We Are Coming Home!
A Message From Lead Pastor Ronald Squibb
REOPENING – PHASE 1
Hello to our ICC family, we are coming home! As we begin to plan for the reopening of churches in New York, when we get to Phase 2 here in New York City. I am so looking forward to our reopening and being able to worship the Lord together and to see our church family, after three long months.
We had our last service together on March 20th, and since then we have had our online services many times during the week. I want to especially thank our media team; Mauricio Zabalza our director, Miguel Edwards, Tito Perez, Carlos Cruz, Sandra Franco and Jeffrey Franco for leading this vital ministry. Thank You!
I want to thank our Pastors Richie Cruz, Kelly Park, Julissa Lopez, Eric Ramos and Rory McManus for connecting, reaching and ministering to our ICC family. I appreciate their willingness to adapt, as we have had to go to online for services.
I want to thank the team that has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the church. Thanks to Laraine Scognamillo our Comptroller, Lyndsey Martinez our Business Administrator, Sandra Franco our IT director, Emma Squibb our office manager, and Dennys and Katy Rosa our Building Supervisor for all of the hours that they have put in during the last three months.
I want to thank all of our ICC family. I am grateful for so many that have been engaged through our online services, sharing our services, and for faithfully giving to the ministry of ICC during this pandemic.
ICC has continued to “Reach the City and Touch the World for Jesus”, through our prayer team, our outreach partnering with Convoy of Hope to help feed around 1000 families, our prayer outreaches at Richmond University Medical Center, and Staten Island University Hospital, honoring a Medical Clinic with lunch and providing lunch to the police of the 121 Precinct.
During this pandemic, there have been many lessons that we can learn and apply to our lives. I pray that we will not take meeting together as a church family f or granted. For many during this pandemic, this has been a time to revaluate our priorities, purpose and plans for the future.
As we, prepare and plan for Phase 1 of reopening of ICC, this phase is going to require compassion, patience, flexibility and a willingness to sacrifice for others in our church family.
Keep updated through our website – iccnyc.org, our ICC Facebook page, our ICC app, where you will find a link to all the details necessary for us to keep you safe and healthy.
Things to consider for your safety when we reopen:
Our sanctuary has been set up to allow for social distancing. We’ve measured and observed the federal standard of six feet between family units. As you might imagine that means our capacity has been reduced. We are only able to use 25% of our building in each service, during phase 2.
During Phase 1, we will only be have our main weekend services ONLY! There will be no children’s ministries, nursery or childcare during Phase 1. We will not meet in person for Bible Studies, Classes, support groups, bridge groups, youth and other meetings in person. We will continue with our Online services, Zoom meetings, etc.
How will this be implemented? This means your children are sitting with you in service. There is where we will need compassion, patience and flexibility, because there will be more noise and more activity in the services. We will make it through Phase 1. We ask for parents if your child starts crying or screaming to please take them out of the sanctuary and into the lobby until they calm down, and then reenter the sanctuary.
We are starting with the following weekend services in Phase 1:
Friday – 7:30 PM: Service – Another Sunday Service
Saturday – 11:00 – 12:00: Service
This will be a family service geared for families with children. The format will be engaging for our children and parents which will flow with the theme of the Sunday service.
Sunday – 8, 10 and 12:Central
Sunday – Korean: Chapel
New Dorp – Saturday Night – 6:00PM & Sunday – 10:00 AM
Spanish – 2:00: Sanctuary
To organize for these services and entering and exiting the sanctuary for services, we are instituting an online sign up at iccnyc.org, or you can call the office and speak the receptionist for the service that you desire to attend. Please register for the service you desire to attend at our Central and New Dorp Campuses. You will need to put your name and how many people from your family will be attending with you. When a service is at capacity (determined by the state), we will no longer accept registrations for that service. If we need to add more services, we will add more during Phase 1.
When you arrive in the parking lot – you will need to wait in your car, or stand outside maintaining social distancing until approximately 15 minutes before the service that you are going to attend. Once the lobby, sanctuary and restrooms have been cleaned, and disinfected, you will be allowed to enter the building through the front middle doors. (These will be the only doors that will be opened during Phase 1 at our Central Campus.)
