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COVID-19 or Coronavirus and Vineyard Church of Ithaca

Please check out our Kinship webpage for the latest on each kinship.

Each update that we have released can be found on this page in chronological order. If you reference the information, please make sure you have the most up to date information.

July 29, 2020

To All Leaders,

As a part of our ongoing efforts to comply with NYS guidelines we are sending out some information. This is one of New York State’s Recommended Best Practices. The practice states: “Develop a communications plan for employees, volunteers, and congregants, that includes applicable instructions, training, signage, and a consistent means to provide individuals with information. Use webpages, text and email groups, and social media campaigns.”

To this end, we are supplying a cornucopia of information here. It starts with church specific information and metastasizes to state and federal resources. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with all church specific links to resources and official posters that are posted around the church. State and Federal resources are provided for your perusal, but are not required to read.

Church Specific links to resources

This webpage has a historical record of what we have communicated to the church at large and when. It also has all current guidelines that we have enacted. ithacavineyard.org/reopening

What we as a church are doing in regards to NYS.
NYS Safety Plan for Vineyard
COVID-19 Communications Plan
NYS Guidelines for Religious and Funeral Services

If you enter the building at any time other than for church services on a Sunday morning or other church event, you are requested to first: fill out a Symptoms Form before entering the building, second: sign in on the visitor log located in the copier room, third: sign out on the visitor log when leaving the building. This is for tracing purposes.
Symptoms Form

Official Posters that are posted around church

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RyVr9dl-PmX-56qOzb9Xl6fI-PWwdJ8B?usp=sharing

State and Federal Resources for Businesses and Entities

General Information
New York State Department of Health (DOH) Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 Website

Workplace Guidance
CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

Personal Protective Equipment Guidance
DOH Interim Guidance on Executive Order 202.16 Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees
OSHA Personal Protective Equipment

Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Registered Disinfectants of COVID-19
DOH Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19
CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities

Screening and Testing Guidance DOH COVID-19 Testing
CDC COVID-19 Symptoms

Angela Sorensen, Administrative Assistant

June 24, 2020

Vineyard Church of Ithaca is looking forward to the time when we can all come back together as a congregation and worship our great God together. The elders have determined that our first physical service will be on June 28, 2020. REGISTER HERE. Taking into consideration differing feelings within the congregation and guidelines from the governor and CDC certain precautions will be enforced when we meet.

We have been meeting in home groups the last few weeks. These groups will no longer meet. Instead, we encourage people to join us in person at the church.

Even after resuming in-person services in our building, we will continue to livestream the service for those who don’t yet feel comfortable meeting in-person 

When we meet back at the church building we will be limiting the number of people in the sanctuary so that we can maintain 6-10 feet between people. To this end we will be requesting people register if they want to come to worship services.  There will be greeters at the door with a registration list.

The use of hand sanitizer and masks will be mandatory upon entry to the building.  You will also be asked if:

  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Been in a room with someone who has had a positive COVID-19 test?
  • Have a fever of 100.4 F or above now or in the preceding 72 hours?
  • Have a cough?
  • Have a sore throat?
  • Have any unusual muscle aches?
  • Have any difficulty breathing/shortness of breath?
  • Any recent loss of taste or smell?

We’ll encourage social distanced fellowship while in the church building, but will not be providing any food or beverages until we progress through the NYS stages further.

The 2:00 pm Vineyard Kids services will continue on zoom. Please contact Amanda Grubb, [email protected], for an invitation if you would like to participate.

These are all the things we are asking you our congregants to do. Please know that in addition to these precautions we are maintaining rigorous cleaning schedules and making sure everything is sanitized regularly. We trust that you are experiencing the Lord’s peace during this difficult time. Please let the church know if you have any needs.

Here is information to join us on Sundays via zoom:

Topic: Vineyard Church of Ithaca Worship Services
Time: This is a recurring meeting on Sundays at 10:00 am
Meeting Invitation Link: https://zoom.us/j/106523959?
By phone: 646-558-8656,106523959#, #, 899701# US (New York)
Meeting ID: 106 523 959
Password: vineyard
Here is a video if you need help joining us.

