Read the latest COVID-19 Update from College Park Castleton

COVID-19 Guidance

May 6, 2020  

GOD’S STRENGTH IN SUFFERING: COVID-19 UPDATE

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Since March 8, the saints of College Park Castleton have not gathered for worship under the direction of our local and state authorities due to ongoing risks of COVID-19. This pandemic has brought on a variety of challenges, unexpected graces, and much suffering. Our church family has experienced economic hardship, physical & emotional distress, and deep sorrow as we grieve the passing of one of our own and others unable to shelter with their loved ones. Our church is again learning how to weep with those who weep.

Amidst this great calamity, we praise the Lord for how He has remained faithful to His promises and given us strength in suffering. We rejoice as our unity remains strong in the Lord even while we’ve been apart. We’ve been encouraged through seeing families worship together, regular Sunday prayers, along with flourishing men’s and women’s bible studies. Furthermore, God’s people are finding fresh ways to bless those in need by making masks for hospitals and congregants, providing food for health care workers, and building the Castleton Community Pantry!

Our hearts’ desire is to meet together again and worship with the saints as we together long for the Day we are with our Savior and all His people forever. Over these weeks, your elders have prayed for you and sought to shepherd and support you with the love of Christ. They have also prayed for wisdom and diligently sought the Lord’s guidance for how to best “gather again” while still following our governing authorities and protecting the most vulnerable among us.

On May 1, Governor Eric Holcomb announced his BackOnTrack plan to systematically reopen our state over the next few months, including updated recommendations for places of worship. Under these new guidelines and continued guidance from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, the elders are encouraging our congregation to enter into phase one of our church’s three-phase “Gather Again” plan.

Phase 1: “Gathering Again” in Homes

Lord willing, beginning May 17, 2020, we are encouraging College Park Castleton families who would like to do so to host 1-2 additional family units (limit 10 individuals) from among our church community and neighborhoods to worship together each Sunday morning in their homes.

Phase 1: General Guidelines

We understand there are a variety of factors and levels of risk at play for each individual or family; therefore, we want to offer a few guidelines and allow each family to decide what makes most sense for them. Above all, if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe hosting or being hosted, we encourage you to stay home.

In compliance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Indiana State and local guidelines, we strongly encourage that congregants in these gatherings 1) maintain a safe social distance, 2) wear protective masks, and 3) support healthy hygiene behaviors in their homes such as regular hand washing, providing hand sanitizer, and proper home sanitation measures. 

If you do not have access to a mask or hand sanitizer, the church has a limited supply available for host homes to provide. Please email Eric Swanson at to coordinate a pickup time for any needs.

In order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we ask that once you gather with a family(s) for worship, that you continue with that same family(s) each Sunday during Phase 1. While we understand the desire to see more of our church family, keeping the same groups together will help isolate cases if there is ever an infection.

Before committing to gather with a specific family(s), make sure that all parties are comfortable with the arrangement and ensure that social distancing can be maintained in the home. We understand that staying socially distant in homes will limit the amount of people any one family can reasonably host, and that is our reasoning for limiting the in-home gatherings for Phase 1. If anyone in these groups tests positive for COVID-19 or exhibits significant symptoms, we ask that all members of the group wait at least fourteen (14) days before gathering again.

To be clear, these gatherings are not exclusively being hosted within Castleton Small Groups.  If you choose to serve as a host, you can let the church staff or an elder know so we can support you and communicate any changes during Phase 1.

Striving for Unity: We unfortunately anticipate that the Deceiver is ready to sow division among our body as we form these gatherings. Therefore, let us strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”(Eph. 4:2-3). Let’s not give the devil a foothold; rather, let’s be gracious toward those who come to differing convictions on participation in such gatherings.

At-Risk Population

If you are included in the vulnerable population (see CDC At-Risk populations), we urge you to continue to follow CDC guidelines and worship at home during this time. If you need assistance of any kind to stay home and safe, please let us know here.

Our Hope

Our hope and expectation for these small gatherings is that each one be filled with the Spirit of Christ (Matt. 18:20), and that each individual would take advantage of this opportunity to intentionally invest in one another’s spiritual well-being through prayer, fellowship, and discipleship of one another and their children. Each week, we hope you’ll take advantage of the discipleship resources provided on our website and maximize these gatherings for God’s glory and your good. We also pray God would use these home gatherings for evangelistic opportunities as friends and neighbors witness the fellowship and hope we have in Christ.

Request to Host or Guest

If you are not in the vulnerable population and would like to host a family from our church or you need help connecting with a host family, you can let us know by filling out a Phase 1: Gather Again Request Form, and we’ll do our best to connect you with a family to worship alongside. We regretfully expect that some families may not be able to find a family to gather with for a variety of reasons; nevertheless, we ask that you remain patient and trust the Lord that He will continue to provide all your needs in Christ.

