Life In Circles

Life happens in circles—the circles of relationship with God, self, and others. Jesus has made a new and living way and invited us into it; we’re committed to chasing him within the expanding circles of life we all have. Individually and corporately, we believe these circles are proof of God’s favor for each of us—places to thrive and gifts to release in the new and living way of Jesus.

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FAQ

Heritage is walking an intentional, incremental journey toward full engagement in our campus spaces. As we seek to prioritize the health and wellness of our communities at large while still connecting people to God, each other, and their purpose, this will mean continuing to steward the challenges and opportunities of this season well. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about how we are navigating both now and next in the life of the QCA and Heritage:

  • When will campuses be open?

    Our intent is to continue offering in-person gatherings at the Rock Island Campus through the month of August. This allows us to rally together as one church family in a single location and be prepared for connecting in additional spaces as engagement and health climate/conditions allow. Worship gatherings will be about 45 minutes long and will look and feel different than what we have been used to, with limited singing and masks strongly encouraged; we are confident these will still be a sacred time of connection.

    Check out our current reopening calendar plan above.

  • I’ve only ever tuned in on TV and online, how can I be part of an in-person experience?

    The Church Center App and calendar above will be your friends in helping you see when and where we’re gathering. We can’t wait for you to join us in any of these opportunities; everything will be clearly signed and staffed with friendly greeters to welcome you and give direction.

  • Why not fully reopen now?

    In truth, Heritage never closed--while we were unable to gather in our campus locations, we have seen even more clearly the reality of what it means that we don’t go to church, we are the church. We as a church family have been active in loving and serving the people of our cities in tangible ways -- distributing tens of thousands of meals, tangibly encouraging healthcare workers, baking cookies, making masks and seeing well over 125 people step into relationship with Jesus.

    That being said, reconnecting in physical space will happen intentionally because:

    • We want to be sure we are receiving everything God has for us now and next--including being spiritually and physically primed for our times of gathering together. The Life in Circles journey is a roadmap for our spiritual engagement, the incremental gathering schedule prepares us physically.
    • The Heritage family has been directly impacted by COVID-19 with over 40 people that we are aware of in our body contracting the illness personally or in their immediate families. Knowing the virus has already been present in our church body, we need to remain vigilant in health and safety protocols. Additionally, we have a significant part of our body that has increased risk factors and therefore increased concerns about corporate gatherings.
    • Other communities have seen significant resurgences of coronavirus after people gathered for worship without adequate health and safety precautions -- we are committed to being part of a greater solution not just for Heritage but for the cities we love.
  • Why do I need to register for in-building expressions?

    Health and social distancing guidelines require a limit of the number of people according to the square footage and available ventilation of rooms for gatherings. By limiting the number of attendees at certain times, we can better ensure we are navigating these safety guidelines well. Additionally, registration provides necessary information required for contract tracing should an outbreak occur.

  • What will in-person gatherings look like?

    Looking out for the health of one another will mean taking several measures for community wellness. Our staff team will all wear masks and we strongly recommend attendees do the same. We will invite you to, at a minimum, wear your mask whenever moving our space and coming in face-to-face contact with people. Additionally, we will be asking attendees to stay within their attending social unit. In some cases, bathrooms will only be available for emergencies.

    We will also ask that if you have any COVID symptoms that you engage in worship using our online or television options.

    Worship Center spaces will be set up to adhere to distancing protocols--with social circles a minimum of 6 feet apart. Initially, singing will be limited and Communion, when served, will be in individually prepackaged, sealed containers. There will be no coffee or other served beverages available; vending machines, however, will still be active. The flow of traffic within our buildings will be through dedicated entrance only and exit only doors. Please be patient with us in this journey as we seek to serve you well. We are managing a lot of new requirements and tension around the facilitation of our physical gatherings, but are committed to the need to do so.

  • Why will we only be gathering in-space on Sundays in this time?

    Any time there is an overnight “break” in services or gatherings, health authorities and our liability insurance view these as two distinct events, requiring a deeper level of sanitization. Beyond this, there are considerable staffing requirements to maintain sanitization and in facilitating our gatherings together while honoring all safety protocols. By limiting our physical-presence gatherings to Sunday, we are able to best steward limited resources and still meet safely.

  • How are you keeping my kids safe?

    When we first gather in space together, we will not be providing any childcare or Heritage Kids ministry environments, allowing parents & caregivers to monitor and closely supervise their children’s interactions. Children must be under the control of an adult at all times. When parents utilize bathrooms with their children, we will ask that you wipe down or use sanitizing spray on areas they may touch. All supplies needed will be provided in our bathrooms.

  • When will kids ministry resume?

    As we are able to more broadly open our physical locations, we anticipate reengaging our Kids ministry environments. We will be taking our cues on this from what our local school systems develop as best practices for having children in a group space without parental supervision. Parents will be invited to interact with these opportunities as they are most comfortable. We will also need to have volunteers who are comfortable and willing to work with children in this new paradigm. We understand that this is going to require new volunteer training and recruitment prior to reopening these spaces. Children’s ministry spaces will need to be deep-cleaned and sanitized following weekend gatherings in this phase, so we are working toward a feasible plan for that.

  • When will offices reopen?

