The Paradise Adventist Church is now gathering together for in-person worship services effective Sabbath, June 20. Our worship service is 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 is earlier in the morning, to take advantage of the coolness of the morning. Sabbath School classes continue to be held via Zoom and start at 11:30 am. This allows 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 are spacious 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 are encouraged to be worn as family groups find their locations but are not 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 members of our church family to safely consider for themselves if they will choose to attend. We agree with the CDC that those who are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 (due to age, underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems) may not yet be ready to safely attend, but we respect your right to choose if in-person attendance is right for you. We also ask that if you are experiencing any illness of any kind to please 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!
Please consult the emailed bulletin for necessary information about the 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 helps to reduce possible risk of sharing germs by service participants. The service is amplified by a sound system.
Hand sanitizer is available, and an emergency porta-potty is 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. Currently, we are able to provide the sermon portion of the service as a “live” event on Facebook at 10 am. We continue to research more options for this avenue of connection.
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 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 all 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, and we are adapting it as new information and regulations become available.
We understand that not everyone may be ready to join us just yet, 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.