June 17, 2020

Hello VineyardKids Parents/Guardians ...

As we begin the process of reopening the church, I wanted to make families aware of the following changes:

(1) Kids will be allowed to join in our regular services with their parent(s)/guardian(s) beginning on June 28th @ 10:00 a.m., they must sit with their parent(s)/guardian(s), and remain socially distant from others. This being said, we ask that children not be allowed to wander the church without adult supervision (this includes going to the restroom). Please have these conversations with your kids, so that they understand. 

(2) All VineyardKids classrooms (Nursery - 5th) are closed until further notice, as we are working on a plan to keep things sanitized and respect the guidelines that have been given to us. 

(3) VineyardKids meetings will continue online @2:00 on Sunday's via Zoom. Please email me at [email protected] for the link to join. 

(4) In-person meetings for K-5th will begin to resume at a later date, and this will be made known to parent(s)/guardian(s) via email.  

I look forward to seeing those smiling faces and teaching them more about the amazing Lord we serve!!

Amanda Grubb
Family and Children's Pastor

June 14, 2020

Vineyard Church of Ithaca is looking forward to the time when we can all come back together as a congregation and worship our great God together. The elders have determined that our first physical service will be on June 28, 2020. REGISTER HERE. Taking into consideration differing feelings within the congregation and guidelines from the governor and CDC certain precautions will be enforced when we meet.

Beginning June 7, 2020 we are encouraging people to meet in homes together for worship services. Below we will have a list of homes that people have volunteered to open their home for small groups to worship together.

PLEASE CALL if you might come so they can judge if whether or not they have enough space. We don't expect a problem but one never knows.

  • West Side Altmann’s and Bree’s at 253A Iradell Rd, Ithaca, 14850 315-408-2142
  • Northeast Ithaca Ying’s and Davis’s are hosting a group at 115 Winston Drive, Ithaca, 14850 607-280-4634
  • Lansing McKay's at 231 Conlon Rd, Lansing, 14882 607-793-4594
  • East Side Mark Pettit at 180 Hunt Hill Road, Ithaca, 14850 (716) 378-3881

Even after resuming in-person services in our building, we will continue to livestream the service for those who don’t yet feel comfortable meeting in-person 

When we meet back at the church building we will be limiting the number of people in the sanctuary so that we can maintain 6-10 feet between people. To this end we will be requesting people register if they want to come to worship services.  There will be greeters at the door with a registration list.

The use of hand sanitizer and masks will be mandatory upon entry to the building.  You will also be asked if:

  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Been in a room with someone who has had a positive COVID-19 test?
  • Have a fever of 100.4 F or above now or in the preceding 72 hours?
  • Have a cough?
  • Have a sore throat?
  • Have any unusual muscle aches?
  • Have any difficulty breathing/shortness of breath?
  • Any recent loss of taste or smell?

We’ll encourage social distanced fellowship while in the church building, but will not be providing any food or beverages until we progress through the NYS stages further.

The 2:00 pm Vineyard Kids services will continue on zoom. Please contact Amanda Grubb, [email protected], for an invitation if you would like to participate.

These are all the things we are asking you our congregants to do. Please know that in addition to these precautions we are maintaining rigorous cleaning schedules and making sure everything is sanitized regularly. We trust that you are experiencing the Lord’s peace during this difficult time. Please let the church know if you have any needs.

Here is information to join us on Sundays via zoom:

Topic: Vineyard Church of Ithaca Worship Services
Time: This is a recurring meeting on Sundays at 10:00 am
Meeting Invitation Link: https://zoom.us/j/106523959?
By phone: 646-558-8656,106523959#, #, 899701# US (New York)
Meeting ID: 106 523 959
Password: vineyard
Here is a video if you need help joining us.

June 5, 2020

Beginning June 7, 2020 we are encouraging people to meet in homes together for worship services. Below we will have a list of homes that people have volunteered to open their home for small groups to worship together.