When you enter the building, you will be directed to a seating area for your family. We will be seating people from the front to the back of the sanctuary. There will be only one family per pew and an empty pew between families for social distancing. When the service ends we will dismiss people from the back of the sanctuary to the front of the sanctuary, and you will be dismissed to go through the lobby towards the restrooms and enter out those doors. There will be no entry or exit from the front of the sanctuary, unless there is an emergency. I know that we all have our favorite place where we like to sit. This is where we are going to need compassion, patience and flexibility during this phase of reopening.
We have a number of safety measures in place, in cooperation with the State of New York and the CDC. Please know that these safety measures are not done as a result of fear. Instead, we are doing everything we know to do to protect the most vulnerable attending our services and to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Our motivation is not fear, but our love for others.
I want to share with you these steps that will be implemented in Phase 1.
To help prevent the spread of the virus, everyone entering must wear a mask. Infants and toddlers under the age of two are not required to wear a mask.
The only areas of the building that will be opened during Phase 1 will be the main lobby, sanctuary, hallway, and main restrooms. The Chapel will be only open for the Korean campus only on Sundays at 10:00am. All other areas of the ICC building will be closed during Phase 1.
New Dorp Campus - the only areas of the building that will be opened during Phase 1 will be the sanctuary and the bathrooms.
Before every service, the sanctuary, the restrooms, and the high touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected. We will only allow you to enter the building when it is completed.
Hand Sanitizers are placed throughout the lobby and by the restrooms. We encourage you to wash your hands and use the sanitizer frequently while you are in the building.
If you need to sneeze or cough, please cover your mouth and nose, and sneeze into you elbow.
Our cleaning team at ICC will continually wipe down surfaces in the rest rooms and other high touch areas that are presently open in Phase 1.
During Phase 1 – we will not be distributing program guides, sermon outlines, connection cards or other printed materials. You will have access to the sermon outlines on the ICC Facebook Page, the ICC Women’s Ministries Page or the ICC App. Offering envelopes will be placed in the pews, by staff that has worn gloves.
Greeters and ushers will be wearing masks and gloves to collect offerings, and will not be passing the bucket down the rows. They will hold the offering bucket and walk through the sanctuary to collect the offering!
There will be no shaking of hand, hugs, or high fives due to social distancing and for everyone’s safety. Instead you can wave, or give an air hug.
During Phase 1, we will not serve communion, have water baptisms, have children dedications etc.
Special note: We are in need of people that would volunteer to help with the cleaning of the lobby and sanctuary between the services. If you would be willing to serve in this way please contact our business administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 718-494-5433. We will need approximately 25 people to assist so that we can reopen safely.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly – if you are high risk because of age or underlying health conditions, I encourage you to stay home and continue to watch our services online. While I would love to see you in person, I love you and want you to stay healthy.
There are a lot of opinions concerning the opening of government, business and church services, and there are those who think everything should stay closed. ICC is going to approach it by respecting the thoughts and preferences of others, and not make anyone feel less spiritual if someone chooses to stay home during Phase 1.
Please: Attending in person is not a sign that you are more spiritual, more mature or more committed to Christ then the person who chooses to stay home.
Staying at home does not make you smarter or more caring than the person who attends in person.
So if you have a personal conviction, please keep it personal and do not express your opinion publicly or on any social media platform.
I am so proud of our ICC Family for the love and care for other people during this pandemic, as we continue to “Reach the City and Touch the World for Jesus.” We need to keep that same attitude of love, flexibility and patience as we transition in Phase 1 of reopening ICC.
The ICC leaders, security and greeters and ushers are not going to be the social distancing police. We will communicate the protocols on all campuses and encourage you to follow them. Please follow the protocols out of love for Christ and love for one another.
I cannot wait until we can gather together as a church family. Many of these things may be difficult and a lot of extra work but we must comply with the guidelines of our state.
I ask for your prayers for this transition as we move to reopen ICC. I look forward to worshipping our Lord with you.
I love you, and cannot wait to see you again!