Updated July 30, 2020
We are the Asbury Family. Part of what it means to be the Asbury Family is that we value gathering together. We’ve been thankful for how we have been able to expand our online gatherings to make the message of the Gospel even more accessible to people, and are excited to have welcomed several new people to the family during this online-only season. But we are all eager for the day when we can again have the option to gather in person!
Our reopening plans are focused on four key values: safety, quality, simplicity, and flexibility. That includes encouraging everyone to make healthy decisions, and seeking to care for each other well as we prepare to enter a new normal. In conjunction with following our Bishop and Governor’s recommendations, we are also closely monitoring Madison County’s total case numbers as well as hospitalized cases. You can follow the same localized numbers we are tracking at bamatracker.com.
While gatherings will look visually and systemically different, we find our assurance in knowing the mission of the church hasn’t changed. We will continue to press into being a growing family awakening to God and living on mission. Sometimes that means looking for new ways to make that possible, as we believe that nothing will stop our God from seeing His kingdom grow, even if it looks different than what we’ve come to know. Please see below for an initial overview of what you can expect as we resume in-person gatherings.
In-Person Gatherings Will Resume:
Sunday, August 9
Online Worship @ 10am
In-Person Worship @ 9am & 11am (Madison & Harvest Campuses)
To find out where to enter our buildings, learn about mask and social distancing requirements, and get a glimpse of seating arrangements, take a walk with us through our worship spaces with our Madison and Harvest campus walkthrough videos so you can know what to expect! While kids and students ministries will not yet return, we’ll keep you updated on when that will happen soon and look forward to having our families worship together. To help prepare for the best Sunday morning experience, be sure to download the Asbury App from Google Play or the App Store for easy access to sermon notes and our digital prayer request and connection card forms. We can’t wait to welcome you home!
Kids & Students | Planning Underway
Asbury Kids & Asbury Students will not be meeting when we first resume in-person worship gatherings. Start dates for Kids & Student ministries will be announced soon. We encourage families to attend the main worship services together.
Groups | Phasing Back
We are now beginning a phased in approach to reconnecting some of our Asbury Groups back in person. The first phase will begin to unfold starting July 26. Groups who have continued meeting digitally or off campus may now opt to gather back on campus. If you are in a group that has continued to meet, please connect with your group leader to confirm if your group will be meeting back on campus. Please note that KidsCare will not yet be available during phase one or two. Our second phase of regathering groups will enable groups that meet according to the school year calendar to return to campus, followed by our third phase which will bring back Sunday Morning groups along with KidsCare. We will continue to update you as more details unfold.
When Groups Can Regather on Campus
Phase 1: Groups who have continued meeting | Starting July 26
Phase 2: Groups who normally meet during the school year | TBD
Phase 3: Sunday Morning groups | TBD
Masks | Required
Upon resuming in-person gatherings, we will now require face coverings for everyone attending worship. While churches are not currently required to follow the recent Madison County mandate on face coverings, we believe it is a wise change for us to make as we seek to be as fully supportive of our community as possible. As we do not expect the number of cases to decline rapidly, we believe that requiring face coverings gives us the best opportunity to more quickly return to in-person worship. Masks will be available at each entrance. If you do not feel comfortable entering this environment, please continue to join us for our online services during this time. Please note that worship team members will not be wearing masks as we maintain more than the required 6ft distance between groups of musicians and between musicians and the congregation.
Where to Worship | In-Person or Online
If you are not yet comfortable with returning for in-person gatherings, that’s ok! We invite you to continue worshipping with us online through weareasbury.com or the Asbury App. If you are not feeling well, we do ask you to stay home and keep worshipping online. We know not everyone is at the same place, but we can do our part to create a safe place for you no matter where you are able to worship.
Online Worship at 10am | New Time & Platform
Our new online worship time is now at 10am, with an even better experience for you to engage with the Asbury Family and take your next steps through connecting with our volunteer hosts and requesting live prayer during the service. What started as a way to make sure we could continue worshipping together even when we couldn’t meet in a building, now allows us to consider the impact we can have even past COVID times. Now, through this mobile worship expression, we are discovering how we can enter the community in a way that allows us to take the gospel out and meet people right where they are, whether that’s a home, car, vacation destination, coffee shop, backyard, or neighborhood picnic table. As we look ahead to the future, we are excited to focus on developing more ways to foster discipleship and equip families through our digital presence. For those of you used to worshipping straight from our website, you’ll still be able to access this new platform in the same place at weareasbury.com/messages or through the Asbury App. Our Asbury Kids worship experiences will now also be available through this platform. For those of you joining us on our social media channels, we encourage you to try out this new experience too.