PLEASE CALL if you might come so they can judge if whether or not they have enough space. We don't expect a problem but one never knows.

Altmann’s and Bree’s at 253A Iradell Rd, Ithaca, 14850 315-408-2142
Ying’s and Davis’s are hosting a group at 115 Winston Drive, Ithaca, 14850 607-280-4634
McKay's at 231 Conlon Rd, Lansing, 14882 607-793-4594
Mark Pettit at 180 Hunt Hill Road, Ithaca, 14850 716-378-3881
See ithacavineyard.org/reopening for ongoing info.

June 2, 2020

Vineyard Church of Ithaca is looking forward to the time when we can all come back together as a congregation and worship our great God together. The elders have determined that our first physical service will be on June 28, 2020. Taking into consideration differing feelings within the congregation and guidelines from the governor and CDC certain precautions will be enforced when we meet.

Beginning June 7, 2020 we are encouraging people to meet in homes together for worship services. Below we will have a list of homes that people have volunteered to open for worship together.

Altmann’s and Bree’s are hosting a group at 8354 Main Street, Interlaken
Ying’s and Davis’s are hosting a group at 115 Winston Drive, Ithaca

Even after resuming in-person services in our building, we will continue to livestream the service for those who don’t yet feel comfortable meeting in-person 

When we meet back at the church building we will be limiting the number of people in the sanctuary so that we can maintain 6-10 feet between people. To this end we will be requesting people register if they want to come to worship services.  There will be greeters at the door with a registration list.

The use of hand sanitizer and masks will be mandatory upon entry to the building.  You will also be asked if:

  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Been in a room with someone who has had a positive COVID-19 test?
  • Had a cough or runny nose?

We’ll encourage social distanced fellowship while in the church building, but will not be providing any food or beverages until we progress through the NYS stages further.

The 2:00 pm Vineyard Kids services will continue on zoom. Please contact Amanda Grubb, [email protected], for an invitation if you would like to participate.

These are all the things we are asking you our congregants to do. Please know that in addition to these precautions we are maintaining rigorous cleaning schedules and making sure everything is sanitized regularly. We trust that you are experiencing the Lord’s peace during this difficult time. Please let the church know if you have any needs.

May 20, 2020

We will have our first in-person service with precautions on June 14th. More information will be coming. REVISED Sunday, May 24th - Governor made gave more guidelines this week and it looks like we may not have in-person services until closer to July.

May 13, 2020

Hello VineyardKids Parents/Guardians ...

Due to the current "stay home" initiative that is in place,
VineyardKids will be meeting weekly for an interactive Zoom meeting. Sunday's @ 2:00 pm your child can join the class with us ...just download the "zoom" app and send me a quick email so I can send the meeting link your way ... [email protected]

I look forward to seeing those smiling faces and teaching them more about the amazing Lord we serve!!

March 25, 2020

Hello VineyardKids and Parents/Guardians ...

Well, seems like we will be spending a great deal of time at home for the next month(s), but I wanted to encourage you all to take this time and think of it as a GIFT!

I don't know of a time when the WHOLE WORLD was forced to "slow down!" We live in an age of constant distraction, and it's time to "relax" ... put your electronics away for a few hours, ignore the news for a day or two, breathe, memorize scripture, let the Spirit of God comfort you and give you His peace (you know, the one that "surpasses understanding" - Philippians 4:6-7)!

Trust God! Read scripture daily! Pray daily ! Love your neighbor! Teach your children to do these things - read scripture together, pray together, love together ...

Here are some changes that are taking place during this time of limited contact with one another: - We will not be meeting in person - VineyardKids will be meeting LIVE on Sundays @ 2:00 pm weekly for an interactive lesson on "Zoom". To join the class, download the "zoom" app and send me a quick email so I can send the meeting link your way ... [email protected].

