Frazer has begun a process of evaluating when and how we will return to in-person worship. While we are eager to see one another face to face, out of an abundance of caution our re-opening will not be immediate but will take place slowly through the summer months and beyond in careful stages.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Frazer has made it our goal to respond with faith in God and love for neighbor. Part of how we have demonstrated love is by suspending in-person worship gatherings to slow the spread of the virus, in conjunction with Governor Ivey's "stay-at-home" and "safer-at-home" orders.
Beginning May 11, 2020, the Governor implemented an amended safer-at-home order that removes the 10-person restriction on gatherings, subject to the social distancing guidelines provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Frazer's leaders believe it is wise, appropriate and loving to honor these guidelines, as well as those provided by our Bishop and Conference task force.
The next step for Frazer is to prepare to implement these guidelines while wisely discerning the right time for us to return to in-person worship.
The timing to resume in-person worship will be based on two factors:
- With a large building, time is needed to prepare for enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures. Our administrative team is at work now on creating traffic flow and seating arrangements, procuring additional supplies, etc. We expect the building to be ready by the beginning of June.
- As a large congregation, we have greater advantages but also a greater responsibility. Some smaller churches are opening now, and that may be right for them; however, the larger the gathering, the greater the risk of harm should an outbreak occur. So far, very few Frazer members have suffered from the novel coronavirus to our knowledge, and we want to do what we can to keep it that way. Therefore, we will monitor state and local COVID-19 case numbers and look for indications that the virus is not increasing in our area before setting a date for in-person worship. Our hope and prayer is that we will see this occur in June or early July.
With this in mind, the Frazer Family can expect several stages in our re-opening:
- Current Stage: In our current stage we are continuing online and television worship and also implementing our first Drive-In Communion Service this Sunday (May 17).
- Socially Distant Stage: Once a date is set for in-person worship, we will implement social distancing measures which will allow us to gather but may feel strange compared to worship as we have known it in the past. Older adults and others with high-risk medical conditions as identified by the CDC will be strongly encouraged to continue to worship from home or in Drive-In services. Childcare will not be provided initially in this stage due to the inability to maintain social distancing.
- Increased Engagement Stages: Frazer will continue to monitor State and Local guidelines to determine when some of these measures can be appropriately relaxed to re-engage in greater contact and restart ministries such as children's programs. Our goal is always to create an environment that is hospitable, loving and as safe as possible for all people.
Frazer is known not only for worship but also for our many disciple-making ministries and volunteer serving opportunities. Frazer leaders will be communicating further on our plans for how small groups, volunteer teams, and other ministry programs will re-open. In the meantime, we encourage you to stay connected through virtual groups and we celebrate the many ways the Frazer Family continues to serve others, including increasing our support for missionaries and local ministries.
Your Input Needed
Part of our return process is getting as much input from our congregation as possible. The Frazer Family is asked to complete the survey linked below as soon as possible. Survey results will help to shape the times and number of services we offer.