Like in all seasons, we plan with open hands and recognize our best efforts will most likely fall short and change over time, yet we will continue to hold fast to the One who is our sure and steady anchor and is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Phase 1: “Gather Again” in Homes Summary*

Summary: Lord willing, beginning Sunday, May 17, 2020, we are encouraging College Park Castleton families to host 1-2 additional family units (limit 10 individuals) from among our church community and neighborhoods to worship together each Sunday morning in their homes.

*subject to change if new directives are given by our governing authorities

Phase 1 Guideline Summary:

  • Limit home Sunday worship gatherings to 10 (ten) individuals or less
  • Maintain social distancing (6ft.)
  • Wear protective masks (available upon request)
  • Support healthy hygiene behaviors in host homes (hand washing, hand sanitizer, tissues, thorough sanitation efforts on commonly used areas)
  • Gather with same individuals each week to mitigate possibility of spread
  • Vulnerable populations encouraged to continue to worship at home
  • If you need help find a family to worship alongside, let us know by filling out a Phase 1: Gather Again Request Form
  • All other ministries will continue virtually

Phase 2: “Gather Again” Outdoors 

Summary: Lord willing, beginning Sunday, June 14, 2020, we plan to periodically offer special outdoor services on the church property, in addition to the regular Sunday morning livestream.

 Phase 2: Further Details

  • Livestream services will continue each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and we encourage phase one in-home worship gatherings to continue meeting
  • Weather permitting, we’ll periodically gather outdoors for special evening services
    • Social distancing (6ft.) maintained throughout outdoor services
    • Protective masks will be available upon request
    • Hand sanitizer stations available
    • Vulnerable populations encouraged to continue to take strong precautions and remain in their vehicles during the special outdoor services
    • Communion is observed with pre-packaged elements and safe distribution

Phase 3: “Gather Again” Indoors

Summary: Presently, the elders are unsure when indoor services will commence. The elders and staff long for the day when we can worship together in our building, but there are a variety of factors that cause us to delay gathering indoors. Those factors include:

  • Our church sanctuary capacity is extremely limited with the social distancing limitations
  • Many of our church members are in the vulnerable population
  • Pastor Tommy is among the most vulnerable population and is unable to preach in-person without a mask
  • The entrances, exits, Atrium, and Commons are all narrow which make it difficult to social distance
  • Limited bathrooms increase risk of the virus spreading
  • Our sanctuary has limited ventilation and would stretch services across the day
  • We have many young families with young children and providing childcare is discouraged at this time

 

Zoom Q&A Meetings

If you have any questions regarding our “Gather Again” plan, we will be holding all congregation Zoom Q&A meeting next Friday evening, May 8, at 8 p.m. You can find details about this Congregation Zoom Q&A at castleton.yourchurch.com/zoom

Stay Informed   

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. You can find Governor Holcomb's BackOnTrack plan at: https://www.backontrack.in.gov/

If you have any questions, please email  .   

May 2, 2020  

Yesterday, May 1, Governor Eric Holcomb announced the State of Indiana's BackOnTrack plan to systematically reopen the state over the next few months. This plan included recommendations for places of worship that will affect our congregation in the coming weeks.

This Sunday, May 3, nothing will change for our congregation, and we will continue to worship at home via our online service at 10 a.m.

Lord willing, early next week, your elders will communicate our church's plan to safely gather again. Please pray for wisdom and discernment as the elders seek to comply with the recommendations of our state and local authorities as well as shepherd our congregation with care and clarity.

Thank you, for your patience and for showing grace towards one another during this challenging season.

Stay Informed   

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. You can find Governor Holcomb's BackOnTrack plan at: https://www.backontrack.in.gov/

If you have any questions, please email  .   

March 19, 2020  

We want to update you and provide additional clarity on how we are planning future worship services and ministry events. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this challenging season.

Following the latest guidance from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), College Park Castleton will not gather in person but will offer online Sunday morning worship services until further notice.

In addition, all College Park Castleton ministry events and meetings are canceled or postponed until further notice. Our Easter worship service on April 12, 2020 will be online only. Our offices will continue to stay closed, and the staff is working remotely until further notice.

Sunday Morning Worship Services   

Sunday morning worship services will now be live streamed at 10 A.M. at castleton.yourchurch.com/service with recordings of the full worship services available at castleton.yourchurch.com/sermons 

Financial Measures & Giving

Our staff and elders are taking aggressive measures to freeze all non-essential spending while still focusing on the priorities of: (1) serving people inside and outside our church, (2) providing for our staff as they minister, and (3) supporting our global partners. Thankfully, our church was in a solid financial position prior to this season.

