November 20th Update

Be safe during the holidays. 

  • Small gatherings of families and friends increase COVID risk and testing and possibly quarantining for 14 days right before events may be difficult to accomplish in time..Therefore, take the following precautions: 
    • Host outdoor gatherings
    • Seat guests 6 feet apart
    • Plan for hosts (masked) to serve food and beverage (avoid family style)
    • Ensure guests wear masks going through the home to the outside
    • Allow one person at a time into bathroom and clean touch surfaces
    • Make sure children wear masks and have plenty of hand santizer around
    • For outdoor gatherings on cold days: bundle up and consider options such as a fire pit, outdoor heater, and blankets
    • If you don't have a yard, congregate at the park. 

North River COVID-Task Force Update Document

Happy Holidays Everyone! And, please be safe.

October 27th Update

"Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith." 1 Thessalonians 3:10 

The North River COVID-19 Task Force met on October 21st to assess how the pandemic is going in Cobb County and in the State of Georgia. Please review the latest guidelines from that meeting.

Auditorium:

The Task Force noted that the number of cases and hospital/ICU admissions in both Cobb County and GA in general have been trending up throughout October. As a result, they are recommending that the target number for those attending church in the Auditorium (in addition to the worship/tech team) be 75 people (the last published number on our website was 100 people). While they believe that the Auditorium can safely handle many more than that, we believe it is wisest to give us time to build good habits of entering, exiting and fellowshipping (using masks and social distancing) with smaller numbers.

Lighthouse and Outddoors on the Campus:

The published maximum numbers for events in the Lighthouse and outdoors on the campus have not changed. At this time, and in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations, we are still asking that masks be worn at all indoor events (whether in the Auditorium, Lighthouse, Gym or FLC).

Gymnasium:

As other facilities in our community are permitting contact basketball, the Task Force is currently comfortable with us opening up our gym to 15 people at a time for contact basketball (provided the participants understand the risks, temperatures are taken, screening questions are asked, and everyone wears masks upon entering and exiting). Waivers will be required and designate masks as optional for the players. Players will all be informed of this up front.

Best practices for masks:

  • Please note that face shields are NOT a substitute for masks (the face shield protects you, but does not protect others, as virus particles can be expelled around the sides of the shield). If you are wearing a face shield at any event, please also wear a mask.
  • Also, letting the mask slide down so that your nose is not covered does not provide protection for others as virus particles are also breathed out through your nose. Please make sure that your mask covers both your mouth and nose and fits well.

Outdoor events on our campus:

  • Outdoor events on our church campus of up to 25 people do not require masks (provided people maintain 6ft of social distancing).
  • Masks should be worn, however, for larger outdoor events, greater than 25 people (and when entering and exiting the buildings for events).
  • At all outdoor events, temperature taking is recommended (we will work to make thermometers available – also, temperatures should be taken in the shade, not in the sun).
  • The three screening questions do not have to be asked of each person, but should be done as a group announcement: 

If you or anyone in your household.. 

  1. Has had any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days: nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever at or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit;
  2. Or if you or anyone in your household been tested for COVID-19 and found positive (or still waiting for results);
  3. Or if you been in close contact with anyone who has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis,

Then it is best that you don’t stay.

Food service:

If there will be any kind of food service (or candy, such as during a Trunk or Treat type event), then all food and drink items must be handed out to people by those wearing gloves, hairnets and masks (just as restaurants now practice). No one should touch or grab any food item from a communal source. 

Additional COVID-19 Resources:

Need to know about COVID-19 Risks? Click Here

Here are some useful links for staying informed about the COVID-19 virus:

Just remember that our most useful link of all is our direct access to a relationship with the unseen God who created the visible universe:

Heb 10: 19-23  “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

NORTH RIVER’S SPIRITUAL RESPONSE 

This health care crisis is an ongoing fluid situation, but it is also an opportunity for Jesus’ disciples to shine. Together God’s church can be the light during this darkness by praying for the world, for our churches in severely contaminated areas, for the most vulnerable, the poor and the elderly. We can also reach out to our families, friends and neighbors with genuine love and concernThere is SO MUCH we can do through calls, FaceTime, acts of service. An outward focus protects our hearts from fear and worry. God can use this powerfully if we simply SHINE! 

As Christians, we want, need and depend on God's protection to keep us and our families safe from harm. The scriptures give us comfort knowing that He is active and attentive. Sometimes God's protection comes in the form of peace and strength in the middle of anxiety or danger. And sometimes God's protection comes as an event because he sees something on the horizon that we cannot see. The following verses from the Psalms are assurances and promises to help guide us spiritually as we meet this challenge with faith and prepare to minister to our community as His representatives and ambassadors. 

Ps 20:1-2 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 

Ps 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 

Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea 

Ps 57:1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. 

Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 also will guard hearts and minds in the days ahead. 

 

God is faithful and His North River family will be as well. Much love and respect,

The North River Leadership Team