On Friday, May 15, Louisiana moved to Phase One under the White House COVID-19 guidance, which removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans and allows additional businesses to open under strict occupancy, protection and social distancing guidelines.
Praise God, this includes places of worship!
The Governor has also stated that high risk individuals should continue to stay at home, except for essential activities, like getting food or medical care.
Due to the enormous amount of precautions we must take in reopening our facility we will be taking the next two Sundays (May 17 & 24) and ONLY inviting our staff and their families as well as a number of Dream Team Members to attend so that we can do everything we can to prepare for our guests, you, and your families so you will feel safe when you return for services.
Phase One for POTC will begin May 31 (Pentecost Sunday)
FACILITIES – Remain closed to Public Access / Events (Prayer Chapel will remain open with Social Distancing (6ft)
SATURDAY EVENING – We will continue to offer Live-Stream or Drive-Thru Prayer.
SUNDAY AM – Per the Governor’s Order and the Fire Marshal’s Guidelines we can only host 300 attendees in each service.
We will be color-coding the Worship Center seating for planning and directional purposes. We will give you more details Wednesday night on the specifics of the seating and parking.
Beginning Sunday, May 31, we will be offering TWO Sunday AM Services!
Onsite Service at 9:00AM
– Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
– Lobbies closed to prevent gathering
Onsite Service at 11:00AM
– Service for everyone else
– Lobbies closed to prevent gathering
If you still don’t feel comfortable attending a physical service we invite you to continue being a part of our Online Campus at 11:00AM – All Ages
Note – There will be no Sunday School or Nursery services onsite during this phase. Digital Small Groups are strongly encouraged. We MUST stay connected!
– Livestream at 7:00PM – All Ages
– Digital Small Groups at 8:00PM – Youth
– Digital Small Groups, Calls, & Texts – All Ages
We are encouraging ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS TO CONTINUE TO SHELTER IN PLACE.
– The entire church will undergo a deep cleaning before and after each service following CDC recommended guidelines.
– All individuals, WHEN ON POTC PROPERTY or ATTENDING POTC EVENTS, should practice STRICT (6ft) physical distancing from others and diligent hygiene.
– Face-masks are strongly encouraged in POTC BUILDINGS
– For your safety, temperatures will be taken at the doors (Temp must be 100.4 or less and you must be fever free without the use of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.) This includes all staff and Dream Team Members.
LET’S STAY CONNECTED!
During this season there’s lots of amazing ways for us to stay connected from Social Media, text groups, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp to good old fashioned calling. But what if we could create a network of virtual groups to stay connected, care for one another, pray and encourage?
Hosting an online group is an incredible tool to help people connect with each other when an in-person group may not be possible. You can encourage each other’s faith, share authentically, and watch God work in ways you may not have dreamed possible.
Your first few meetings will take some adjusting as everyone gets acquainted with the technology and the format and works out all of the kinks. So don’t give up too quickly if your first few meetings are a bit of a challenge.
As you look into launching a group online, or having your group try it out for a week, this page will help you figure out the technology to use, best practices for a good online experience, and what a typical group meeting might look like.
WHAT KIND OF TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE?
If you have a Google account this is a great option. Allows you to create a group up to 25 people, it’s free and gives you unlimited time together. It’s accessible via a web browser on your computer or through a Google App.
How to Use:
- Open Google Hangouts in web browser or mobile app (apple device , android device, chrome web browser extension)
- Click “Video Call” button
- Click “Invite People” and type in their email address (If they don’t have a google account it will send them an invite to setup an account)
- You can also schedule a meeting on your google calendar and send an invite to join you at a specific time, including a link to your online meeting. (See Instructions)
You don’t even need a Facebook account to use this tool. It’s accessible via web browser on computer. (If you don’t have a facebook account you’ll need to download the app to your phone and use phone number.) You can host up to 50 people (6 on video, 44 audio only)
How to Use:
- Open facebook messenger on web browser or mobile app
- Login (with facebook account or phone number)
- Click “New Message” button to add facebook friends to group chat (see image below)
- After adding contacts, click the “Video Call” button to start video chat.
Zoom offers a free service with a phone-in option, however at least one member of the group needs to have a Zoom account. Limited to 40 minutes unless you have a paid account ($14.99/mo). You will have to download the Zoom application to phone or computer. Capacity (100 participants/Devices).
