A Message from Pastor Ken Regarding COVID-19

May 23, 2020

As we continue to plan for in-person worship gatherings, we want to keep you informed of what to expect. Our goal is to create a worshipful environment that maintains good safety standards. These guidelines may be changed or modified depending on what the health authorities require. It is our hope to announce a date for in-person worship gatherings soon.

General

  • All services will require an RSVP to ensure that we are abiding by attendance guidelines.
  • All attenders will be required to wear a mask.
  • Attenders must maintain six feet of separation at all times unless from the same family or household.
  • Communion will be prepackaged and distributed by someone wearing gloves and a mask.
  • We will not have programs or coffee (you can bring your own!).
  • We are asking at-risk and older demographics to worship from home.
  • People showing signs of illness are required to stay at home.

Front Entrance

  • Doors will be propped open, weather permitting.
  • Greeters will wear masks and maintain six feet of distance at all times.
  • Attenders must use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
  • We will ask people to park their cars every other space.

Lobby

  • The café and fireplace seating areas will be unavailable.
  • Attenders will be asked to group by household/family unit at designated spots around the lobby and outside entry points with six feet of separation between family units (see “main room safety”).
  • The lobby will be sanitized before and after services.

Restrooms

  • Restrooms will be sanitized before and after services.
  • The number of open stalls and sinks will be reduced to ensure proper separation between users.
  • Hand-washing signs will be posted in all restrooms.

Main Room Safety

Entry/exit into auditorium:

  • Weather permitting, we will use four separate entrances and exits (front door, two doors behind stage, and the west entrance).
  • These entrances and exits will be arranged by RSVP section (A, B, C, D).
  • Groups will enter and exit through the same section doors.
  • We will have greeters/first impression volunteers at each entrance and exit.
  • During inclement weather, we will stage the groups inside the lobby with six feet of separation between them. We will stagger their entrance and utilize separate exits.
  • When the service is finished, please return to your car and avoid mixing groups.

Seating arrangements:

  • Groups will be seated in four different sections (A, B, C, D).
  • Section groups will be further subdivided by family and household units, with six feet of separation (3 chairs) between family/household units.
  • Seats and all hard surfaces will be sanitized between services.

Outdoor Service

  • After parking, please use the paved road to walk to the back patio.
  • After checking in, please sit by family unit/household and maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and another group.
  • We will not be providing any seating. You must bring your own lawn chair or blanket.
  • Communion will be prepackaged and distributed by someone wearing gloves and a mask.
  • Due to cleaning and sanitization requirements, the building will be closed during the outdoor service.
  • When the service is finished, please return to your car and avoid mixing groups.

Children and Students

  • There will be no Sunday children’s or student programming during the month of June.
  • The nursery room will not be available.
  • The cry room will be available for RSVP for one family per service.
  • Parents with small children may use the children’s restroom at the ring, not in the nursery.

– Pastor Ken

April 28, 2020 Update

 

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. – Psalm 40:1-3

As we continue to wait patiently on the Lord, we can have confidence that he is able to lift us out of our current mud and mire. Even better, he is able to put our feet on solid ground and put a new song in our hearts.

Many of you are taking advantage of our online programming – from story time for preschoolers to middle school Zoom calls to weekend worship experiences. It’s been encouraging to see the process of discipleship continue, even if it looks and feels a little different.

Online Worship – New Options

Starting this weekend, we will be adding a Saturday night worship service to our online options. It will be at 5:30 pm. We will have service hosts available to greet you and pray for you during the service.

On a related note, we will be live streaming to YouTube and Facebook at the same times as our website (mtnvw.org/live). You now have more options for how to best view (and share) our online worship.

Backpack Society Food Drive

We are resuming our food drive to support the Backpack Society. The Backpack Society provides free food to students in Highlands Ranch who participate in the free or reduced lunch program with the Douglas County School District. You may drop off canned good and non-perishable food items at the church any time. Simply use the drop box that is by the front door.

– Pastor Ken

April 21, 2020 Update

 

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12

For many of us, we have been navigating uncharted waters for the last six weeks and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In these times when you may not know what to do, keep your eyes on the One who does know what to do.

I was part of a conference call this afternoon with Governor Polis as he addressed faith leaders from across Colorado. He asked that the meeting begin with prayer and took time to field questions at the end. He expressed thanks for how faith communities (like Mountainview!) have been providing pastoral and spiritual care throughout this crisis.

In keeping with the state guidelines for large group gatherings, we will not have in-person worship services from now until the end of May. As our officials continue to monitor the data, they will keep us updated with new guidelines. Governor Polis hopes that we will enter the next phase of reopening by the beginning of June. At that point, it’s very likely that “large” gatherings will be restricted to a size of 50 or 100 people, with appropriate physical distancing and safety measures.

