May 13, 2022 Update
Starting Sunday, May 15, we will adopt a mask-optional policy except for the nursery volunteers and GG volunteers serving with kids under 5. Anyone who is more comfortable wearing a mask is completely welcome to continue to do so. Our church community has been patient and respectful navigating through the COVID season and mask policies. Let’s continue to respect the decisions of each attender as we take this next step together.
We are happy to announce that GCCC-Arlington has been meeting in-person since July 11, 2021! We are excited to be back together! Same time (11am Sundays), same place (DoubleTree Hotel Crystal Ballroom), same community (the Father, Jesus, the Spirit, and us). We offer a worship service for teens and adults, a children’s service (God’s Garden) for kids ages 3-12, and a nursery for babies and toddlers. We would love for you to pray about coming and engaging with our community as we seek to expand Jesus’ Kingdom in this area.
Below, you will find information about our gatherings in FAQ-format.
See you soon!
-GCCC Pastoral Staff
● Where do we meet? The Crystal Ballroom is the largest room on the main lobby floor of the DoubleTree 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. A children’s service for kids 3 years through 5th grade meets in the Presidential Hallway to the left of the lobby escalator. There is also a nursery for children 2 years and younger in the same Hallway.
● Do I have to check in? Yes, we will have a check-in area where everyone will supply their contact information. This will help us better engage with visitors and help with contact tracing.
● Do I have to wear a mask? Yes, masks will be required while inside our gathering spaces for everyone ages 3 years and older. Please bring your own mask; we will have some available if needed.
● How is seating arranged? Seats will be spaced more than a foot apart, in rows, with a total of 200-300 chairs. Children in God’s Garden will also have socially-distanced arranged seating.
● How are communion elements distributed? We will use prepackaged communion elements.
● Do you collect offering during the service? No, we encourage you to continue giving online.
● Is there congregational singing? Yes. However, we require everyone to keep their masks on, except for those leading from the front (this includes people praying, preaching, and so on).
● Can I bring my child(ren)? Children ages 3 and up are welcome to join us in God’s Garden, but they must keep their masks on. A nursery classroom is available for children younger than 3 years. Children of any age are welcome to stay with their parents in the main service.
● What do you have for children older than 5th grade? We do not have a separate God’s Garden group for our teens on Sunday mornings, but we have regular youth group meetings (for youth from Arlington and Tysons) on Saturday nights. We encourage our teenagers to worship in the auditorium on Sunday mornings and to serve in other ministries as a way of participating in our community life. Click Here for more info on when and where the youth group meets.
● Where can I park? Both garage and street parking is 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 (e.g., preacher, worship leader), we recommend that person be vaccinated, in accordance 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
● For what ages do you offer God’s Garden? God’s Garden is open to kids age 3 years through 5th grade and meets in Wilson/Jackson/Harrison rooms. There is also a nursery class available for children younger than 3 years, which is Madison room.
● Does my child have to wear a mask? Yes, all volunteers and children ages 3 years and older are required to wear a mask for the duration of the service (whether they attend God’s Garden or not).
● How do I check my child in? We have implemented a touch-free check-in system. When a parent enters the Wilson/Jackson/Harrison Room, they will receive a printed sticker, which they must put on their own child. This sticker will include the child’s name, parent’s contact number, and any allergy information. New families will be entered into the system by a check-in volunteer. Upon checking in, each child will be directed to their class table for the day.
● How are the classes set up? Following CDC’s guidelines, we will set up our class tables in a way that allows for proper social distancing and teacher flexibility.
● Do you have hand sanitizer available? Yes, all children and volunteers must use hand sanitizer upon entering their class 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 to allow for cleaning and sanitizing throughout our time together.
● Is there singing? Yes, we believe worship and singing are integral components of spiritual formation and, like our adult service, we have singing. To minimize risk, every child and volunteer must keep their mask on during singing.
● How do 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 will maintain social-distancing.
● Do you have snacks? No, snacks will not be served in God’s Garden at this time.
● How do you take children to the restroom? Following the safety policies in our Volunteer Safety Manual, we 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 rejoining their class.
● Do you have capacity limits? We will maintain adequate adult to child ratios as outlined in our Volunteer Safety Manual, as well as maintain social distancing.
● How do 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 before setting up supplies. 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 yet been sanitized, 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.
● How do you oversee check-out? All kids will remain at their class areas or tables until their parent or guardian comes to the check-in table. When a parent arrives, their child(ren) will be checked out electronically and their names called to dismiss them to their parents. Families are then asked to leave the God’s Garden space to lessen crowding, maintain social distancing, and help us know which children are still in our care.
● What is your policy regarding vaccines and volunteers?
In an effort to provide additional safety for our children and families, GCCC is requiring that all volunteers in God’s Garden and Youth Ministry:
- Have been vaccinated, or have received a negative COVID test during the week prior to volunteering.
- Do not serve if they have any COVID symptoms.