How to Use:
- Open Zoom in a web browser or mobile app (apple device, android device, chrome web browser extension)
- Click “Host a meeting with video on”
- Click “Invite participations”
- Select how you’d like to send an invite:
- Default Email, Gmail, Yahoo to send email invite or “copy URL”, “Copy Invitation” to copy a link and send it via a text message, email, facebook message, etc.
- You can also schedule a meeting on the zoom website and send an invite to join you at a specific time, including a link to your online meeting. (See Instructions)
Well, Sunday was different, but good! Last night we broke our record with over 2k views of Sunday’s message on Facebook. At one time, we had over 160 individuals and watch parties participating live. The number of guests watching with our people was so encouraging! I loved reading the comments from our members welcoming the guests who were watching online!
While the situation is not ideal, I believe God will use this for our good! I am so proud of two of our POTC members: Courtney Robertson and Ashley Wiltcher represented ULM during a community seminar on COVID-19 today.
In all honesty, I don’t see the situation improving before it worsens as the number of cases more than tripled in LA over the weekend. It is important that we acknowledge the truth of our situation and act prudently such that our words and actions honor God and the faith that He has put in us to help others in such a time as this.
In light of recent recommendations by President Trump, due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person-to-person transmission, the POTC Leadership Team has determined that it is best to adjust our service times until further notice per the following:
- Saturday PM – Prayer will not reconvene until after the 15 day restriction has been lifted from the President. We are researching the best option for hosting a conference call during our normal prayer time. More information will follow on our POTC facebook page.
- Sunday AM / PM & Wednesday PM – This weekend’s streaming service was very well received. Therefore, we plan to continue to use this approach for the upcoming weekend as preaching will be digitally streamed live at 11AM Sunday and 7PM Wednesday with no on-site meetings for these services. Furthermore, there will be no on-site or streaming service on Sunday PM.
- Groups – Since groups of 10 or more are discouraged, our current groups will continue to meet via online platforms (i.e., Facebook Live or conference calls). We ask that our group leaders continue to check in weekly with their group members to keep them connected during this season of social distancing.
- Congregational Care – We currently have our staff monitoring communication and working with our pastoral team to check in on those who are ill or need assistance. If you need pastoral care please call our office at 318-322-1467.
- Giving – We have multiple platforms, listed below, for online giving since we are unable to hold corporate gatherings. We will be installing a locking dropbox that will be mounted to the wall in our prayer chapel to provide an additional giving convenience. Of course, you can always give via mail if you prefer not to give online or leave your home.
- Student Ministry – Our student pastor and youth staff will stream live at the times they decide to continue their current study. We are going to do everything we can to keep our students connected.
- Children’s Ministry – Our children’s ministry director will be providing weekly resources via email or the POTC kid’s Facebook page for parents to share with their children.
Our leadership team will continue to review the advice of the local, state, and federal governments as we move forward from week to week. While we are practicing a new approach to meeting together, we encourage you to stay connected to POTC.
Here are four ways we invite you to stay connected:
- Watch our livestream services on Facebook Live at facebook.com/thepotc.
- Host a “Watch Party” while streaming our service or watching one of our archived sermons with a small group of friends.
- Give by:
- texting TITHES, OFFERING, or MISSIONS to 318-595-1255,
- mailing your contribution to POTC, 1255 Glenwood Drive, West Monroe, LA 71292,
- using the dropbox located in our Prayer Chapel,
- or by going online to potc.church.
4. You can communicate with us at 318-322-1467 or e-mail us at [email protected] to get in touch with Pastoral Care or if you need help.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we embrace the challenges before us.
Lead Pastor, The Pentecostals
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
Earlier today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a public health emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person-to-person transmission. This declaration, along with the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), has resulted in, among other things, the closing of Louisiana’s public schools, restriction of visitors to hospitals and nursing homes and banning gatherings of 250 or more people. The POTC has determined that it is best to adjust our service times beginning Sunday, March 15 until further notice in accordance with the following:
- Saturday PM – Church will be open for prayer this Saturday, March 14th, from 6:00PM-7:00PM.
- Sunday AM & Wednesday PM – These services will be digitally streamed via Facebook Live on Sundays at 11:00AM, and Wednesdays at 7:00PM and on-demand at potc.church rather than onsite.