March 20, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May Our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus keep you in Their perfect peace during this trying time. Vineyard Church of Ithaca would like to invite you to join us for a virtual time of worship together this Sunday at our usual time of 10:00am. Thanks to the hard work of Robin, Angela, Mike, and others we’ve arranged for the entire service (including worship, sermon, sharing time and communion), to be streamed live. You can join us through Zoom. This is a free service and will not cost you anything. We are using Robin Ying's account so you will see his name when logging in.

For those with Zoom, the meeting ID is the easiest way to join us because it will take you straight into the video call. However, for those without Zoom, please use the following link as it is easier, since it will direct you to Zoom online. It is recommended that people who can download Zoom do so and then just login to the service through meeting ID.

Topic: Vineyard Virtual Service 3/22
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
Meeting Invitation Link: https://cornell.zoom.us/j/8847596532
By phone: 646-876-9923, 8847596532#
Meeting ID: 884 759 6532
Here is a video if you need help joining us.

Mike and Marsha Heisler have made their home available for those who would like to worship together with them Sunday morning. All are invited. They live at: 221 Asbury Rd, Lansing, NY 14882. Mike’s cell# is: (607)227-6791. Please call to let them know if you plan to join them.

We will be sending out regular updates by email through our newsletter, and posting them on our website. Please make the church aware of any needs that you have. God bless!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit…” -Romans 15:13

March 18, 2020

Hello VineyardKids and Parents/Guardians ...

This morning as I read the book of Jude, I was reminded that time is in God's hands and we should praise Him ...
Jude 4:25, "All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
I want to say from the depths of my heart, continue to praise and seek the Almighty God and you will find peace in this circumstance and every other circumstance to come.
Trust God! Read scripture daily! Pray daily ! Love your neighbor!
Teach your children to do these things - read together, pray together, love together ...

Here are some changes that are taking place during this time of limited contact with one another:

  • We will not be meeting in person
  • Recordings of weekly video bible lessons for kids will be posted online, so be on the lookout on our Facebook Page and/or YouTube Channel
  • Curbside craft projects in individually wrapped bags for anyone who is in need of some simple and fun entertainment! Bagged items will be brought to your vehicle. No one will need to get out of their car and come to the front door or enter the church. Pick up will be Thursdays from 4:00 - 6:00p.m., starting Thursday, March 19th. Call or text (518) 335-0698 when you are on your way or have arrived at the church. Craft projects will be prepared with sanitized hands and using gloves.

Amanda Grubb
Family and Children's Pastor

March 17,2020

Hi everyone!

I hope that you all are well. We’re sending this message out to the congregation in order to let you know what we’ll be doing as a church to respond to the current situation involving the coronavirus.

From the best available information that we have it seems that by the end of this week the local health department will have a better idea as to just how serious the situation is in the Ithaca area. Until that time, I believe that one way we can love our community is to limit public gatherings and so help slow the possible rate of infection or “flatten the curve” and so prevent any potential for our local health care system to become overburdened.

Because of this, the elders have decided that this coming Sunday, March 22nd, rather than holding our usual public service, we will be livestreaming our worship, sharing and message.  Instead of coming to the church building, therefore, we are encouraging you to gather on Sunday morning in small groups and participate through livestream.  We will be posting and emailing the list of sites for these meetings later in the week, when it is finalized.

We will be using Zoom to livestream our Worship Service.  We’re going to do our best to make this an interactive experience. Information on how to log-in can be found at our website.  

Whether this is an overreaction I hope will be made clear by the end of this week. At that time, the elders will evaluate the situation and decide whether we go back to public worship (while taking certain precautions) or whether we continue livestreaming Sunday gatherings. At some point, I believe that we will just need to get on with life and not allow circumstances to prevent us from continuing to meet together and worship God.

I appreciated Thomas Flood's exhortation on Sunday for us to not let our faith in our Heavenly Father be overwhelmed by fear or anxiety. God’s people through ages have often faced difficult times and indeed Jesus reminded us that in this world we will have suffering. What matters is how we respond to that suffering. Will we respond with fear, or with confidence and trust in our heavenly father and love to those around us? This is a wonderful time for us as the Church to be salt and light to our community and be a visible example of the hope and life, that can be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Him,
Ward Davis

March 14, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I know many of you are wondering whether we will be having service tomorrow. After prayer and discussion, the elders have decided that, for those who feel comfortable doing so, we'll have a simplified service tomorrow while taking precautions to limit risk(masks, gloves, social spacing, etc.).