    Our BridgePointe offices are open now Monday-Thursday 8am-4pm and Friday 8am-1pm by appointment. We are currently redeploying our home deployed staff to this location incrementally. Our staff team has not been physically together in space since March, so we are also slowly expanding our circle of connection as a team. As we monitor health outcomes and team status, we will begin to work toward opening our campus offices throughout the week. This will take some time as whenever we are opening space to the public we incur greater risk and responsibility. Should you enter into our BridgePointe Offices, you will be asked a series of questions, have your temperature taken and verify that you are willing to observe all health and safety protocols that we have implemented. It is our pleasure to connect with you in person there, but we just want to give you fair warning that it will look and feel different during this reengagement period.

  • How are you cleaning spaces?

    Heritage is cleaning campuses and offices in a manner based on CDC recommendations. Campuses will be disinfected and ready at the beginning of church service. Between gatherings, we will provide a quick but effective sanitization using industry-standard protocols, including the use of electrostatic sanitizing sprayers similar to the ones seen here:

    Sprayed areas include:

    • Worship Center
    • Chairs
    • Trash Cans
    • Doors
    • Lobby Area
    • Tables
    • Restrooms
    • Hand Railings
    • Trash Cans
    • Doors

    Our disinfectant wipes kill the coronavirus in 2 minutes, and other germs and bacteria in 15 seconds. High-touch and high-traffic areas are disinfected daily, with major cleaning done weekly. These spaces include:

    • Tables & Chairs
    • Doors/Doorknobs
    • Light Switches
    • Countertops
    • Handles
    • Restrooms
    • Hand Railings

    Once church service starts (and during service) we are continually wiping down the following:

    • Lobby Area
    • Counters
    • Tables
    • Restrooms
    • Doors

    We will follow up with a deep-clean after each day there is a gathering in space, using a number of cleaning products and best-practices. We will ask that when you use bathrooms you utilize the disinfectant spray and wipes to tend to the areas that you touched. This will help us to safely make this space more available to others in a rapid manner.

    More information about specific cleaning processes and chemicals can be obtained upon request.

  • Will online and TV worship options continue?

    Yes! We will have live-hosted worship gatherings at heritageqc.com every Saturday at 5pm and Sundays at 9 & 11; full worship services will continue to be available on-demand after noon on Sundays.

    Through the month of August, our services will be broadcast on COZI-TV channel 6.3 (Mediacom channel 106) on Sundays at 10am. This channel is available over the air if you have purchased and tuned a TV antenna. If you cannot afford to purchase one of these or don’t understand this process, please contact us at info@heritageqc.com and we will be delighted to assist you in taking advantage of this opportunity.

  • Who are you consulting & how is Heritage working with the government?

    We have been in consistent conversation with leaders of organizations of similar size and scope, learning from each other about the best ways to offer physical reengagement. Additionally, connection with local, state, and regional health authorities, church and nonprofit consulting firms, our own liability insurance company, The Wesleyan Church and The Great Lakes Region of the Wesleyan Church.

    Heritage has also been part of direct interaction with the Illinois Governor’s office requesting the ability to collaborate with other leading churches and Governor Pritzker on best practices to reopen physical worship spaces. The Governor’s latest correspondence provided us with a measure of flexibility to proceed on the path that we are utilizing for reopening.

  • I’ve loved connecting in new ways. Will I still get to do that?

    Absolutely -- Our “Pray with a Pastor” line (309-732-0017) will remain active. Midday Prayer, Virtual Learning Groups, and live-hosted weekend worship at heritageqc.com will all continue through the summer. Additionally, our “I Need Help/I Want to Help” resources will remain in place at heritageqc.com. If you haven’t downloaded the Church Center App, we can’t stress enough how helpful it will be to you as you register for live and virtual events and groups in the coming days.

  • How can I continue to partner financially with Heritage?

    We are so grateful for your faithful generosity in this challenging season. We encourage you to continue using the Church Center App and online giving options--these are the simplest and most straightforward ways available for seamless engagement. You may also continue to utilize the secure lock box at the BridgePointe Lobby or as we reopen our spaces, there will be the opportunity to place your cash or check offering in a dedicated offering receptacle.

    Heritage has also been part of direct interaction with the Illinois Governor’s office requesting the ability to collaborate with other leading churches and Governor Pritzker on best practices to reopen physical worship spaces. The Governor’s latest correspondence provided us with a measure of flexibility to proceed on the path that we are utilizing for reopening.

  • Why are messages/sermons shown in-space prerecorded?

    We are offering our weekend services in a completely different ecosystem than before. Preaching is actually captured several days before the weekend and by the time we meet on the weekend we are already producing the next week's services--services which are reaching thousands of people each week. Additionally we are having to manage time constraints on having congregants in space together, production needs, and staff investments all in a very complex dynamic. This has required us to find creative ways to offer the most meaningful experience across our numerous platforms and venues. We understand that this is not ideal for some of you, but it is a limitation we are willing to accept to be able to meet together in our physical space.

  • Why are we gathering only at the Rock Island campus for weekend worship services at this time?

    Actual engagement in our initial gathering opportunities along with survey responses and feedback from small group leaders have aided us in discerning this as the best approach right now. Gathering in one location allows us to rally together as one church family, steward resources well, and more quickly address the dynamic changes we’re encountering in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    We will continue to offer in-ear, realtime Spanish translation at the 11am worship gathering along with Spanish subtitling of the weekend message in order to help as many people as possible engage with what God is doing in and through the Heritage family together.

    We are continuing to assess what will serve the greatest number of people well in terms of safe, healthy opportunities for meaningful connection; we’re looking forward to when we again connect in additional locations and will be sharing information as we are able to do so.

*Note: timelines are dependent on health and safety realities of our communities and the Heritage body. Some dates may be adjusted for more rapid or slower re-engagement depending on how pandemic recovery progresses.