- Small Groups – Our current groups will move to a weekly format that can meet in-person or via online platforms (i.e. Facebook live). Our group leaders will check in weekly with their group members to keep them informed of future activities.
- Congregational Care – We will have our staff monitor communications to the Church regarding congregational care situations and work with our pastoral team to address each situation appropriately.
- Giving – We have multiple platforms for online giving if we are unable to give onsite during a scheduled service. We have listed instructions on the multiple ways to give below.
- Student Ministry – To continue the current study for our youth, our student pastor will stream live at times that will be shared in future communications.
- Children’s Ministry – Our children’s ministry director will be providing weekly resources via email for you to share with your children.
- Communication – We will update you on an as needed basis regarding this situation via email, social media, and, if possible, our phone tree.
- The POTC Admin Office will be available by phone (318-322-1467), or email ([email protected]).
Your safety is of paramount importance to us. We want everyone to stay healthy. We are encouraging everyone to take appropriate measures to stay healthy, especially those who are senior adults and medically compromised.
During this time, we also call the entirety of the church to pray for our country, state and community and responsibly serve, love, and care for those in need.
Our leadership team will be reviewing the advice of the local, state, and federal government as we move forward from week to week. While we will be taking a new approach to meeting together, we encourage you to stay connected to POTC.
Here are four ways we invite you to stay connected:
- You can watch the livestream from our services on Facebook or by clicking “Watch” at potc.church.
- Host a “Watch Party” of streaming or archived church services with a small group of friends.
- You can give by texting TITHES, OFFERING, or MISSIONS to 318-595-1255, mailing your contribution to POTC, 1255 Glenwood Drive, West Monroe, LA 71292 or by going online to potc.church.
- You can communicate with us at 318-322-1467 or e-mail us at [email protected] to get in touch with Pastoral Care or if you need help.
If you have questions about the steps we are taking, please contact us by calling the Church at 318-322-1467
Lead Pastor, The Pentecostals
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PREPAREDNESS
Amidst concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we want to let you know how POTC is responding.
Our leadership team is carefully and continually monitoring this situation. As information evolves, we are committed to doing everything we can to continue to provide a safe environment for our church family and the surrounding community.
IS POTC GATHERING THIS WEEK?
Yes. We have no plans to cancel or alter any of our service times or scheduled events at this time.
If things arise that lead to the need for changes to our service schedule, we will communicate through email, social media channels (@thepotc), and our website, potc.church.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE WE TAKING TO MAKE POTC GATHERINGS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?
We believe that the church should be a safe place to gather, so to ensure we are being cautious, here are the actions we are taking, and have already taken around campus concerning the spread of the virus:
- We have implemented more aggressive sanitization measures to clean frequently touched surfaces.
- We are wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) after every service with 70% Alcohol or an EPA certified disinfectant.
- We encourage attendees to use verbal greetings and fist bumps instead of handshakes.
- Hand sanitizer stations have been placed in all lobbies throughout the buildings and everyone is encouraged to make use of them frequently.
- Our staff and volunteer teams will wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick.
- We are performing additional in-depth cleanings of our facilities regularly.
- In all of our POTC Kids areas, after each gathering, our volunteers sterilize the various touch-point surfaces used by our children.
- We continue to ask parents to follow our POTC Kids Wellness Policy: Children should be 24 hours fever-free without medication, have no persistent discolored nasal discharge, and no vomiting or diarrhea.
- We are staying up to date with our city, state, and federal guidelines.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY COME TO POTC BUILDINGS?
Below are certain steps we encourage everyone to take to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses:
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
- Refraining from shaking hands, substituting fist bumps or verbal greetings on campus.
- Avoiding the touching of eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Staying home while sick or showing symptoms of sickness
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Coughing and sneezing into the bend of your elbow
If you are unable to attend service:
- Please join us online via @thepotc Facebook Live!
- You can call us at 318-322-1467 or e-mail us at [email protected] to get in touch with Pastoral Care or if you need assistance.
You can find additional information on the coronavirus at the CDC’s website.
Please join us in praying for those who are affected by this illness. We pray that the healing power of Jesus will cover every one of you and that He will grant you a spirit of peace in this difficult time.