We are happy to announce that GCCC-Arlington will be meeting in-person again soon! We look forward to being back together! Same time (11am Sundays), same place (DoubleTree Hotel Crystal Ballroom), same community (the Father, Jesus, the Spirit, and us).
Starting July 11, we will begin a beta run of in-person services that are by invitation only. Those invited will be people who will be in serving roles this upcoming year, such as welcomers, musicians, and A/V operators. At the same time, we will be live-streaming our Sunday service from the DoubleTree. This beta run gives us a chance to make sure our room setup, our streaming setup, and our protocols work, before we open up more fully.
In August, we plan to open the service, in-person, to anyone who wants to attend. Below, you will find information about our gatherings in FAQ-format.
See you soon!
-GCCC Pastoral Staff
- Do I have to wear a mask? Yes, masks will be required while inside our gathering spaces. Please bring your own mask. We will have some masks available just in case.
- Which room is the Crystal Ballroom? The Crystal Ballroom is the largest room on the main lobby floor of the hotel. You can get there from the main doors by going up the escalator, then walking past the lounge areas, or you can use the outdoor stairwell at the back of the hotel, then look to your left once inside. We are using the Crystal Ballroom every Sunday, rather than the Washington Room that we used to use most often, because it is a much bigger space. (By the way, we had decided, even before the pandemic, to meet in this space going forward, as we anticipate growth of our congregation!)
- How will we arrange seating? Seats will be spaced more than a foot apart, in rows. There will be plenty of seating and space in the Crystal Ballroom; we plan to set up 200-300 chairs. (Two years ago, in the Washington Ballroom, we were usually setting up about 150 chairs.)
- How will communion elements be distributed? We will use prepackaged communion elements.
- Will we collect offering during the service? No, we encourage you to please continue giving online.
- Will there be congregational singing? Yes. However, we will all be required to keep our masks on, except for those leading from the front with a microphone while they lead (this includes people praying, preaching, and so on).
- Can I bring my child(ren)? Yes! Children over 2 years old, like the rest of us, are required to wear a mask.
- What will you have for children older than 5th grade? On Sunday mornings, older children will continue to worship with us in the Crystal Ballroom. The church has a youth group, made up 6th-12th graders from both Arlington and Tysons, that meets on Saturday nights.
- Will garage parking be available? Yes, all usual parking options are available. However, we encourage parking on the street or at surrounding outdoor lots in order to minimize the number of people using the elevators.
- What happens if there is a known COVID-19 case among our service attendees? We will initiate a communication plan based on the contact information collected from all attendees. We will inform all attendees of the positive case of COVID-19 while maintaining the anonymity of the person.
- Will there be any requirements to be vaccinated, or will there be different policies for those that have (not) been vaccinated? There will be no requirements for attenders to be vaccinated. If anyone needs to un-mask during any part of the service (ie. preacher, worship leader), we recommend that person be vaccinated, in concordance with CDC guidelines.
- Might these plans change at some point? Yes, if better practices emerge or If there are changes in the public health situation, we will make appropriate changes.
God’s Garden FAQ
- When will you start God’s Garden at Arlington? As soon as possible. We would like to begin God’s Garden no later than Fall 2021 but that will depend on staffing and volunteer requirements so we can build an Arlington kids ministry that is sustainable and growing.
- What ages will you offer God’s Garden for? When we open God’s Garden again we will offer it for kids ages 3-5th grade. Over time we will reopen our Nursery as well as COVID conditions improve.
- Does my child have to wear a mask? Yes, all children and volunteers will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the service (whether they attend God’s Garden or not).
- How will I check my child in? We are working towards implementing touch-free check in. When you enter Wilson/Jackson/Harrison your child will receive a printed sticker, which parents can grab and stick on their own child. This sticker will include allergy info, parent contact number, and child’s info. (No more clipboards or shared pens). New families will be entered digitally into the system by a check in volunteer. Upon check in, each child will be directed to their class table for the day.
- How will the groups be set up? We will set up our group tables in a way that allows for proper social distancing and teacher flexibility. Initially all ages (3yr-5th grade) will be in a large communal room (Wilson/Jackson/Harrison (providing us with a room with a 2704 ft²) which will allow class tables to spread out and maintain social distancing and less than 50% capacity at all times. As conditions improve we will be able to accommodate more children and younger ages.
- Will you have hand sanitizer available? Yes, all children and volunteers must use hand sanitizer upon entering their group zone (unless they are allergic-then they will be asked to wash their hands with their parents before entering God’s Garden). Each table will also have hand sanitizer and wipes allowing for cleaning and sanitizing throughout our time.
- Will there be singing? Yes. Every child and volunteer must keep their mask on during singing.
- How will you run crafts and games? We believe children process and internalize what they learn about Jesus while playing in community. God’s Garden staff and volunteers will plan games, crafts, and activities that use individual rather than shared materials and maintain social distancing.
- Will you have snacks? No, snacks will not be served in God’s Garden at this time.
- How will you take children to the restroom? Following safety policies in our Volunteer Safety Manual, we will have a designated female volunteer who will remain “on call” to take children to the restroom in groups of 2 or more as needed. The volunteer will walk children to the restroom and ensure children properly wash their hands after using the restroom. Upon re-entry to God’s Garden, children and volunteers will use hand sanitizer again before being able to join back into their group.
- How will you keep the rooms, furniture, and supplies clean from week to week? All hotel rooms and hotel furniture are sanitized before we arrive (and the doors are locked to ensure other guests do not contaminate our space). Upon entering all volunteers and staff will use hand sanitizer and then set up the spaces and materials they are using as they set up. Throughout God’s Garden there will be a clear “Dirty” zone. This will consist of any supplies and materials that are done being used but have not been sanitized yet, being placed in clearly marked bins on one side of the room. At the end of the day, volunteers will clean supplies before placing them into quarantine for 1 week. Each group will also have cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer available throughout God’s Garden to use as needed.
- How will you oversee kids being checked out? All kids will remain at their group areas or tables until their parent or guardian comes to the check-in table. When that person arrives, their children will be checked out electronically and their names called to dismiss them. Families are then asked to leave the God’s Garden space to lessen crowding and help us know which children are still in our care.
- What will be your policy regarding vaccines and volunteers? In an effort to provide additional safety for our children and families, GCCC is asking that all volunteers in God’s Garden and Youth Ministry adhere to the following guidelines. We are asking that they continue to be mindful and wise about potential exposure as they serve our children and youth by ensuring that they:
- Have been vaccinated, or have received a negative COVID test the week before they volunteer.
- Do not serve if they have any COVID symptoms.