Like me, I know that you are looking forward to worshiping in-person with your Christian family. That day will come and it will be a time to celebrate God’s gift of community.

I’m also very proud of the job our staff has done in creating digital worship experiences, classrooms, and trainings. One benefit of moving everything online has been the tremendous amount of new things we have learned, which will continue to benefit our church well into the future.

Your ongoing generosity, prayers, volunteering, and encouragement have allowed us to maintain a high level of ministry and outreach to our church and community. Keep up the good work!

– Pastor Ken

March 20, 2020 Update

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” — The words of Jesus, John 14:27

In times of social distancing, pandemics, and quarantines, these words of Jesus remind us that he offers what the world cannot – real peace. As believers, let us hold on to these words and find our peace in him.

Weekend Experience

As I announced during a recent Facebook Live session, we will have online services only through the end of March. Our staff has done a tremendous job of making many of our “in-person” resources online. These include not only our weekend services but also programming materials for our kids, students, and GROW classes. You can find these at mtnvw.org/online.

We are also working on ways to make our weekend service available on platforms other than just Facebook. We will be testing one of those this weekend and hope to be able to share it next week.

At the end of March, we’ll reassess the situation and plan our weekends accordingly.

Office and Weekly Programming

Our office will remain closed until the CDC allows schools to return to in-person classrooms. Our staff is working remotely from home and we have been using Google Hangouts for our meetings. They are available to answer any questions you might have regarding our ministries.

We are exploring how our weekly programming might continue in online formats. As you might imagine, some of these events are more adaptable to an online format than others.

Food Drive

We are partnering with Backpack Society to collect food items for students in Highlands Ranch who are on the free and reduced lunch program. We will be collecting items on March 21 and 22 from 10 – 2 pm.

Drive Up Prayer

One of the drawbacks of social distancing is that it can easily lead to social isolation. As people of faith, we believe in both the power of prayer and community. On Sunday, March 22, we will have one hour of “drive up” prayer from 11 – Noon. Myself and others will be available to pray for you. All you have to do is pull in, roll down your window, and share your request. We’ll stay six feet away and pray loud enough for you to hear! We believe this is a simple way to stay connected to both God and each other.

Care Ministry – Meals

We have been blessed with a wonderful care ministry and part of that includes free meals to share with those in need. If you know someone who needs a meal or if you’re willing to deliver a meal, let us know. You can email Dan Hettinger for more information (dan@mtnvw.org).

We appreciate your prayers and continued generosity during these difficult times. We have chosen to embrace this time as an opportunity to glorify Jesus through his church.

– Pastor Ken

March 16, 2020 Update

 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

On Sunday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revised its guidelines for public gatherings and asked that no more than 50 people meet in one place at one time. On Monday, the White House reduced that number to 10 people.

We have decided that we will suspend weekend worship services at the building at least through the end of March. As we’ve been doing, we will continue to assess the situation and revise as needed.

In addition, we will follow Douglas County schools and suspend all programming and use of the building by outside groups for as long as the schools are closed. If you have questions about a specific ministry, please contact the appropriate staff person.

One of the challenges surrounding COVID-19 has been getting reliable information. Since Mountainview has been blessed with highly capable people (doctors, scientists, etc.), I will be asking several of them if they would serve as temporary advisors in times like these (starting now!).

We are actively working on making our “offline” resources available online. These include classes, devotionals, and trainings.

If you wish to submit a prayer request, we have created an online connection card that can be accessed here. Our staff will be working from home as long as the schools are closed. We have been using Google Hangouts to video conference on a regular basis.

How Can You Help?

  1. Pray! We believe in the power of prayer to heal and sustain. Pray for those affected and for God’s word to reach people in new ways.
  2. Engage with us online. Watch our worship services each weekend, participate in special Facebook and Youtube live events, and submit prayer requests as needed. We’ve created a page to find helpful resources.
  3. Check in with people. If you’re in a small group, class, or Bible study – call, text, and email each other. Talk with your neighbors and see how you might help them, too.
  4. Utilize online giving. The ministry of Mountainview continues and your support is needed to help us navigate these challenging times.

While these actions require each of us to adjust our normal routines, we believe this allows us to be socially responsible and best serve our community by focusing on working on containment together. It also allows us to protect the most vulnerable, at risk members of our church.

– Pastor Ken

March 13, 2020 Update — REVISED 9:40 PM

*** 9:40 PM ***

As we have continued to monitor the news and information, we will NOT have worship services at our building this weekend. We want to love God and our neighbors and believe this is a good way to do both.