Adjusted In-Person Service Times | 9am & 11am for Contemporary, Traditional, and Harvest Worship
In order to allow for thorough sanitation procedures in between services, all venues will now offer services at 9am and 11am. Because each venue space may now hold approximately one third of our previous seating capacity as we allot for proper social distance spacing, overflow areas have also been designated once each space reaches its max. For the Madison campus, the overflow area for Traditional Worship will be in the Building 2 Hospitality Area. The overflow area for Contemporary Worship will be in the Building 5 gym. For the Harvest campus, additional attendees will be directed to the storm shelter. Each location’s live service will be simulcast to the overflow area.
Contemporary Services | Blended Elements
We have heard many positive responses from our online services about incorporating elements of both our centuries old Christian heritage from what we at Asbury call Traditional Worship along with our more contemporary music styles and technological components. As we’ve been praying through how to return to campus to gather together for worship, we want to continue embracing this this sense of unity. One way we have decided to do this is through incorporating some of the liturgical prayers and hymns into our Contemporary worship experiences. Contemporary worshippers can now expect a similar blended style to what we have been experiencing online over the past few months. We are thankful for how God is drawing us closer and stirring us to fuller expressions of worshipping together!
App Substituting Printed Material | Download for the best Sunday Morning experience
All common printed material has been removed from the worship spaces and guest services desks for additional sanitary precautions, including hymnals, offering envelopes, bulletins, sermon note sheets, connection cards, and prayer cards. When we return, all song lyrics will be displayed on the screens, and the We Are Asbury App will now host all other elements that can help you stay connected during your Sunday morning experience and throughout the week. Please be sure to download the app from the App Store or Google Play in preparation for your first Sunday back, where you will be able to access any pieces needed.
Social Distancing | Seating & Congregating
In addition to limited capacity of each of our worship spaces, we will be roping off every other row of seats and requesting attendees to maintain 6 feet of social distance in between each individual worshipper or family unit. In order to allow for sanitation measures between services, worshippers will be asked to exit the service promptly while observing a 6ft distance. While we are all eager to be back and connect with one another, we ask for everyone to be respectful of maintaining a 6ft distance when together in common areas. Taking your time of fellowship outside will also allow for easier distancing practices.
Sanitation | Continual sanitation during Sunday Mornings
We have contracted our cleaning services to be present during the entire Sunday morning experience and to continually sanitize all common areas such as door handles, countertops, and bathrooms, as well as between services. In between services, seats will be sprayed with an anti-viral disinfectant, and available rows will be alternated so that the following service attendees are sitting on “fresh” rows. Hand sanitation stations will be available at each entrance/exit and throughout common areas.
Entrances & Exits | Designated usage
When you arrive on campus, we will have new parking lot signage and friendly faces directing you to the designated building entrance. For the Madison campus, the lower level entrance at Building 4 will be closed except for families requiring the use of the elevator. Building doors will be propped open (weather permitting). Masks and hand sanitizer stations will also be available at each entrance.
Serve with the Reopening Team | Guest Services, photography, tech, and sanitation
We know many of you expressed a desire on our latest survey to be part of serving to help facilitate a great reopening experience for everyone! Please click here to sign up to serve on our reopening team as a greeter, parking lot volunteer, usher, photographer, videographer, sanitation volunteer, or tech team assistant. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back together!
Coffee + Water | Please bring your own
To maintain best health practices during this time, we will not be offering our coffee stations in any of our venues. Water fountains will also be unavailable. If you would like your morning cup, please feel free to bring your own covered cup, mug, bottle, or thermos with you!
Giving | Digital giving continues, or give on your way out
Our digital giving options at weareasbury.com/give, through the Asbury App, and by texting “ASBURYMADISON”or “ASBURYHARVEST” to 77977 will continue to be the best ways you can support the work God is doing through Asbury. In addition, offering bins will be placed at the back of the room in each venue for worshippers to use on the way out of the service as we reduce possible contamination points.
More details will follow as we get closer to our reopening date. Please stay tuned. We can’t wait to see you soon!
Page Last Updated: July 30, 2020