However, your sacrificial gifts are necessary to keep us ministering to all. Online giving is now the main way to support the ongoing ministry of College Park Castleton. You can give online at castleton.yourchurch.com/give. We are encouraging everyone to set up a new online giving account before we transition to self-governance on April 1.

A step-by-step tutorial video is available to help you set up a new online giving account.

Pastoral Care   

We care deeply for those who are affected by this and are praying for God’s leading and wisdom as we navigate the next few weeks. If you need assistance in any way or would like to help provide assistance, please fill out the Covid-19 Care and Assistance Form.

The most important thing we can do is pray. Please join our elders and staff for a special prayer time each Sunday night at 5 p.m. on Facebook Live and post any prayer requests to our Prayer Wall.

Stay Informed

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email Eric Swanson at  .

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Castleton a safe place to know and trust Jesus.

March 14, 2020

Following the latest guidance from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH),College Park Church Castleton will not gather in person but will post Sunday morning worship services beginning Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, April 5, 2020. 

In addition, all College Park Church Castleton ministry events and meetings are canceled through Friday, April 10, 2020. The church offices are also closed and the staff is working remotely until further notice.

Sunday Morning Worship Services   

Sunday morning full worship services will be posted each Sunday at castleton.yourchurch.com/service with recordings of each service available at castleton.yourchurch.com/sermons


Pastoral Care 
 

If you are in need of assistance or desire to assist our church family in need, please let us know here. Please know your leaders love you and will continue to care for you during this season.

Stay Informed

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email Eric Swanson at  .

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Castleton a safe place to know and trust Jesus.

March 12, 2020

Dear Church Family, 

It is out of our deep care for you and for our neighbors that we, as part of the College Park Family of Churches, will not gather in person on Sunday, March 15, 2020. 

We do not take this cancellation lightly as we understand our gathering is foundational to our unity and growth in Christ. Nevertheless, we will post our full Sunday morning worship service at 9 a.m. this Sunday at castleton.yourchurch.com/service.

We encourage all of College Park Castleton to participate as you are able, knowing that the body of Christ is united by God's Spirit, and we can be encouraged by one another from a distance. 

Please take heart as we are closely monitoring all information and guidance from officials with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will make decisions regarding future Sunday worship service gatherings on a week-to-week basis and will communicate those decisions here at castleton.yourchurch.com/updates and in the Castleton eNews. 

Pastoral Care   

Our elder, deacon, and staff teams are developing plans for pastoral care for our people in this season, especially for those in our congregation who are at greatest risk.  

For Small Groups and Bible studies, we encourage you to explore other ways to meet via phone or video calls to continue ministering to, encouraging, and praying for one another in the weeks ahead.  

We care deeply for those who are already affected by this and are praying for God’s leading and wisdom as we navigate the next few weeks. We resonate with the apostle Paul in I Thess 2:17 when he says,

"But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face"

Stay Informed   

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email  .   

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Church Castleton a safe place where we can come together to know and trust Jesus.

March 11, 2020

According to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) there are now 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Indiana, representing seven Indiana counties.  

In an abundance of caution and care for the College Park Church Castleton family, and with a desire to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana, College Park Church is canceling all ministry events and meetings (except for Sunday morning worship services, nursery, preschool, and elementary) through Sunday, March 29, 2020.   

At this time, Sunday morning worship services (and 3/29 Prayer & Praise), nursery, preschool, and elementary will continue as normally scheduled, pending further notice.  

We are closely monitoring all information and guidance from officials with the ISDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please read our March 5 update below to review our increased sanitization protocol. We will prayerfully determine on a day-to-day basis whether further steps are needed and update accordingly.  

Take Precautions  

For Sunday mornings, we caution you to practice the standard, flu-season safety precautions that we are already familiar with, including: 

  • Cough etiquette and hygiene
  • Thorough and regular hand washing (particularly after touching your face)
  • Social distancing (limiting physical contact with others) 

Risk-Related Guidance for Sunday Morning Participation   

Based on guidance from the CDC, we request you do not attend Sunday morning services or nursery, preschool, and children’s ministry if you are in any of these at-risk categories:  

  1. Older adults (typically age 60 and above)
  2.  People who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease
  3.  Immunosuppressed individuals (people with recent or upcoming surgeries; people on autoimmune treatments, including steroids; people with impaired heart, kidney, or liver function; or people going through cancer treatment)
  4. Direct caregivers of at-risk individuals (non-medical personnel) 

Additionally, we request you do not attend Sunday morning services or Sunday schools if you meet any of the following conditions:  

  1. Have had flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting) in the past 14 days
  2. Have traveled internationally within the past 14 days 
  3. Have traveled recently to domestic areas that have been highly affected by the coronavirus in the past 14 days
  4. Have been in close contact with someone with flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days  

Pastoral Care  

Our elder, deacon, and staff teams are beginning to develop plans for pastoral care for our people in this season, especially for those in our congregation who are at greatest risk. 