That having been said, we want you to know know that if you have any concern, please stay home. We don't want anyone feeling pressured to come (even if you are a volunteer).

At the same time, we recognize that there may be some members of the congregation who are feeling afraid and may need to meet and be reminded that God is still there. The elders want to be there for those people and so we plan to be at the church building tomorrow at 10:00am.

We certainly don't want to take foolish risks, or serve to spread the virus. We hope that by meeting tomorrow that we're not doing this. The elders will be meeting after the service to discuss whether we plan to continue with public services.

As we look ahead at the upcoming weeks and the possibility of widespread disruption of our lives’ normal routines, it’s important for us to remember that whatever comes, we have a heavenly Father who loves us and who will walk through our trials with us. We also have one another.

Please be sure to communicate with one another about any needs you might have. If you are a member of a kinship, please be in touch with your kinship group leader and the other members, whether your group decides to continue meeting or not. This is a time for us to pull alongside of each other and obey the Bible’s commands to care for one another and bear one another’s burdens.

If you have any needs, physical or spiritual, please let me, or one of the other elders know. The best email to reach me at is: [email protected] The elders as a group can be reached at: [email protected]

As of now, we will be recording the Sunday morning service and ensuring it is posted online to our YouTube page by 1:00pm.

In Him, Ward

March 12, 2020

Please know that we are taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.  Sunday services and kinship groups will not be cancelled. 

We encourage hand washing regularly when meeting for church functions and considering your personal health before joining activities

March 22nd will be the last student shuttle from Cornell for the semester.  The 70 and 72 buses still run and should have enough space for students who need to get to and from church. 

Beginning March 15th we are encouraging certain actions.  

  • Hand sanitizing gel will be available at the entrance to the church.  Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands often.
  • We discourage handshakes and hugs of greeting.  Also, precautions should be taken when praying for someone. 
  • It is suggested that tithes & offering be given online.  If you would like to give a physical offering there will be buckets at the front of the church and the box on the back wall by the doors.  
  • We have individual servings for communion.  However, these will not be gluten free like our normal communion.  If you would like gluten free communion, please let us know and we will prepare a serving for you.  Communion will next be on March 22nd.

Again, these actions are fully voluntary based on your own judgement. 

Once a case is confirmed in Tompkins County we will ask that:

  • Everyone use hand sanitizer when entering the building.
  • No handshakes or hugs of greeting.  Also, precautions should be taken when praying for someone. 
  • Attempt to stay 3-6 feet away from other family groups.
  • If you are coughing, please stay home and enjoy the message on YouTube Sunday afternoons.  Alternatively, please wear an N95 equivalent mask.  Unfortunately, we do not have the rights to post copyrighted songs.  So, we cannot post the worship sets each week, only the message.
  • Cafe volunteers will serve all food and beverages.

More precautions can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
A map charting reported cases of COVID-19 can be found at https://www.healthmap.org/covid-19.
The New York State coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065.

Cornell Shutdown
More concerning than the precautions planned to take if COVID-19 is found locally, is the local impact of Cornell shutting down physical classes.  There will be some students looking for local housing because they cannot leave, or it is safer if they stay in Ithaca. 

Some of these same students will be looking for jobs as their on-campus jobs will disappear.  In addition, there may be staff from Cornell looking for jobs.  We expect an increase in requests for help as a church.  If you would like to give to the Community Care Fund this would be a great time to do so.

We do not want to cultivate a culture of fear, even as we implement some precautions.  If you find yourself being consumed by thoughts of fear, please email [email protected] so that we can pray for you.  Also, if you or your family is effected by COVID-19 please email [email protected] so that we can pray for you and help in any way possible.  Pastor Ward Davis is also available to be contacted at [email protected] with any concerns you may have.