WE ARE BACK!
Our most recent congregational survey revealed that there are both people at ICA who want to stay home and continue online services and there are those who want to return to in person services as soon as possible. We are excited to tell you that we will soon be serving both groups of people simultaneously.
Today, we would like to announce dates for a partial opening of in-person services:
- Our first in person service at the West campus will be on Sunday, May 30 2021.
- The first in person service at the East campus service will be Sunday, June 6 2021.
ICA will serve our community with both in-person and online services. We will conduct in person services for those who are willing and able to come. For those who are not willing or able to come, we will still post both Bahasa language and English language services online.
Starting June 6, we will have services every week in both our East and West campuses. The initial service schedule is as follows:
- - 8:00 a.m. in-person service in Bahasa Indonesia at ICA East and ICA West.
- - 11:00 a.m. in-person service in English at ICA East and ICA West.
What about people who can't come to ICA?
The Indonesian and English services will be recorded, edited and uploaded for our online services as follows:
- - 4:00 p.m. ICA Online service in Bahasa Indonesia
- - 6:00 p.m. ICA Online service in English
For our online audience, we ask that you keep in mind that what you currently see on Sundays online takes us 10 days to produce with a small group of paid staff. Once we begin in person services we will be conducting live services in two locations, in two languages, and within hours, we edit and upload two different language online services. This will require volunteers, production time, and a willingness to adapt.
Live Ready for changes to our online services. The one hour service you attend online currently is the product of 10 days of work by our staff. It takes 10 days to record the music performance, do translations and close captioning, make slide design, engineer the audio, lighting, film announcements, film the message, edit in post production, render the video and upload. All of that work moving forward will take in 8 hours; not 10 days. Thank you for your patience as we grow these skills in our staff and volunteers.
We will abandon Facebook as an online platform for services; few people use it and it is glitchy. If you use Facebook, please be ready to migrate to the Church Online Platorm. We will add Church Online as a platform for our online services. From a ministry standpoint, Church Online has better ministry tools than both Facebook or Youtube can provide. We will keep Youtube because the majority of our people go there. We will close Facebook after May 23.
Remember, online services will occur at 4:00 p.m. on Sundays beginning on May 30.
Who can come to our in person gatherings?
- - People willing to assume the risk of possibly contracting COVID. We cannot eliminate the risks entirely. If people do not feel comfortable with the risks or the environment; you are welcome to stay home and watch the service online; this is why we have an online service.
- - People who are healthy and not showing any symptoms of sickness are free to come. If you are sick at all, even if it's not COVID, please don’t come.
- - We will require temperature checks, masks, hand washing with sanitizer, and social distancing in the building.
- - Some of our Staff and Pastoral team have already gotten all of their vaccination shots. Many of our staff are either signed up or in the process of being vaccinated right now. This process is ongoing.
What about age restrictions?
- - People between the ages of 16 and 60 can come.
- - If you are older than 60 you may come if you have been fully vaccinated or have already contracted and recovered from the disease and built up immunity the hard way.
- - There will not be any in-person children’s ministry at either East or West campuses. Please keep them home and attend ICA Kids online. ICA Youth, FNL and ICA Kids are planning to be online until conditions and regulations allow.
- - Children will not be allowed to stay in the lobby while their parents attend church.
What will change?
We are now taking attendance to help with contact tracing and comply with regulations.
Attendance will require fast-track online pre-registration for regular attendees. We will also have registration at the door for guests, but the check-in process may take some time. If you have problem with your present attendance being taken, we suggest you to watch our online services instead.
Regulations require that we track who is attending. This will be done through a mobile application. To attend in-person services, you need to :
- - Download the Church Online App through the App Store or Google Play.
- - Find our church "ICA Surabaya" to begin and start by completing your online profile.
- - There will be specific instructions on the application for check in and registrations prior to reopening.
- 1. We will use the Church Online app for pre-registration check in for in-person services.
- 2. We can also use it to sign up for any number of different ICA activities.
- 3. It will help small groups to organize and communicate (small group leaders will be trained separately)
The idea is to have a one-stop location for everything ICA; announcements, calendar of events, social media, signing up for activities, a connection for online services and other content. There will be more information to come regarding the Church Online App.
We are currently working on the online registration process. The goal is that pre-registration online will get you into the building quickly. If you show up without pre-registration, you can still register, but processing at the door will take longer to get in. We will communicate how to register in the future through social media and there will be special videos about how to register and what to expect when you come.
For now; Live Ready!
There will be additional cleaning staff in bathrooms and we are working on no-touch upgrades for all our bathrooms. Also, there will be sanitation of toilets between services.
In-person capacity limits
We will limit the number of people in our sanctuaries. In the West, we will limit the number of people to 320; in the East, 186 will be our capacity inside the Sanctuary. If we go over that limit, we will put overflow into our MPR rooms in ICA East and West with a video feed to the service. As we add more people, and as conditions allow, we will once again add the 9:15 a.m. English services (East and West) into the schedule.
What are the keys to success?
- 1. Whether you are online or in person; We must Live Ready to change our behavior patterns and adapt.
- 2. Everything we are talking about requires volunteers. Our paid staff are up for taking the risks to serve our people in person; but we still need volunteers to run check in and registration, play instruments, check temperatures, run additional video cameras, run lighting, run two sound boards, greeting and seating people, provide additional security; all of it requires volunteers. People are going to come. We need volunteers to be able to pull this off. Please talk to Pastor Afong East or Pastor Bebe in the West if you are interested in volunteering.
- 3. In some ways it's like we are starting ICA all over again. We need the Lord’s help to be ready. Please pray for ICA.
We are constantly monitoring the overall decision to open or not. We are watching our ability to control the risks at an acceptable level. We have to consider what the regulations allow us to do and adapt to regulations that are changing. We are watching the impact of the Idul fitri holiday exposure and travel on infection rates. We will not hesitate to change the date of opening if we believe it is not a good decision.
ICA, we are not able to address every concern people might have. We will not be able to eliminate risk; we can only do our best to manage risks. At some point, we have to pick our course of action, our starting point, and go with it. That is May 30 in the West and June 6 in the East. ICA is committed to adapting and improving week by week along the way.
ICA continues to offer online ministry for your children, ministry for your teens, ministry for young adults, a prayer service on a weekly basis, Sunday messages in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, and various GO groups for bible study and community. We continue to respond to the needs of our community and nation through ICA Social Ministry and ICA Missions. But it is time for the days of Teshuvah. Teshuvah is Hebrew meaning to “physically return.”
Live Ready for ICA’s days of Teshuvah; the Days of Return on May 30 (West) and June 6(East). I’m truly excited to be together with those who are able!
ICA, Live Ready to Love God, Love People, Grow in Faith, Make disciples… in-person.
See you soon.
Pastor John Taylor