Exchange Church Re-Entry Update

Beginning June 14, 2020 we will be meeting at North Raleigh Christian Academy

  • North Raleigh Christian Academy
    7300 Perry Creek Rd,
    Raleigh, NC 27616

We know that for many weeks and now months, many of you have earnestly desired to worship together. As pastors and elders, we have been greatly encouraged by the way the people of Exchange have continued to BE the church, when we couldn’t GO to church. Even still, we have missed our time on Sunday morning worshiping together. As was the custom of the early church, we desire to gather together to engage Scripture, fellowship, sing songs that encourage our hearts, and pray. Many of these things aid in stirring our hearts for good works that we have been called to (Hebrews 10:24-25). While we have desired to meet and gather together, many of our normal practices have been changed by COVID-19. Following Federal and local guidelines, we have responded to what was asked of us and did our best to adapt. While we’re thankful for all of the technology that has enabled us to stay “connected” during this time, it simply does not replace the grace of gathering.

As updated guidance is presented resulting in an easing of limitations, the elders have looked for opportunities to gather in a manner that balances prudence and the ability to gather. This Sunday, June 7th, we will gather together for a “worship through remembrance” service outdoors at Rolesville Elementary. We feel that this is a good, appropriate step in the re-entry process. Following the outdoor service, Exchange will resume meeting together as an option on Sunday mornings. We understand that there are many differing thoughts and views on COVID-19 and as a leadership team we respect and support these views. Because of this, We will continue to offer an online option as well for the foreseeable future.

As we have communicated in the past, our meeting space at Rolesville Elementary will most likely be closed until after the start of the school year. With that in mind, our leaders have looked for a temporary space that can accommodate us until that time. As soon as we are allowed, we will resume meeting at Rolesville Elementary School. Until then, North Raleigh Christian Academy has made space for us in their auditorium. The room that we will use can accommodate most, if not all of our church at responsible social distancing seating.

Without a doubt, our gatherings will look a little different for a while. At this point in time, we do not plan to offer any children’s ministry through the summer. With that in mind, our services will be a little shorter and family integrated. Also, there will not be coffee available. For this reason, our sermons will be shorter. We’ll encourage you to socialize and gather outdoors instead of a lobby. Instead of worshiping with a giving element in the service, we’ll have boxes in the back if needed. We’ll ask you to be seated by our ushers instead of going to the usual location. But, we’ll have the option to gather; together. And, if all of our measures make our neighbors or each other feel safer about coming, then it’s worth it.

As your pastor, I’m going to ask two things of you:

  • Read this entire letter carefully, and commit to helping us fulfill the measures we have put in place. It will be tempting to count yourself as the exception, but we must all do our best to cast aside any prideful tendencies and look first to to the needs and concerns of others.
  • We must search our hearts, and decide whether it is safe for your family to gather. Inevitably, we will be surrounded by people who make different choices. Because of this, we will all be tempted to judge people for the choices that are different than our own. We see all throughout scripture the imperative from Christ to exercise grace over judgement, and at times the safest thing for our own hearts is to avoid situations that may cause us to wander down this destructive path. A mark of mature faith is one of prudence, guarding our hearts from danger, even at the cost of good things.

Social Distancing:

For the care of others, we are asking that you practice the recommended social distance of 6 feet apart. This distance will be used in seating as well.
  • Once you are in the building, please move quickly to the seats that you are directed to by our ushers. We are asking that everyone refrain from making special requests, if possible (unless there are handicaps or special needs) to ensure that we are able to seat everyone in order. This will help ensure that everyone gets a seat and we are able to maximize the entire auditorium.
  • Gather outdoors instead of indoors. Use the parking lot to socialize, but refrain from gathering in the lobby.

Children:

  • As stated before, there will be no children’s ministry through the summer at our corporate gatherings. Children are welcome in the service as always.
  • Children MUST remain with their parents at all times. We know this goes against the normal Exchange culture, but it’s necessary for the sake of others.
  • Changing tables will be available for those who need it in a private location, but no additional rooms apart from the main auditorium are available at this point.

Cleaning and Protection:

  • NRCA will disinfect our gathering space and available restrooms before and after our meeting times.
  • Hand sanitization is a critical piece of any virus prevention. Please use hand sanitizer before entering the building and use hand washing stations regularly, as always.
  • Use extreme caution in gathering for worship or any other venue if you or someone you are in regular contact with is in the high-risk category. As we have mentioned before, if you need assistance collecting essential items, or worshiping through the Lord’s Supper at home, we would be glad to be a part.

Our mission is and will continue to be: to exist to be a people who Enjoy the Glory of God, Equip the People of God, and Extend the Love of God. These times remain challenging, and while our fears may be great, our hope is greater. We miss all of you and look forward to the time we can all gather together without restraint.