For Small Groups and Bible studies, we encourage you to explore other ways to meet via phone or video calls to continue ministering to, encouraging, and praying for one another through Sunday, March 29, 2020.  

We care deeply for those who are already affected by this and are praying for God’s leading and wisdom as we navigate the next few weeks.   

Stay Informed  

All future communication will continue to be distributed through this page: yourchurch.com/updates. The best source of information on COVID-19 is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email  .    

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Church Castleton a safe place where we can come together to know and trust Jesus.

March 7, 2020

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirmed the first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Indiana. According to Fox59, the individual who tested positive has been in self-quarantine after realizing he might have been exposed to the virus. State Health Commissioner Kristina Box, M.D., FACOG said the risk to the general public is low.

We are aware of the situation and continue to closely monitor all information and guidance from officials with the ISDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please read our March 5 update below to review the sanitization protocol.

Take Precautions

Again, we caution you to practice the standard, flu-season safety precautions we are already familiar with—including practicing cough etiquette and hygiene, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly, particularly after touching your face, and limiting physical contact with others. 

Reduce Risk

Currently, we have decided to continue regular programming at College Park Church Castleton. At the same time, we ask you to avoid attending any church activity, including Sunday worship, if any of these conditions are met: 

  1. You have had any flu-like symptoms in the past 7 days such as fever, cough, vomiting, or shortness of breath
  2. You have been in close contact with someone with flu-like symptoms in the past 7 days 
  3. You have traveled from an area in the past 7 days with confirmed cases and/or suspect you may have been exposed 
  4. You have traveled to or from China, Italy, Iran, or South Korea or any other country flagged as level 2 or level 3 alerts in the past 14 days

Stay Informed

All future communication will be distributed through this page: castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. For general information, the best source of information is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email

Pray

  • Pray for the many medical professionals, public safety professionals, educators, missionaries, and others who are affected
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection from illness among our people
  • Pray for gospel opportunities to come from this outbreak
  • Pray for wisdom regarding ministry impact in the event of local COVID-19 cases

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Church Castleton a safe place where we can come together to know and trust Jesus.

March 6, 2020

In response to growing concern regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we would like to update you on our planning and precautionary health and safety measures in place at College Park Church Castleton.

Your health and safety are important to us, and we care about College Park Castleton being a place of refuge for our loving community.

As the College Park Church leadership has reviewed information from the Indiana State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and representatives from within the medical community, we are preparing with the following strategies: 

Elevated Sanitization Protocol

As of earlier this week, we have increased our already-thorough cleaning and sanitation procedures. The following precautions are in place for the foreseeable future:

  • We will make all efforts to supply hand sanitizer at Sanctuary doors, check-in areas, and restrooms, pending very limited supply availability 
  • Communion will be delivered in contained cups and packaged crackers
  • Increased building signage will encourage thorough hand washing
  • All doorknobs, trash cans, and non-porous surfaces will be sanitized frequently with CDC-approved cleaning products

Take Precautions

As is recommended during any flu season, practice the safety precautions we are already familiar with, including practicing cough etiquette and hygiene, washing your hands regularly, particularly after touching your face, and limiting physical contact with others.

Reduce Risk

Currently, we are not canceling any regular programming at College Park Castleton. However, in an abundance of caution, we ask that you avoid attending church activities including Sunday worship if any of these conditions are met: 

  1. You have had any flu-like symptoms in the past 7 days such as fever, cough, vomiting, or shortness of breath
  2. You have been in close contact with someone with flu-like symptoms in the past 7 days 
  3. You have traveled to or from China, Italy, Iran, or South Korea or any other country flagged as level 2 or level 3 alerts in the past 14 days

Stay Informed

All future communication will be distributed here, at castleton.yourchurch.com/updates. For general information, the best source of information is the CDC’s website. If you have any questions, please email

Pray

  • Pray for the many medical professionals, public safety professionals, educators, missionaries, and others who are already affected or are preparing for a possible spread into Indiana
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection from illness among our people
  • Pray for gospel opportunities to come from this outbreak as we rest in the hands of our sovereign Lord
  • Pray for wisdom regarding ministry impact in the event of local COVID-19 cases

Thank you for helping us keep College Park Church Castleton a safe place where we can come together to know and trust Jesus.