. Each of these phases have different restrictions for gatherings:
- Phase 1: Essential gatherings must be 10 or fewer. No nonessential gatherings
- Phase 2: Essential gatherings must be 10 or fewer. No nonessential gatherings
- Phase 3: All gatherings of 10 or fewer allowed
- Phase 4: Gatherings of 50 people or fewer allowed, following CDC guidelines
- Phase 5: Large gatherings of all sizes can resume
Currently, the Northeast region remains in phase 2, and will not move to phase 3 until the test-positivity rate falls below 20%. VCL’s normal activities will not be able to resume until phase 5.
VCL’s Ministry during Phases 3 and 4
As VCL continues to follow the direction of the State of Illinois, we are adopting certain policies:
- All VCL gatherings of 10 or more people remain canceled.
- This cancellation includes non-Sunday gatherings, including youth group, children’s events, committee meetings, and young adult events. The elders are advising committees to communicate electronically.
- This cancellation includes all choir rehearsals and non-VCL gatherings at the VCL building.
- The church office will be opened only to essential personnel. “Essential personnel” includes:
- Paid staff
- Worship leaders
- Finance Committee
- Building and Grounds Committee
- The church building remains closed. All persons are prohibited from entering the VCL building without the prior consent of an elder. This is to ensure a sanitary environment.
- VCL will begin live-streaming services starting June 7th. These services will take place at the church building, and may include no more than 10 people in-person.
- The elders are encouraging congregants to gather together in small groups once the Northeast region moves to phase 3 and as they feel safe to do so. VCL will provide a “best practices” guide for those who choose to do so.
During this time, the elders are hopeful that this may be a season of growth and revival among our community and our congregation. During the Phases outlined above, the elders encourage the congregation to:
- Pray daily. Pray fervently. Pray for the medical professionals, for the church, for those people suffering from COVID-19, and for your hearts.
- Continue to give generously. You can give via our website, http://evcl.org/give/ or via mail.
- Continue to foster family worship. You can use the New City Catechism’s web app as well: http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#1
- Remember the Fruit of the Spirit when engaging with others, especially those with whom you disagree.
- Consider ways to be a blessing to your community, such as offering to pray via Facebook neighborhood groups, not hoarding resources, and displaying calm in your communications on social media and otherwise. Share VCL resources, especially video sermons, on social media and via email.
- As guidelines ease and you feel safe to do so, invite friends and neighbors into your home to worship with you.
The Lord bless you and keep you during this time,
The Pastors and Elders of Village Church of Lincolnshire
For Kenny’s pastoral letter on reopening, click here.
For a list of commonly asked question and answers, click here.