Last Sunday, Penglai Church in Shandong resumed in-person worshipservices.
At 6 o'clock in the morning, the brothers and sisters came to the church with masks, lined up in two rows, and waited to enter the church for prayer and greetings, according to the church.
One hour later, under the guidance of the security officer, everyone in turn was disinfected and scanned the "health QR code" with their mobile phone, took their temperature, registered their information, and then entered the main sanctuary in an orderly manner.
Entering the church, under the guidance of the service team, the brothers and sisters were seated in an orderly manner with a distance of about two rows of seats apart.
"Brothers and sisters, our gathering today is the result of the staged victory of our people across the country in fighting against the pandemic. We are grateful to God. In the past days, the Penglai Church cared about the overall situation and served society, was willing to devote and donate money and materials which showed the love of Christ, actively implemented the regulations of "double suspension and one delay", and responded to all arrangements". At 7:30 am, the first gathering of the Penglai church began, and elder Li Yongqian shared this information.
Forty-five minutes later, the first meeting ended, and the believers quickly and orderly left the church. The service staff immediately disinfected the sanctuary and sprayed disinfectant on every corner, leaving no area unattended.
At 8:45, the second worship service began. Elder Li Yong preached on the subject of "Rebirth" and then the service ended at 10 o'clock.
In order to prepare for the resumption of services, the Penglai Church conducted a thorough investigation of the co-workers in the church and the volunteers who participated in the worship service on Sunday. Also they learnt the health status of the place of residence and where they had traveled in the past 14 days and let them apply for the health code. They carried out site safety renovation and disinfected the equipment such as air conditioners and key areas, such as office areas, activity areas, toilets and elevators.
The church implemented the measures, such as online appointments, time-sharing and grouping, and restricting traffic to reduce crowding.
In the specific process of opening, Penglai Church released church pandemic prevention and control arrangements and related this information to believers through announcements and WeChat accounts, and announced the telephone number of the local disease control center. The believers must first make an appointment with their fellowship, group, or person in charge of each area and then attend the gathering.
For believers who were unable to show their health codes, they could present a negative nucleic acid test result within 7 days, a notification that they had been removed from medical observation within 7 days, or a valid identity certificate to register their personal information and take the temperature before entering.
All participants, including pastoral staff, volunteers, and believers, must wear masks correctly throughout the fellowship. Pastoral staff must maintain a social distance when communicating with believers.
In the next step, 23 grass-roots local churches and gathering points will also resume Sunday worship.
- Translated by Abigail Wu