We will have an online service Sunday at 9 AM and want to encourage everyone to log on to our Mountainview Facebook page and join us (facebook.com/mtnvw).

You will also find children’s and student weekend resources here. We’re encouraging families to watch these videos together.

We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we try to navigate these challenging times.

– Pastor Ken

*************

At today’s press conference, Governor Polis announced a temporary ban on public gatherings of 250 or more people unless they can ensure that there is six feet of separation between smaller groups of 4-to-8 people. At 2 pm, I was part of a conference call with the Governor as he addressed faith leaders directly.

The ban is in effect for 30 days. This means that larger groups are allowed to meet as long as the crowd is divided into small groups of 4-8 people and the various groups are separated by six feet or more. During his conference call with faith leaders, he reiterated that groups could meet as long as they meet these requirements.

Although Mountainview has many of the benefits of being a large church, we normally have 200 or fewer adults in our worship center during our largest services. In order to comply with the spirit of the Governor’s guidance and minimize risk to our most vulnerable members, we will be doing the following:

  • We will add more seats and rearrange the chairs in order to create the necessary distance between groupings.
  • We are asking people who are sick, showing symptoms of sickness, or vulnerable to infection to stay home and worship with us online (facebook.com/mtnvw). Our livestream is Sunday at 9 am.
  • We are asking people who normally attend our 9 am service to consider worshiping on Saturday night or on Sunday at 10:45.
  • We are working on a way to upload our children’s and student programming material so that families can stay engaged while at home.

We will also continue to implement the changes that I shared in our March 11 update below. We will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as needed.

I realize that these steps will require us to adjust the way we normally do things, but as Christians we want to be good neighbors and to show our community that we care and are doing our part.

– Ken

March 11, 2020 Update

Greetings from Mountainview!

Tracy Van Vleet, our Executive Pastor, and I have been researching best practices for how churches should respond to the coronavirus. At our recent staff meeting, we discussed various procedures that we will be implementing starting this week.

IMMEDIATE UPDATES

Last Sunday, we adjusted the way we normally serve communion. Instead of passing trays, we had our servers wear gloves and individually serve each person communion bread. We will continue to serve communion in this manner for the foreseeable future at all of our services.

Volunteers handing out connection cards will wash and sanitize their hands. We will have collection boxes in the worship center for your tithes and offerings, as well as for connection cards with prayer requests. You may also recycle your connection cards in a box outside the worship center. Old connection cards will not be reused.

To eliminate the need to touch door handles, we will be leaving doors open into the worship center. We will also ask every volunteer to wash their hands before and after serving.

Our children’s and student check-in kiosks will not be self-serve. We will have a volunteer at each check-in station to assist with check-in so that people aren’t touching the same screen. Any toy or object that is put into a child’s mouth will be taken out of circulation and sanitized.

In between all services, we will wipe down and sanitize all common hard surfaces in the coffee shop, lobby, restrooms, classrooms, student center, and worship center. In addition, hand sanitizer is available throughout the building. We would encourage you to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you arrive and when you leave.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We will be adding extra seats and encouraging everyone to spread out.

Any staff or volunteer who is feeling sick will be asked to stay at home. We are also asking anyone who is showing symptoms of illness to please stay at home as well.

Finally, although Mountainview is a friendly church, we are asking you to refrain from handshakes and hugs. To avoid injury, it might be wise to avoid chest bumps as well 🙂

Smiling and greeting one another with a friendly “hello” is still strongly encouraged!

WATCH US ONLINE EVERY SUNDAY MORNING

As a reminder, we livestream our Sunday 9 AM service on Facebook. You can watch it live at facebook.com/mtnvw or watch it any time throughout the week. If you normally bring your tithe and offering to a weekend service, you can also give online at mountainviewfamily.org/giving.

May God’s blessing be with you!

Pastor Ken Hensley

Mountainview

Coronavirus Update

I want to share what steps we are taking as a church to provide a safe worship environment. We want to strike the proper balance between being wise and not creating additional worry or fear. Ultimately, we are people of faith and we place our trust and confidence in God.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.

– Pastor Ken Hensley

Children's Ministry

Our family ministry team is uploading teaching videos and discussion guides that you can access at mtnvw.org/live.

Communion

We’re encouraging families to take communion at home. We recommend simple bread or crackers and grape juice. You might also consider reading the following passages: Romans 3:22-26, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Acts 2:42, 1 John 1:7-9, Luke 22:14-20

Offering

Your financial support is critical to allowing us to continue our ministry to the community. The easiest way to give is online.

Worship Online

We livestream our Sunday services at 9 and 10:30. You can watch it right here on our website at mtnvw.org/live. If you normally bring your tithe and offering to a weekend service, you can also give online at mountainviewfamily.org/giving.