Highrock Haverhill Re-Gathering Plans

Jun 7, 2021

Highrock Haverhill: Re-Gathering Guidelines

(Updated June 1, 2021)

After a year of worshipping together virtually with our sister church, Highrock North Shore, Highrock Haverhill is proud to announce our REGATHERING PLAN. Over the summer, we will phase in our Sunday morning in-person worship services and ministries. Please read through these plans and consider signing up to help with the new ministry needs that make gatherings possible.

As we emerge from 14 months of engaging worship at home through a screen, this is a time for us to remember that church is not a product we consume. The Church doesn’t exist to serve us with as much comfort and convenience as possible. Rather, the gathered church serves God collectively with our gifts, our attention, our prayers and praise. Being near each other, making eye contact, seeing body language, engaging all of our senses helps our hearts, souls, and minds engage in worship more fully and holistically. 

June/July: Phase I

In response to updated CDC and state guidelines, as well as high vaccination and low infection rates right here in Essex County, these are our current gathering protocols. 

BUILDING CAPACITY:

The building capacity at 17 Newcomb Street is 180 people. Even at 50% max capacity, we will have enough room for our congregation to sit at adequate distance in household pods, so no one will need to register to attend our worship services.

MASKS:

Masks are no longer required in most settings in Massachusetts. When we are OUTSIDE on our church property, we will not be required to wear masks! 

For the time being, we are STILL asking that you wear a mask INSIDE our church building (except the preacher and presider, when actively leading and fully vaccinated). This includes vaccinated individuals and children aged 5 and up. We encourage you to bring a mask from home. Masks will also be available at the welcome table for anyone who needs one. 

GROUP SINGING:

In light of updated guidelines and encouraging data, we can sing together during our worship service! 

SOULFOOD:

One of our favorite parts of worship is connecting with each other during SoulFood! Because we can utilize the fully-fenced backyard at the church, we will be able to enjoy SoulFood immediately after the service without needing to wear masks. All food items will either be individually packaged or distributed by a gloved volunteer. On Sundays when the weather isn’t cooperating, we will not have SoulFood. 

KIDSROCK:

KidsRock will be offered for children preschool and younger in June and July (we plan to expand up to 2nd grade in August). 

Weather permitting, KidsRock will be entirely outside so children will not be required to wear masks. Our vaccinated volunteers will not be masked; our unvaccinated volunteers will wear masks. 

When we cannot be outside due to weather, KidsRock will take place in two classrooms inside the church. We are following the state safety guidelines for school settings, so when inside, all volunteers, as well as kids 5 years old and up will wear masks. 

Kids can join KidsRock at the very beginning of the service or right before the sermon starts. We are asking that parents physically drop their children off and pick their children up at the KidsRock areas to ensure that there is a direct handoff between parents and KidsRock teachers/helpers. 

All children kindergarten and up will be with us throughout our worship service in June and July (and kids 3rd grade and up starting in August). To accommodate and engage our youngest Highrockers, our worship services will be around 45 minutes total, our sermons around 15-20 minutes, and we will have kid packs available at the KidsRock check in table to help children engage during the service. 

In the past three years we’ve launched a church...launched an online church...and are now re-launching a church. We are following Jesus into uncharted territory. We’ve gone through a ton of change, yet the Christ core remains. 

We know that these are times of rapid change and transition, some of which we're ready for, and some we're not so sure. May God grant us grace and wisdom, for ourselves and one another, as we navigate these days together.

I have seen so many of you make sacrifices to be part of this journey. Thank you for all you do! I pray that you will continue to be willing to give part of your time, energy, and talent to helping us live out the mission God has put before us. Please consider being a part of our volunteer team - we need your help! Explore the volunteer opportunities HERE.

  • If you have other specific questions about engaging in the life of the church at this time, please contact me directly - matt@highrockhaverhill.org

Warmly, 

Pastor Matt